Monthly Archives: March 2009

Tic Tac Toe Note Toss Game


My friend Cecilly has been busy creating new Games by Cecilly™.  She generously shares these games with all piano teachers. This is a simple game that is with directions so easy,  even I can figure it out! (Ive never been good at reading directions and I either need a picture or some other way to learn. Teaching is all about learning styles.)  If you have some seasonal  bean bag toys such as chicks or bunnies,  set them out and ask your students to pick their favorite to toss. You can play this game at a lesson, or it could be a fun group lesson game. I took the picture above with one of my bean bag toys I keep in the studio just for fun. 

You might wonder how this is any different from just doing flash cards sitting at the piano. Well, this gets the student off the bench and in a different frame of mind. It breaks up the routine and makes piano lessons more fun.

Here are the directions from Cecilly:

Materials needed: 9 note flash cards, a bean bag to toss.
Set up: Place 9 note flash cards face up or face down on the floor in a tic tac toe grid fashion.
To Play: The student stands at a distance and tosses the bean bag to the grid of cards. Which ever card the bean bag lands on is the one the student must name (or play on the piano). If correct, Turn the card over. If incorrect, remove the card.
Continue, having the student toss, trying to win a 3 in a row, or until all cards have been landed on and named/played.     -Cecilly





Filed under Cecilly's Games, Note Identification

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.

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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.

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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