Printables, Studio Business

Printable: “About Me” Student Profile Cards

For the past two years, I’ve been using these “About Me” student profile cards. I’m always looking for ways for my students to see and get to know each other!

At the beginning of the school year, I printed the profile cards on colorful paper and we took time during lessons to fill them out with a felt-tipped marker. I took a photo of each student sitting at the piano with my iPhone set on the square crop setting. Later, I imported all the photos into a Microsoft Word document, resized each image to 3×3 inches, printed the document, and attached each cut-out photo to the profile cards with a circle of tape. As a final touch, I decided to laminate each profile card.

Displaying these in the studio helps build a feeling of camaraderie and being part of a team! (Wanna read more about team-building in the studio? Check out my friend Christina’s guest post on Amy Chaplin’s blog here.)

To hang the profile cards in my studio, I used clothespins and a length of twine string. I used adhesive Command Decorating Clips (you can buy these at Hobby Lobby or Michaels and use their weekly 40% off coupon available inside their app) to hang the string, instead of putting nails in the wall.

Here’s a photo from last year of the profile cards hanging in my previous studio space. I love the color they added to the walls. And parents and students always enjoy looking at them!

Feel free to download my “About Me – Student Profile Cards” on the Printables > Other Resources page.

  About Me - Student Profile Cards (118.8 KiB, 1,500 hits)

(Note: The favorite book of mine mentioned on the green profile sheet pictured should have been titled: “Intelligent Music Teaching” by Robert Duke. Excellent book! Read my review here.)

Games, Printables, Technology

Printable Chart for the Note Rush App

Ever since downloading Note Rush for iPhone/iPad (read my review here), my students and I have been having a blast using the app to improve fluency in corresponding pitches notated on the staff to the keyboard.

(By the way, did you know that Note Rush is now available for Android platforms?)

Just for fun, I started keeping track of each student’s best time for each Note Rush level using a clipboard and a blank sheet of paper. Pretty soon, I realized I needed a better chart. So, I decided to contact the developer to ask if I could create one that visually matches the user interface of the app. He agreed, and happily sent me the graphics and information I needed. (Thanks, Thomas!) Here is the result:

20160827_17-44-40 w

Continue reading “Printable Chart for the Note Rush App”

Conferences, Printables

Printables Inspired by Irina Gorin’s Workshop

After attending Irina Gorin’s 2015 workshop in Fishers, Indiana, I was inspired to create a series of free printables relating to her ideas and teaching approach. Here they are!

On p. 20 of Irina’s method, Tales of a Musical Journey, there is a neat activity where the student learns to play the “EIEIO” part from the familiar Old McDonald tune by rote, using the three black keys and finger three. Irina usually improvises the rest of the song on the piano or uses the accompanying CD track. I decided to write out the teacher duet part and share it here, in case you, like me, prefer having the sheet music on hand as a reference!

Download it here or at the Printables > Sheet Music page:

  Old McDonald Teacher Duet Part (48.1 KiB, 2,936 hits)

The next printable is a set of poetry cards. Irina likes to use short, easy poetry to teach students to speak clearly and expressively with words — a skill they will later use with music. My thought was that it would be convenient to print these little poems as a set of cards for use both at home and during the lesson.

Download it here or on the Printables > Other Resources page:

  Poetry for Rhythmic Expression (380.7 KiB, 3,016 hits)

Continue reading “Printables Inspired by Irina Gorin’s Workshop”

Printables, Studio Business

Freebie: Lesson Attendance Sheet Updated for 2015-16

I have just finished updating one of the studio business forms from the Printables page for the 2015-16 school year.  It is called the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment pdf.  I do not currently use this form myself anymore, but I have received quite a few requests from teachers who used it last year so I was happy to update it again this year!

In case you haven’t seen this, here is how the form works: Write your students’ names in the first column.  Each week, write the lesson date (in a month / date format) in the column for that week.  This is how you can track attendance.  The small circles in each cell are where you can write checkmarks indicating tuition payments.  Whether you charge by-the-week or by-the-month, you can place a checkmark by each paid lesson date.

Screen-shot-2010-06-27-at-9.33.12-PM

Download it here or on the Printables > Studio Business page.

  Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment (2017-18) (84.6 KiB, 23,332 hits)

P.S.: Here is a link to where I explain my current system for tracking payments received.

Printables, Technique

Freebie: Technical Requirements Charts for RCM’s 2015 Piano Syllabus

I recently finished creating a new set of technique charts for the RCM’s new 2015 Piano Syllabus.

RCM 2015 Technical Requirements image web

RCM_08_logoHere is the backstory.

Over the past few years, I have entered a handful of piano students to take assessments through the Royal Conservatory of Music, an excellent program originating in Canada and becoming more popular in the United States. I appreciate the thoroughness of the assessments, which require students to perform a set of pieces ranging in musical styles and to demonstrate musicianship skills (sight-reading, ear training, rhythm exercises, etc.). The levels outlined in the syllabus (find the free PDF here) are soundly structured and have been refined over time by dedicated pedagogues in our field. RCM is also known for the quality and consistency of the adjudicating across the continent. RCM is not a competition; it is a standard that allows students and parents to better understand and track progress during music study.

Every seven years, the RCM piano syllabus is revised to incorporate new repertoire, eliminate repertoire that is no longer readily available, and refine the musicianship and technical requirements. 2015 marks a revision year, which means RCM teachers are seeking to learn about the updates and changes compared to the previous 2008 syllabus.

RCM technical requirements level 8RCM’s non-profit publishing company, Frederick Harris, publishes a variety of wonderful books to aid students in preparing for assessments (most notably, the piano literature books known as the Celebration Series).

Books are also available containing the notated technical requirements for each level; however, I personally prefer to teach scales/arpeggios/chords by rote rather than through having students read the notation. But it can be cumbersome to write out the RCM technical requirements on students’ assignment sheets each week–especially if you expect students to review all previous material.

So, a few years ago I released a free printable containing charts of the technical requirements for each level according to the 2008 piano syllabus. These charts have proved to be incredibly helpful to ensure that my students are learning and reviewing all of the required technical work. I’m happy to announce today that new charts are available below for the new 2015 piano syllabus. Even if you have no intention of sending students to RCM assessments, you might find these charts useful.

I keep this PDF uploaded on my iPad (use iBooks, GoodNotes, or any similar app of your choice) so I can print the appropriate charts wirelessly during lessons. Students take their chart to and from their lessons. As each item is mastered, we fill in each box with a checkmark or a sticker. The chart makes it easy to visually track progress.

RCM 2015 Level 5 preview - with checkmarks web

Special thanks goes to fellow piano teachers Donna Gross Javel and Nancy DeHaven Hall for helping to proofread the charts against the 2015 syllabus.

Download:

  2015 RCM Technical Requirements Charts for Piano (557.9 KiB, 12,098 hits)

Enjoy!

Music History, Printables

New Composer Lapbooks: Vivaldi & Prokofiev

As mentioned yesterday, two new lapbooks have been added to my digital shop: Antonio Vivaldi and Sergei Prokofiev.

If you aren’t already familiar with my lapbook curriculum, you might be interested in checking it out if you offer monthly group classes or summer music camps. Every year, I offer a music history camp using these lapbooks for my piano students and we study a composer from each historical time period. I’ve also used this curriculum in the past to offer weekly music appreciation classes for homeschoolers. To date, I have twenty different composer lapbooks available to choose from.

Purchasing the PDF for a composer includes the license to print and copy from the PDF for your entire teaching career for personal and educational use with your students. As the teacher reads the biography booklet and discusses terms/music related to the composer, students are responsible for cutting out and assembling the items for their own lapbook to take home.

Here is some info about the two new lapbooks.

In the lesson about Vivaldi, students will enjoy learning about “The Red Priest” and his passion for composing and teaching music to the orphans and students at the Ospedale della Pietá in Venice. Special focus is given to Vivaldi’s most well-known work, The Four Seasons.

Vivaldi collage

Sergei Prokofiev was a great Russian composer of the Modern Era. Students will learn about how the political upheaval in Russia impacted Prokofiev both personally and as a composer. Special attention will be given to perhaps his most well-known work, Peter and the Wolf.

Prokofiev collage

Visit the digital shop by clicking here.

Music History, Printables, Technology

Lesson Plan: The History of Audio Formats

As blogged yesterday, my husband and I recently acquired a 1929 Victor Victrola gramophone. Researching our new “toy” inspired me to create a lesson plan about the history of audio formats for this month’s group class “Piano Party” for my piano students. The lesson plan, craft activity, and slides are available as a single PDF freebie…so continue reading!

20150413_113402 NIKON wm Continue reading “Lesson Plan: The History of Audio Formats”

Printables, Sheet Music

Student Christmas Gift: Original Piano Composition

Hope you had a nice Christmas and are enjoying a break from teaching!

Now that Christmas is past, I can share about the gifts I made for my piano students this year.  :)

As you may know, I love creating homemade gifts.  Last year, I home-recorded a CD of a few favorite classical teaching pieces. In 2012, I baked iced music cookies and in 2011 I created personalized glass sheet music ornaments.

For this year’s project, I decided to compose two pieces (one mid-elementary level and one late intermediate level) and give them to my students for Christmas.  Here is a peek at how the elementary piece turned out:

20141219_141906 NIKON web Continue reading “Student Christmas Gift: Original Piano Composition”

Games, Printables

Large Keyboard printable

At last Saturday’s Piano Party, I wanted to play the Spell-A-Keyboard game with my students as a team game, but indoors.  Since I couldn’t draw keyboards with chalk as I did when we played the game outdoors, I realized that I needed to come up with some other way to provide a floor keyboard for each team.

So, that is why I decided to create this:

DSC_20130913_122532

It is not as large as a floor keyboard, but it could substitute for one in a pinch.  It is just the right size for beanbag games!  Perhaps you can find other uses for this large keyboard.

Directions:  Download the “Large Keyboard Printable” pdf from the Printables > Other Resources page.  Print the pdf on four pieces of cardstock paper.  Cut on the dotted lines and then tape together as indicated.  When assembled, the keyboard measures approximately 20 inches x 13 inches.

You can print the printable more than once if you want to create a longer section of keyboard.

Let me know if you come up with other creative uses for this keyboard!

Early Childhood Music, Printables

Jumbo Note-Naming Flashcards

There are quite a few places you can download and print free music note-naming flashcards.  Anne Crosby’s website and Susan Paradis’ website come to mind, for example.  However, I recently realized that I wanted a set of jumbo-sized cards, to use with my Piano Readiness classes.

DSC_20130521_114625

I can hold up these jumbo-sized cards during class and my young students can still see the note on the staff.  Young beginners or students with disabilities may also benefit from having jumbo-sized flashcards.

I color-coded my flashcards according to the range of notes.  I printed the Middle C position notes on green paper, the next few notes up to Treble C and down to Bass C on yellow paper, and the next notes up to High C and Low C (ledger lines) on blue paper.

You can download this FREE pdf on the Printables > Other Resources page, under “Jumbo Note-Naming Flashcards.”

  Jumbo Note-Naming Flashcards (459.7 KiB, 26,592 hits)

Yesterday, I asked for your favorite game ideas involving note-naming flashcards.  I can’t wait to try out some of your ideas — keep ’em coming!

Games, Group Classes, Printables, Rhythm, Teaching Piano

Rhythm Train Game

I love being able to print out rhythm cards for my students to practice at home.  I can give them just a few cards to start, and add more advanced rhythms and time signatures as needed.  My students store their cards in a zipper bag and bring them to their lessons each week.

At first, I assign students to randomly choose a few cards clap and count at home each day.  When that becomes easy, we are ready to play the Rhythm Train game.  :)

DSC_20130506_133956

Rhythm Train game

a music game for 1 or more students

Materials:

  • Rhythm flashcards.
  • Printed train cards of the engine and the caboose (download the FREE printable on the Printables > Games page, under “Rhythm Train game.”)

Gameplay:

Ask the student(s) to randomly choose 2 or 3 rhythm cards with the same time signature.  First, make sure that the student(s) are able to accurately clap each rhythm card separately.  As they master each card, they may add it to the train behind the engine, with the caboose at the end. When all the cards have been added to the train, ask the student(s) to clap the entire rhythm.  Challenge the student to see how many rhythm trains they can make, or assign the student to make a rhythm train every day at home.

Playing the Rhythm Train game makes clapping rhythms just a little bit more fun.  :)  It works well both in the private lesson (it can be played at the piano on the music rack, or off-the-bench on the floor) or in group classes.

You can download the free pdf of the train cards and instructions on the Printables > Games page, under “Rhythm Train game.”  Enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have any rhythm flashcards, you can find a pdf download to purchase at ColorInMyPiano.com/shop/.  Your purchase includes a license to be able to print the rhythm cards as many times as you wish, as long as you are using them with your own students.

Games, Group Classes, Music Theory, Printables

Ice Cream Interval game

Check out the newest item added to the ColorInMyPiano Shop!

DSC_20130503_170158_2-001

Being able to read notes on the staff intervallically is crucial for sight-reading.  I like to tell my students that reading music is at least 80% interval reading, and only 20% note identification.  To help my students learn to identify intervals quickly upon sight, I created the Ice Cream Interval game.   Continue reading “Ice Cream Interval game”