Tonic Tutor: Online Theory Games

  Do your students enjoy playing online theory games??  If so, you’ll want to check out this exciting new resource: Tonic Tutor is an online theory resource full of games to help students drill interval recognition, melody playback, scales, chords, note reading and more.    I have to admit, I hadn’t run across this fun new site until co-creator Christine Donkin contacted me last week, … Continue reading

New Practice Helper

Meet the newest member of my studio! At our state conference a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful workshop by Betty Todd Smith titled “You Like to Practice?  Why???” As a part of the presentation, she discussed fun and creative ideas to help students learn to repeat tricky passages.  The one that grabbed me?  Mr. Potato Head!  Students start with … Continue reading

The Really, Really Long Music Game

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

New Aural Skills Resource: Ear Training Pro

If you haven’t already discovered this… there’s a great new ear training resource site on the web!   Anthony from EarTrainingPro.com recently contacted me and invited me to try out the newly-launched site, and I’m pleased to say, I found it to be a notch above the other online ear training sites I’ve used in the past. Ear Training Pro includes exercises to work on all of … Continue reading

Halloween Rhythm Dictation

I really like to use the words of familiar songs or catchy phrases to reinforce rhythm concepts.  Students naturally speak in rhythm, whether they’re aware of it or not, so it’s a great way to relate a “new” rhythm concept to something they already know.  Interestingly, I also find that choosing the right rhythm to go with lyrics is one of the hardest challenges for … Continue reading

New Smile-O-Meter Cards

Last spring, I made up some simple “Smile-O-Meter” evaluation cards to help my elementary students learn to critique themselves and each other after performances at group lessons.  They had a great time filling in smiley faces, and the cards have since become a staple at group lessons.   I use them frequently in private lessons, too.  When I want a student to self-assess their progress … Continue reading

Composer History and Listening Activities

I’m back from a couple of weeks of vacation, and tackling some last-minute lesson prep before I start teaching again next week.    I received a number of emails while I was gone with questions about what I’m using for the Listening Challenge and Meet the Composer Challenges that are a part of our studio practice incentive program this year, so thought I’d share a … Continue reading

Musical “Hunt the Thimble” Game

Louise, who wrote to me last week about the Musikopoly incentive, passed on an idea for a great listening game and gave me permission to share it here.   This is a musical version of the game “Hunt the Thimble” (I’ve also heard this children’s game called “Hot and Cold”).    Here is her description of how it is played: “I had my dad make … Continue reading

Student Activity Binders

Every good pedagogy student and music teacher knows that it’s important to teach more than repertoire.   There’s lots of extra “stuff” that goes into a well-balanced piano curriculum.   Stuff like theory… and sightreading… and rhythm, technique, ear training, music history, improv, composing… and the list goes on!  During the month of July, I often find that my desk is buried under piles of … Continue reading

Listening TWISTER!

Several years ago I adapted a Twister game to use in my studio.  Since then, it’s become a yearly tradition to play it at the last group lesson of the year.    This year, we used it to drill interval recognition. To make the game music friendly, I add small strips of painter’s tape to each of the dots on the mat.    For this … Continue reading