Games, seasonal / holiday

Halloween Activities

I don’t normally do much for Halloween, but I am doing a couple of little things this year with my students:

Trick or Treat game:

I found this game on D’Net’s Layton Music website.  Basically, students “earn” their Halloween treat by clapping rhythms!  When my students came to their lessons last week, we started with this game.  They have to do as many “trick” (rhythm) cards as it takes until they draw a “treat” card.  D’Net has the best game ideas.  I definitely plan to reuse this next year!

Bat Facts worksheet:

Occasionally, I like take a week off from my students’ normal theory book assignments so I can give them a supplemental worksheet targeting a specific skill, or simply so I can give them a just-for-fun worksheet!  Susan Paradis’ Bat Facts worksheet is perfect for a just-for-fun worksheet, while giving students a chance to review identifying note names on the staff.  Plus, students get to learn some true fun facts about bats!

Happy Halloween to you all!  What activities did you plan?

Early Childhood Music, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Music Theory, Printables, Teaching Piano

Just Added: Musical Alphabet Cards

There are others who have shared alphabet card printables similar to what I’m posting today, but I’m adding mine to the mix anyway.  :)  I wanted some that would work well to print onto colored cardstock paper.  Since I don’t have a color printer, this is an easy way I can still get colorful things to use with my students!

I used these cards with my new weekly Homeschool Music Class (just started last week, thanks to Sheryl’s recent post at her Notable Music Studio blog) and with my Piano Readiness Class.  My students LOVED making “musical alphabet snakes” in order to learn how the musical alphabet is different from the regular alphabet.  Included in the pdf is a card which outlines some other possible activities to do using the cards.  These activities work great in both group settings and private lessons.

Do you have some other activities to share that involve alphabet cards?  Share them in the comments!

To Download: visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to the M’s for Musical Alphabet Cards.

  Musical Alphabet Cards (275.9 KiB, 11,375 hits)

Announcements, Studio Business

Halloween Candy = Opportunity for Free Marketing

Thanks to the wonderfully helpful ideas that YOU all submitted in reply to the Forum Q&A last month about advertising, this year for Halloween I am passing out candy that has a note with my studio name and information on it!

I created these tags in Microsoft Word and printed them onto cardstock paper.  I cut out each tag and used a circle of scotch tape to attach the candy to the backside of each tag.  The tags have my studio name, what I do, and my contact information.  Continue reading “Halloween Candy = Opportunity for Free Marketing”

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.”

— Frank Zappa

Every Wednesday brings Words of Wisdom here at the Color in my Piano blog in the form of a musical quote or joke, intended to bring inspiration or humor to the middle of your week. Have suggestions? Send an email off to admin[at]colorinmypiano.com.

Group Classes, Music Camps, Printables, Worksheets

Just Added: Musical Instruments Workbook

With my Piano Readiness Class, we’ve been learning about the instruments and the instrument families.  To do this, I decided to create a workbook for my students to be able to take notes about the instruments and color a picture of each one.

Description: This 29-page workbook contains coloring pages and blank lines for taking notes when learning about the musical instruments and the instrument families. It is ideal for a regularly-meeting group setting, where the teacher can introduce an instrument or two each week.  Continue reading “Just Added: Musical Instruments Workbook”

Conferences

2011 OhioMTA Conference (5): The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo!

The Anderson & Roe Piano Duo gave a performance and a masterclass at the 2011 OhioMTA Conference.  Greg and Liz, in addition to being marvelous performers, are such genuine, down-to-earth people.  They had great insight for the students who performed during the masterclass.  If you ever have the opportunity to hear them live, I highly recommend it!

Photo: me with Anderson & Roe!!!

This wraps up my series of posts on the 2011 OhioMTA Conference!  I just wanted to also let you all know too that I am going to be revising some of my conference note posts to make sure that they are indeed just summaries of the sessions.  I want to make sure that I am respecting the presenters’ material and hard work.  While I do feel that my notes are my possession, I do not want to publish too much detail about entire sessions because it might open the possibility for others to take credit for the presenters’ work.  If you ever want more detail about a session I write about, please don’t be afraid to email the presenters and ask them if they’d be willing to share more information or even a copy of their handout with you.

Stay tuned for a new printable tomorrow!  Cheers!

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.”

— Beethoven

Every Wednesday brings Words of Wisdom here at the Color in my Piano blog in the form of a musical quote or joke, intended to bring inspiration or humor to the middle of your week. Have suggestions? Send an email off to admin[at]colorinmypiano.com.

Conferences, Group Classes, improving as a teacher

2011 OhioMTA Conference (4): Piano Pedagogy 101, by Marvin Blickenstaff

Here’s another session given by the well-loved pedagogue Marvin Blickenstaff from the 2011 OhioMTA Conference:

Piano Pedagogy 101: Reviewing the Basics

Mr. Blickenstaff introduced this session by commenting that at conferences and workshops, we often hear ideas for teaching intermediate and advanced students, but we don’t very often hear ideas for teaching beginners during that first year of piano lessons.  The purpose of this session to give a refresher of sorts and to provide new ideas for teaching beginners, particularly in groups.

Mr. Blickenstaff basically led us through a series of short activities that he uses during group classes with beginners.  He begins the first few classes with some icebreaker activities that all students can succeed doing.  These initial successes set the tone for the entire year!

Here are a few examples of some of the beginner-level icebreaker activities Mr. Blickenstaff likes to use with his students:

Continue reading “2011 OhioMTA Conference (4): Piano Pedagogy 101, by Marvin Blickenstaff”

Conferences, Group Classes

OhioMTA Conference (3): Performance Practice Made Easy, by Marvin Blickenstaff

The next session was given by the fabulous Marvin Blickenstaff:

Performance Practice Made Easy: Rules of Thumb for the Piano Student

As teachers, we are always interested in fostering independence in our students — perhaps most importantly in the aspect of interpretation (making music musical and artistic). This is an elusive thing to teach.  It’s about getting beyond the notes.  It’s taking the dots on the page and transforming them into something that can change our lives.

Mr. Blickenstaff then told us about the Repertoire Classes he holds each week with his private students.  Students must announce their piece, the composer, and give some kind of explanation as to why the composer wrote the piece.  The students listening must take notes on what the performing student said, and also write down how the piece made them feel.   Continue reading “OhioMTA Conference (3): Performance Practice Made Easy, by Marvin Blickenstaff”

Conferences, improving as a teacher, Professional Development, Teaching Piano

OhioMTA Conference 2011 (2): Toxic or Terrific Teaching by Nicole Biggs

The next session at the OhioMTA Conference was given by Dr. Nicole Biggs, the new piano professor at Bowling Green State University in my town:

Toxic or Terrific Teaching: Exploring the Strategies that Bring out the Best in our Students

Dr. Biggs began by pointing out that our goal as teachers is to inspire and motivate our students in such a way that they can go on independently without us.  Our goal in effect is to teach ourselves out of a job.

A potential problem for some of us as teachers is that we may unintentionally emulate the teaching models we experienced, whether good or bad.  It’s a challenge, but if we perhaps experienced “toxic teaching” during our own studies, we need to find ways to ensure these teaching strategies don’t filter into our own teaching.  We need to transform any toxic teaching strategies into terrific teaching strategies.   Continue reading “OhioMTA Conference 2011 (2): Toxic or Terrific Teaching by Nicole Biggs”

Conferences, Reading Notation

OhioMTA Conference 2011 (1): Learn at First Sight by Margaret Young

The recent Ohio Music Teachers Association conference I attended was wonderful.  I had the opportunity to meet other teachers both near and far from where I am in Ohio, and I also learned a lot!

The first session I attended was an informative presentation by Dr. Margaret Young.  Dr. Young cited a large number of research studies throughout the session and had a two-page bibliography in the handout (!).  I will not be providing those facts and citations here, but rather presenting a summary of some of the points Dr. Young made.  If anyone is interested in more in-depth information about Dr. Young’s session, I’m sure you could contact her and see if she’s willing to share a copy of the handout.  :)

Learn at First Sight: A Review of the Current Research Literature on Sight-Reading

Dr. Young went through a number of questions, each time answering in detail what the research says about each issue.  Some of the questions were: What does sight-reading involve?  What factors influence or predict sight-reading success?  Continue reading “OhioMTA Conference 2011 (1): Learn at First Sight by Margaret Young”