My Music Feels….

Does anyone remember the old “How Are You Feeling Today” posters that used to hang on the wall in clinic waiting rooms and school counselor’s offices?   We’ve been having some fun in my studio this fall with a couple of similar graphic aids, designed to help students experiment with creative expression at the piano.   Students fill in the blank smiley faces in this … 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

Playdough Articulations

I had one of those “aha” moments in the middle of a lesson tonight.   One of my middle school students is working on a jazz piece for our upcoming studio recital. She’s got the notes and rhythms down, but her playing tonight lacked excitement.  She was playing it “safe” by keeping her hands close to the keys, which limited her range of articulation and … Continue reading

Legato & Staccato: In the Sand!

I love to find ways to turn musical concepts into hands-on experiences for my students.   Recently, I’ve had a number of students learning about legato and staccato, so re-purposed this old waiting room toy into a teaching aid: This is a desktop sand garden that was given to me several years ago.   I removed all the rocks, and leveled the sand to turn … Continue reading