July 2012 Giveaway Winners

I am completely blown away by (1) the number of entries in last week’s giveaway (over 100!), and (2) all of the wonderfully ideas you shared for motivating to students to practice!  (Check out all the responses here!)  It’s so great to be a part of this teaching community online.  We benefit SO much from sharing with each other!

And now, to announce the two randomly-chosen winners of Andrea & Trevor Dow’s wonderful piano practice book:

Congrats!  Winners: expect an email from Andrea soon!


July 2012 Giveaway Reminder

Just a little reminder…the giveaway of Andrea & Trevor’s pdf book “Shhh…Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice” ends tonight at midnight EST!  If you haven’t entered yet, you’d better do so soon.  The winner will be announced tomorrow.

I know my summer posts have been a little far and few between, and mostly about camp stuff…it has been a very busy and unpredictable summer so far.   :)   I will probably be back to my usual kinds of posts come September – so bear with me in the meantime!

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Composition, Music Camps, Music History

“So, You Want To Be A Composer?” Camp – Now Available!

Hooray, the “So, You Want To Be A Composer?” camp has just been added to the Color In My Piano Shop!

Now, it’s time for me to focus on my next camp: “Music History Blast From The Past.”  Want a sneak peak?  Okay, if you insist:  :)

Composition, Music Camps

Music Camp Freebie from “So, You Want To Be A Composer?”

Good morning!  The “So, You Want To Be A Composer?” camp is ready to be listed in the Color In My Piano shop……but I’m just waiting to hear back from one more student to get permission to share their composition in the lesson plan as an example.  I will post it as soon as I hear from them!  UPDATE: The lessons plans are posted now!  

For today though, I thought I would share a peek at a composition by one of my other students, and also share a FREEBIE from the camp lessons plans!  Read on.

During camp, we spent a lot of time discussing how composers make music SOUND like the title or the subject they are describing.  This student appropriately chose a minor key for his dragon piece.  I helped him very little, other than approving his first few measures and then encouraging him to add a B section.  Not bad for a first composition, is it?!  :)  Once he had it worked out on the piano, we together figured out how to notate the piece.  Later, I transcribed his piece into Finale, printed it out, and then asked him to add an illustration.

As promised, I’d like to share a freebie from “So, You Want To Be A Composer?” camp….. a pdf containing TEN different sizes of staff paper!  I hope you can put it to good use.  :)  Visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to the S’s for “Sheet Music A-J.”

Giveaways, Motivation, Practice

July 2012 Giveaway: Shhh…Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice

Andrea & Trevor Dow of Teach Piano Today have recently created a resource called, “Shhh…Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice.”  She kindly sent me a copy to review, so I’m going to tell you about it — and give you a chance to win your own copy!

First, here is Andrea’s description of the pdf book:

The book contains 88 activities that are absolutely, positively, most definitely NOT BORING! and are designed to get students excited about spending time on the piano at home. They act as a companion to a piano students’ regular practice, and have been created to to be used with any level and any age for 88 days! Also, when teachers receive Shhhh… Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice they also receive a license to reproduce unlimited copies, as long as it is for use within their personal studio.

Each page of the book has a practice activity designed to encourage repetition during practice (without the student realizing it) and help them think about their piece in a different way (like asking them to find all the C’s in their piece, or practice the rhythm of the LH).  Some of the activities also encourage students to share their music, by asking students to play a piece for a family member.   Continue reading “July 2012 Giveaway: Shhh…Your Piano Teacher Thinks This Is Practice”

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved by concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted.”

— Shakespeare, from “The Merchant of Venice”

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.

Composition, Music Camps, Printables

So, You Want To Be A Composer? – 2012 Summer Camp Details

Last week, I held my second summer music camp for my piano students!  It was called, “So, You Want To Be A Composer?”  I am so excited to share with you some details about our camp.  We had a really great week!

Here’s where all the magic happened:

Continue reading “So, You Want To Be A Composer? – 2012 Summer Camp Details”


Teacher Feature: Jeff Wille

We are long overdue for another Teacher Feature!  (Learn more about Teacher Feature posts here).

A big thank you to Jeff Willes for being willing to share with us today.  Meet Jeff Wille from the JW Music Studio in Texas!

Please tell us about your piano and/or teaching background:

I started playing piano when I was 9 and took lessons for about 5 years which were primarily classically based.  After that I developed an interest in rock music and started to learn the guitar from a teacher that was classically trained but was in a rock band.  I took lessons from him for about 2 years or so and then after that I just spent hours and hours listening and learning on my own.  I then became involved in 2 bands, one as a keyboard player in an oldies band and then one as a lead guitar player in a classic rock band.  I’ve been teaching now for about 2 and a half years.  Continue reading “Teacher Feature: Jeff Wille”

Group Classes, Rhythm, Teaching Piano

Introducing…The Color In My Piano Shop!


I have a big announcement today: I have just added a “Shop” page to, where I have listed a few items for sale!  Don’t worry…I’ll always share lots of freebies too, but I have some bigger projects that I’d like to make available in the shop.  :)  Right now, I’ve got two items listed:

Rhythm Cards – Level 1.  These cards have simple two- or three- measure rhythm examples on them, perfect for using with beginner students.

Continue reading “Introducing…The Color In My Piano Shop!”