Performances, Printables

DIY Project: Recital Countdown!

Do you have any 4×6 photo frames lying around?  It’s time to put one to good use!

recital countdown background

This do-it-yourself project will help remind your students about upcoming studio events each time they come for their piano lesson.  :)

Materials:

  1. 4×6 photo frame
  2. Printed background (download the free JPG file on the Printables > Other Resources page — scroll down to “Recital Countdown”).  When you print, be sure that the image is printing at the actual 100% size.
  3. Dry erase marker

  Recital Countdown (1.3 MiB, 3,503 hits)

Directions: Design a background (or print the one I’ve created), insert it into a 4×6 photo frame, write the event & countdown number on the glass with a dry erase marker, and place your new Recital Countdown on/near your piano!

Enjoy!  :)

repertoire / methods

International Week of The Piano Geek

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Have you heard about International Week of the Piano Geek, yet?

Starting next week on Monday, the folks behind TeachPianoToday.com are holding a fun week of emails, giveaways, and more. Visit pianogeekweek.com to learn more and to subscribe to the email list to get the updates.

Color In My Piano will be making an appearance, and sponsoring a giveaway, too. You won’t want to miss this, so head on over and sign up!

Interviews

My Visit to The Piano Cottage

Last weekend, my hubby and I took a little trip to my hometown in Michigan to visit family. I also had the opportunity to meet up with a fellow piano teacher in Grand Rapids — Jody Deems-McCarger. I connected with Jody last fall through my blog, and then soon after had the opportunity to meet her in person when I gave a presentation to the local MTNA chapter in Grand Rapids last October.

Jody invited me over to chat and see her studio, so I took her up on her offer. I thought you might be as inspired as I was after seeing her charming studio, so I have some photos to share!

When Jody and her husband bought their home, behind their home was a stained-glass artist’s studio. After renovations, it became “The Piano Cottage:”

TPC 2013

Continue reading “My Visit to The Piano Cottage”

Studio Business

My New Business Cards

I was running low on business cards, so I ordered some new ones a couple weeks ago.  I decided to try my hand at a little bit of graphic design and make the cards myself in Photoshop Elements.  I’ve ordered from Moo.com in the past and have been very pleased with the quality, so I decided to order from them again.  They have a handy photoshop template that you can download to help with the process of designing your own business cards.  They also have lots of pre-designed templates to choose from.

Here is the result of my efforts:

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The colorful design is to give out as an accompanist or when attending conferences with other teachers.  The second design is for my piano studio, to give to students/parents.

The QR codes on the back of the cards lead to my websites.  I generated them for free via this website.

If you’d like to order cards from Moo.com, you can use this link which will give me referral credit and give you 10% off your first order.  The cards from Moo aren’t cheap, but the quality definitely shows: the paper is nice and thick, and you’ll get two-sided cards.  I’m a happy customer!  :)

Technology

Make Music Worksheets Using My FREE png Files

Making Music WorksheetsOver the last few weeks, I’ve shared a couple of video tutorials about how to create rhythm worksheets using two rhythm music fonts and how to create other types of music worksheets using two other music fonts for putting notes on the staff.

If you watched either video, you probably saw how wonderfully easy it is to use the rhythm fonts.  You probably also saw, in the second video, that the non-rhythm fonts are more challenging to use and rather limiting in what they can do.

I have a solution.  :)

To make the worksheet-making-process a little bit easier, I recently decided to create photo files (in this case, png files) of various music symbols.  Clicking and dragging photo files into a worksheet is much easier than inserting a text box, calling up the font you need, and then locating the music symbol from with the font’s character map.  Hooray!

I’m sharing this set of png files for FREE, and I’ve also made another video tutorial about how to get started using them.

To get started, you’ll need to download and unarchive the zip file containing the individual png files on the Printables > Worksheets page.  Then, be sure to save the folder of png files to a safe place on your computer so you can use them for years to come.  Then, using Microsoft Publisher (or a similar program), you are ready to start creating!

  ***Music Symbol PNG Files - for Making Worksheets*** (698.9 KiB, 60,494 hits)

I hope this video helps you get started, but please do let me know if you have other questions.  I can’t wait to see what worksheets and other creations you will be able to create using those png files!

Copyright Information: These images are released under a Creative Commons copyright, allowing users to create and sell their own projects that make use of these images. However, the image files themselves should not be freely distributed or sold to others. Instead, please direct others to download the files directly from ColorInMyPiano.com. Thanks!

Music Theory, Printables, Sheet Music

Learning Triads & The Happy Birthday Song

major-snowman-triads-thumbnail1To follow up on my post from last week about my last group class (we call them “Piano Parties”), I wanted to share about the other two activities we did.

We started with this fun triad worksheet from Pianimation.com.  This worksheet was a good reinforcement about what they learned from playing their major five-finger patterns, and was a good preparation for playing the 12-Bar Blues as a duet (as described in the previously-mentioned post).

Before playing the 12-Bar Blues, though, I had them playing the Happy Birthday song as a duet.  I created a simple arrangement of the melody in Finale, with the chord symbols included above the staff.

I assigned the younger student to play the melody as written in the treble range of the keyboard, and instructed the other student to create a simple accompaniment by reading the chord symbols.

Happy Birthday song preview
This was an excellent exercise in learning how to listen to each other!  :)

I found out later that two of my students played the Happy Birthday duet for an older sibling’s birthday, a couple days later.  What good timing!  I think it is great for students to be able to play basic tunes like the Happy Birthday song for their families.

I also wrote an easy arrangement of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” but we didn’t have time to use it that day.  You can download both arrangements as free pdfs on the Printables > Sheet Music page.

Conferences

Are You Attending NCKP 2013?

Are you planning to attend NCKP this summer?

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(Read why I love about attending conferences such as the NCKP here.)

Don’t forget that the deadline for early bird registration is Monday!  You’ll save at least $50 by registering early.

I’m all registered and am super excited about attending.  I’d love to meet up with any of you who are planning to attend NCKP this summer — let me know!  :)

 

Giveaways, Reviews

Review & Giveaway: PractizPal

A few weeks ago, I received a PractizPal device to review.  There are five wonderful colors to choose from, and I selected “Gershwin Green.”

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The PractizPal is a clever little gadget designed to help students track their practice time.  It also has a built-in metronome and tuner.  In my mind, there are two reasons why this gadget is valuable:

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Remember that technique is valuable only as a means to an end.  You must first have something to say–something which demands expression from the depths of your soul.  If you feel deeply and know how to express what you feel, you make others feel.”

— Amy Cheney Beach (1867-1944)

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.