Monthly Archives: March 2009

Come Christians, Join to Sing (Pre-Reading)


Come Christians, Join to Sing

It seems to be hard to find pre-reading hymns for Easter, so I arranged this one for one of my students. This is a good hymn for beginners because of the simple rhythm and it has long been a favorite of children.

I’m posting this before I actually try it out with a student, which I don’t like to do, but Easter will be here very soon so I thought I’d better post it at the beginning of the week. If If there are any mistakes or trouble spots, I’ll fix them and re-post the music.

1 Comment

Filed under Pre-reading, Preschool Music Resources

Offer from Hal Leonard



The 48 page Spring Catalog from Hal Leonard features  titles that are all 40% off for teacher desk references. This includes the composer statues some teachers give as rewards.  Also included are some Henle and many Schirmer editions with and without CD’s,  popular piano music of all levels, and all of the Hal Leonard Method books and supplements. There is a limit to the amount of copies you can order and Hal Leonard encourages you to order more from your favorite  music dealer. 

The catalog also has a CD sampler enclosed with over 100 excerpts. I love to get this kind of CD sampler because I can listen to it in the car as I run my errands and save a little time.

One new item in the Hal Leonard Piano Method is the All-In-One-Lesson book. It “combines selected pages from the Piano Lesson, Technique, Solos, Theory Workbook, and Practice Games into one easy-to-manage book.”  It looks like only Book A  is  available at this time, but perhaps more levels will come out.  If you like this method and you’re planning  to start a new student in a family that always seems to leave some of their books at home, or if you want to limit the amount of books a student has, you might want to check this out. This method teaches reading by intervals in a sequence that is accessible for every child.

Comments Off

Filed under Music Reviews, Teaching Business

Making a Box For Flash Cards


Do you have flash cards laying all around the table in your piano studio. Do they seem to multiply on their own?  I’ve tried  wrapping them with a rubber band but the rubber band either breaks or students take it off and I can’t find a new one. My husband suggested I make a box like playing cards come in.  I thought that was such a good idea I’d try it. So here, for your arts and crafts enjoyment is how to make a box for your flash cards that are the size of playing cards.

I used card stock, Staples brand 110 pound paper. If you anything thicker, it might not fold well, but you can be the judge of that.  Print out the front of the box and cut it out.  


If you click the link below,  you can see the folding lines for the box and also print out a blank box template.



You don’t really need to print on the reverse, but if you do, be sure to use the graphic side when you cut it out because it is very hard to match up front and back precisely on a home printer. It might be easier to just look at where the folding lines are and fold accordingly.

Use a ruler as a guide to fold so you will have a straight crease. An ordinary glue stick worked well to glue along the sides. I used a generous amount of glue. 

 To set up the glue, I inserted a deck of real playing cards, not the ones I made, and wrapped some rubber bands around the pack to let it sit overnight.

My flash cards don’t quite fill up the box. I left some room in case you want to add a few extra cards.

The flash cards pictured can be used with the “Who Am I Swat Game” . The directions for this game by Cecilly can be found here. 


Filed under Teaching Business

Inverting Triads


I believe humor helps students learn, as well as making a subject that could be dry a lot more interesting. Such is the case with music theory.

Inverting Triads is another in my series of posters about triads. The little note people are back, and if your students saw the Mighty Dot poster they will recognize him in the corner rolling his eyes. At least in my mind that’s what he’s doing. :)

If you laminate this poster, students can write the note names with an erasable pen on each note to help them more fully understand the concept. Then you can erase and use it with the next student. This really saves on printing costs and keeps the student from stuffing it in his book bag and never seeing it again. I keep these posters on the table in my studio so students can take a look and maybe learn something before they are actually taught the concept. Don’t forget you can laminate with clear self adhesive covering.

If you haven’t seen my other humorous instructional sheets  similar to this, you can click Traveling Triads, Circle of Fifths, Whole and Half Rest ,  and the Meet Mighty Dot poster where Mighty Dot is introduced. 


1 Comment

Filed under NoteBoys, Texas State Theory Test, Theory

Game Board for Measure Mania



You really don’t need a game board to play Measure Mania, but if you want one, you can print it out if you click the link above.   I thought it would be more interesting for the students if they had some lines to put their cards on, and this it what it turned into. This game board is not on my website, so print it from here if you’re interested. They can put each beat on one line, as my student did in the picture in my last post. I have 6 lines, in case you want to play the game with 6/8 time.

 If you didn’t see my last post with the cards and directions for this game, you can print out the little cards and the directions here. This is a game for students who have a fairly good knowledge of dotted eighth and sixteenth notes.

Below are two different game boards that students have been playing on. I had to decide if I wanted to post the green or the blue. I decided on the green because it matches the wild card better. 


1 Comment

Filed under Rhythm, Texas State Theory Test, Theory