Monthly Archives: October 2008

Away In a Manger

Thanks for taking my poll about what to post next. Since most voted to go ahead and start Christmas material now, I’m posting Away In a Manger.  Of course some of you may want it in pre-reading form and I’ll be glad to post that if I get some requests.

Originally I had a lot of finger numbers in this piece because my student had some learning problems and the fingering made it so much more helpful. We want our students to enjoy Christmas music and not dread working on it. I took out the extra finger numbers because it is easier for a teacher to add needed ones than to white out the extra.

If you are a new teacher, don’t be scared away by the dotted quarter like I used to be if I had not introduced it formally.  Just tell them to play it like they sing it and not worry about counting. If you’re a “by the book, everything has to be counted” kind of teacher, you probably won’t be reading this anyway. This blog is more for teachers who think outside the box.  New teachers, just be creative and have them tap the rhythm on the fall board, or a drum, or jump the rhythm, while you sing with them. They will get it! And if they also dot the 2nd and 3rd measure, let them do it. Trust me, it will not ruin them to Beethoven in the future or keep them from being drum major in the band. The main thing is we want them to enjoy Christmas music because they discover they CAN do it. Besides, good little musicians are going to put in the dotted rhythm anyway. When they tell me they don’t understand it, I tell them not to worry, they will one day. Then I say or do something silly and we go on from there. You will have plenty of other pieces where you can be the rhythm police and get out the foam board rhythm pizza.

I’m going to set up a new category called Holiday Music to make it easier to find all the Thanksgiving and Christmas music I hope to post. I have a turkey worksheet to post, also.


Filed under Elementary Music, Holiday Music

Christmas or Thanksgiving Activities?

I try to blog every weekday, but today I am having trouble with my eyes again and I won’t be able to do much at the computer.  However, I am wondering when to start posting Christmas and Thanksgiving activities and music. Stored in my computer are some familiar early level Christmas and Thanksgiving hymns, carols, and worksheets I can post and I have some ideas for some new worksheets. I can also change the carols into pre-reading if I get any requests for specific titles. 

If you like my to download material from my blog, please take a second to take this poll so I can help you better. I have no way of tracking these polls, so you will not ever be contacted by me unless you email me.  

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Filed under Teaching Business

Kandy Keys

Kandy Keys

Linda suggested a fun way to practice key signatures. She gave her students a bag of candy corn and they would use them to place key signatures. I like the way she said she would magically change them from sharps to flats. Teaching children is so much fun!

At first I thought I would make this up for next year because it’s kind of late for Halloween, but I notice that teachers are downloading my Halloween stuff like mad this week, so maybe this will reach a few teachers who would like one more Halloween activity. Besides, you can do it next week when candy is on sale. 🙂

I want to do a Christmas worksheet like this, and maybe also one to put notes on the staff.  Does anyone have an idea for candy that would fit this size staff and is not too messy?


Filed under Note Identification

Two Hundred and Fifty Degree Chicken Recipe

This blog is about ideas for piano teachers and that includes all aspects of teaching, such as what do you fix for your family.

If you teach piano in your home and have a family like a lot of us do, you probably have a staple of quick things to fix for dinner. Or maybe you have a spouse who does it for you. Maybe it’s just you and you want to eat healthy. No matter, this is a great recipe to put in the oven before you start teaching, and it’s done when you are. When my children were little I fixed this a lot and my husband never got tired of it.

Take a whole chicken ( about 3 pounds) and salt well on the outside and inside. It is important to salt well on the inside because the salt will permeate throughout the chicken while it cooks.  You can sprinkle whatever spices you want on the outside. I’ve used black pepper, red pepper, garlic powder, paprika, rosemary, ground mustard, but not all at the same time. Add whatever you want or just salt and pepper if your family likes it that way.

You can stuff the cavity with chopped onions or not. I usually do not because I’m always in a hurry.

Place in roasting pan breast side down. Roast uncovered at 250 degrees at least 5 hours. It can go longer, but you want the chicken to reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees, which it will in 5 hours. The chicken will be golden brown, soft and tender.

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Filed under Teaching Business