The Most Unusual Item in My Studio

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Kansas Music Teachers Association’s annual summer conference.   At our first lunch session, we were given discussion prompts to encourage conversation with colleagues at our tables.   One topic was particularly fun, so I thought I’d share it here:   What is the most useful or unusual item in your studio? Most of … Continue reading

KMEA Conference Follow-Up

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Edit:  Unfortunately, this session was cancelled due to inclement weather.  I’m still in Kansas City waiting on the snowplow to find our neighborhood instead of enjoying a day with colleagues in Wichita.  I had set this message to auto-post while I was on the road, and forgot to un-schedule it.  But… in case any of you might find use for the handout, I’ll leave it … Continue reading

Sensory Spotlight: Have a Ball with Rhythm

Photo by puuikbeach on Flickr

Some beginning students are naturals at rhythm.  As soon as they master the notes of a piece, more often than not, the rhythm just falls in place.  For other students, playing with a steady pulse and correct rhythms presents more of a challenge.   For a young student who struggles to feel rhythms, counting out loud or working with a metronome isn’t always the answer, at … Continue reading

Sensory Spotlight: Rhythms in the Sand

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Want a fun, sensory way to introduce and reinforce rhythms that your elementary students will love?  Let them “play” with their rhythms in a simple, make-it-yourself sand garden: Several years ago, I had a sand & rock garden in my studio waiting room.  My students LOVED it – had I let them, some of them would have been happy to play with it for their … Continue reading

Sensory Spotlight: Rhythm Dictation

Rhythm Dictation 5

I’ve posted several times about the beat boards and rhythm cards that are go-to rhythm aids in my studio.  I use them on a regular basis to introduce new rhythm concepts, and give my hands-on learners some extra practice on rhythm patterns (for more details, check out this post and this post). These aids are also a great interactive way to introduce and practice rhythmic … Continue reading

Get off the Bench! Workshop next Tuesday

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I’d like to extend an invitation to all of my colleagues in the Kansas City area to join me for a workshop, hosted by the Kansas City Music Teachers Association this coming Tuesday, January 10th.   The session will be held at Schmitt Music (119th and Metcalf in the Rosana Square shopping center).  The business meeting starts at 9:15, with workshop immediately following.   Get … Continue reading

Sensory Spotlight: Dotted Quarter Rhythms

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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