Resource Site for Improv and Composition

Photo courtesy of Dave Hogg on Flickr

Do you have students who perform regularly with a worship band or in a traditional service at their church?  Since many of the skills required for church playing (lead sheets, improv, modulations, etc.) fall outside of the “traditional” piano curriculum, it can be difficult to find curriculum and resources to use with students.  I’m always excited and grateful to find web resources that help fill … Continue reading

Piano Key Activity Songs

DogSong1

I’m delighted to have a large group of new beginning students in my studio this fall.  I love how enthusiastic and uninhibited first-year piano students are, and all of the games and activities that we get to do at beginning lessons are just plain fun! I like to start to introduce white key names from the very first lesson, even though my favorite method books … Continue reading

The Winter Blues

The holidays are over, decorations are packed away, and kids are back to school, but here in Kansas, the weather is still frightful!   As I write this the remnants of a week-ago snow storm are melting off my roof and will no doubt turn my front steps into a skating rink just in time for students to arrive for lessons tonight.   I’m ready … Continue reading

Mystery Bag Improv Activity

This improv activity was a BIG hit with my students at group classes last week – we had so much fun that even my students who are timid about improvisation didn’t mind playing!   For our “Mystery Bag” challenge, students were asked to use their senses to discover one of 9 foods inside their assigned bag, then improvise a song about it on the piano as … Continue reading

Halloween Composing Ideas

This week is the first group week of the new school year in my studio!  I’m really excited to be starting group lessons again – they’re always my favorite part of each month.   I’ve been busy working on some new activities, which means I’ll have LOTS of new things to post over the next week or two (to make up for all the posting … Continue reading

New Improv and Harmonization Worksheets

It’s been a super hot week here in Kansas City, so I’ve been hanging out inside in the air conditioning catching up on lesson planning for the upcoming school year!   I’m attempting to get everything ready for fall before I take a few weeks vacation at the beginning of August.  That way everything is ready and waiting for the new year when I get … Continue reading