Category Archives: Teaching Business

B&W Assignment Sheets

Editable Assign Pages in Black and White

Editable B&W Assignment Page

B&W Assignment Page (ready-made)

One of the most popular downloads on my site over the years has been the black and white assignment page on my old website. Today I am posting an updated version, the one with the major and minor circle of 5th on each side of the page. This is just like the one I posted last week except there is no color, for those of you without color printers.

I made it in two versions. One is ready-made; just print and use. The other has text fields for you to label your own categories. When a PDF is “editable” this means that you can fill in specific blanks in the PDF with your own wording. You will not be able to change fonts and sizes. Lines, graphics, and words that are in the original cannot be changed. I hope the following graphic tutorial will help you personalize this PDF. Now, if you see a cute PDF form or worksheet that is “editable” you will know how to do it!

How To Use Editable PDF

 

 

 

 

 

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Assignment Page Template-Editable

Editable Assignment PageEditable Assignment Page (type in your own wording)

Assignment Page (you cannot edit this one)

I made a new assignment sheet to match my color theme for this year. If you’ve been following for the last few weeks, you will notice this coordinates with the calendar and binder cover. If you’ve ever used my assignment sheets before, this one is similar, but I made some changes I think I’m going to like better. One thing I really wanted to change was the staff. In the old version there wasn’t enough space to write ledger line notes.

I print on the front and back of each page. I punch holes in BOTH sides of the page. That way, all I have to do is turn the page over and put it back into the binder. This saves a lot of paper and saves space inside the binder.

I’ve had so many teachers tell me they love the ability to edit PDF’s, so I decided to make one assignment page editable just for my readers. :) If you have never edited a PDF document before, I written some instructions. Email me if you can’t figure it out.

Directions on how to edit a PDF

  • Open the PDF in the latest version of Adobe Reader. (This is the same free program you should use to print all of my material.)
  • There are about 12 text fields. You do not have to use them all.
  • Some of the text fields are centered and some start on the left side.
  • Select “Highlight Existing Fields.” This will show you where to type.
  • You should see a large blinking cursor.
  • Type any text you desire, but it has to fit in the field.
  • After you have edited the assignment page, save it with a different file name so you can use it again.

Printing on Both Sides

I have a duplex printer, which means it will print on both sides of the paper. In order to do that with a PDF, you need a two page PDF document. Then select the duplex (two-sided) option on your printer. If you don’t have that option, print on one side and use a test sheet to figure out how to print on the other side without getting it upside down.

I use an inexpensive electric hole punch that I bought from Amazon. It’s lightweight plastic and I was worried it wouldn’t last, but I’ve had it for several years now with no problems.  If you use the link to buy it, a small percent goes to me to help defray the website hosting fees. Thank you to those who help support this site because without your help it would not be possible!

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Back to School Calendar and Post Cards

Calendar-2015-16

Scheduling Calendar 2015-16

I remember when Arlene (a wonderful piano teacher/judge) showed me her studio calendar. It had dates on the sides and her piano studio schedule typed in the middle. I had never seen a calendar quite like this so I set about making one. By putting this calendar on the cover of my students’ binders, I solved the problem, once and for all, of remembering when events were scheduled.

I also added something that is one of the smartest things I ever did. I put in a “Deadline to be Memorized” date. If you have ever sweated it out before a student performance and the piece is still not memorized, you know what I’m talking about.

So I have a firm memorization date and it has really taken a lot of stress out of festivals and recitals.

Some teachers have asked me if I let students play in my recital if they don’t have their music memorized by a certain date, and the answer is yes, I do let them play!  There is always some kind of work-around: a back up piece, using the music, or playing a duet. My students know I am really big on back-up pieces. But for events such as festivals where parents pay money and students get a grade, I’m firm about the memorization deadline.

Today I present my 2015-2016 academic calendar. It is designed for you to print, re-insert it into your printer and using you favorite word processing program, typing your schedule of events and holidays for each month.

Set margins about 2 inches on each side and about 1.5″– 2″ from the top. After printing, insert it in the clear cover of their binder. For good measure, email a copy to parents.

To save ink and paper,  type and print your schedule on blank paper and hold it under my calendar in a bright window. Then you can see how well your typing will fit. Adjust your layout as necessary and save if you want to use it next year because I usually use about the same margins.

I made this to be an ink-saving design, with just a little color to make it fun. I drew everything, including the pattern on the border. The color you see on the screen will not be the printed color. Mine looks dark navy blue when I print it. Blue on a monitor is hard to match on desktop printers. If you’re a member of MTNA, don’t forget the discount at Office Depot/Office Max.

I’ve also included some printable post cards to remind parents when lessons resume.

I make this calendar every year, and once your students get used to it, they will always want one!

 

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The Berry Basket: The Story of a Rescued Piano Book

BerryBasket

One of the perks of having my own blog is that I can sit at my computer and ramble on about anything. Today, I’m going to tell you about a little out-of-print piano book I found on the internet.

I’m not sure what sent me to a site on Etsy that sold vintage ephemera, which is a fancy word for old printed collectables.  Somehow I found myself looking through a selection of used vintage piano books the shop was selling to cut up and use for crafts. How sad, I thought, that these old books, once lovingly handed to young children and toted back and forth to piano lessons with the hope that the children would fall in love with piano, are now reduced to being cut up for who knows what.

As I was looking and reminiscing, I came upon a 1953 piano book that looked so charming I had to take a close up look. It was named The Berry Basket, and it had the cutest vintage art on the cover. The seller had some pictures of the inside art (with no mention of the music), and I knew I had to get it.  The price was only $3.00 so I clicked the buy button. In a few days, there it was in the mail, saved from destruction and in the hands of someone who could appreciate it!

The book is written for beginners, and the first pieces are only 8 measures long, with sweet, vintage drawings on every page. Each little piece has simple, child-like lyrics.

I was happy to discover the music is in different 5-finger positions and keys. There are no C position pieces in the entire book!  The lyrics are very simple and childlike, back when young children were more innocent and didn’t know the questionable lyrics of today’s popular music.

Since this is a previously used book, there are markings from the teacher.

“Work out notes H.S. Don’t Guess.”  

“Count.”  

“Slow.” 

Some things never change in piano!

According to the preface, the music and words were written by the Sisters of the Holy Cross attending a music workshop in Salt Lake City, conducted by Bernice Frost, a well-known composer of piano teaching music last century.

I wonder what Bernice Frost said in her workshop that inspired the Sisters of the Holy Cross to compose this music? The preface says the book offers, “… development in the basic requirements of elementary musical training. Foremost among these are ear-training, singing, keyboard range and feel, essential points of technic, and pianistic style.”  Maybe Bernice Frost gave them ideas of all the many things that can be done at a piano lesson besides just playing the music. I like to think so.

Maybe the child who used this book is now a piano teacher in his or her golden years, with hundreds of former students who love piano music! I like to think that, too!

The Berry Basket Published by J. Fischer Bros

The Berry Basket
Published by J. Fischer Bros

 

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