Jennifer Eklund Piano Pronto Composer

Piano Pronto Composer - Pop Music

Do you teach pop music or just the "same old" pieces you have taught for forever?

Watch Glory St. Germain and Special Guest Jennifer Eklund from Piano Pronto - Learn WHY you should be teaching POP MUSIC and how it will help your teaching business!

What's Black & White, makes noise and brings you joy? 

(LOL This one may surprise you - watch for the big reveal.)  PLUS you'll get instant access to download your "Free Gift" from Jennifer and you can use it right now!

Jennifer Eklund - UMT Interview

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer Eklund holds a Bachelors Degree in Music, and a Masters Degree in Musicology from California State University, Long Beach.

Jennifer is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto piano lesson book series, as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks for students of all ages and levels.

As a lifelong pianist she enjoys a successful teaching career in Southern California. 

Jennifer Eklund's focus on creating new products to benefit students all over the world.

Jennifer shares the joy of exploring Pop Music to inspire your students!

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer Eklund is Glory St. Germain's Special Guest on the Ultimate Music Interview Series.

Glory: How are you this morning?  Do you teach pop music that's new and interesting? Or do you teach the same old thing that you've been teaching for the last 20 years? I'm here with Jennifer Eklund and I'm so excited to share a whole bunch of new things with you. As a music teacher who's been teaching for a long time, I think I do a little bit of both, but at any rate, it's going to be a fun time today. My name is Glory St Germain from Ultimate Music Theory and my very special guest today is Jennifer Eklund from Piano Pronto. And you're about to learn why you should be teaching pop music and how it's going to help your teaching business. So welcome, Jennifer. Good morning.

Jennifer: Hi Glory. Thank you so much for having me.

Glory: Absolutely. We had a good little chat just before we started live because, for Jennifer, she's in California, so you think sunshine. And I'm here in Winter-peg, Canada, so I've got massive snow. But tell them what's out your window, Jennifer.

Jennifer: Oh my goodness. So we live kinda high up in the desert, out in Temecula, California. And we got a little bit over an inch of snow last night. It was a major freak out moment for me as a native Californian, and it's just gorgeous outside, winter wonderland. Pretty exciting day.

Glory: It is really exciting. I want to introduce Jennifer Eklund to you. I'm sure you all know her, but I do want to recognize that Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in music and a master degree, oh my gosh, in historical musicology. That's a tough one to get. She's also an avid composer, arranger, and author of Piano Pronto, which is amazing. Her method book series, as well as a wide variety of supplemental song books for students of all ages. And I'm sure you have an absolute blast just composing these things and then figuring out who would that be for.

Glory: And as a piano teacher, and you of course as a composer and arranger and performer, I have a little challenge for our audience today. That is the question: What is black and white, and makes noise, and brings you joy? So go ahead and type that in the chat box, because we're going to reveal the answer in a bit and Jennifer's got a great surprise for us. So go ahead and put that in there. What's black and white, makes noise, and brings you joy? We'll have our big reveal a little bit later. And Jennifer also has a free gift for your today and we'll be telling you about that a litter later in the program. So let's get started with how did you start in your music lessons? How old were you? Tell us a little bit about your early experiences.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: Well, I started by force, like most of us. My mom loves music and, when she was growing up, her family couldn't afford to get her music lessons. It just wasn't in the cards for her. She was very adamant about putting me in music lessons very young. Maybe to the surprise of the audience, I really did not take to the piano very well when she put me in when I was about five, and I just wasn't very good. But she kept at it. I switched teachers all the time. My mom was always trying to find the person that I clicked with. Around age seven or so, it sort of started to click in for me. My dad is a natural musician, so I get a lot of that inclination, when it finally kicked in, from him. He played piano bar all through college before he got a "Real job," as he says. So yeah. So that's how I got started and it was always kind of my mom's dream to play. And then I eventually ended up teaching her, when I was in college, which is a whole other story. So that's how I got started.

Glory: Aw. So now you're playing the piano, and you're getting started, and you're teaching your mom, which is really cool. And then what motivated you to sort of continue your musical journey and get started in the business?

Jennifer: Okay, well, this is going to sound really shallow, but it was money. When I was 12, I was approached by the National Sewing Guild of America to play background music at our local community center for their annual fashion show. So I sat there and just played a bunch of tunes that I had learned, and they gave me a check for $50. And at twelve years old, I thought that was pretty cool, because I didn't want to babysit, and I didn't want to do yard work and things like that. I thought, "You know, maybe this piano thing, maybe there's something to it. Maybe I should practice it." And really from that point on, I started to think more in the mindset of this isn't just something my mom's making me do, this is something I actually enjoy and I actually like sitting and giving people joy listening to music.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: So I started playing parties and doing weddings and I was very young at the time. But people hired me because it was sort of a token thing that I was so young. So that's how I started. And then when I was in high school, my piano teacher, she mentored me and encouraged me to start teaching. She helped me get a couple students and she sort of worked me through the process. And the teaching was what I really, really loved. From the time I was a sophomore in high school, I started with teaching and my friends thought I was really weird, but I was like, "Hey, you know, I'm not working at Taco Bell and I really like this." And it was a great little after school job for me and it kinda just mushroomed from there.

Glory: Yeah. You know it's funny because I too was motivated by money. I started teaching when I was 16 because I wanted to buy a car. And you're right, I didn't have to work at Taco Bell or the Dairy Queen, like my friends did, and I was making a lot more money. And then it became that passion. And I think, as teachers, we kind of start just to connect with teachers because we all talk to teachers. Jennifer and I have attended conferences together and gone for dinner together, and just talked about the business of music but also just one on one as teachers together. And in connecting with other teachers, what do you see as maybe the one thing that's missing from today's teaching techniques that could really help them with their students?

Jennifer: Well I think what I hear most from teachers is about burn out, and I experienced that a ton. I taught all through college and grad school. Teaching was my full time profession before I hoped off to run my publishing business. And burn out is a really real thing in our industry. And that stems primarily, I think, from doing the same things, going through the same routines. Because, when you start teaching, it's all exciting because you're sort of getting your sea legs and figuring everything out. But after you've done that 45 times, it starts to get a little old. We all have that feeling like I could teach that first piano lesson in my sleep. That's how much of a routine I'm in.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: What I found as a teacher was that, when I was constantly switching up materials, those were the weeks that I was most excited to be teaching. If I had a new pop song for the kids, and I would show up with it, and they wouldn't know about it ahead of time, there was nothing like the joy you would see in their eyes. Like, "Really? I get to play this?" like, "My teacher's that cool that she actually knows the song on the radio that I've been listening to?" And I found that really always looking at new material and keeping things really fresh really helps to stave off the burn out for you as a teacher and for your students as well.

Glory: Yeah. I couldn't agree with you more. I've been teaching for more years than I want to say. So I usually just say over 20 years, so then they don't ... I mean it is way over 20. But I think you just nailed it Jennifer because we do, as music educators, you always have the beginner and you always have the next one, you have the next one, and we get into that rut of just always same old. And then where is it that it becomes interesting for us? And it's really why I'm so excited to connect with you because you are giving these new materials. In this day and age, it's so easy to connect with publishers and say, "Well give me something new. I need to feed my soul. I've taught all those pieces, and I love the classics, but I need something that's pop and fun."

Glory: And I know that when were teaching we often have a lot of fun, which is what we're going to do right now because we have to have this big reveal. And I want to ask our audience to share with you, and to share with us, Jennifer and I, what is black and white, makes noise, and brings you joy? And I just want to see what your answers are going to be in here. So come on. Let's be adventurous, let's see. They can't wait. Okay, let's see what you're going to come up with. Black and white oh there's dynamic duo, Jennifer and... So let's do the big reveal. Jennifer what's black and white, makes noise, and brings you joy?

Jennifer: You'll have to forgive me because I have to call my husband because he's dropping the ball. Hey Justin!

Glory: That's what it is? It's your husband?

Jennifer: No, it's not my husband. He's dropping the ball. Okay, so what's black and white, and makes noise, and brings joy? My first guess, of course, would be the piano.

Glory: Of course. But the answer is ...

Jennifer: But it's not. It's a Border Collie. This is [Barron 00:10:24]. Can you say "Hi" Barron?

Glory: Hi Barron.

Jennifer: Yeah. Do you love your mommy? Yes you love your mommy. Yes this is our newest little rescue. Oh and he's very wiggly. Okay just ... We adopted him back in September. We have the quintessential American family now. It's mom and dad, and a girl and a boy, and Barron brings us tons of joy and he loves snow.

Glory: Oh yes. Well I too used to have a Border Collie named Muffy, who I just loved so, so, so much. They're just a wonderful furry family member that does bring you joy. Now we didn't hear any noise, but that's because Barron is being very good. On his best behavior today right?

Jennifer: He's a very, very smart and good little puppy. He does like to chew things, but it's okay. I can tell the audience a real quick funny story about my other Border Collie, Princess Daisy. A couple of years ago I was getting the hammers in my piano replaced and I stupidly went out to teach and didn't think about leaving the hammers on my mantel. And I came home and Daisy had chewed an entire set of new, grand piano hammers. Yes. I love my dogs though, if that wasn't a deal breaker. When I got the new set from the manufacturer, because they had to do the whole set over again, to hang them, and balance them, they put a little note in there and they had some extra pieces and they labeled it "Doggy bag"... That was the most embarrassing phone call I ever had to make of my life, saying, "I'm sorry but my dog ate my hammers."

Glory: Yeah. That's hilarious. That's hilarious. You know I think as teachers too that when we do have our furry friends in the studio the students really begin to love them as well, and it's nice that they can hang on and be part of the musical experience in the studio. So thanks for revealing Barron. One of the things too I did want to ask you was perhaps what's one tip that you could share with us, Jennifer, on how we can move our studio business forward to really achieve our goals? Because everyone has a little different, but what do you think is maybe the one thing that we could share with teachers that would help them take that next step? Because sometimes we're just stuck in a rut. So what can move us forward? What's the one thing that can get you on your way?

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: I talk a lot, in presentations that I give, about finding your niche in the market. For me as a teacher that was the key to my success, was really learning to listen to the market, and it's the same thing in publishing. I hear teachers talk a lot about how they think YouTube is destroying our industry because kids are more likely to want to just learn a tune off of YouTube in the comfort of their home. And I think that nothing could be further from the truth. I think, first of all, we need to pay attention to what the kids are telling us by the fact that they'll sit for hours and watch a video on YouTube just to learn a song. That's like a huge red flag to teachers, like, "Hey. This is what I want to be doing." And this is a major part of being able to listen to your market and being able to adapt your own skills in order to fit the needs of that market.

Jennifer: So I think that that is one of the biggest things that's out there right now. I think that piano lessons kind of used to have a stigma of being rather antiquated, but I think that it's really shifting. And I think a lot of that is the fact that, yeah kids have access to anything everywhere all the time, and the fact that they want to sit and watch other kids play the piano so that they can learn how to play the same thing is a pretty big deal. And I think we as teachers really need to learn to listen to that and then be able to adapt our own skill set to meet the needs of what students, or potential students, actually want to be doing. Because I think ultimately too the teen market is a huge market.

Glory: It is.

Jennifer: And it's rather untapped. And I think it's often because teachers kind of don't know what to do with teenage beginners because they can't put them in the normal materials that they would use for an eight year old because that's not going to be very appealing for a teenager. So I think often teachers can shy away from teaching teens, just because they don't really know what to do with them. And teenagers can feel rather ... not embarrassed, but just kind of shy about coming to a new endeavor like music lessons when they're maybe like a freshman in high school and they think, "Well my friends have been playing since they were eight. It's kind of weird that I'm coming in late in the game. So I think, yeah, just the ability to listen to what the market needs and then adapting to that is a huge thing in your business life. Will make you very successful.

Glory: Yeah. One of the things that you really struck a cord with me ... ha ha musical chord, when you said developing a skill set. And I think as a piano teacher it's also important for me to look at your materials, and for me to be creative and develop my own skill set too. Because, if you were classically trained in the traditional methods, you have that skill set, a perfect posture, and all of that, and I think sometimes you need to loosen that up because we have students that have different learning styles. You've got teenagers, you have students that are maybe visual auditory kinesthetic and they want to learn things differently.

Glory: Do you ever even listen to what your students are listening to? And I grab that iPod or iPhone and go, "What are you listening to?" I need to learn that. So even if I don't love it, at least be open to learning new things. I say are you coachable? And if you're open to learning new things, then you're going to be very successful. Which I think leads us into what is the value of pop music within a business perspective? Like how can we grow that?

Jennifer: Piggybacking on what you were just saying, I think a huge part of being successful in business is forming that bond with each and every student. What I found, and I mentioned this earlier, there's nothing like the joy of you as a teacher showing a student, "Hey I'm into this. Let's do this together." Because I think that everything in kids' lives is rather dictated. You have a due date for this, you're going to do it this way, you need to write your bibliography, you need to follow the structure. And forming that bond with students by showing an active interest in what is actually current for them is huge. Because that's going to be different for every student. And again this comes full circle around to staving off burn out.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: You're going to have a different experience and hopefully not be using the same materials with each and every student. And for you as a teacher that's huge because if you had to go to eight lessons in a row on a Thursday, teaching the same song over and over again, that could get pretty boring. So I think, again from a business perspective, being able to explore music together is a huge part of the bonding process because you're showing them that you take an interest in what they're life is all about. I love the old Dick Clark quote that music is the soundtrack of your life. And it's so true. I listen to a lot of current pop music now and I'm kind of like, "Wow. What happened?" But there's some good stuff out there.

Jennifer: And then I think that it's a two way street because, if you explore what's current for them, with them, and show an active interest, you can also then open the door to showing them the music of your generation. I've seen quite a resurgence lately in interests like music from the '80s, which of course is like the music of my childhood. And what I consider like the '80s and the '90s the golden era. And so it's nice. When you show them the interest, they will then in turn show the interest in things that you want to show to them, and that includes classical music.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: So I always hear this analogy that pop music is like the dessert of the piano world. It's a side project, we'll do that after you do the real stuff. I want to reframe this argument for teachers because it doesn't have to be dessert. I think about how there are so many diets in the world. There's some people who want to eat gluten free, there's some people who don't want to touch a carb, there's some people who love paleo. And I think that we can have many different types of diets and it just depends on the student. Certain things will work for certain students.

Jennifer: For certain students it doesn't matter how much you do back flips and cartwheels to tell them how brilliant Mozart Sonatas are. It won't matter, they won't want to do it, and that's okay. On the other hand, you may have students who like the mixed diet, who like a little pop with a little side of Beethoven, and that's great too. So I think just an overall sort of reframing of the way we look at music education is just going to be huge for you and your studio and you're just going to have happy students. And happy students leads to happy parents. And what do happy parents do? Happy parents tell all their friends, "We have the most awesome piano teacher in the world, and you need to have them too."

Glory: Yeah. I have to share with you, Jennifer, when you said listen to what your students are listening to and then show an interest in their music and then they'll love your music from the 80s. So my son David is a guitar player ... We have five kids and they're all professional entertainers. And I remember one day my son came home and he said, "Oh I just heard this great new song. Wait I want to play it for you." And he played House of the Rising Sun and I went, "Well that's not new." But you're right. If you can show an interest in what they're listening to, and then you give them one of your favorite tunes, they might think ... that's new to them.

Glory: And so we can definitely incorporate our favorites along with what's new for them because it kind of is that blending of old and new. And so here he was thinking, "Oh this is new music," when in fact it was just something that he'd never heard before. So for him it was new. And I think there is great value in pop music on the musical side. So can you talk a little bit about ... I mean you're an arranger, you're a composer. So what's the value of pop music from the musical aspect of it? Because that's different from Bach, Beethoven and the boys, so to speak.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: Right. Well the primary thing ... and for me even as a writer of the Piano Pronto method, which I would say is much more on the traditional track kind of how I learned, lots of classical tunes and what not. In all of my writing I, for instance, never shied away from teaching syncopation early on. And the reason being is that students can handle it. These are rhythms that they move to and dance to and hear all the time. So I never understood why typical method materials shies away from it early on. I think what it comes down to is sort of, again, restructuring how we teach these things. We need to get beyond the basic counting.

Jennifer: So one of the huge benefits of pop music is being able to teach complicated rhythms right from jump street. And how can we get away with that? Well because they know the song. So many pop tunes these days have very complicated sixteenth rhythms, but it's okay, you can teach it to them. They make that all important eye ear connection that we're always talking about. Okay well you know what this sounds like, now this is what it looks like on the page. So rhythm is a huge thing, and they like it, it's fun to play. The other side of it, and you'll love this, is that pop music is a great way to give life to your theory work.

Glory: Absolutely.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: It goes beyond doing a theory exercise on the page and analyzing chord structures. Let's show you the theory at work. And I know I had a lot of teenage students who were rather reluctant to get into a lot of theory work because they just wanted to play. But pop music really allows you a nice way to open that door, to say, "Okay now let's talk about how this is put together." And let's be honest, most pop music these days is not very complicated. One of the reasons why I talk about opening the door to older music of our generation ... I mean I grew up on Elton John and Billy Joel. I would give them lots of current pop music but then I'd also show them stuff that actually has a chord structure that goes beyond a four chord rotating...

Jennifer: So it's a really nice way to get theory into the conversation. And then even with simple songs that have maybe that rotating four chord progression, show them how to voice lead within that, show them how to add passing chords, and then again talk about theoretically what that means within the key signature. It also opens the door for improvisation and getting off the page, which is a huge thing in the teaching industry right now is getting people off of the page. And pop music allows for that, teaching them different accompaniment patterns. So I think pop music can just be a wonderful gateway into these things early on. And that you don't need to, again, shy away from complicated rhythms. And put that theory material to work within musical context.

Glory: Yeah. Absolutely. I think you've really described musicality and musicianship skills that make you a life long student. Even as a teacher, I'm still a life long student. And it's so exciting to explore both the understanding and the structure. I mean if you weren't as knowledgeable as you are in music theory, you obviously wouldn't even be able to notate your arrangements. So there needs to be that knowledge. But also the fun part is bringing that notation to sound, and to do the improvisation, and just to be creative, and just to keep learning and playing lots and lots of music. Because I find sometimes if we take a student and give them a piece that's on the hard side, then they're playing that piece for forever trying to master it rather than just getting new music and playing and growing naturally as they're taking on new music with different rhythmic patterns. Because, you're right, those rhythmic patterns are much easier if the tune is familiar than ... I mean they still need to understand it but at least it's a great gateway to get therm there.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Glory: I do want to mention that Jennifer is sharing a gift with us shortly. So if you're interested in that you just need to type in "Gloryrocks," one word. "Gloryrocks" and we'll send you the link. So I do have the question for Jennifer, but go ahead and type in "Gloryrocks" and you will be getting access to that free gift from Jennifer. So thanks for that. You've mentioned that there's two segments of pop music. Could you just elaborate a little on what you mean by "two segments" of pop music?

Jennifer: Well think about your classical music studies. You have staples, right? We refer to Bach's WTC as the Old Testament, or the New Testament. Okay so I divide pop music into two categories. And if you want to expand that realm of your teaching practice, I say that we have timeless pop music, and those can kind of be your WTC and your Beethoven sonata. Certain tunes ... we've been talking about Coldplay's Clocks for like the last 15 years. Tunes like Apologize, and old Broadway hits, stuff that is timeless that people recognize no matter how much time passes. And I think it's really good to have a bunch of those tunes in your back pocket. My Favorite Things from Sound of Music, totally famous tune, right? Okay Ariana Grande, her new song Seven Rings, completely destroys it but use the tune, verbatim, in a hip hop sense, and you will have students come to you say, "Wow. Did you hear this song? That tune's really great." My goodness, you know how old that tune really is?

Jennifer: Again, you've got timeless songs that of course... So you've got your timeless stuff. I think it's good to build yourself a good catalog of timeless tunes that you can pull out over and over, and students will still be like, "Yeah. I know that." Then of course you've got current pop music and there is never a lack of new material. What I love about the new stuff is that the publishing landscape has changed so much, even since I started. I have been banging this drum about the value of pop music for years and years and years, but me as a writer I've been able to do very little about it because the gatekeepers kind of held all of the print rights to everything and there was very little opportunity to get new voices out into the marketplace, just because of the way licensing is with pop music. It's complicated.

Jennifer: I get it. Now that I manage a publishing house I totally understand that this stuff is complicated, especially when you've got lots of writers and licensing and all of this. But things are changing so fast, and they've changed much to all of our benefits in the last few years or so. I'm now able to arrange pretty much anything under the sun as soon as it comes out, which is amazing. Because students used to have to wait six months for a book, or a piece of sheet music, to come out. And guess what happens with current pop music? Six months from now, a lot of it, we're not talking about it anymore.

Jennifer: So, again, it gets back to piano lessons feeling antiquated. If it takes six months for something to get into circulation, piano students are always going to feel like they're sort of behind the curve because, "Well that song was out six months ago. I'm onto the next thing already," So what's wonderful is that you've got good solid arrangements available now. I mean there was a new John Legend song that just dropped called Preach, I was able to arrange it yesterday, it's already published, which is amazing.

Glory: That is amazing.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

Jennifer: For me as a writer, this is a dream come true and it's what I've been waiting for because I've always known the value of this, as a teacher, and now finally the avenues are open for people like me to be able to provide music of all levels that's super, super current. When the new Mary Poppins movie just came out at thanksgiving, I said, "Wow. I got to hop on this because of good tunes." And you're able to get it out right as the movie is dropping because that's when people are looking for stuff. Right after they see it in the theater and they go home humming the tunes, and they're like, "Wow I want to play that on the piano." Well you can be the teacher who's able to teach that stuff and that's huge for your business.

Glory: It truly is. I know that we have a great gift that you are so kind to share with us today. Can you tell us about the gift that I happen to have handy?

Jennifer: So this is one of my little pop tunes and I thought it was apropos since we're kind of talking about the power of pop music today. It's called On My Way, because now you're on your way to being a pop teaching superstar. It's a simple tune for late beginners. It's got a simple chord structure, easy syncopation that you'll be able to teach very easily, and it's a rather timeless little tune. The one downside of the second category of pop music is that the shelf life of it is usually pretty limited. That's why I talk about building a repertoire of staple pieces that you're going to use over and over.

Jennifer: For me as a writer, before all of this licensing stuff opened up on the pop side of things, I was really focused on writing tunes that hit on the same elements that are used in modern pop music, but I did them in my own original tunes so that they could become sort of those timeless favorites that you can go back to over and over again. So I think that you'll find that little tune very useful. It's easy to teach and it's got a good modern sound to it, with modern rhythms that your students will enjoy.

Glory: Well thank you so much because I ... As soon as you said, "Oh this is what I ... I printed it and went straight to the piano and I'm like, "Okay. I got to play this." So thank you for that. I did want to also ask just what's new with you? Just in wrapping up, tell us where we can find more about your music and your program, and connect with you.

Jennifer: Okay well website is pianopronto.com. We do a little bit of everything. I have really benefited from a interesting upbringing. As a classically trained pianist I did all of the stuff in college that you do, but I also studied a lot of jazz in college, which was huge influencer on my writing. So I bring to the table a broad level of experience in a lot of different genres. So on Piano Pronto you will find everything from method books to song books. We've got you covered. We represent quite a few independent composers as part of our composers community, wonderful writers there. We show you everything, we let you hear everything on the website. You can do it all from the comfort of your own home. It's digital, it's hard copy. You name it, we've probably got it.

Jennifer: So on the Piano Pronto side, I recently wrote a method book series called Fired Up! That's intended for the teen and adult crowd, that needs a little bit more of a modern approach. So I'm working to the third book in that series. Knock on wood, it'll be done by summer, I hope. Really over the last six months my focus has been on the pop music writing side. I have a second site called fm, like fm radio, fmsheetmusic.com. That is a catalog site where you will find all of my pop music arrangements and it links you out to where you can purchase those pieces. So it's basically like your library where you can look for stuff, and see and hear all of the pop music. There's about 900 arrangements on there since last may. So I've been very, very busy.

Jennifer: I sort of had a resurgence and decided to go back to publishing the pop stuff with Sheet Music Plus. And then I was approached by musicnotes.com to be one of their signature artists. And I'm thrilled to be working with them because they've got access to everything under the sun. And so my writing efforts have really been concentrated in that arena because it's the one arena that I haven't been able to corner until now. So we've got music for all levels on the fmsheetmusic.com site. You can even put in requests. If you've got a student who showed up for a lesson and said, "I've got to have this new song by so and so," you just go to our contact form on fmsheetmusic.com, hit request a song, you fill out the form, and it gets all dumped into a spreadsheet for me.

Jennifer: My list is very long but I try to honor as many requests as I'm able to, and things that fit the piano well that's always what I'm considering. I'm focused on writing hand friendly music, always with my teaching hat firmly in place. So you as a teacher can feel confident that these are arrangements that are written by somebody who focuses on pedagogical writing, and music that sounds great and is current. Yeah . So you know just 900 songs or so. I haven't been up to much.

Glory: That's why you're up in the mountain top and don't sleep, and it's just you and Barron hanging out, and your wonderful husband. Well I just think what you've accomplished is absolutely amazing and you really are a joy to know, Jennifer, and certainly we're grateful that you serve the community of music educators that are looking for something new so that we don't have to keep doing the same old, same old thing. And I'm certainly looking forward to sharing your music with my students and I know that they're very grateful. And now that I know ... I'm glad that you shared if you want to do something or learn a piece, and you can't find it on fmmusic?

Jennifer: Fmmusic.

Glory: Fmmusic. Yes. I like that how you said radio fm, easy to remember. I'll get them you send you some notes about, "I would like to learn this one. I'd like to learn this one." Well thank you so much. Make sure that you put Gloryrocks in the chat because you will be On My Way to getting your complimentary gift from Jennifer Eklund from Piano Pronto. Today I am so happy that you joined me Jennifer. Thank you so much because we're all passionate music educators, and it is great to be inspired and learn something new that we can share with our students. So thank you very much for being on the Ultimate Music interview today. I really appreciate it.

Jennifer: Thanks so much for having me. It was a pleasure.

Glory: Take care everybody. Teach with passion.

Jennifer Eklund - Piano Pronto - Pop Music

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