Friday, June 24, 2016

My First Piano Adventures Teaching Tips

My "Monster Bus Fan" with his Favorite Pal
I love the excitement and playfulness of young children.  So far I have used the Faber My First Piano Adventures Books to "play" with my children and introduce them to piano concepts from a very young age.  I attended a Faber workshop last summer with my teenage daughter who has now joined the ranks with me as a piano teacher.  These are just a couple of tools that I have used to go along with some of the songs in this method.
Instead of using "paper wads" to mark the key colors

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quest for Virtues Monthly Quotes

I created 12 posters as studio decor to go along with the monthly Piano Quest for Virtues Themes in my Studio last year.  My blog posts have been a bit sparse this year with the stress of relocating,  but I'm excited for fresh start in my Rexburg Piano Studio and an added bonus is I can utilize this program again soon with all new students.  
As I was growing up I like how my dad loved to post inspiring quotes

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Using Tune Train App in Piano Lessons

I stumbled upon a fun free app this week that is engaging both my 6 and 10 year old in some fun composing adventures.  It is simple enough for even my 4 year old to enjoy.  Tune Train allows even young children to "play" with music composing in an engaging and intuitive way.   Using some preset familiar chord progression templates cleverly couched in different lands such as "Little Lamb Lane" and "Winter Time"  even young children can create pleasing melodies and then select a backing track that suits them.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Rhythm Telephone Race


I love playing a game that involves engages all of my students at once. This fun musical adaptation of the game "telephone" got my students literally feeling the rhythm in  a fun way at our last group lesson.  I lined up 3 trick or treat rhythm cards in front of each team.  I chose one of the rhythms to tap simultaneously on the backs of the last players in line on both teams and they raced to tap the rhythm message up the line so their team player at the front of the line could be the first to correctly identify and snatch the correct rhythm card.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Is learning to play certain instruments more beneficial to your brain than others?

 This was the question my 9 year old daughter posed to me this morning as she was gathering information to compose a persuasive essay on her chosen subject:   "Playing piano is good for your brain."  So after taking notes on this TED-ED video, we explored a little further.


Google led us to this

Friday, March 4, 2016

Music Showcase





This energetic song has definitely been a favorite for many students in my studio!  I love the challenge of the Faber Gold Star Piano Adventures Books.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Meet the Minor Scale Family

I've found that sometimes the minor scale patterns can be a bit overwhelming for students to remember.  I created this visual to help students see and hear the distinctions between the three types of minor scales. 
I always think of a natural minor scale as a bit sad or melancholy and was surprised to hear one of students announce that he loves playing songs in minor keys.
 The #'d 7th tone adds a creepy sounding appeal and of course makes the V7-i progressions sound so much more resolved, which is probably why the majority of minor pieces use the harmonic scale form.
I think of the melodic minor as kind of a "wanna be" major.  As the scale ascends, it starts with that distinctive minor flatted 3rd, but then the #6th and #7th tones almost trick you into thinking its a major scale.... until it returns to the natural minor form as it descends.