Sorting Out the Piano Classics

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I’m proud to announce I am an affiliate for the Piano Teachers Academy. If you have ever wished you could attend Elizabeth Gutierrez’s workshops but lived too far away, now is your chance to attend online in the comfort of your home. I would like to invite you to attend her online course: “Sorting Out the Piano Classics.”

Elizabeth is my friend, but more than that, she has been a mentor to me as a piano teacher for years. She is the piano teacher’s piano teacher. Not only has she taught piano pedagogy at the college level and given many workshops, she also teaches private piano students. Elizabeth knows how to explain things and she knows what works. She has a knack for giving practical advice that you can easily carry over to your lessons.

This workshop is for piano teachers who want a guide through teaching the classics. So many times I would like to give a classical piece to students but I’m not sure if they are ready for it. There are books but they only give a list, not a discussion on how to teach the music. There is great music out there that students throughout the ages have enjoyed and we owe it to our students to expose this music to them. I polled my students and over half of them said they wanted to play classical music. Students often go through stages with what they like, and when the time is right, we need to be there for them.

I was fortunate that my piano teacher introduced me to classical music early. I fell in love with it. My teacher even called up my mother to tell her I was “special” because I appreciated good music. Well, I don’t think I was special. I enjoyed all kinds of music, and good music is good music. One minute I was playing Bach and the next I was playing pop music with lead sheets. But there was something special about the sound of the classics and how the notes fit under the hands that I enjoyed. But if my teacher had not introduced me to classical music at an early age, I don’t know if I would have majored in music.

Elizabeth’s course has over seven hours of video that will guide you through teaching classics at all levels. There are demonstrations on how to teach the most common classical pieces as well as some lesser known music. She will give you tips that you can use right away with your students. The course includes handouts to match pieces with the method books students are in, as well as other helpful handouts.

When I signed up for the course, Elizabeth told me teachers will have lifetime access to the videos and the hand outs. That means I can go back and watch it again if I need a review or lose a handout.

Right now the course is offered at the introductory price of $120.00 until October 1, so don’t wait to check it out!

Here is how to view a free sample class.

  • Click my link here.
  • When that opens, click on the image.
  • Scroll down to “Class Curriculum.” Click the small down arrow under the 3 modules (before the FAQ).
  • This will open the entire curriculum. Scroll down to “The Black Hole: What to do at the Intermediate Level.
  • The third chapter is free. Click the “Preview” button.
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Filed under Music Reviews, Teaching Business

Bats and Cats Note Board Game

Bats and Cats Note Game

Bats and Cats Note Board Game – 6 page file including note flash cards

Keyboard cards to use with Bats and Cats game

Bats and Cats Keyboard Cards – one page

One of the reasons I started making my own games years ago is because I couldn’t find any affordable games for piano students that could be played in 5 minutes.  I need games that don’t take longer than going through flash cards.

After I made the LadyBug game and discovered how much students like it yet how well it helps students learn notes, I started making variations of it for different times of the year. [If you would prefer some Fall games without the Halloween theme, here is the link to some. Fall Music Games. I’ve also made a lot of Thanksgiving games.]

But I added a twist to this version: The Card of Doom!

I originally posted this several years ago without the keyboard flash cards which are posted above in a separate file. You can use the other cards along with it. When I plan to use this game I post a sign on my door that says, “Beware the Card of Doom.” Of course my students know it’s just a joke.

The original file contains 6 pages:

  • The board game
  • The optional colorful back
  • Three pages of flash cards
  • Fun directional cards, including the Card of Doom

How to Print

  • Set your printer to landscape. For a fabulous looking game board, use photo paper and laminate.
  • Insert photo paper to print the game board. When the print box opens up, under “Pages to Print” select “Pages.” In the dialog box, type “1” because you are only printing the first page. Set it aside to dry.
  • Insert card stock to print the cards. Under “Pages to Print” select “Pages” again and type “2-5.” If you can only print one page of card stock at a time, type a different number for each page.
  • To print the back of the flash cards, re-insert the printed card pages so that you will be printing on the back. Under “Pages to Print” select “Pages” and type “6” because it is the 6th page that has the colorful back. [To keep from wasting ink, be sure you know how to do this. See my FAQ. ]

Directions

This game can be played with students only, or teacher and student. The players take turns drawing cards and moving to the correct alphabet name. Mix up the note cards with the instruction cards.  The game is over when a player draws any note card after the last D. I try to make sure the students win more than they lose, so sometimes I have to get creative!

Objectives

  • To reinforce or learn note names on the staff
  • To learn the word “octave.”

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Filed under Games, Halloween, Note Identification

The Boy Who Didn’t Like Halloween, Two Levels with Duet

The Boy Who Didn't Like Halloween

The Boy Who Didn’t Like Halloween  $3.99  Two Versions, Three Scores Included

Unlimited Printing Within Your Studio

Level One Version mp3 with Duet

Students Love Halloween Music!

They also like funny songs. The Boy Who Didn’t Like Halloween is a child-centered piece for students from first to fourth grade. I wrote it like a ballad, so I tell my students it is a song to play on the piano. The words are funny and my students laughed out loud.  I based the words on things my students have said over the years, so I think they can relate. Of course there is a happy ending!

As a side note, I tried so hard to remove the 8th notes from Level One.  But since the words are the rhythm, I just couldn’t make it work. And frankly, this song is all about the words. I suggest if the 8th notes are bothersome in the Level One version, either teach the rhythm by rote or change the eighths to quarter notes.

Two Levels Are Included 

I thought several of my students at different levels  would enjoy this, so I wrote it in a Level One and an easy Level Two version. The versions are in different keys to fit the levels. I also wrote a teacher duet to go with the Level One version. But instead of writing a hard-to-read duet on one staff that even my parents with years of piano lessons have trouble with, I wrote it on two staves so that it is easy for parents or an older student with a few years of piano to play along.  Also included in an ink-saving cover which I put on the front page using the “fast” setting on my printer to save even more ink. I think a little art helps with artistry. Please note that the accompaniment (duet part) is for the Level One version only, but both versions are stand alone pieces that can be played solo at recitals.

This is a studio license, so a single teacher can make unlimited copies of each level. 

 

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Filed under Halloween, Holiday Music, Store

Practice Chart 2016

I have a few notices before I discuss today’s post. First, a gigantic thank you to my readers for supporting the website. Without your help I would not have been able to manage this blog for the last 10 years, especially now that it is so huge with such an extensive data base. I am about a year behind in writing thank you notes and I apologize for that.

The second notice is about my store. My website platform had a problem in their last update. If  you buy something in my store, I temporarily will have to personally email the file to you. I was told that the email problem will be fixed soon. In the meantime, I am enjoying emailing my music to you and getting your feedback!

If you purchased an item using PayPal and never received it, please let me know.

Practice Chart 2016

Practice Chart

Today’s post is an editable practice chart that matches my new 2016 design.  Be sure and reinforce the holes if you put it in a binder.

This PDF file is editable so you can choose the title. There is not a lot of room, so adjust your text to fit.  You can add your student’s name or type something like Practice Chart or Practice Log. You can also leave it blank. If you are new to editable PDF files, here are some instructions.

Directions

  • Open the PDF in the latest version of Adobe Reader. (This is the same free program you use to print all of my material.)
  • With your mouse, click about an inch down in the middle. (Use the image above to help find where the editable field is.)
  • A light blue text field box with a blinking cursor in the middle will show up where you should type. The blue box will not show up when printed!
  • Type your text in the box, adjusting your wording to fit.
  • I formatted the blue text fields to be centered so you will be starting in the center of the box.
  • Save the blank file so you can use it again with different text.

Can’t open the PDF files? Check out my frequently asked questions from the menu bar above.  Teachers have reported problems with the Windows 10 Edge browser and successfully use Chrome or Explorer instead.

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