Last chance for Piano Camp VIP Bundle

Hurry! This bundle is only available until Tuesday, Nov. 28 at midnight Central.  

Piano Camp for Piano Teachers VIP Bundle

This will be the LAST CHANCE ever to grab the “2017 VIP Bundle.”   After Nov. 28, the VIP Bundle and it’s discounted price will never be offered again.

It’s also the last chance to enroll in the complete “2017 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers with Marvin Blickenstaff.”  After Nov. 28, this group of 4 sessions will no longer be available for its bundled price of $147.  They will become separate courses at varied prices. Check out my post here to read about Marvin’s excellent sessions.

Budget-friendly monthly payment plans are available for all courses! 

This HOLIDAY PROMOTION will end on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at midnight Central.

If you have been considering taking these high quality piano pedagogy courses, sign up now and plan to watch them later when things aren’t so busy! You can sign in with your mobile device and listen as you travel over the holidays.

Sorting Out the Piano Classics is a high quality pedagogy class by the “teacher’s teacher” Elizabeth Gutierrez. If you are a little unsure about how to expand beyond method books and sequentially teach wonderful classical piano pieces students love to play, this course is for you.

Marvin Blickenstaff is one of the legends in piano pedagogy and you will learn so much about how to be an excellent piano teacher.

“He teaches in the most positive, encouraging, beautiful way. He tells a story, shares the history, paints a picture, evokes a feeling… so that by the time the student plays the piece again, it is utterly transformed. And so are we, the listeners. Marvin Blickenstaff is Magical. -Amy Barker, College Station, Tx.” 


Sign up before Nov. 28 at midnight!

 

 

 

 

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The Happy Christmas Comes Once More – Det Kimer Nu Til Julefest

O Fir Tree Dark, O Fir Tree Dear

The Happy Christmas Comes Once More

Det Kimer Nu Til Julefest

This beautiful Danish Christmas carol has such a sweet, folk song sounding melody and easy words for children, that I’ve often wondered why it is not more common in the US.

Once reason might be that maybe there weren’t as many Danish people in English-speaking countries to spread it around. It is very popular in Denmark and you can watch some performances on YouTube. Here is one with orchestra and young singers:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCd-zIAcx6A

Another reason might be the various texts that use this melody. The tune is found on Christmas recordings by Bing Crosby with words titled O Fir Tree Dark, O Fir Tree Dear. The lyrics are about the Christmas tree, and “the lovely Christmas story tell.”

There are other translations of the original Danish carol, sometimes translated “The Bells of Christmas Chime Once More.” Bells are mentioned in the first line in the original Danish words, and you can hear the bells in the YouTube video above.

When I decided to arrange an easy version of this lovely carol as part of my collection of elementary Christmas music for children, it was really hard to decide which words I should use with the tune. I chose this version because it is found in more hymnals and is easy for children to understand.

I arranged it in the key of C with the starting right hand thumb on D. There is one tricky spot where the hand moves and the second finger crosses over. And, of course, there is the dotted quarter note which you will have to teach by rote. You can use the London Bridge method I’ve mentioned previously.

If you don’t know this carol, look it up. It’s in public domain, so you can find versions with the lovely, sentimental 4-part harmony, which is so heartwarming at Christmas. If you have time, leave a comment if you know this carol, and by what title. Does it bring back memories? I’m curious!

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Sheet Music

Golden Oldie: Save the Turkey

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Save the Turkey Set 1

Save the Turkey Set 2

Save the Turkey Intermediate

Save the Turkey_Keyboard Version

I tell students that whoever draws the turkey will save it from being turned into Thanksgiving dinner!

Save the turkey is an old favorite fast and fun game that students of all ages enjoy. There are cards for all levels of students, from children who are learning piano keys, to older students who should know all the key signatures! I am reposting the directions to this free game today along with links to print the cards. This is one of those games that is so easy I always forget how to play it. So be sure and print the directions and pack them away with the cards so you can play it next year. That is what I have to do!

Directions to Save the Turkey

Shuffle the cards and put them in a stack on the table. The Skip a Turn cards should be evenly distributed.

Be sure the “turkey” card is not near the top.

The student (player 1) draws a card and identifies the symbol. As long as they answer the card correctly, they continue to draw until they draw a Skip a Turn card. Then the teacher (player 2) does the same thing.

The teacher may answer the card correctly or identify the card incorrectly (on purpose.) With younger students it is a lot of fun for the teacher to pretend they don’t know the answer. If the student knows the correct answer, they take the teachers turn. For older students who are working on time signatures, it keeps them paying attention.

Whoever draws the Turkey card has “saved the turkey” and is the winner. The game is short, so the cards can be shuffled and played again.

I like the fact that even a beginner can win. All they have to do is draw the turkey card! However, along the way, they will be learning or reviewing important musical concepts. Let your younger children win most of the time. They love it and it really helps make lessons more fun. But older students love a challenge!

 

How to Print

Download the PDF to Set 1. In the PDF printer setting, set Print Range to  page 1. You do not want to print 2 pages right away because page 2 is the optional back of the cards. Please note that the backs are only found in Set 1.

Print the first page on sturdy card stock.

If you want to print the backs, re-insert the page back into the printer (so you can print the reverse side) and set Print Range to page 2.

To print the backs to the other levels, open Set 1 again and select page 2. Insert the pages from the other set back into your printer to print the backs. That is a lot of trouble, I admit, so you may want to just leave the backs blank or buy some Thanksgiving stickers for the backs. It depends on how good you are printing graphics.

After printing, cut the cards out along the dotted lines. If you have a lot of students, laminate them.

If you want to keep the levels sorted for easy use with different students, use colored card stock or label the cards before you print them.

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Filed under Games, Group lesson ideas, Thanksgiving, Theory

Come Ye Thankful People Come – Elementary

Come Ye Thankful People Come

Come Ye Thankful People Come

Today I am posting another well-known Thanksgiving hymn. I put off arranging this for beginners because I was undecided about how to present the dotted quarter note and the best way to write the treble A.

I finally decided to teach the rhythm by rote and use what is called “near middle C position” which is a nice way to say it isn’t in middle C position.

In this case, the right hand is in D minor position. I use this frequently because moving the thumb just slightly gives you “A.” What a difference it is to have one more note! What would Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star be without the treble A? In singing it is a very important note!

If both thumbs are on middle C and there is a treble A in the music, what can you do? Cross the left hand over to play it? Move the pinkie over every time there is an A? Shift the hand? Yes, all of these work and I think the teacher has to decide what is best for her particular students.

But if the song has other challenges, such as the dotted quarter note in this hymn, I think it is easier to write the right hand in D position. If this is a new position, some extra finger numbers and circling the skipping fingers will give them confidence that they can do it.

This might be a good time to mention that it is fairly easy to teach the dotted rhythm by rote. Substitute the words in the first phrase with London Bridge is Falling Down and tap it on the piano cover. Use both hands at first, and then use the correct hands. Change from hands to the correct fingers and play the phrase in the air, then the piano. Because I really want your students to enjoy this Thanksgiving hymn! PS It would be great for you to add some chords while they play an octave higher!

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