Games, Music Theory

Musical Jenga!

I did it!  I created my own Musical Jenga game.

I got the inspiration from the Sing A New Song blog, who in turn got the idea from someone on the Faber Piano Adventures forums. (To view a list of other favorite games with musical spins, click here.)

I found an off-brand version of the Jenga game at Target for about $5.  Then using two different colored Sharpie permanant markers, I put various musical terms on the blocks: Continue reading “Musical Jenga!”


The Winner of the Music Ribbon Blanket Giveaway…

Congratulations to the winner of the music blanket, selected via random number generator…….

Beth Henderson-Tadeson!

Congrats, Beth!  I will be in contact via email to get your mailing address.

Even if you didn’t win, there’s still a chance for you to get a shot at a music ribbon blanket like the one pictured here.  There’s another one for sale my sister’s Etsy shop, and she’s created a special coupon code just for Color In My Piano readers for 15% off your entire order from her shop!  Just enter “MUSIC4U” when you checkout.  Browse her shop by clicking here.

Thanks to you all for the suggestions and words of thanks for Color In My Piano!  I will be taking your thoughts into consideration for the future.

improving as a teacher, Motivation

Teaching With the Student’s Goals in Mind

This week I gave a few first lessons to some new students.  One of the things I always ask during the first lesson/interview is:

What are some of your goals in taking piano lessons?

Here are some examples of answers I’ve received from students:

  • I want to be able to play classical pieces that everyone knows (i.e., Fur Elise, Moonlight Sonata, Bach’s Minuet in G, etc.)
  • I want to be able to play hymns and hymn arrangements for church services.
  • I want to be able to play from chord charts to play with my church’s worship band.
  • I want to record a Christmas CD for my family.  (This was a fun project! We worked on Christmas pieces over the whole summer.)
  • I like to play by ear but but I want to learn how to read music too.
  • I just want to get better at piano just because I enjoy playing for my own enjoyment.

I’m always surprised at the variety of answers I receive when I ask this question.  Not all students have specific goals in taking lessons, but it’s always worth asking because you may be surprised at what you learn.  Knowing the student’s goals can help the teacher make the piano lessons more relavent to them.   Continue reading “Teaching With the Student’s Goals in Mind”


iPhone & iPod Touch Apps Suggestions, Anyone?

My husband gave me an iPod Touch for Christmas, and I’ve gradually been downloading various apps to personalize it for the things I do.  It’s very exciting!  I love that I can access my email and the internet easily while I’m on campus, without going to a computer lab or hauling my laptop along with me for the day.  It’s been such a convenience!

I’ve also been looking for music-related apps to use in piano teaching and for my own practicing.  Do any of you iPhone/iPod Touch owners have some favorite apps?  Eventually, I’d like to compile a list of good music apps and post them here — I’d love to get your help with some suggested apps to try out!

…And don’t forget – today is the last day to enter the giveaway!  =)

Announcements, Performances

Master’s Recital Program Notes

Well, my master’s recital has come and gone, and IT FEELS GREAT!  Compared to my undergraduate recitals, this recital was a much greater success.  I felt much more prepared and didn’t experience as much performance anxiety as I had expected to either.  I was actually able to enjoy myself throughout the process!  My family came up to see the recital, which meant a lot to me.  It was great to see them and spend some time with them after the recital.

Eventually, I will be getting a recording of the recital.  The school records it, and my dad also videotaped it.  When I get my hands on something, I will be sure to share it here if you’re interested. =)

Meanwhile, I have a photo (right) and some savory program notes (written by yours truly) for you to enjoy: Continue reading “Master’s Recital Program Notes”


Giveaway Extension and More

Hello folks,

This week is a busy week for me – my Masters recital is on Saturday (wish me luck!) and so I am taking most of this week off from blogging.  I did want to let you know, however, that I am extending the giveaway of the music blanket which my sister made.  The new deadline is January 27 at midnight.  There aren’t many entries yet – so the chances of winning are pretty high!  Visit the original post to view the entry requirements.  Please consider entering the giveaway and visiting my sister Heather’s Etsy page here to view all of her other wonderful handmade items.  She is new at the whole Etsy thing, but has been having a lot of fun doing it so far!

Have a wonderful week, all!  Thanks to those of you who’ve already left feedback on the facebook page as part of this giveaway.  I really appreciate hearing suggestions for ways to make Color In My Piano even better!

– Joy


January 2011 Giveaway: Music-Themed Ribbon Blanket for Baby

Hello readers,

Can you believe it??  TWO giveaways in the same month!

My sister made the music-themed ribbon blanket pictured here.  She is selling similar blankets on her Etsy page.  I thought her ribbon blankets were so precious that I requested that she make a music one that I could give away here on Color In My Piano!

Here is the blanket description: Continue reading “January 2011 Giveaway: Music-Themed Ribbon Blanket for Baby”

Early Childhood Music, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps

DIY: Ribbon Rings for Music & Movement Activities

I got the idea for this craft from Kara’s Creative Place blog (thanks for the brilliant idea, Kara!).  Ribbon Rings (Kara’s example is pictured at right) are a fun prop for movement activities with young students during group lessons, camps, or early childhood music classes.  Kids love fluttering the ribbons of these props while they do the motions to various songs.  You can buy similar ribbon rings at…..or you can make your own!

These ribbon rings are made using the (non-sticky) plastic tape that is found at most hardware stores near the Caution tape.  I did consider using satin ribbon, however, plastic tape is much, much cheaper.  And actually I was pleasantly surprised at the results of using plastic tape.  I like it much better.  Because it’s so light, it flutters in the air so much better than satin ribbon would.  Definitely give it a try before you invest in satin ribbon!   Continue reading “DIY: Ribbon Rings for Music & Movement Activities”