Over the Edge!

Over the Edge

This past summer brought a whole group of new beginning students to my studio. It’s been a while since my schedule has been heavy on the beginner side, and it’s been a refreshing change!  It has made me realize, however, that I’m a little tired of some of the games that have been in my closet for a while.  Even though they are new to … Continue reading

Simon Says Symbol Game

During the summer months, my lesson plans tend to be a little lighter on theory than during the year.    But… I like to pull out games every couple of weeks just to make sure that students don’t forget all that they learned during the previous school year!   A couple of weeks ago, I came up with this new game to review symbols: We … Continue reading

Composing Sheets

One of my goals for this summer’s lessons is to have my students do more composing.     There was a really interesting article on the ComposeCreate blog last month that inspired me to incorporate more writing into my lessons.   In a nutshell, the author suggested that writing music is great training for reading music – especially for students who struggle with notereading.   … Continue reading

Giant Sightreading Cards

I decided as I was doing some lesson planning last night that it needed to be a “fun” sightreading week in my studio.  Part of our weekly private lesson routine is to start each lesson with sightreading and/or technique.   Many students will be arriving at lessons a little stressed this week.  At school, they’re working on state assessments, plus in our studio we’re down … 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

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