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Practice Chart 2016

I have a few notices before I discuss today’s post. First, a gigantic thank you to my readers for supporting the website. Without your help I would not have been able to manage this blog for the last 10 years, especially now that it is so huge with such an extensive data base. I am about a year behind in writing thank you notes and I apologize for that.

The second notice is about my store. My website platform had a problem in their last update. If  you buy something in my store, I temporarily will have to personally email the file to you. I was told that the email problem will be fixed soon. In the meantime, I am enjoying emailing my music to you and getting your feedback!

If you purchased an item using PayPal and never received it, please let me know.

Practice Chart 2016

Practice Chart

Today’s post is an editable practice chart that matches my new 2016 design.  Be sure and reinforce the holes if you put it in a binder.

This PDF file is editable so you can choose the title. There is not a lot of room, so adjust your text to fit.  You can add your student’s name or type something like Practice Chart or Practice Log. You can also leave it blank. If you are new to editable PDF files, here are some instructions.

Directions

  • Open the PDF in the latest version of Adobe Reader. (This is the same free program you use to print all of my material.)
  • With your mouse, click about an inch down in the middle. (Use the image above to help find where the editable field is.)
  • A light blue text field box with a blinking cursor in the middle will show up where you should type. The blue box will not show up when printed!
  • Type your text in the box, adjusting your wording to fit.
  • I formatted the blue text fields to be centered so you will be starting in the center of the box.
  • Save the blank file so you can use it again with different text.

Can’t open the PDF files? Check out my frequently asked questions from the menu bar above.  Teachers have reported problems with the Windows 10 Edge browser and successfully use Chrome or Explorer instead.

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Easter Egg Hunt – a Favorite Game

 

Easter Egg Find The Notes

Easter Egg Find the Notes

I just returned from the MTNA convention in Las Vegas, and I have a lot of ideas I hope that I can share with you! I was so excited to meet many teachers who are using my material and who are looking for alternate ways to learn piano.  Thank you so much for introducing yourself and chatting with me. It is wonderful to see so many musicians who work hard to share our love of music.

I have not been able to blog or post anything for a while, but I can “rerun” this fun Easter season game that I made a few years ago.

There is not much planning, the rules are simple, and all you need is a few minutes to cut out the cards. If you are a parent, this a fun game to play with your children to introduce rhythm names.

Click on the link under the picture above and download the free printable. Print the pages on sturdy card stock and cut them out. Do not laminate the cards. Fold in the middle so the egg is on one side and the notes on the other. (Cardstock is easier to fold if you score it lightly using a ruler and a dull point, such as a dull butter knife. Leave a comment if you need more directions.) After folding, the cards sit up like a tent. Hide them around the room with the egg facing out.

DIRECTIONS

Tell your student that you have hidden eggs cards all over the room. The cards have different rhythm values on the back. The student’s job is to find and collect the ones with half notes (or whatever note you want to work on) as fast as possible.  Depending on how much time you have, you can play again, collecting different rhythms. It is so much fun watching the student run around the room collecting cards!

This is also an excellent activity to introduce a new rhythm note to beginning students.

OBJECTIVE

  • To quickly learn to recognize rhythm note names
  • To learn that stems can go up or down
  • To introduce rhythm names to beginners
  • To play a fast (under 3 minutes) game

AGES

  • Early childhood to grade 2 or 3

This is a variation of a game idea from Cecilly called Quarter Note Hunt, and it has been a long time favorite in my studio.

 

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Six Secrets of Successful Music Teachers

What makes a successful music teacher? I have observed and listened to many very successful teachers over the years. I am so fortunate to personally know many outstanding teachers, and I have learned from them. These are teachers of all ages who have studios full of students, including beginners and long-time advanced high school students. Here is what I discovered:

  • They have goals.
  • They are flexible, but not door-mats.
  • They don’t rigidly follow method books.
  • They don’t complain and they don’t make excuses.
  • They are willing to learn more and keep up to date.
  • They love their work and they do more than just teach.

Teaching music is hard. There are so many factors that we as teachers cannot control. Music is enjoyable,  yet it is hard to learn to read and it is hard to learn the coordination involved in playing an instrument. We teach because we love it and we want to share our love of music. It’s also how we make our living. This is a lot to balance and it is understandable that we get frustrated at times. However, we stay positive and carry on! I hope everyone reading this has a great teaching year!

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Practice Plus App Review and Giveaway

 

IMG_2053

It’s been a while since I have heard from the folks at Dynamic App Design, who made Metronome Plus, my favorite iPhone and iPad metronome app. Well,  they sent me this great new app that has just been released and now I have a new favorite. I found it easy to use, with music teachers and students in mind.

Let’s face it, I don’t have a lot of time at a lesson to fiddle around with an app, trying to remember how it works. Maybe if I were a 5th grader it would be easier.

Practice+ is a music practice app for musicians, teachers, and students.  All the fine features of Metronome Plus are here, but much more has been added.

Here is the exciting part that is such a helpful practice tool. Let’s say I have a tricky spot I want to speed up gradually. Usually I have to set my metronome, play it, go back to the metronome, reset it, and play again.

Now, I can set the metronome to the number of measures I want to practice and to increase the tempo after each play-through.

I tried this out with a section of music I am working on.  First, I set the starting metronome tempo to 80. Then in the top left box, I set the measure numbers to 2. In the middle box, I set the number of clicks I wanted the metronome to increase after each play-through loop.  The first time it was 80, the second it was 81, etc. I could have set it to increase more after each loop.

The box on the right shows how many times you have played the loop and what tempo range you used. The metronome speed is easily changed using the big plus and minus signs on each side of the metronome.

The loop practice feature really raises a metronome app to an entire new level!

Another extra is the recording feature. A teacher can record a tricky passage and email it to the student.

It also has a tuner, which will come in handy for piano students who play a band or orchestral instrument.

This app is $3.99 in the app store. Trust me, (having observed someone develop an app), it takes months to write the code for an app, and I think the price is very reasonable.

To learn about more features in the app, go to http://dynamicappdesign.com/practiceplus/
The iTunes link is here.

Today, I am happy to be able to give away this great new app to 3 lucky winners! [The contest is over!]

To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below by Saturday, August 23, at midnight CST. The winners will receive a code to redeem the app from the Apple iTune store. I will email the code to the winners after the deadline. Be sure you are using a valid email address when you comment.

This app requires iOS 7.0 or later. It is compatible only with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. If you’re not sure what iOS version you are using, go into Settings>General>About>Version.

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