Today, I want to highlight an item from my shop you might be interested in: the Ice Cream Interval game. There’s also a freebie for your young beginners below…so keep reading!
Being able to recognize the placement of and distances between notes on the staff intervallically is crucial to reading music. I like to tell my students that music reading involves more interval recognition than it does note identification. To help my students learn to identify intervals quickly upon sight, I created the Ice Cream Interval game.
The cards show intervals both on the staff lines and on the piano keys, so students are encountering situations.
This simple game works great as a single person activity. We lay out the cones on the floor, and start sorting the interval “scoops” to the appropriate cone.
Our 10-year blogiversary celebration sale continues this month! This week, I want to highlight an item from my shop you might be interested in for your group classes or summer music camps. There’s also some freebies linked to below…keep reading!
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. Here’s the story of how this curriculum came to be.
In the summer of 2012, I decided I wanted to offer a music history camp for my students. It’s not easy to cover music history thoroughly during the private lesson setting, but I wanted my students to know the major composers and the style periods. Knowing these things helps students understand the pieces they are learning, appreciate music more, and make better decisions regarding interpretation and artistry. Music camps are a perfect opportunity for getting submerged in music history and learning a lot in just a few days!
When I took music history classes during college, my professor told us that one of her main goals was for us, by the end of the course, to be able to give a reasonable guess as to which time period a piece of music was composed — even when hearing a piece for the first time. I decided to adopt this very same goal for my students.
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.
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.
Hi there! Just a quick post today to share two bits of news.
Starting tomorrow, I’m holding a 20% off sale for everything in my digital shop! The reason for the sale? We’re going to be partying all February long to celebrate ColorInMyPiano.com’s upcoming 10 year blogiversary. Woohoo!
To receive 20% off, use the promo code 10YEARS between now (January 31, 2019) and February 28, 2019.
I pleased to announce the upcoming 2019 session of my online piano pedagogy course called Excellence in Piano Teaching! The dates will be April 1st through May 5th.
Have you always wanted to take a piano pedagogy college course, but haven’t had the opportunity? Or are you looking for a refresher of the pedagogy instruction you received during college, to put new energy into your teaching?
If you’d like to receive the details about this course, please join the separate email list by clicking here. I’ll be sending out more details by email in the upcoming weeks. For now, I thought I’d send out this save-the-date note in case you are interested in making plans to participate!
Stay tuned — there’s more coming soon to celebrate ColorInMyPiano.com’s ten years of existence. :)
At the beginning of the month, I had the opportunity to fly to Charlotte, NC to speak for the Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum. I spoke on the topic of rhythm — specifically, how we can approach teaching rhythm from an ear training or MLT perspective. I had SUCH a fun trip! I posted some photo highlights from my two-day adventure on my instagram here.
I’d love to tell you about some other speaking appearances coming up this year.
I recently finished reading the book Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, written by Dr. Barry M. Prizant. It took me only a few days to “read” (I listened to the audiobook version) the whole thing, because I was enjoying it so much.
My motivation for searching out this book arose from a desire to better understand my current piano students who have autism. This was the book I settled on after searching on Amazon.com for a book on the topic that had excellent reviews.
This book did not disappoint.
The author, Dr. Barry Prizant, has decades of experience working with individuals with autism and is a leading expert in the field. He is a scholar, researcher, consultant, and an adjunct faculty at Brown University.
As Dr. Prizant explains in the book, autism therapy typically tends to focus on behavioral therapy — which means, getting rid of behaviors such as difficulties interacting socially, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Dr. Prizant points the way to a different approach instead. His book promotes the seeking of understanding individuals and what might be underlying their behaviors.
Rather than seeking to eliminate so-called “autistic behaviors”, Dr. Prizant advocates asking “why”. WHY is the person behaving this way? How can I better understand what might be causing the individual’s behavior, and how can I change MY behavior to help him or her?
Happy New Year, friends! I hope you’ve been enjoying the holidays.
The new year always causes for me a time of reflection — refection upon the previous year as well as upon what the next year might hold.
As far as my blogging goes, I certainly published fewer blog posts in the last couple of years than I did in previous years. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing — I think the blogosphere and the online community is different now than it once was. Currently, I’m finding myself more active on Instagram than my blog. I would love to invite you to follow me there for those kinds of smaller, quick, fun updates and stay right where you are for the longer-form content here on the blog.
I’ve been thinking about how my teaching has changed over the years as well. (I began teaching piano around this time of year back in 2005.) There have been a number of important influences that have helped me improve my teaching, and I can see that my students are seeing the benefits. What will the next year hold? Ever more improvements, I hope!
Thanks so much for being a follower of my blog, and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2019.
P.S.: Anybody in Charlotte, NC? I’ll be in your area tomorrow (Friday) for a piano teacher presentation! Email or facebook me if you are interested in the details. :)
Every time you get to a certain spot in a piece, you make the same error. It could be, for example, an incorrect fingering, an incorrect rhythm (like adding a pause or rushing through a rhythm), or an incorrect pitch.
Every time it happens, you recognize the error has happened. In fact, you probably knew in advance that it was going to happen. Right after it happens, you try again — starting at where you made the error, but making the correction this time — and continue the piece.
The deeper problem here is the fact that this entire process repeats itself every time you play the piece. The trouble spot persists, even though you already know how to play the passage correctly.
I’ve encountered this problem in my own practice, and have observed it in my students, too.
How do we combat this problem? How can we solve those stubborn “trouble spots” for once and for all?