Games

Drawers for Organizing Music Games

Last year, I blogged about the drawer system I use for organizing my music games. It so important to be able to easily find the needed teaching materials during lessons!

Since moving last summer, I ended up updating my drawer categories somewhat. This drawer unit is from IKEA, by the way.

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I’m always tweaking my organization system, but as of now, the six drawer categories are:

  1. Props/Improv — Japanese puzzle erasers, various props for teaching hand shape, Rory’s Story CubesFlashcards for Composition/Improvisation, etc.
  2. Rhythmrhythm cards, Rhythm Train Game, Rhythmic Value Cards, etc.
  3. Alphabet — this includes piano key identification cards, Scrabble tiles (A-G only), alphabet spinners, alphabet dice, etc.
  4. Notes — musical alphabet word cards, note-naming flashcards, etc.
  5. Intervals — Ice Cream Interval game, interval cards, etc.
  6. Keys — key signature flashcards/dice, key props and printables, and anything related to chords.

In another room, I keep a few drawers of games that only work for groups of students. I pull those games out when I hold my Piano Parties (monthly group classes).

Whatever your system, the most important thing is to be able to find what you need, when you need it! :)

Games, Studio Business

Organizing Games

One of the questions that arose during the presentation about music games (see the handout here) that I gave last week for the Summit County OMTA chapter and at the 2014 MusicEdConnect.com conference was…

How do you organize your games?

You may remember some months back when I blogged about finding this little filing cabinet at a second-hand store.  Here is how I decided to use all those wonderful drawers:

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Those drawers contain materials for games that can be played during private lessons with students.  It sits next to me where I teach at the piano.  The six drawers are currently categorized:

  1. Office Supplies — colored pens, Post-It notes, notepads, etc.
  2. Props/Improv [pictured below] — Japanese puzzle erasers, various props for teaching hand shape, Rory’s Story Cubes (thanks goes to a reader who recently sent me the “Action” set from my Amazon wishlist!), and the Flashcards for Composition/Improvisation.
  3. Rhythmrhythm cards, Rhythm Train Game, Rhythmic Value Cards, etc.
  4. Note I.D.musical alphabet word cards, spinners, note-naming flashcards, etc.
  5. Intervals/KeysIce Cream Interval game, keys, key signature flashcards, etc.
  6. Dry Erase Markers — At group classes, we use dry erase markers and mini erasers frequently for our listening sheets.

You’ll notice that these categories align with the concepts listed in the handout.  Games are most effective when we are choosing them in terms of the concepts they teach our students.

Here is the Props/Improv drawer:

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In the little black drawstring bag, I have a set of Scrabble tiles containing only the letters of the musical alphabet.  I bought my Scrabble game used at Goodwill.  I use the tiles as another way for students to randomly choose a letter of the musical alphabet (we sometimes use a spinner instead).  They work great for The Amazing Keyboard Race, for example.  Students can also sort the tiles onto the piano keys.

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In the drawers across the room, I store my floor staff and the games that work only for group classes. 

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Please feel free to share in the comments about your organizational system!

P.S.:  The live sessions may be over, but it’s not too late to register for the 2014 MusicEdConnect.com conference and have the opportunity to watch the session videos on your own time.  Visit their website for more info.

Games

Game Materials Organization

Yesterday, I posted a new Forum Q&A post about organization.  If you are the kind of teacher who enjoys using games and props during lessons, it’s not easy to find a system for storing and organizing everything!  I’m always on the look-out for better ways to stay organized.

Here’s a picture of my current system:

Continue reading “Game Materials Organization”

Forum Q&A's

Forum Q&A | Organization for Games/Props

Our last Forum Q&A topic was about end-of-the-year tasks for piano teachers.  I enjoyed reading your comments, as always!

Today, our new topic is all about organization.  I wanna know:

How do you keep your game materials and props organized?  Do you have a shelf, drawer, basket, folders, etc.?  Are you able to find what you need when you need it?  :)

Leave a comment below describing your system.  Maybe we can get a turn-out as good as the giveaway last week…100+ replies would be awesome!  :)  If you have your own blog, feel free to post a photo of your organizational system there and then leave a comment here with a link.

I’ll post my picture tomorrow.  Here’s my photo!  :)

Announcements, Studio Business, Teaching Piano

A Peek into My Lesson Binder

Today, I thought I’d share some pictures of my “lesson binder” that I use for keeping my teaching records/materials organized.  My current system is designed to be uber portable because I currently teach all my lessons on campus in a practice room.  When it’s time to teach, I grab my lesson binder from my office before greeting my student!

(click each picture to enlarge) Continue reading “A Peek into My Lesson Binder”