Tag Archives: music binder

Personalize a Grand Staff Binder Cover

2017 Binder Cover

Today I am posting a grand staff binder cover for you to personalize and use on your students’ binders. It has the notes of the grand staff on the front and it matches the studio calendar that I recently posted. What I am really excited about is that I think this is the first time I’ve posted a PDF file where you can change the font!

Not only can you type a name and title of the binder, but if you have some computer knowledge, you can change the font, the color, and the size of the text.

If the directions below are too challenging for you, open the file in Adobe Reader DC, select “Your Text” and type over my text. [If you want to remove the text on this page, select Your Text, delete it, and print. The large light blue box you see will not print.]

If you wish to change the font, color, and size, follow the directions below. You must use Adobe Reader DC which is free to  download from the web .  If you are having trouble opening this file in Adobe Reader, this link might help.

Directions for a PC

  • Download and save the PDF file. Open it in Adobe Reader DC. (To change the font, you cannot just click and open the file as usual.)
  • Select Your Text.
  • Click Control E and the text properties box will open.
  • In the font box, you will be able to change the font, the color of the font, and the size of the font.

Directions for a Mac

  • Download and save the file. Open it in Adobe Reader DC. Do not use Preview. (To change the font, you cannot just click and open the file as usual.)
  • Select Your Text.
  • Right click on the selected text.  A menu box will open. Select “Hyperlink.” [There is supposed to be a keyboard shortcut, but I don’t know what it is.]
  • The Form Field Text Properties menu will open. Select Font.
  • You can change the font, the color of the font, and the size of the font.

*If you try a font on you computer that will not print, try another more common one. There are some fonts that you might not be able to use due to licensing and embedding, that sort of thing. If you have a font that works well, please share it with us!







Filed under Teaching Aids

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







Filed under Teaching Aids, Teaching Business

New Assignment Page With Color!


New Assignment Page

I made a new assignment page (assignment sheet) and I’m going to share with you why I revised my old one, which had also been revised.  I have an assignment sheet for my younger students with ladybugs and lots of color, and they love it. But when they progress and it’s time for one with more detail, all I had was a very serviceable, but boring looking black and white page. So I decided to upgrade the old one, but keep everything I like. I still use my early childhood assignment sheet for my little ones, but now when they are “promoted” it doesn’t look so intimidating to them.

I included all the bells and whistles that made my original assignment page so unusual when I first posted it. Here are all the features:

  • Print in color or grayscale (black and white)
  • Upcoming events line
  • Deadline to memorize a special piece
  • Separate major and minor circle of fifths
  • Keyboard to write scale names and fingering
  • Line for labeling the scale
  • Line for a note to parents
  • Do not forget line
  • Line to write scales, chords, or arpeggios
  • Theory, technique, and lesson book assignment lines
  • Blank staff with treble and bass clef written in
  • Two weeks worth of practice time check off boxes
  • Line for a message to the teacher

I didn’t say anything when I tried this out with my students. But the reaction was everything I hoped because they really liked it! Several mentioned that it was a lot easier to understood the major and minor circle of 5ths. They like the fact that it is in color, even though there is not much.  I tried to design a graphic that looks like it uses more color ink than it really does.

I made this as a 2 page printable, but both pages are the same.  This is because I have a duplex (prints on both sides) printer.  I select “2-sided printing” in my printer dialog box, and the number of copies I need. The printer automatically prints on both sides. That is a very nice feature if you are in the market for a new printer. I punch holes on both sides of the paper and every other week I give them a new page. Not only does it save paper, but it saves space in their binder!  If you only want to print  on one side, use these settings, and under “Copies” select the number you want to print. The arrow pointing to “1” indicates that you are printing page 1 of my printable. Then you can reinsert your pages to print on the back, if you wish, following the same instructions. (Your dialog box might look  different than mine, but I hope this will give you the idea.)

PDF printing illustration


Filed under Teaching Aids, Teaching Business

Another Cover for Your Student’s Binder

Note Binder Cover

I was driving in downtown a while back and when I stopped at a red light I saw a large music graphic painted on the side of a building. It had colorful notes that were giant circles, not ovals like I usually draw. I liked the way the circles made it look like the music was just rolling along.

When I got home, I was inspired by the round notes so I drew some circles using colors that would appeal to my older students. I made a digital scrapbook background with the brush tool  (a hobby of mine) and before long I had another assignment binder cover that my students really like.

In addition to the cover, I have a 2011-2012 calendar using this same theme and I will post it in a few days when I get some spare time to polish it up.  You can subscribe to my blog if you want to keep up when I post it.

Do you use binders or spiral assignment books? Spiral notebooks fit so well on the piano and parents like them better. But binders are so much more flexible and you can add theory sheets and music.  Let’s take a poll. (It is completely anonymous and you will not be identified, so go ahead and make my day by voting!)


Filed under Teaching Business