Christmas Resource Round-Up

Christmas Tree

Are you looking for some fun Christmas-themed games and activities to use in lessons and group classes this month?  Or something new and different to keep your student engaged and motivated through these last few weeks of the semester?   Over the last couple of years, I’ve posted a number of Christmas games, worksheets and resources.  You have to do a bit of hunting through … Continue reading

Sensory Spotlight: Dotted Quarter Rhythms

IMG_4968

I’m excited to introduce a new series of posts coming to the Pianimation blog this fall and winter!  Sensory Spotlight articles will highlight creative, hands-on ways to teach musical concepts to active learners, using a variety of fun props, teaching aids and movements.   I’ve been busy capturing snapshots and video of some of my students in action this fall, and am looking forward to giving … Continue reading

Listening Challenge Worksheets

Elementary Level Challenge (front and back)

One of the “New School Year” resolutions I set for myself this fall was to devote more time in lessons to listening.   A couple of workshops I attended last spring and summer challenged me to think about how often my students are exposed to really excellent, highly musical performances.    The short answer…. not enough!! In group lessons this week, I introduced these new … Continue reading

Mission: Music Incentive

Mission Music Student Map

Bring on the school year!  All of my new studio incentive materials are back from the printer and ready to find their way into the hands of my students.  For any of you looking for incentive ideas, here’s a look at what we’re doing this year: This new studio incentive is a little bit “Mission: Impossible” and a little bit “Amazing Race.”   Each student … Continue reading

Floor Staff Carpet

Floor Staff3

It’s finally summer in my studio.  Not that you could tell by looking at a calendar – the “official” June 21st start to the season is still a week away, and I’ve already been on summer teaching schedule for 2 weeks.  Nope… It’s finally summer because my to-do list has been cleared to the point I can work on some creative projects I’ve been putting off … Continue reading

Giant Playable Floor Keyboard

Big Keyboard Mat

Does anyone else remember watching this scene from the movie “Big” and wishing for a piano like this??? I’ve always thought that it would be REALLY fun to have something like that in my studio, so was very excited to run across this smaller 6′ version in a catalog earlier this year: I ordered one immediately!  This is called a “Big Keyboard Fun” mat, and … Continue reading

The Really, Really Long Music Game

Piano Race1

Already a little scared by the title of this post?   I’ve used this new game at group lessons for the last 2 months, and hadn’t really settled on a name for it until a student pointed out this month that the gameboard was “really, really, really long!”  Don’t let the title intimidate you – this is a super-versatile game that can pack a LOT … Continue reading

Crazy Keys – A Whole & Half Step Game

Crazy Keys

Whole steps and half steps… is it possible to drill those concepts TOO much with elementary students???   We write and identify them each week in lessons as we work through our technique patterns and warm-ups, we play games with them in group lessons, we identify them in our repertoire pieces… and yet I still fear that under the pressure of a theory exam, some … Continue reading

Stem Placement Game

Simple Stems1

It’s group week again in our studio!  Many of my students will be taking theory exams later this spring, so we’ve been doing LOTS of theory review this month in preparation.   One of the skills my elementary students are required to demonstrate on their exams is proper stem placement.  We usually don’t spend much time covering that particular objective (other than an explanation and … Continue reading

Key Signature Worksheets

Order of Accidentals

Rehearsals and recitals and auditions, oh my!  Between a full calendar of student activities this month (and another exciting project I’m looking forward to sharing soon), blogging has taken a backseat the last couple of weeks.   My plan is to play catch-up this week and post some odds and ends from last month’s group lessons… before this months groups roll around! I’ve added two … Continue reading