WordPress, the host of this blog, has an interesting announcement. You can now sign up for email notices when there is a new post on my blog. Simply click on “Sign Me Up” on the right side of this page and follow the directions. I have had many teachers email me and ask if there was an easy way to receive email notification for new posts, and now there is! This is different from the RSS subscription. By the way, I will never use your email address except to reply to a message you send me. I usually post several times a month and more often during certain times. If you get tired of the notifications you can easily unsubscribe. I subscribe to several blogs because sometimes I get busy and forget to check up on the lastest posts.
Light Up the Tree
I have made several coloring sheets for Christmas, but they only had notes around middle C. This one has the notes from bass C to treble C. I might have students color this while they wait on their siblings or use at a group lesson. One of my students didn’t know that Christmas lights could be in color since so many people use clear lights now!
Coming soon will be the same notes with a Chanukah theme. In the meantime, there is a Chanukah composing activity on my website.
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
I arranged this a few years ago for a student who was in-between levels 1 and 2. We wanteds something a little more fancy than just the melody. I am posting it here to share with you. Over the summer I spruced it up a little. I added some color, put Santa on a diet, and wrote the words to the second verse.
I have a set of jingle bells that I like to play during the introduction and coda while the student plays the song. They won’t miss the rhythm if they think “Jin-gle Bells -rest” as they play the first 3 measures. When the bass has the melody in measure 9, sometimes I’ll sing it as written, and sometimes up an octave with a funny voice. We get really silly and have lots of fun. You can also use it as a learning experience and discuss singing up and down octaves. While it’s old hat to us, it can be a new concept for our young students.
I was on vacation for a while and haven’t posted some of the things I worked on before I left. I have a few more Christmas solos that I hope to get up soon.
I hope everyone had a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving! I am thankful for all the teachers who have emailed me with comments and suggestions. It means a lot to me to hear from all of you!
Deck the Halls
The other day I was looking for an arrangement of this for one of my students and I couldn’t find the level I needed, so I wrote one.
Here is a word of advise for non-piano teachers reading this who might want to print it out for themselves or their children. While this looks very easy, playing different melody lines in each hand like I wrote in this piece is a skill that takes a lot of practice for most children. If they have not done it before, they will probably get frustrated. There are also some finger crossings, changes of positions, and dotted quarter notes which a lot of first and second year students have not been taught. I do not suggest giving this to an elementary student in his first year of piano. If a student can play the C Major scale hands together, he is probably ready for this.
Last year I polished up and I posted some Thanksgiving worksheets that I had used over the years. I have so much material on my website that it is hard to find some of the older things, so I am reposting them today. You won’t need all of these, but you can pick and choose what intrests you. I plan to use some of them at my group lessons right before Thanksgiving.
This is a quick worksheet for beginners who are just learning the names of their notes. You can also use it to play games or to pass out at a group lesson. Be sure to print in landscape mode.
Funny Thanksgiving Food
I was in a whimsical mood when I made this. (I’m usually in a whimsical mood. I don’t know when I’ll grow up!) If you have some younger students who are still learning their keys on the piano, they will enjoy this. You can also use it with your own young children and let them color the funny food.
Color the Feathers
This is another worksheet that you can use at group lessons or with your own children. Be sure and check out the black and white version if you want them to color the entire thing. This is also something you can give to children who are waiting for other siblings and have nothing to do.
Turkey Find the Notes
It is real easy to set your PDF dialog box to 2 on a page and save some paper. Then you can use it for several weeks to see if your student’s time improves.
Usually Thanksgiving gets lost in piano lessons as we prepare for Christmas so I hope you enjoy the change of pace.