It’s that time of year — time to pull out my Trick-or-Treat! rhythm game! During the weeks leading up to Halloween, I like to use my Trick-or-Treat rhythm game at pretty much every student’s lesson. It’s a fun way to make students “earn” their treat, and it’s such a great game for building their rhythm skills. Best of all, they LOVE this game!Continue reading “Getting out my Trick-or-Treat rhythm game!”
Back in 2017, I shared my “About Me” Student Profile cards that I hung on the walls in my studio. Now that I am moved back to Michigan and am settled in my new studio, I figured it was time to do something similar again! I love for my students to feel part of a studio community and be able to see each other’s faces, even if only thanks to photos. 😉
And so, I started browsing Pinterest and Amazon to find ideas for various ways to display student photos. In this blog post, I’ll share some of the best ideas I found as well as the resulting photo wall I ended up with for my students. I’ll also share a couple of free printables I created in the process, which you are welcome to use for your own photo wall. Read on, friends!Continue reading “How to Create a “MEET OUR PIANISTS” Student Photo Wall”
As mentioned yesterday, my students collaborated to create a special video as the “grand finale” of our Countdown to the New Year project. Today, I’m sharing the video for you to see.
Please enjoy our take on The 12 Days of Christmas!
I hope you enjoy our fun little video. Credit goes to my student, Elijah, for the idea. Because it was a somewhat last-minute project, and we kept it simple — each student learned only the RH melody for their assigned day. But I think it turned out pretty great regardless!
I’m thinking about doing it again next year. I have some ideas for expanding it a bit.
If you are curious to hear more about the behind-the-scenes planning and video editing, could you let me know? If there’s enough interest, perhaps I’ll write up a blog post or even create a purchasable kit with everything you need!
Thanks for watching!
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”
What happens when you are teaching lessons online and your student needs a new music book? My tuition fee includes the cost of books/materials, so I am accustomed to handling the acquisition of books for students as needed. Since we’ve been online, it’s not quite as simple as handing the book to the student!
So, here’s what my approach has been. (1) If the student lives nearby, I can do a porch drop-off. (2) I can mail the books to them. Or, (3) I can order the books online and have them shipped directly to the student’s address.
When mailing a package or doing a porch drop-off, it’s fun to include some kind of surprise for the student along with books! I’ve been raiding my studio prize box to find some fun, mailable items.Continue reading “Piano Pouches: Something Fun for New Online 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
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!
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.
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!
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”
When I was a 5-year-old beginner piano student, I remember being re-assigned one-/two-line method book pieces when the only thing lacking was dynamic contrast. And I remember being frustrated with this. My frustration was partly due to the fact that I was bored with the music I was playing; I wanted to be reading staff notation instead of pre-staff notation, as my mother taught me to do before she found me a piano teacher. Regardless, having to re-practice pieces that were already mastered, due to forgetting to drop from forte-piano to piano in one place was a hard thing for me to swallow.
Looking back, I do realize the importance of dynamics. As a teacher, I am a stickler about them even with the most beginner of students. However, as tempting as it is, I do not generally reassign a beginning-level piece from a method book if the ONLY thing lacking is the dynamics. I have decided that holding a student back in their progress is not worth it, because learning to observe dynamic markings is something that can be mastered over time through the next few pieces in their method books. Continue reading “Dynamics & The Beginner Piano Student”
It has been awhile since we did a Forum Q&A post (how did that happen?!). Last time, we discussed how to help students who are frustrated by the mistakes they make, large or small. You can read all the responses by clicking here.
Today, I’d like to hear about Christmas gifts for piano students!
Do you give your students a gift at Christmas? If so, what are you giving this year? What have you given in previous years?
Please share in the comment section below this post!
I recently had a current student refer a new student to me for piano lessons. The best kind of marketing is word-of-mouth, so I am always happy when parents/students are willing to tell others about my services! So I decided to give a little gift as a token of my appreciation:
I created this T-shirt at printfection.com, and accompanied it with a thank you card. 🙂
Also: I wanted to use this post to announce the winner of the candle giveaway: It’s commenter #12, Pauline! Congrats! Please check your inbox for an email from me.
The winners of the other giveaways will be announced over the next few days.
Today’s post brings a new Forum Q&A topic, and another GIVEAWAY!
Our last Forum Q&A discussion was about perfectionism. It’s never too late to add your thoughts to the comments, so feel free to hop over there and join in the conversation! I plan to follow up with an article on perfectionism to discuss this topic further at some point, but haven’t gotten to it yet! So many ideas, so little time… 🙂
Today’s new Q&A topic is about assignment notebooks. I’m curious –
What is your method of writing down assignments for students? Do you use a notebook (if so, any particular size/type?) or do you have a custom-made sheet you designed on the computer? What kinds of things are usually included on a typical assignment?
Today’s giveaway is a pair of decorative balls, decoupaged by hand with vintage sheet music: Continue reading “Forum Q&A: Assignment Notebook/Pages for Students”
Guess what! Tomorrow is Color In My Piano’s THREE YEAR anniversary! Woohoo! I’ve got a few fun posts and giveaways planned for later this week in honor of our anniversary. But today, I thought I’d share this new printable: