Ear training seems to be one of the elements of piano study that is often overlooked or neglected during traditional lessons. Unfortunately it wasn't until my high school AP Music classes that I was really required to sharpen my "ear skills" but I wish I had been given an earlier start on this important skill. Don't miss out on the chance to win a great tool to help incorporate this aspect into your studio. Sheryl Welles at Notable Music Studio is offering a giveaway to 2 lucky winners of Ear Training Pro. It looks like a great program to incorporate during piano lab time to sharpen your student's listening skills.
One of my favorite parts of Christmas time is listening to the inspiring music that reminds me of the true reason for the season - the Savior. I love the power that music adds to each of these messages. Several of my friends and family shared them on their blogs and it was like getting a little "Christmas Present" from them so I thought I'd pass that "present" along.
Jerald Simon at Music Motivation.com is having a great cd/piano book giveaway every day until December 18th. I enjoyed checking out all of the recordings of his "giveaways" and was especially excited about the "Cool Songs for Cool Kids" (which I'll be posting a review of soon) and "Variations on Mary Had a Little Lamb." After being inspired by Wendy Stevens post about Creativity at Christmas Time with a great video of her students in action, I decided to encourage my students to compose their own Jingle Bells variations this Christmas. To help my students learn a little more about music styles and launch them off to a good start on their variations, I had them listen to these fun variations on the Music Motivation site while completing a little listening worksheet describing the elements of each style (dynamics, articulation, tempo, mode (major/minor), range (high or low), rhythm, texture/chord style (thick/thin, broken/blocked). I love the variety of styles Jerald Simon included in this book of variations.