Early Childhood Music, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps

Musical Instruments Quizzing/Sorting game

My Homeschool Class and my Piano Readiness Class both recently finished their Musical Instruments Workbooks.  We usually complete just two pages each class, so it took us awhile to get through it!

Now that we’ve finished it, we’ve been playing a fun little sorting/quizzing game using the deck of instrument cards that came with my MiniMusic kit.  This competitive game has been quite a hit!

Continue reading “Musical Instruments Quizzing/Sorting game”

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“As a great democratic society, we have a special responsibility to the arts. For art is the great democrat, calling forth creative genius from every sector of society, disregarding race or religion or wealth or color. What freedom alone can bring is the liberation of the human mind and a spirit which finds its greatest flowering in the free society. I see of little more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than the full recognition of the place of the artist.”

— John F. Kennedy

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.

Forum Q&A's

Forum Q&A | Perfectionist Piano Students

Last week, our Forum Q&A discussion was about saying goodbye to piano students before moving away.  Today, I’d love to hear your thoughts about students who are perfectionists.  We’ve all had them!  Sometimes they are so hard on themselves when it comes to making mistakes that they stop having fun.  They may even stop making progress in their piano study as a result of their intense fear of making mistakes.

On the other hand, as a professor at my alma mater once said, music is one of the few professions where perfection is not only expected, but it is considered the norm.  We have to admit, our goal is perfection in a way.

And so, I think a balance is necessary.

What are your thoughts?  What can we do about students who become too hard on themselves?  How do you help the perfectionist student become “okay” with making mistakes?  How do we help students achieve a balance when it comes to reaching perfection?  

Studio Business

Humidity and My Piano

Here in Ohio, the winter snow is finally upon us!  We were spoiled with an extraordinarily mild December, and only recently have have had a few inches of snow actually staying on the ground for more than a few days without melting.

The snowy weather outside means, of course, that the air gets very dry indoors.  The old radiators in our home are running almost constantly!  As a recent first-time piano owner, last week I decided I should buy a hygrometer to see just how low the humidity is getting in our home, for the sake of my piano.  I ordered this hygrometer from Amazon and it arrived just a couple of days later (love that).  I was shocked, however, to find that the humidity in my studio was under 20%!  Not good.  Continue reading “Humidity and My Piano”

Early Childhood Music, Group Classes, Music Camps

How I Lesson Plan for Group Classes

I’ve had a few requests lately from readers regarding more info about what kind of activities I do with my Homeschool Music Classes and Piano Readiness classes, so I thought it might first be a good idea to first give you a peek into how I lesson plan for group classes.  Although I don’t lesson plan for teaching private lessons, I do always make a plan for group classes.

At each class, we begin and end with a “Hello Song” and “Goodbye Song.”  Students like having this routine, and they are very good at reminding me about the songs if I forget about them!  I have the students tap the beat on their knees (as we sit cross-legged on our carpet squares) while we sing.  That way, I can tell if they are engaged even if they aren’t singing all the lyrics for one reason or another.

When I lesson plan the evening before the next day’s class, I try to include the following things:  Continue reading “How I Lesson Plan for Group Classes”

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the holes and curl my back to loneliness.”

— Maya Angelou, poet

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.

Forum Q&A's, Studio Business

Forum Q&A | Saying Goodbye to Piano Students Before Moving Away

At our last Forum Q&A discussion, we talked about new year’s resolutions for piano teachers!  Click here to view the responses.

Over the weekend, I received an email from a reader who is preparing to move and must say “goodbye” to all her students.  I’d love to start a discusion about piano teachers saying goodbye and moving, so here goes:

Have you ever had to move and “give away” all your students?  How did you break the news?  Was there anything you were able to do for your students to make their transition to a new piano teacher easier?  What other advice can you offer to a piano teacher who is preparing to move? 

I’ll post my answer in the comments below, including the “goodbye letter” I wrote for my students last Spring when I moved after graduation.  Please add your own thoughts to the comments below!

Announcements

Pictures from the Studio

Thought I’d share a few photos of random things from the studio…

Here’s a first composition created by one of my young students last week.  It’s called “Hush Little Squirrels.”  I love her inventive notation system!  You can see the black key groups of 2’s and 3’s pictured, and the L’s and H’s mean high or low.  I was so proud of the work she put into creating and notating her piece.

Continue reading “Pictures from the Studio”

Early Childhood Music, Reviews

Wee Sing “Games, Games, Games”

For Christmas, my friend and colleague Loretta gave me the Wee Sing “Games, Games, Games” book with music.  I’ve been using it with my Homeschool Music Class with great success!  We typically do a lot of sitting as we learn about composers, listen to music, and learn about the musical instruments.  So I always find it’s important to come up with a few games that allow them to stand up and move around the room too.  This Wee Sing book makes it much easier to plan movement activities!  So far we’ve tried the “Looby Loo” song and the “Pass the Ball” song.

For “Pass the Ball,” students stand in a circle and pass the ball with the beat.  The sound of the tambourine is the signal to pass the ball the other direction.  The music goes faster and slower at certain points, which makes the kids get very excited!  I got out a bunch of different little balls to pass, just to keep things interesting: a plush basketball, a Nerf ball, a fuzzy craft ball, and a juggling bean bag.

You can find the Wee Sing “Games, Games, Games” book with CD on Amazon.

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“The art of music is so deep and profound that to approach it very seriously only is not enough. One must approach music with a serious rigor, and, at the same time, with a great, affectionate joy.”

— Nadia Boulanger

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.