Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

glasser quote

“Where there is no learning, there is no teaching.”

– William Glasser

Feel free to download and share this quote or image.

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Piano Student Gift Ideas for Christmas/Recitals

Need inspiration for music-themed gifts for music students?  Below are photos submitted by piano teachers just like you!

From Liz Hurst from Tooele, Utah:

Here is my little ornament I did this year.  It is made with little wooden stars, vintage sheet music and modge podge.  Glitter glue if you want the initial and hot glued ribbon to make the loop.

christmas ornament

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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:

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December 2014 Giveaway Winners

Announcing the randomly-chosen winners of the three giveaways last week:

Susan Crosser and Julie Lind are the winners of the Music Flash Class app by Henry Flurry.

Kristie is the winner of the Bobclass studio management app.

Geri is the winner of the “My Piano Trip to London” book by Elena Cobb.

Congrats to the winners! Watch your email inbox for an email from me.

Everyone else, I hope you will click the links above to consider purchasing these apps or books!

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Merry Christmas

MerryChristmas

Merry Christmas to my wonderful blog readers and colleagues!  Best wishes and blessings to you and your students in the new year.

Sincerely,

Joy & Paul Morin

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Review & Giveaway: Elena Cobb’s “My Piano Trip To London”

A couple of years ago, I reviewed some lovely sheet music by British teacher/composer Elena Cobb (read the review here). She is the author of the Higgledy Piggledy Jazz books, the “Blue River” book of solos, and more.

Elena has recently released a new book: a piano method called “My Piano Trip to London.”

1. COVER NEW FRONT

“My Piano Trip to London” contains 40 pages.  The pieces throughout the book are based on various landmarks and themes from London.

The first piece in the book is a black-key piece to be learned by rote.

Page 5 London Calling Student Read More »

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App Review & Giveaway: Bobclass for Studio Management

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Note: As you can tell, this week I’ve been playing catch-up with a few apps I’ve been wanting to share!  Hope you don’t mind all of the reviews/giveaways this week.  :)

Bobclass ($19.99) — iPad only.

I’m so excited to share my review of this studio management app with you today!  Let me begin by sharing Bobclass’ description:

“Bobclass is an all-in-one productivity app for instructors, tutors, trainers, coaches and other independent professionals. It offers appointment scheduling, client tracking, progress monitoring and payment tracking from your iPad so you can get rid of separate agendas, clipboards and spreadsheets. With a fast & friendly user interface and a fully functional offline database you can do your client administration in the gym, class room, studio or park.”

I think Bobclass it is an outstanding studio management option for independent music teachers.  Here’s how it works:

First, visit the settings to set-up your basic information for you and your teaching.

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Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

dewey quote

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

– John Dewey

Feel free to download and share this quote or image.

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App Review & Giveaway: Music Flash Class

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 12.44.33 PMMusic Flash Class ($3.99) — for iPhone/iPad.

Music Flash Class is an app developed by a piano teacher Henry Flurry.  It has been around for a couple of years now, but an update for iOS 8 was recently released.  The new layout looks good!

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Music Flash Class is an interactive note identification app.  The settings offer a myriad of options to customize the experience.  I love that you can chose to show or hide the timer.  And that you to choose a particular range of notes to practice.  Teachers can even customize and save their own “decks” of notes. Read More »

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App Review — MusicNotes Deck: Music Flash Cards

Screen Shot 2014-12-14 at 9.18.56 PMMusicNotes Deck: Music Flash Cards (FREE) — for iPad or iPhone.

This free app comes from the folks behind MusicNotes.com, which by the way, is an excellent website for purchasing arrangements of pop music at various levels for students.

The MusicNotes Deck app provides three decks of flash cards: (1) 50 music symbols/terms, (2) two octaves of treble clef note identification, and (3) two octaves of bass clef note identification.

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Please note that this app is NOT a game nor does it automatically correct answers in any way.  Instead, the app shows flashcard and allows the user to “turn over the flashcard” to see the answer on the back.  The app also can pronounce each term with either American or British pronunciation.

MusicNotes Deck

The flashcards are shuffled into a random order each time the app is loaded.

This app is a great way to study musical terms and symbols as well as practice note identification.  The graphics are gorgeous, too!

View it in the iTunes store here.

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Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

goethe quote

“Instruction does much, but instruction does everything.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Feel free to download and share this quote or image.

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Worksheets: Matching Staff to Keyboard

Have you ever had students correctly identify a note on the staff, but proceed to play the note in the wrong octave on the keyboard?  I think piano teachers all around the world can raise their hands on that one.  :)

Being able to identify note names on the staff by letter name is important, but not as important as being able to instantly connect a note on the the staff to a particular piano key.  This is why, during flashcard drills or note-naming games, I require students to play the corresponding piano key as they give a verbal answer of the letter name.

With all of this in mind, I created a new set of worksheets that require students to draw a line to match notes on the staff to the corresponding piano key.  Although students may decide to figure out the letter names of the notes as they solve each problem, it is not the end goal — they must go a step further and connect the note to the keyboard.

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By arranging a series of notes on each staff (instead of just one note), my hope was that students would develop a stronger understanding of how intervals on the keyboard look when placed on the staff.  Read more about interval reading here.

Download the free PDF by visiting the Printables > Worksheets page and scrolling down to “Matching Staff to Keyboard Worksheets.”  There are five worksheets within the PDF, arranged in progressive order by difficulty.  The first worksheet uses only the landmark notes Bass F, Middle C, and Treble G.  The following worksheets each gradually increase the range of the notes on the staff.

  Matching Staff to Keyboard Worksheets (327.4 KiB, 1,159 hits)

Update: I’ve created a new digital version of this worksheet that can be completed digitally on your iPad/tablet.

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