Mancala & Egg Carton Rhythms

What can you do with a mancala board, an empty egg carton and a handful of colored gemstones? Teach eighth notes (of course)!  Reader Rebecca Martin recently shared this wonderful hands-on idea with me… and it was too good not to pass on to all of you. 🙂   To introduce the concept of eighth notes, she guides students through an activity where they place … Continue reading

(New!) Measure Cards

Want a fun new way to teach your beginning students the concepts of time signatures, measures, AND counting by measures (all at once)?  Check out this new printable card set! When I teach time signatures to young students, we use the analogy of a house… a funny house with rooms that are ALL the same size.  We lay out evenly-spaced popsicle sticks to represent the … Continue reading

PractizPal Giveaway Winner

The winner of our PractizPal Metronome giveaway is (drumroll, please)………… Comment #45: Melissa B.   Congratulations, Melissa!   I hope you and your students enjoy trying out this wonderful tool!   If you didn’t win, check out for a list of retailers where you and your students can pick up your own PractizPal.  (Note: Giveaway winner determined by random number generator at   … Continue reading

Group Lessons: Planning Curriculum

Earlier this month, I shared a post about the administrative side of my group lesson program that focused on how I structure and schedule groups.  In this follow-up post, I’d like to share a little more about the teaching side of groups – what a typical group lesson includes, and ideas for adapting group activities to accommodate students of varying levels.      Group Lesson … Continue reading

Review: PractizPal Metronome

Every summer I look forward to the opportunity to dig in and really get to know all of the new music, apps and resources that accumulate in my studio during the year. With all of the new technology and resources that are constantly becoming available, it’s an exciting time to be a music teacher! This fun new addition to my shelf has been attracting a … Continue reading

The Most Unusual Item in My Studio

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

Review: InTune App

When it comes to intonation, we pianists have it easy.   Playing in tune is as simple as striking the right key and having the piano tuner’s phone number handy.  But, if you teach other instruments, or ever work as a coach/accompanist, you know that for the rest of the musical world, intonation isn’t such a simple thing.   Earlier this year, Professor Dan Kazez … Continue reading

Scheduling Group Lessons

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I LOVE teaching group lessons.   Group lessons give students an opportunity to connect with their musical peers, and perform in front of them on a regular basis.  They also give us an extended time-frame to drill theory, listening and rhythm skills (which usually involves a lot of fun and GAMES!!).   … Continue reading