Printables, seasonal / holiday

Free Christmas Photo Card Template

I can’t believe it is December already!  This year, I decided to design my own music-themed Christmas photo card to send out to my family and give to my piano students.  My husband and I have started a tradition of taking a photo of ourselves with our cats (donned in their mini Santa hats) each year.  :)

The best part about designing your own photo card template is that they are much cheaper to print.  I paid the normal rate for printing 4×6 photos at my local store (rather than paying extra to use the templates provided in the machines at photo centers).

If you would like to use this template too, you are welcome to it!  Due to the size of this file (15MB), I have added it to DropBox and you can download it here.  You will need access to a program like Photoshop (Photoshop Elements or Lightroom is fine) to edit the text and insert your own photo.  Here are the directions:

  1. Open the file in Photoshop.
  2. Select the text layer, and change the words to your family members’ names.
  3. Select the layer called “Put your photo here!”  Open a photo of your family, and then drag and drop it to replace the current image.
  4. Go to File > Save As.  Change the file format to jpeg, title the file whatever you wish, and save it to your desktop.
  5. Print the photo using your favorite online service, or put the file on a flashdrive to take to your local store.

I hope your holiday plans are going well!

Early Childhood Music, Games

Printable: Black Key Group Sorting Cards

A new free Printable has been added to the Printables page:

These cards are a great manipulative to use with young beginners when you are first introducing them to the keyboard.  Students can use the cards to build a keyboard on the floor, alternating the groups of 2 and 3 black keys.  Or, students can use these at the piano, and lay the cards right on the piano keyboard, matching the groups of black keys appropriately.   I printed a few sets of these cards, laminated them, and put them in zipper bags.  This short activity is great for Piano Readiness Classes.

There are two versions included in the pdf: one with the letter names on the keys, and one without.  To download this free pdf, visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to the B’s for “Black Key Group Sorting Cards.”  Enjoy!

Studio Business

Updated: Record of Attendance & Payment Printable

Just a quick post today to those of you’ve who’ve asked if I planned to update the dates of the Record of Attendance & Payment printable for 2012-13.  The answer is YES, and here it is!  Visit the Printables > Studio Business page and scroll down to the R’s.

The “Student Information Form” has also been updated.  Previously, it said “2011-2012,” and I’ve decided to remove the years so that I won’t have to re-upload it here each year.

Hope you are all having a great week!

P.S.: Don’t forget to check out the responses about our current Forum Q&A about keeping teenager students motivated!

Games, Music Camps, Printables

Musical Olympics Camp – Lesson Plan & Materials

I have finally completed the lesson plans for the Musical Olympics Camp!  This pdf is a FREE download from the Printables > Lesson Plans page.  Let me give another thank you to Sheryl Welles for her great game ideas, and for her permission to include descriptions of those games in the lesson plan.

This pdf also includes a few new printables I created for the Musical Olympics Camp.  I decided to make some of those new printables available for download on the Printables page too, since some of them may easily be used for activities besides the camp.  Here’s a list of all the printables:

Early Childhood Music, Music Theory, Worksheets

Treble & Bass Clef Dot-To-Dot Worksheets

Here’s a new worksheet I just added to the Printables page:

To teach my beginner students how to draw and recognize the treble and bass clef, I created this pair of dot-to-dot worksheets for the treble and bass clefs.  The dots and numbers are nice and big for little eyes to see!

To download, visit the Printables > Worksheets page and scroll down to the T’s for “Treble & Bass Clef Dot-To-Dot Worksheets.”

Enjoy!

  Treble & Bass Clef Dot-To-Dot Worksheets (68.0 KiB, 31,096 hits)

Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Printables, Teaching Piano

Spell-A-Keyboard Game

This morning with my homeschool music class, I played this game with my students:

As I was lesson planning last night, I was trying to think of a new way to practice the names of the piano keys.  My homeschool music class is mostly a music history class, but we’ve been learning basic music/piano concepts too.  My students already know how to figure them the piano key names by counting from Middle C, but they need more practice to get them memorized.  So I came up with this game, which I called the “Spell-A-Keyboard Game.”

My students loved this game!  I gave them each a set of cards with words containing only A-G (I gave them only the three-letter words for today) and a silent keyboard or paper keyboard, and three glass gems (pennies or buttons work too).  Then I instructed them to “spell” the words from each flashcard by covering the right keys with glass gems.  If you are playing this game with students at the piano, you can require that students spell the letters in order from left to right, but on a silent keyboard there might not be room to do so (as in the example shown in the photo).

This game is a great way to practice the piano key names without it actually feeling like a drill!  My students really enjoyed seeing how quickly they could spell the words and were pretty proud of their work each time.

You can download the “Musical Alphabet Word Flashcards” on the Printables > Games page.  When I created the cards, I tried to pick mostly words that kids would know.  Enjoy!

Update: I just realized that Susan Paradis plays a game very similar to this, except the words are spelled on the staff!  Read more here.

Update: Read about the outdoor version of this game here, where I describe my Musical Olympics Camp.

Update: I also found a way to adapt this game to be used with two floor keyboards indoors, with two teams.  Click here for more info.

Games, Printables, Rhythm

Music Motor Match – A Rhythm Matching Game

A large percentage of my studio right now is beginner/early elementary students.  I like having simple and short games to play with them at the end of the lesson that reinforce concepts we are learning in their books.  Motor Music Match is a game that I created with these things in mind.  Take a look:

The point of the game is to match each car and sign to its proper place on the road where the rhythm value’s names are.  It’s a great game that only takes a minute or two, so it’s perfect for the end of the lesson where you have a little bit of extra time.  It would also work well to keep a copy of this game in your studio’s waiting room area.

When I first tested out this game with a student, he said, “There should be another level where it’s harder.”  That’s when I added the street signs.  :)  So, to follow his suggestion, first ask your student to match the cars.  When they are able to do that successfully, clear the road and add the signs to make the game a little harder.

To download the pdf for this game, visit the Printables > Games page and scroll down to the M’s for “Music Motor Match.”  Enjoy!

Group Classes, Music Theory, Teaching Piano, Worksheets

Music Worksheet: Identifying Space & Line Notes on the Staff

Here’s a new free music worksheet that I just added to the Printables page:

This worksheet introduces the idea of identifying the space notes on the staff using the mnemonics FACE and All Cows Eat Grass.  These are the only two mnemonics I use.  I don’t teach separate mnemonics for the line notes anymore (like Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge or Great Big Dogs Fight Animals) because it’s simply too much to try to keep 4 different mnemonics straight!  I have found that it’s easier for students to remember just two mnemonics and then learn to jump up a step from the nearest space note to identify a line note.

To download, visit the Printables > Worksheets page and scroll down to the I’s for “Identifying Space & Line Notes on the Staff.”  Enjoy!

Music Theory, Printables, Worksheets

Just Added: Treble & Bass Clef Worksheet

Today, a new worksheet was added to the Printables page, all about the treble clef and bass clef!

 

This worksheet uses dotted lines to teach the student how to draw the treble clef and bass clef. I also included a couple of illustrations in this worksheet showing the development of the clefs over the centuries. Our modern clefs still bear some resemblance to the letters G and F, which can be a helpful tool for students for remembering those landmark notes.  Students will find this bit of history interesting and memorable as they learn about the clefs!

To download this worksheet, please visit the Printables > Worksheets page and scroll down to the T’s for “Treble & Bass Clef Worksheet.”  Enjoy!

P.S.: Don’t forget to enter the giveaways from last week if you haven’t already.  Winners are going to be announced this week starting tomorrow!

Group Classes, Music Theory, Worksheets

Just Added: “Gallery of Music” Symbol Drawing Worksheets

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I have a free printable to share today…

This is a set of simple worksheets for having students learn to draw various music symbols.  The worksheets can be used singly or in groups, depending on what concepts your students are currently learning.  I would encourage students to use colorful crayons to draw the symbols.

Here are the symbols covered on each page:

  1. Quarter, half, dotted-quarter, and whole notes.
  2. Quarter, half, dotted-quarter, and whole rests.
  3. Single eighth note, beamed eighth notes, eighth rest, and dotted quarter note.
  4. Treble clef, bass clef, staff, and grand staff.
  5. Barline, double barline, repeat sign, and time signature.
  6. Forte, piano, mezzo forte, and mezzo piano.
  7. Sharp, flat, natural, quarter note with flat.
  8. Slur, tie, staccato, accent.

If you have suggestions for more symbols to include in additional worksheets, let me know!

To download this set of worksheets, visit the Printables > Worksheets page and scroll down to the G’s for “Gallery of Music – Symbol Drawing Worksheets.”

P.S.: I received an email yesterday from the MTNA Collegiate Chapter at Butler University, asking if I’d send a link to the survey they created about online marketing for piano teachers.  They are looking for responses to help them with a session they will be presenting at the MTNA National Conference in NYC next month.  Please take a minute of your time to help them out!   http://tinyurl.com/butlersurvey2012

P.S.S.: Today is the last day to sign up to attend the MTNA National Conference at the early registration discount!  Visit mtna.org to learn more.  Hope to see you in NYC!