Music Theory, Worksheets

Freebie: Line & Space Notes Worksheet

I’ve added a new free worksheet to the Printables page today!

This Line & Space Notes Worksheet is intended for use with beginner students who are first being introduced to the staff notation.  Understanding line and space notes is important not only for understanding how staff notation works in general, but it is also an important pre-cursor for being able to identify intervals accurately by sight.

You can download this free worksheet by visiting the Printables > Worksheets page and scrolling down to the L’s for “Line & Space Notes Worksheet.”  Enjoy!

  Line & Space Notes Worksheet (75.8 KiB, 23,605 hits)

seasonal / holiday

Time for Christmas Music

I am preparing to pass out Christmas music to my students to this week!  It still seems early to me, but my students have a performance opportunity in early December — so I thought we better get rolling on that Christmas music!

I’ve updated my post from two years ago “List of Free Christmas Arrangements on the Web” to include a few new links and some resources for lead sheets.  The holiday season seems like the perfect time to focus on chord playing, because of the wealth of familiar Christmas tunes students know!

Let me know if you know of more links to add to that post!

Giveaways, Reviews, Rhythm, Technology

Review & Giveaway: Rhythm Cat app

Rhythm Cat — Cost: Free version (15 levels) is FREE;  Rhythm Cat Pro is $2.99.  The pro version is available currently for iPhone/iPod Touch — and the pro version for iPad is coming out soon!

This app is a fun and effective way to improve rhythm skills.  Let me tell you why!

On each level, the player is presented with a rhythm example.

After hitting the Play button, a soundtrack begins. After 1-2-3-4 is shown, the player must tap the rhythm of the example shown using the large green button.  Here is what the very first rhythm example looks like:   Continue reading “Review & Giveaway: Rhythm Cat app”

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”

— Frederic Chopin

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 me a message here.

seasonal / holiday, Studio Business

Classical Music To Attract (or Scare) Your Trick-Or-Treaters

This year for Halloween, I plan to pass out candy with my studio name on it again and wear my piano costume dress again.  I was thinking about having some scary classical music playing on my porch too, so I compiled a list of music!  Let me know if you have any suggestions to add to the list.  :)

  • Alkan – Prelude Op. 31 No. 8 (a madwoman at the seashore)
  • Bach (previously attributed to Bach) – Toccata and Fugue in d minor, BWV 565
  • Bartok – 3rd movement of Suite Op. 14
    Bartok
    – 1st, 4th and 5th movements of Out of Doors Suite
  • Bartok – Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta (mvmt. 3, adagio)
  • Berlioz – “Dream Of A Witches’ Sabbath.”
  • Berlioz – Symphony Fantastique
  • Wendy Carlos – Incantation from Beauty in the Beast
  • Chopin – Marche Funebre
  • Chopin – Prelude Op. 28 No. 14 in E-flat minor
  • Corigliano – 4th movement of Piano Concerto
  • Corigliano – 4th movement of Etude Fantasy (“Ornaments”)
  • Cowell – The Banshee
  • Daugherty – Viola Zombie
  • de Falla – Dance of Terror (check out the Bragiotti arrangement for 2 pianos, too)
  • Dukas – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (also check out the 2-piano arrangement by Rabinovitch)
  • George Crumb – Vox balaenae Continue reading “Classical Music To Attract (or Scare) Your Trick-Or-Treaters”
Reviews

Review: Sheet Music by Elena Cobb

Elena Cobb is a piano teacher and composer in the UK (but originally from Russia) who writes music in various popular musical styles, including blues, Latin, and jazz.  She has music books available intended for both young students and intermediate to advanced students.  You can read more about Elena’s teaching approach and goals behind her pedagogical music here.

Elena asked me to review a couple of her books, which you can read about below!  Continue reading “Review: Sheet Music by Elena Cobb”

Studio Business

Freebie: Piano Lessons Flyer Template #2

I’ve created a new flyer template for advertising piano lessons, and have just added it to the Printables > Studio Business page!  (Scroll down to the P’s for “Piano Lessons Flyer Template #2.)

This flyer template has the rip-off tabs just like the previous one, but this one is in color and includes a picture of the piano keys.  You can view the previous template here.

I hope you can make use of this flyer template!

  Piano Lessons Flyer Template #2 (714.0 KiB, 15,432 hits)

Studio Business, Technology

Business Topics for Piano Teachers

On Friday, I gave a presentation for the local MTNA chapter back in my hometown, the Piano Teachers’ Forum of Grand Rapids.  This association was the first one I joined as an undergraduate music major and piano teacher.  I learned so much from the presentations I attended during those years!  It was so fun to go back this weekend and see some of my colleagues.

The name of my presentation was “Business Sense for the Piano Teacher of the 21st Century.”  Many of the topics I talked about are topics I’ve blogged about too.  Here are a few related blog posts for your enjoyment:

Reviews, Technology

iTalk app Review

iTalk app | Cost: Free (with ads) or Premium version: $1.99 (no ads), for iPhone and iPad.

This app is the perfect solution when recording audio of your or your students’ playing.  In many cases, I record video of my students playing during piano lessons; but sometimes I want only audio, so that I can get better quality or so I can more easily email it.

The iPhone/iPad comes pre-installed with a Voice Memos app, so you might be wondering about the advantages of iTalk.  There are two:

  1. Higher audio quality (AIFF files), and
  2. Convenience (transferring/syncing files).

The quality of the sound recording is far better using iTalk versus the Voice Memos app.  When you open the iTalk app, it allows you to name the recording and then select between Good, Better, or Best recording quality (11.025, 22.05, or 44.10 kHz sample rates).  On the iPhone 4 (and probably 5), there is an auto-noise cancellation feature (so you won’t get as much room noise).  Pushing the big red button starts the recording.  After recording, you can browse your list of recordings, play them back, or email a file.  Continue reading “iTalk app Review”