Have you heard? The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) has recently released the newly revised 2022 Piano Syllabus for their practical examinations. They are also releasing new editions of the wonderful Celebration Series piano literature collection (available soon). What exciting news for piano teachers!Continue reading “Freebie: Technical Requirements Charts for RCM’s 2022 Piano Syllabus”
Just Added: “Identifying Ledger Lines” Music Worksheet
It’s been quite a while since I shared a new worksheet…until today! Here is a brand new worksheet about ledger lines that you are welcome to use with your piano students or music students of any instrument.
The top of the page includes a definition and a graphic demonstrating what ledger lines are. The rest of the page presents a number of ledger line notes and asks the student to identify the letter name of each note. It’s a simple worksheet that might be useful to send home with your students to reinforce the concept after you cover it during a lesson.
Download this FREE worksheet by visiting the Printables > Worksheets page and scrolling down to “Identifying Ledger Lines.”
Identifying Ledger Lines (92.4 KiB, 2,080 hits)
PS: I have several other worksheets of a similar format you might be interested in checking out: Introduction to the Staff worksheet, Line & Space Notes worksheet, Identifying Line & Space Notes on the Staff worksheet, Intervals Unison-3rd worksheet, and Intervals Unison-5th worksheet. Hope you enjoy!
15 Free Printable Music Posters
Hello, everyone! Today, I have a fun freebie to share with you: 15 FREE printable music posters. If you are looking for a simple and affordable way to add some music-themed artwork to YOUR space, look no further!Continue reading “15 Free Printable Music Posters”
Free Printable: Sticky Notes Template
Did you know there is a way to safely send sticky notes through your inkjet printer?
I learned this piece of information a couple of years ago, thanks to Pinterest! Although I found plenty of free sticky notes templates available online, I decided to create my own user-friendly version.
Just imagine of all the things you could create by printing on sticky notes. 😀
I recommend using the “Super Sticky” Post-it notes instead of regular Post-it notes, so they will last longer. Here’s a link to a package of “Super Sticky” Post-it notes in my favorite color set. 🙂
And here’s where you can download my free template (Microsoft Word document) so you can print whatever you like onto sticky notes. Let me know what awesome things you create!
Sticky Notes Template (44.2 KiB, 11,881 hits)
Here’s how to use it:
- Download the Microsoft Word template.
- Print page 1 of the document to create your template sheet.
- Affix six sticky notes onto the template, on the printed boxes.
- On page 2 of the document, add your own text/graphics that you would like to have printed onto the sticky notes.
- Place the template sheet in the paper feed tray of your printer so that the printing will appear on the correct side — that is, onto the sticky notes. For most printers, this means placing the templates face-down with the top edge of the sheet away from you.
- Now you are ready to print page 2 of the document and enjoy your printed sticky notes!
Here’s an example of something awesome I made using this template. 🙂
Check out the “Notes To Self” Wall Art Kit here!
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, 7,320 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.)
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:
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, 6,223 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, 6,274 hits)Continue reading “Printables Inspired by Irina Gorin’s Workshop”
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.
Download it here or on the Printables > Studio Business page.
P.S.: Here is a link to where I explain my current system for tracking payments received.
Freebie: Technical Requirements Charts for RCM’s 2015 Piano Syllabus
UPDATE: Please visit this post for the latest 2022 RCM Piano Syllabus version.
I recently finished creating a new set of technique charts for the RCM’s new 2015 Piano Syllabus.
Here 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’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.
Special thanks goes to fellow piano teachers Donna Gross Javel and Nancy DeHaven Hall for helping to proofread the charts against the 2015 syllabus.
2015 RCM Technical Requirements Charts for Piano (557.9 KiB, 27,962 hits)
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.
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.
Visit the digital shop by clicking here.
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!
Continue reading “Lesson Plan: The History of Audio Formats”
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:
Continue reading “Student Christmas Gift: Original Piano Composition”