Holiday Parade

This cheery mid elementary level piano solo includes a teacher duet. Joy composed this piece as a Christmas gift for her students in 2014. All rights are reserved on this composition; however, permission is granted for you to print/copy from the PDF for educational purposes. Enjoy!

The PDF contains two versions of the music: 8.5”x11” sized pages that will print well at home, and 12”x18” pages that you could have printed at your local print shop (you could probably request them to print on 11”x17” paper instead because it is more common in the U.S.).

Level:Mid Elementary
Pages:3 pages
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License 

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

SINGLE USER LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchaser to make a printout for personal use. Sharing the digital file/printouts with others is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

Please note: This product is a digital download, delivered by email after purchase.

Where the Train Tracks End

Where the Train Tracks End is a jazzy, mid-intermediate level piano piece by Joy Morin. It is in rondo form (ABACA) and the key of B minor. The piece opens with finger snaps over a descending bass line, which leads into the syncopation and laidback vibe of the main theme. The B section consists of flashy-sounding patterns that race up the piano, while the C section is upbeat with a walking bass line. There is an opportunity to improvise towards the end of the piece. This three-page piece is perfect for recitals as well as for personal pleasure. You are bound to enjoy Where the Train Tracks End!

Video

Joy composed this piece in 2017 as part of a “Pedagogical Commissioning Project” organized by her Ohio-based colleague, Andy Villemez. The project brings working composers in direct conversation with music teachers and their students. Each student is paired with a composer who writes a piece based on the student’s current technical and musical abilities, personality, and interests. Joy wrote the piece Where the Train Tracks End specifically for a student named Brielle in Durham, NC.

Level:Mid Intermediate
Pages:3 pages
Format:PDF and/or MP3 (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License
OR
Single User License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

SINGLE USER LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchaser to make a printout for personal use. Sharing the digital file/printouts with others is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

Please note: This product is a digital download, delivered by email after purchase.

Simplicité

Simplicité is a charming, mid-intermediate piano solo composed by Joy Morin. It features an expressive melody supported by a flowing accompaniment consisting of broken fifths. This two-page piece is perfect to play for events — such as recitals, weddings, or church services — as well as simply for personal enjoyment. You or your students will love playing Simplicité!

Read more about the backstory for this piece here.

VIDEO

Level:Early Intermediate
Pages:2 pages
Format: PDF + MP3 (Email delivery)
Terms of Use:STUDIO LICENSE
or
SINGLE USER LICENSE

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

SINGLE USER LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchaser to make a printout for personal use. Sharing the digital file/printouts with others is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

Please note: This product is a digital download, delivered by email after purchase.

Trick-or-Treat! Rhythm Game

New! The Trick-or-Treat! rhythm game is FUN way to start out your lessons for 4-6 weeks around Halloween time. It’s so easy: just pull out the cards you’ve assembled, and put some candy or treats in a bowl. Your students will be thrilled to see you present this game every year. Your students will have a blast — and you’ll see their rhythm skills improve.

How does the game work?

Playfully inform your student that you have a bowl of treats — but that they must EARN their treat by playing a rhythm game. 🙂 Choose the appropriate deck for your student (Levels 1-4). Explain to your student: There are TRICK cards and there are TREAT cards. When a TREAT card is drawn, the game is over and it’s time to choose a treat. When a TRICK card is drawn, the student performs the rhythm on the card and then draws again.

All four levels of cards contain rhythms that are in duple meter and triple meter. The rhythms get progressively more advanced with each level. The easiest rhythms contain only quarter notes and eighth notes (or, macrobeats and microbeats, to use MLT-based terminology). The more advanced levels contain sixteenth-note combinations, ties, rests, and upbeats. The leveling information is detailed clearly for the teacher on a cheat sheet.

The first week you present the game to your students, I recommend starting with Level 1 (even if they can handle more advanced rhythms). Over following weeks, you can bump up to the next levels or stick with the same level if more practice is needed. This approach really works! You’ll be impressed with how your students do from week to week.

Students will draw an average 4 or 5 rhythm cards before drawing a TREAT card. However, if you decide you’d like the game to last longer, simply remove one of the TREAT cards from the deck.

Here are a couple of game variations I use with my students:

  • YOUNG BEGINNERS: Instead of asking the student to read the rhythms, ask them to echo after you. This is so good for developing their ears and preparing for reading down the road!
  • SMALL GROUPS: Play the game normally, except ask the entire group to help perform the rhythm cards drawn by each individual.

Buy the 45-page Trick-or-Treat! PDF download now, and here’s what you’ll get:

  • Introductory letter to the teacher
  • Leveling cheatsheet and tips for gameplay
  • Instructions for assembly (this is a digital product; meaning, you must print and assemble the game yourself)
  • Card holders for each of the four levels
  • Four levels of rhythm cards (160 cards total)

Price: $9.00

Click here to read the original blog post announcement about this resource. 

Check out my video demo >>>

Watch my student play the Trick-or-Treat rhythm game >>>

Here’s what you’ll find in the video:

  • 0:12 | What to do if a student happens to draw a TREAT card first thing! (This is a rare occurance.)
  • 0:33 | How to teach a student how to perform the rhythm patterns on the TRICK cards accurately. They need to be able to (1) identify the meter, (2) count in before speaking/counting the rhythm pattern, and (3) maintain the meter as they speak/tap the rhythm pattern. (More tips on this below.)
  • 1:00, 1:20, and 1:42 | Watch Robbie chant more rhythm cards.
  • 2:00 | Robbie draws a TREAT card, ending the game.

Read more about using the game >>>

Level:Beginners through intermediate levels
Pages:45 pages
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

Please note: This product is a digital download, delivered by email after purchase.

Notes To Self: Wall Art Kit

The “Notes To Self” Inspirational Wall Art Kit (PDF) contains the digital materials you need to create interactive wall art to inspire those within your social sphere. It’s a great way to promote positivity and camaraderie amongst your circle of friends, family members, clients, co-workers, or students. I created the “Notes To Self” wall kit with my piano students in mind, but they are perfect for any setting where people gather for a common purpose: schools, workplaces, gyms, churches, music/dance/art studios, and more.

Those who approach the “Notes To Self” wall art are encouraged by the sign to “Take one to-go, for you or somebody else!” I drew the sticky notes designs myself and digitized them for this kit because I wanted to make it easy for anyone to create their own “Notes To Self” wall art.

To create your own “Notes To Self” wall art, here’s what you’ll need:

  • An open wall space
  • An inkjet printer
  • Printer paper
  • 3’x3′ sticky notes (here’s the “Super Sticky” Post-It notes I recommend, in my favorite color set) 🙂
  • The “Notes To Self” wall art kit (PDF) available for purchase in my shop.

The PDF contains a special template for sending the sticky notes through your printer so that the hand-drawn sayings and inspirations will be printed upon them.

Complete assembly instructions are included within the PDF, including a link to this YouTube video. Once you’ve printed the designs onto your sticky notes, you can arrange them onto your wall.

I’ve created two different sets of “Notes To Self” designs. You can choose one set or the other — or combine the two.

  1. The “Inspiration Set”, containing 96 sticky note hand-drawn designs.
  2. The “Bible Verses Set”, containing 42 sticky note hand-drawn designs.

If you’ve ever wished for ways to brighten the days of those within your circle of influence, the “Notes To Self” wall art kit might be right for you. It’s fun to admire the wall art and choose just the right sticky note to take home or gift someone special. 🙂

The Terms of Use allow the purchaser to print from this PDF as desired, forever, as long as you are using them for your own personal projects. This means the amount of sticky notes you could generate for special people in your life over the years is innumerable.

After purchasing this PDF, you will immediately receive an email containing the download link. Upon clicking the link, your computer will automatically put the PDF into your computer’s “Downloads” folder. Please move the file to a memorable place on your hard drive so you can access it for years to come. If you encounter any problems with this process, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for reading!

Pages:11 pages — Bible Verses set
20 pages — Inspiration set
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchaser to make unlimited printouts for their own students or community members. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

Here are a couple of photos I received from piano teachers who are using my “Notes to Self” wall art kit in their studios.

“The post-it’s are a big hit in my studio!”

Elanna Foster

Ontario, CA

“My students and I love your “Notes to Self”. Parents take them too and we are all inspired. I have a student who has built her own “Notes to Self” bulletin board. See attached photo. I can see a change in her since she started collecting them. I love her color-coding!”

Diane Lindsay

Illinois

Please note: This product is a digital download, delivered by email after purchase.

Composition & Improvisation Prompts for Piano eBook

NEW: Prompts for Piano, Set 2 is now available!

Prompts for Piano” is an e-book designed to provide an easy way for teachers to guide beginner and elementary students through composition or improvisation.

One of the first challenges of starting a composition is getting inspired.  Simply telling a student to compose a piece is too broad of an assignment that often causes the student to become overwhelmed.

The other challenge to helping students with composition is helping them learn how to make music that sounds like the topic they have chosen.

“Prompts for Piano” is designed to provide solutions for those two challenges.  Each of the 20 prompts provides a topic idea accompanied by a brief written description and an image, intended to help inspire the student and generate enthusiasm for the project.

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The “goals” listed on the prompt are intended to help the student successfully create a piece that will sound like the topic they have chosen.  For example, for a piece about rain, students might be encouraged to use staccato sounds.

At the end of the PDF, there are a few pages of staff paper included to print for your students.

To begin a composition assignment with a piano student, I allow the student to choose one of the prompts.  I keep printed copies of the prompts near my piano, but I also have the PDF loaded onto my iPad so I can print directly from there (I use the GoodNotes app for this).  Students are usually very excited about the topic they choose, which leads nicely to a discussion about how we can go about creating music that will emulate that subject.

Mack T - The Dinosaur 2

Over the course of the next few weeks/months, the student slowly adds new measures and properly notates their composition onto staff paper.  When it is finished, I transcribe their composition into Finale and ask them to illustrate their composition.  You can read more about how I go about composing with my piano students here. On the right is an example of a composition created by one of my students. And here is another example, on video:

And here is a video example submitted by a teacher from Texas. Her beginner student followed the parameters for the prompt “The Dinosaur” to the letter, and the piece sounds amazing!

Have you ever thought about doing a summer composition project, or holding a composition recital with your students?  Using these prompts can help make sure that your students choose varied topics during a studio-wide composition project.

Your purchase includes a Studio License allowing you to print as many copies from this PDF as desired, forever – as long as you are using them with your own students. You may also use the PDF as needed for online teaching purposes with your students.

Download a sample page from Prompts for Piano Set #1 below. Enjoy!

  Composition/Improv Prompt - Free Sample (102.8 KiB, 15,533 hits)

Level:Beginner/elementary students, but may also be appropriate for some intermediate students
Pages:28 pages
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

What is the difference between Prompts for Piano Set #1 and Set #2?

They are the same, format-wise; but the 20 prompts in Set #2 are completely different from the 20 in Set #1. If you are trying to decide which set to purchase, it may also be helpful to know that Set #2 includes a few prompts that are slightly more “advanced” — perfect for those students progressing into intermediate levels. If you have lots of students, you may wish to buy both sets so your students have lots (40 total) of choices!

Testimonial

“My students and I have been using this set of prompts with amazing success this summer. I love the goals and the prompts. I have three students who have already completed their first composition and they are over the moon with excitement at what they have accomplished. I never imagined I would be able to guide them through this process so easily.”

Heather Best

piano teacher

Great Composers & Their Music Curriculum

The Great Composers & Their Music series is designed to be an easy and effective way for teachers to incorporate music history in their students’ musical education.  You can read about how this curriculum came to be here.

Each PDF download contains complete lesson plans and materials for studying the life and music of a famous composer.  The lapbook is a creative and memorable way for students to learn and remember the facts from in the biography — and students will treasure it for years to come.  The biography booklet contains a carefully-researched biography, written to include all the important facts you would expect while being relevant to and relatable for even your youngest students.

Everything the teacher will need is included in the PDF — other than the paper, folders, scissors, and other office supplies. 🙂 To teach the lesson plan, the teacher reads the biography booklet aloud to students, stopping to answer questions and to play musical excerpts of the pieces mentioned (playlist provided). As they are listening to the biography, students can color the picture of the composer and start cutting out the items for the lapbook. As students finish assembling the lapbook, they can listen to more musical excerpts by the composer.

Download a FREE sample of a biography booklet for “Mozart” below. Enjoy!

  Mozart Biography Booklet (365.8 KiB, 9,936 hits)

Ways to Use The Great Composers & Their Music:  Great Composers & Their Music is not only thorough and complete, but it is very flexible — so there are many ways to use this curriculum. I have used these this curriculum to offer weekly 50-minute music appreciation classes for homeschoolers, spending 3 weeks on each composer (we spend about 30 minutes of the class time on the composer, and 20 minutes on other music topics). I also use the lapbooks during monthly groups classes with my private students. The biography booklets are also great to print for private students who are learning pieces by a particular composer. Best of all, I have had great success using this curriculum to offer an annual Music History Camp during the summer (read this post to learn how).

Materials needed: Each student will need the printed lapbook pages (black-and-white is fine if you do not have a color printer), a file folder, scissors, glue stick, and crayons. I recommend that the teacher assemble a lapbook in advance to show as an example.

Time Required: The minimum time required to complete a composer study greatly depends on the age of the students, as well as how much time you choose to devote to listening to musical excerpts. Junior high/high school students will be much faster at assembling the lapbook than 5- or 6-year-olds. However, I would estimate the absolute minimum time needed is 45 minutes, if you allow the students to color/cut as you read the biography aloud and play musical excerpts. It would be better to have 60-90 minutes, or to spread out the composer study over a period of a few lessons. If you would like the composer study to take more time than that, you can no doubt find a way to expand on the information provided in the biography booklet!

Instructions:  After purchase, you will receive an email with links to download the file(s). Your computer will likely put the file into a folder called “Downloads,” but you will want to save the file to another location on your computer’s hard drive where you can easily find it again — so you can print from it for years to come. The pdf contains everything you need, beginning with a few pages for the teacher, followed by the biography booklet, and then finally the lapbook pages.

Studio License: The license included in purchase allow the purchaser to use the digital file(s) or printouts from the files for personal and educational uses. This means: The purchaser may save the files on your computer or other devices and print/reproduce as desired for as long as you live, assuming you are using the materials with only your own students. Read the complete Terms of Use here.

*Click here to read brief descriptions of the concepts learned in each composer lapbook. Please check back for new composers!*

Ages:Best for ages 6-15
Pages:~20 pages
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

“I just want to thank you so much for the Blast from the Past History Camp resources.  I start my camp next week, and I am so excited to have an easy to use, information-packed curriculum.  The copies I made today are absolutely beautiful!  I am so impressed.  For several years I have wanted to provide a summer camp, but my busy schedule has kept me from devoting time to developing one, and I have been unable to find a curriculum I like . . . until now!  Thank you so much!”

Cheryl Marshall, NCTM

from Katy, TX

“Thanks so much for coming up with the composer lap book idea! My students learnt about Bach and became acquainted with some of his works. The instruction given from the downloads are clear and precise, and my students had fun “designing” and putting together their own lap book. It is a fabulous resources and a great way to study the life of Bach.”

Jo Tee H.

piano teacher from Singapore

“Just wanted to thank you for your terrific materials. I teach piano lessons part time in my Massachusetts home studio. I purchased your Beethoven lapbook and used it this past week with 15 students, ages 7 to 12, in one-hour group lessons (4-6 students per lesson). I love the engaging format (fold-outs and pockets)- very fun for kids to construct and they were excited to share with their families. The concrete “artifacts” (Heiligenstadt testimony, autograph manuscripts) bring the history to life for kids, the concepts become much more memorable, and they look great as color copies!”

Julie

piano teacher from Massachusetts

“Hello Joy, Thanks for your reply and thanks, again, for your lapbooks. They are perfect in every way for a typical one-to-one piano lesson. They are filled with accurate and interesting facts (and fun facts) for all age groups. They are a fun project to do with the student during the lesson. They are a meaningful way to introduce your students to the composer’s music they are studying. They offer the teacher an opportunity to interact with the student on a personal level. And I had fun too…colouring and engaging in chit-chat at my desk with my students was awesome.

I’ve had a few parents call and thank me for sparking a new fire in their child about music and history. So it’s been a win-win for everyone!”

Fran

piano teacher from Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada

Discount Code: Enter TAKE10 during checkout to receive $10 off your order containing of at least ten composers. Use the code TAKE20 to receive $20 off your order of twenty composers.

Ice Cream Interval game

Being able to read notes on the staff intervallically is crucial for sight-reading.  I like to tell my students that reading music is at least 80% interval reading, and only 20% note identification.  To help my students learn to identify intervals quickly upon sight, I created the Ice Cream Interval game.

When you purchase the Ice Cream Interval Game pdf from the Shop, you will receive a pdf with 60 different ice cream scoops, the ice cream cones printed “Unison” through “Octave,” and 4 blank ice cream cones.  The pdf also includes instructions for two different games to play.

The first game is simply to identify the interval on each ice cream scoop by placing it on the correct cone.  This game can be played with one player during a private lesson or in the waiting room area, or it can be played non-competitively with a group of students.  The students can either take turns identifying intervals, or they can simultaneously sort the intervals until the cards are gone. Watch a video of this activity during a piano lesson here.

The second game is a competitive game for a group of students.  Each student receives a blank ice cream cone.  On their turn, they must draw a scoop card and identify the interval.  If the student answers correctly (the other students may check his/her answer), they may add the scoop to their cone.  If s/he answer incorrectly, the scoop goes to the bottom of the pile and the student loses their turn.  At the end of the game (after an allotted amount of time or when the scoop pile is gone), the player with the most scoops on their cone is the winner.

If your student has learned only the smaller intervals, you can sort out the appropriate cards in advance.

You can download a freebie sample of the Ice Cream Intervals game on the Printables > Games page, by scrolling down to the I’s for Ice Cream Intervals game.  It’s perfect for preschoolers or other young beginners, because the scoops are limited to 2nds and 3rds on the keyboard.

Ice Cream Intervals sample

  Ice Cream Interval game - SAMPLE (2.9 MiB, 17,692 hits)

You can purchase and download the full edition of Ice Cream Interval game by clicking the Purchase button below.  I recommending printing the PDF onto sturdy cardstock paper (lamination optional).  Cutting out all the ice cream scoops will take some time, so I recommend watching in a good movie while you cut.  🙂  Enjoy!

Price: $8.00


Ice Cream Intervals – Extension Pack

20141014_140034 NIKON web

New!  Introducing the Extension Pack, which nearly doubles the amount of ice cream scoops by providing 48 harmonic (blocked) intervals to add the original melodic (broken) intervals.  The intervals in the Extension Pack range from “2nd” to “octave.”  Please note that no cones are provided in the Extension Pack, so you won’t want to purchase it unless you also have the original Ice Cream Intervals game.

Price: $4.00

Level:Beginner through intermediate (intervals unison through octave)
Pages:10 pages — Ice Cream Interval Game
6 pages — Extension Pack
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

Rhythm Flipbooks

This PDF download, when assembled, is a great resource for practicing rhythm with your students!  It is convenient to pull out during a lesson or group class, and requires less clean-up than flashcards.

Inside, the notes and rests can be flipped separately from each other, so you and your students can create a variety of rhythm examples!

When you purchase the Rhythm Flipbook, you will get TWO versions: the original “My Rhythm Flipbook,” and “My Easy Rhythm Flipbook.”   The only different is that the easy version has had the sixteenth-note and triplet rhythms removed, for use with beginner students.

If you assemble two Rhythm Flipbooks, you can even put them side-by-side to create longer rhythm examples.  Once you have purchased the Rhythm Flipbooks, you are permitted to print as many as desired for you and your students.

There are separate sections for each time signature (4/4, 3/4, and 6/8).  I recommend using a colored page to divide the sections, so you can easily find the desired time signature.

Instructions for Assembly:

  • After purchase, follow the instructions to download and save the file onto your computer’s hard drive.
  • The pdf contains a full sheet of detailed instructions for assembling this flipbook, but here is a quick summary: You can print/cut the pages yourself at home, and then bring the stack in to a copy shop for binding (which generally costs around $5 USD).  Or, you can get the flipbook both printed and bound at a copy shop (which generally costs around $20 USD) — just bring in the first page of instructions so they can see how it needs to be done.  AFTER getting the pages bound, cut vertically between the note values, as shown in the photo in the instructions.  Note: I do not recommend laminating the pages because the stack would become too thick to fit in a spiral binding. Printing on cardstock paper will make the flipbook durable enough to last for many years.

Questions?  Read the Terms of Use here.

Level:Beginners into intermediate levels
Pages:50 pages
Format:PDF (email delivery)
Terms of Use:Studio License

STUDIO LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchasing teacher to make unlimited printouts and use the digital files for the purpose of teaching their own students. Sharing printouts or the digital files beyond that purpose is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

SINGLE USER LICENSE
Permission is granted for the purchaser to make a printout for personal use. Sharing the digital file/printouts with others is not permitted. The purchaser is not permitted to resell the item(s), or alter, modify, or create derivative works.

“I love the concept of having everything in a flip book format rather than the more traditional flash cards I have used in the past. I have used it with a few different age groups. All of my students were excited when they first saw it and thought it looked like fun! They loved being able to make up their own rhythm with the flip book!  They had so much fun clapping out each others rhythms and trying to trick and outdo the other person! The flipbook was easy to use and effective in group lessons as well as private lessons.”

Sarah J.