Boomwhacker Sightreading Cards

Boomwhacker Sightreading

I’m VERY excited about a fun new toy I picked up for my studio last week.   I love using my set of Boomwhackers in lessons.   We pull them out frequently to make note flashcards more fun, or to “whack” out rhythms.   And with this latest addition, now we can use them to spice up our sightreading! With the XyloTote Tube Holder and … Continue reading

Whole & Half Step Game

We’ve been on a heavy theory kick in my studio this month.  I have several students who will be participating in theory testing as part of a festival in April, so ALL of my students have been getting the benefit of a little extra lesson planning on my part.  As a part of that, I’ve been working on a couple of new games.  Here’s the … Continue reading

Clothesline Rhythms – New Counting Cards

My elementary students have been enjoying the “rhythm of the week” challenge we started this semester.  I’ve been hanging a 4-measure pattern using my Clothesline Rhythm cards before students arrive each day.   At some point during their lessons, we take a break from the piano and work on counting and performing the rhythm (by clapping, jumping, stomping, etc.). This week, I decided to create … Continue reading

Snowman Triad Worksheets

I took advantage of a super cold weekend to spend a little time hunkered down working on group lesson plans for the next couple of months.  Here’s the first of several new worksheets/games I’m planning to use at the end of the month (I must have had snow on the brain!): This sheet drills the construction of major triads. Given a root, students must supply … Continue reading

Free Sacred Piano Solos

I was in need of a little creative retreat this weekend after a LOT of hours of office time this week, so spent an afternoon at the piano re-working a handful of sacred hymn arrangements.   The new files are posted in the free sheet music section on my website. All of the arrangements are written at an early advanced level. Preview recordings of the … Continue reading

Silly Putty Rhythms

Silly Putty rhythms are one of the all-time student favorite activties in my studio.  After all, who doesn’t love Silly Putty???  To teach beginning note durations, I have several “Beat Boards” – boards with several hearts painted, each representing one beat (or “musical heartbeat”).   We stick blobs of Silly Putty to the boards to represent notes: Students learn that one “note” to each heartbeat is a … Continue reading

Lesson Planner Sheet

These planner sheets have been available as a free download on my website for quite a while, but since it’s the beginning of a year, I thought I’d re-highlight them.  In my last post, I mentioned that I find the beginning of each new semester to be the time that I’m most organized and teach the most “balanced” curriculum.  That means that this is the time … Continue reading

Clothesline Rhythms

Clothesline Rhythm Cards

Break is over!  A new semester has begun!  One of my goals as I start each new semester is to return to a “balanced” curriculum.  I find that the END of a typical semester is full of performance-oriented teaching.   Lesson time is consumed with fine-tuning repertoire and preparing for recitals, concerts and recording projects.    For most students, the BEGINNING of a new semester does not bring with it those same … Continue reading