Announcements, seasonal / holiday

The 12 Days of Christmas Project…Music Teacher Edition! (2021)

Hello, friends! As previously announced, I recently released a new resource to my shop: The 12 Days of Christmas Project — a kit to help you and your students create a collaborative video performing the traditional carol, The 12 Days of Christmas. I know it’s an odd time to be talking more about it, because Christmas has just passed. But I wanted to share just a couple more things about it before I let it rest. 🙂

First of all, you might remember in my last blog post I had put out a call for music teachers who might be interested in being part of a “music teacher edition” video of the 12 Days of Christmas. We ended up with 26 music teachers total who participated! Here’s our resulting video. Hope you enjoy!

Second, I wanted to let you know that I created a walkthrough video that gives you a peek at what’s included in The 12 Days of Christmas kit. You can check that out here.

Continue reading “The 12 Days of Christmas Project…Music Teacher Edition! (2021)”
Announcements, seasonal / holiday

Announcing… The 12 Days of Christmas Project: A Collaborative Video Kit

Perhaps of you might recall that last year, I blogged about my students’ collaboration to create a special video as the “grand finale” of our 2020 Countdown to the New Year project. It was our own special take on The 12 Days of Christmas (click to watch)!

Continue reading “Announcing… The 12 Days of Christmas Project: A Collaborative Video Kit”
seasonal / holiday, Teaching Piano

My 2021 Student Christmas Gifts

Do you enjoy giving some kind of small gift to your piano students at Christmastime? I don’t feel it’s something we as piano teachers should feel obligated to do. But if it’s something you enjoy, I think it’s a nice gesture! I look forward to coming up with something different each year.

[Click here to see gift ideas from past years!]

This year, inspired by a photo I saw on Instagram, I decided to seek out a local bakery to make some pretty piano cookies for my students. I requested quotes from two bakeries and was thrilled when the first one gave me a rate that was reasonable enough for my budget. I placed my order and couldn’t wait for the pick-up date to arrive.

Over the weekend, I picked up my cookie order. I was so thrilled and pleased with how they turned out! Aren’t they pretty?!

Aria, my constant sidekick, “helped” me put the cookies into individual baggies.

I couldn’t be happier with how these turned out!

Something else new I decided to try this year was to order custom pens with my studio logo. I thought it might be fun to include these pens in the Christmas gift this year, as well as to use around the studio and give out to new students when they join. I ordered through CustomInk.com, which has been a great company to work with in the past when I’ve done T-shirts for my students. The pens turned out nicely! It’s a good thing, because CustomInk.com have a minimum of 300 for pen orders. I will be well stocked for at least a few years! 😉

I also gave each student one of our family photo cards. To add a personal touch, I typed up a short holiday greeting printed onto sticky notes. (Did you know you can print onto sticky notes? It’s so handy for all kinds of projects! To learn how, check out this blog post.)

I packaged everything into bubble wrap mailers to send to my online students back in Ohio.

In my studio, I set up an area for my in-person students to receive their gifts. I’m excited to see my students’ faces when they see the cookies!

After all that hard work, Aria and I were ready to try out a cookie! It was our reward after a job well done. 🙂

[Check out the video version of this blog post here on Instagram!]

Your turn: Did you plan to give out students gifts this year? If so, what did you come up with? I invite you to leave a comment!

seasonal / holiday

Christmas Gifts for Students, 2011-2020

Hi there! Christmas Day is nearly upon us. Today, I thought I would make an update this flashback post to share what I gave my students this year. (You can skip down to the bottom of this post to see!)

Things to keep in mind: I don’t think it’s necessary to give your piano students gifts at Christmastime, but it’s a nice gesture if you feel so inspired! Some years, I’ve kept it pretty simple while other years I have felt inspired to take on a more time-intensive project. I hope you’ll enjoy browsing this post and perhaps gaining an idea or two to tuck away for the future!

Continue reading “Christmas Gifts for Students, 2011-2020”
seasonal / holiday

2019 Christmas Gift for Students

Just a quick follow-up to the student Christmas gift post from some few weeks ago

Here’s what I ended up gifting my students last month:

  • Gloves for pianists 🙂
  • Treat sacks with brownies

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I ordered the black gloves from eBay (here). I used white 3D fabric paint to add the treble clef on the RH glove, and allowed it to dry. I came back later to flip it over and draw a bass clef on the LH glove. They turned out pretty cute!

I can’t take credit for the idea. I saw a piano teacher share the idea in one of the Facebook groups for piano teachers, quite some time ago. I saved the idea, thinking I’d probably use it some year. And here we are!

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I baked the brownies myself and placed two pieces in each treat sack, separated by a square of parchment paper. A quick piece of ribbon makes them look a bit festive.

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If you’re looking for a good brownie recipe, here’s the link to the one I used: Best Fudgiest Brownies. My husband is a better cook than I am; he’s able to bake them just right so they are wonderfully fudgey, plus achieve that lovely cracked look on the top. Fortunately, they still taste pretty great even when I bake them. 🙂

Just thought I’d share. I always appreciate getting ideas from other teachers, and bet you do too!

Happy Wednesday to you!

General, seasonal / holiday

Christmas Gifts for Students, From 2011-2018

I know, I know…it’s barely November, and here I am already talking about Christmas gifts! But in my opinion, it’s never too early to start thinking ahead and brainstorming. I tend to enjoy the holidays more when I’ve managed to get an early start on my to-dos. 🙂

I don’t think it’s necessary to give your piano students gifts at Christmastime, but it’s a nice gesture if you feel so inspired!

And so, I thought it’d be fun to do a flashback post today, taking a look at the Christmas gifts I’ve done over the years for my students. Some of these gifts were pretty time intensive (certain years, apparently I was inspired enough to be willing to take on a big project!), and other years were simple, but thoughtful gifts. I hope perhaps these photos will give you a useful idea or two, if you’re looking for ideas for something to do for your own students!

2011: Personalized Glass Sheet Music Ornaments

Back in 2011, I created personalized glass sheet music ornaments for each student, with their name and the year written with a gold paint pen. They turned out so pretty! I love how they turned out, and would like to use this idea again in the future. Each student also received a chocolate Symphony bar. Read more here.

That year, I gave my adult students something else: a copy of the book “The A to Z of Foreign Musical Terms” by Christine Ammer. I learned about this book during grad school, when one of my professors recommended it as a music dictionary that actually contains all the words we commonly see in our music. (Have you ever looked up a word in your music dictinary, only to find it wasn’t included?!) This book is a nice slim volume, and a great price — I’d recommend it to any piano teacher or student! I use it not infrequently during lessons, to have students look up the terms in their pieces.

Continue reading “Christmas Gifts for Students, From 2011-2018”
Resources, seasonal / holiday

2019 Valentine’s Day Round Up

Just thought I’d share a couple of Valentine’s Day related resources from my blog!

Heartbeat Charts activity

This activity is a staple for my monthly “Piano Parties” with my students. It’s such a good activity for working on rhythm and ear training.

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Here is how the activity works: Each student is given a heartbeat chart and some game tokens (I use glass baubles from the floral aisle). The teacher claps or chants a prepared rhythm and asks the students to repeat it back together. Once they have internalized the rhythm, students notate the rhythm on their heartbeat charts using game tokens. 

Continue reading “2019 Valentine’s Day Round Up”

seasonal / holiday

Sheet Music Christmas Ornament — Gift Idea for Piano Students

Christmas is nearing! Today, I’m busy making sheet music ornaments as gifts for my piano students.

I found this idea from this blogger, thanks to Pinterest. Here’s my own take on this sheet music ornament idea.

Materials:

  • Old sheet music paper
  • Jute twine
  • Black pony beads
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher
  • Ruler

For each ornament, I cut 12 pieces of sheet music into strips measuring 1 inch x 6.5 inches, and then punched holes at each end of the paper. I cut a length of 30 inches of jute twine, folded it in half, knotted it to create a loop, and added beads and knots at various places along with the sheet music (as described in the video). The last step is to gently pull apart the paper around to form a circular shape. I love how it turned out!

There are many ways to vary the ornament: perhaps cutting smaller strips of sheet music, cutting the paper with fancy-edged scissors, using a different type of bead, etc.

Thanks for reading.

Announcements, seasonal / holiday

February Happenings

My students and I are counting down the days until our studio recital!  I find that having this visual reminder each week in the studio is very helpful for students as they prepare for the big day.  Learn how you can make your own Recital Countdown with a 4×6 photo frame here.

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Valentine’s Day is this Saturday!  I have two piano valentine printables that I created in previous years that you might be interested in using.  Or, perhaps this year you might like to use Susan Paradis’ or Wendy Stevens’ designs?  Below you’ll find some photographic inspiration.  Continue reading “February Happenings”

seasonal / holiday

Upcoming February Fun

Guess what!  February 28 marks the 5 year anniversary of this blog.  How awesome is that?!

In celebration of the upcoming blogiversary, I wanted to announce that I will be holding a sale for the month of February: 20% off the items in the shop (ends February 28, 2014)!  Stay tuned for the details.  Perhaps you will want to start planning ahead for your summer camps so you can purchase some material while it is on sale.  🙂

February also brings Valentine’s Day.  I thought I’d remind you that I have a couple of free piano-related Valentine printables available.

This is the valentine I designed last year.  It is quick and easy to cut these out for your piano students.  Click here to learn more.

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The valentine pictured below requires a little more assembly, but they are very cute.  🙂  Click here to learn more.

Printables, seasonal / holiday

Piano Valentine Printable #2

Remember the piano valentines I made last year?

I was wasn’t planning to design a new music-themed valentine this year — but when inspiration struck, I just had to design it!

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Is it a heart, or is it a piano?!  Well, it’s both!  🙂

This design is simpler and easier to assemble than last year’s design.  Just cut out the heart shapes!  If desired, you can attach a piece of candy to each valentine using a circle of tape.  I made a bunch of these to give to my piano students next week.

The free pdf printable can be downloaded by visiting the Printables > Other Resources page, and scrolling down to the P’s for “Piano Valentine Printable 2.”  Enjoy!

  Piano Valentine Printable 2 (146.6 KiB, 14,054 hits)