Early Childhood Music, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Music Theory, Printables, Teaching Piano

Just Added: Musical Alphabet Cards

There are others who have shared alphabet card printables similar to what I’m posting today, but I’m adding mine to the mix anyway.  :)  I wanted some that would work well to print onto colored cardstock paper.  Since I don’t have a color printer, this is an easy way I can still get colorful things to use with my students!

I used these cards with my new weekly Homeschool Music Class (just started last week, thanks to Sheryl’s recent post at her Notable Music Studio blog) and with my Piano Readiness Class.  My students LOVED making “musical alphabet snakes” in order to learn how the musical alphabet is different from the regular alphabet.  Included in the pdf is a card which outlines some other possible activities to do using the cards.  These activities work great in both group settings and private lessons.

Do you have some other activities to share that involve alphabet cards?  Share them in the comments!

To Download: visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to the M’s for Musical Alphabet Cards.

  Musical Alphabet Cards (275.9 KiB, 14,360 hits)

Early Childhood Music, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Printables, Rhythm, Teaching Piano

Just Added: Rainy Rhythm Game

I’ve mentioned before that during grad school, I took an Early Childhood Music course.  One of the things we discussed was using the “sound before sight” philosophy – where the student is exposed to and experiences the concepts before being taught the name or the written notation.  I’ve been doing my best to use this philosophy of teaching music with my Piano Readiness students.

I was reminded of a raindrops & rainbows rhythm game one of my classmates created for an assignment during that course when I saw Anne Crosby’s recent post, which mentioned an activity involving finger-painting raindrops/rainbows.  It immediately occurred to me that the girls in my Piano Readiness Class would LOVE a game involving rainbows, so I put together this printable.  It’s nothing groundbreaking; I’m sure teachers before me have done similar things.  But hopefully this printable might be as useful and convenient for some of you as it was for me!

Continue reading “Just Added: Rainy Rhythm Game”

Printables, Studio Business

Just Added: Studio Planning Calendar

Just added to the Printables > Studio Business page:

Studio Planning Calendar

I needed some kind of calendar to keep track of both short-term and long-term studio-related projects…and came up with this!  Each month has space for 8 dates or “to-do” items.  The check boxes are so you can “check off” those to-do items with the utmost satisfaction.  :)

Here are some of the things I’m keeping track of using this calendar:

  • Piano tunings
  • Studio Recital(s) planning
  • Create monthly newsletter
  • Advertising
  • Summer camp planning
  • etc.
You are welcome to download and use this pdf in your own studio, as always!  I’ve left room at the top of the page for you to print your own logo across the top if desired — just send it through the printer a second time.
Printables, Studio Business

3 New Printables and 5 Others Updated!

To prepare for the new teaching year, I’ve been updating a plethera of my studio documents!  I finally have them all updated here online too on the Printables > Studio Business page.  If you are interested in using any of them, feel free.

The ones that are Microsoft Word documents can easily be edited to your personal needs.  On the pdf documents, I’ve left room on the top for you to print your own student name or logo if desired (just print it twice – once as is, and then run the sheet through the printer again this time adding your own personal touch).  Enjoy!

  • New! Record of Payments Due / Received – I use this to record checks and cash when I receive them from students/parents.  You can also use it to mark down books/sheet music that you purchase for students, so you can keep track of what has and hasn’t been paid for yet.
  • New! Student Scheduling Preferences – This 2-page document includes an empty scheduling table that allows students/parents to fill in their schedule and indicated their top 5 choices for lesson times, and to X out any times that will not work.  The first page is for the school year schedule and the second page is for the summer schedule.  This file is a Microsoft Word (docx) file, so it can be suitably edited to your needs.  There is room at the top of each page for your studio name or logo.
  • New! Studio Policies & Procedures (Sample) – This Microsoft Word (docx) file is a editable sample Studio Policies & Procedures.  If you are making your studio policies for the first time or are looking for ideas for adjusting your current policies, this may help you get started.
  • Updated! Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment – This 3-page document has been updated for the 2011-2012 year.  (see image at right for a preview)
  • Updated! Record of Student Achievements – This printable has been slightly updated in format.
  • Updated! First Lesson: Student Information Form – This printable has been updated to include a section for asking permission to use photos/videos of the student.  It is also now more suitable for using with both children and adult students.
  • Updated! First Lesson: Interview with Beginner Student – This printable has been updated in both format and content to reflect my evolving teaching style.  :)
  • Updated! First Lesson: Interview with Transfer Student – Same as above.
Performances, Printables

Just Added: Recital Program Template #3

It’s recital season!

Have you held your spring recital yet?  If you haven’t, here’s a new recital program template you are free to use if you like!

I currently have two recital templates on my Printables page and they are very popular downloads.  This one is in color, although it still looks pretty good in black and white if you plan to print it that way.

To download: Visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to “Piano Recital Program Template #3.”  I saved it as a “docx” this time, and I hope you all are still able to open it even if you don’t have the latest version of Microsoft Word.  Please let me know if you run into problems.

If your spring recital has already occurred, how did it go?  I’d love to hear all about it!

Group Classes, Music Theory, Printables, Teaching Piano, Worksheets

Just Added: Introduction To The Staff Worksheet

A new worksheet has just been added to the Printables > Worksheets page called:

Introduction To The Staff Worksheet

This worksheet is appropriate for beginners who are ready to be introduced to staff notation.  It is appropriate for use in both private and group settings.

Terms used in this worksheet:

  • line notes
  • space notes
  • treble clef
  • bass clef
  • middle C

Students are instructed to draw the items from the list above onto the staff provided.  This worksheet is great for use especially with visual and tactile learners, who benefit from drawing and seeing each symbol on paper.

To download the worksheet, click the link above and scroll down to the I’s.

Enjoy!

Ear Training, Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Printables, Rhythm

Just Added: The Rhythm Magnet Game

Here’s a fun movement/rhythm game to play with a group of students which I learned from a Dalcroze Eurhythmics instructor.  I call it the “Rhythm Magnet Game.”

The great thing about this game is that it helps students learn to associate the sound/experience of each rhythm value with it’s corresponding notation.  In Dalcroze and other methodologies (such as Orff), it’s important to experience the concept first and then put the notation and term to it.  This is the “sound before sight” principle.

The Rhythm Magnet Game

Background: This game is best intended for young children (preschool to beginner piano students).  Older students, however, may also find this game beneficial as an rhythm ear training experience and a lesson in keeping an internal pulse.  For this activity to be a success, students must have experience with the idea of quarter notes, half notes, dotted half notes, and/or whole notes (but not necessarily with the terms or written notation for each).  This game is perfect activity for teaching little ones to associate each rhythm value to its corresponding notation for the first time.

  1. Prepare by placing the quarter note poster, the half note poster, and the whole note poster at a different corners of the room.  Make a show of it (without much talking) so students watch to see where you are putting each note value.
  2. Instruct students: “Move towards what you hear.”
  3. Help the students establish the beat by patting their hands against their thighs.  Improvise simple ditties/chords on the piano.  Students must listen to identify whether you are playing quarter notes, half notes, etc. to the beat you’ve established with them.
  4. Once the students have moved to the correct corner of the room, change to another note value (with younger children, you may also call “Change!” to help alert them).  When/if students get confused or begin guessing, encourage them to “Find the beat!” so they can figure out the note value.  Continue this process until students get the hang of it.  If students run or get rowdy while moving towards each note value, instruct them to “step the beat” as they move around the room.
  5. Make the game more difficult by adding gradually adding the other note value posters, and by making changes more frequently.  Also, to add a twist mid-way through the activity, try mixing up the posters to new corners/areas of the room.

Students playing this game will soon discover that without checking with the pulse, they cannot determine which note value they are hearing.  This game is a great movement game to get students up and moving during a group lesson!  Have fun!!

To download the rhythm value posters you’ll need for this game, visit the the Printables > Games page and scroll down to the R’s for “Rhythm Magnet Game.”  Enjoy!

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

Printable Musical Dice

Just added to the Printables > Other Resources page: Musical Dice!

This is one of the projects I was working on over Christmas break!  I’m happy to now have it finished and posted.  =)

Here’s what the PDF contains:

  1. Basic Accidentals (6-sided dice) | This die allows for three possible rolls: sharp, flat, and natural.
  2. Basic Intervals Unison-3rd (6-sided dice) | This die allows for three possible rolls: unison, second, and third.
  3. Intervals Unison-8va (8-sided dice) | This die allows for eight possible rolls: unison, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8va. Continue reading “Printable Musical Dice”
Practice, Printables, Technique

Just Added: Scale and Arpeggio Fingering (2 Octaves) Reference Sheet

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve added a new printable to the Printables page….so here’s one I created a couple of months ago.  You can find it on the Printables > Other Resources page.

Scale and Arpeggio Fingering (2 Octaves) Reference Sheet (3 pages long)

I created this printable with my intermediate/advanced students in mind who are working on 2- and 4- octave scales/arpeggios and have trouble keeping all their fingerings straight in their head once they start getting them under their fingers.  It’s nice to have a guide tucked inside the front cover of a book to refer to now and then!

The document contains three pages:

Page 1: Rules and tricks for remembering scale and arpeggio fingerings (as shown on the right).

Page 2: A listing of the fingerings for each Major and Harmonic Minor scale/arpeggio (2-octave) for piano.

Page 3: A continuation of page 2.

Of course, there are a few different ways to finger scales and arpeggios, so I’m sorry if the fingerings listed in this printable do not correspond with the ones you prefer to teach your students.  These are the ones I like to use, and I thought I’d share it with anyone who might happen to find it useful.

I did my best to proof-read the fingerings, but it is certainly possible that I may have missed something….so if you encounter something that seems sketchy, please let me know!

Games, Group Classes, Music Camps, Music Theory, Printables

DIY: Musical AlphaGems

I recently have made what I have decided to call “Musical AlphaGems.”  These fun little gems have many uses: they fit well on my DIY Silent Mini Keyboards and also work well on paper printed of the staff (such as this one by Susan Paradis, which is pictured in the second photo below).

I got the inspiration for these Musical AlphaGems from those little magnets that have been so popular over the last couple of years (see this blog article).    Continue reading “DIY: Musical AlphaGems”