Monday, February 17, 2014

Piano Practice and Grace

 "Why do I need to practice?"  That's what I've been hearing lately around my house a lot from my son who doesn't catch the vision of what piano practice can do for him.  I  listened to a speech this morning while exercising that totally resonated with me.  I love all of the "piano practicing" analogies that relate to improving ourselves spiritually in this life.  Following is the link to the full speech:
 "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox

If the child sees Mom’s requirement of practice as being too overbearing (“Gosh, Mom, why do I need to practice? None of the other kids have to practice! I’m just going to be a professional baseball player anyway!”), perhaps it is because he doesn’t yet see with mom’s eyes. He doesn’t see how much better his life could be if he would choose to live on a higher plane.

 This quote reminds me of conversation I had earlier this week with my son who wanted to rush out the door to play before completing piano practice because "its too hard."  We discussed the character traits that develop through doing hard things, after a little moaning and groaning, he finally got it done.  I thought this quote by Richard G. Scott expresses what I wanted to convey to him perfectly.

"The bedrock of character is integrity. Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to recognize the direction of the Spirit and be obedient to it. Strong character is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished." (from Living a Life of Peace, Joy and Purpose. Ensign February 2014).

And a few more of my favorite excerpts from Brad Wilcox's speech:
“But Brother Wilcox, don’t you realize how hard it is to practice? I’m just not very good at the piano. I hit a lot of wrong notes. It takes me forever to get it right.” Now wait. Isn’t that all part of the learning process? When a young pianist hits a wrong note, we don’t say he is not worthy to keep practicing. We don’t expect him to be flawless. We just expect him to keep trying. Perfection may be his ultimate goal, but for now we can be content with progress in the right direction. Why is this perspective so easy to see in the context of learning piano but so hard to see in the context of learning heaven?

When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Piano Lab Online Activities - Level 5

Hal Leonard Book 5 Artistry and Analysis Videos 
 Compound Meter 6/8
  Teoria Compound Meter Tutorial
 Time Sig Review
  Teoria Time Signature 
  Music Tech Teacher How is your Timing 
Sixteenth Notes/Rests 
  Music Tech Teacher Rhythm and Signs Crossword
  Music Tech Teacher Rhythm Terms Scramble
  Music Tech Teacher See Sawing Note Values 
  Tonic Tutor Piggybank  (requires login)
  Phil Tulga Rhythm Counter (Fill measures with sixteenths)
  Phil Tulga Fraction Pies 
Sixteenth Notes Ear Training 
  Rhythm Trainer
Melodic Movement
  Tonic Tutor Robot
  Tonic Tutor Stick People 
  Music Tech Teacher The Fabulous 4s 
  Teoria Notes Ear Training
Piano Keys Review + Double Sharp/Flat
  Tonic Tutor Piano Keys 
Staff Notes Review
  Pedaplus Flash Keys
  Teoria Clef Reading  
Major Scales
  Music Tech Teacher Fishy Major Scales
  Music Tech Teacher TicTac Know Your Scales 
  Theta Number Blaster Level 3 
  Teoria Scales Construction
Harmonic minor Scale
  Pianoanne Scale Tutorial
Scales Ear Training Major and Natural, Harmonic, Melodic Minor
  Teoria Scales Ear Training 
Primary Triads
 Teoria Harmonic Functions Tutorial (requires login)
  Music Tech Teacher Arpeggio Activity
Motive and Sequence
  Intro to "Country Style" Cadences Video
Intervals including quality
  Tonic Tutor Jungle Journey
   Pianoanne Interval Tutorial
Interval Ear Training PU-P8
 Quizlet Interval Songs (Scatter)
Music Teacher Games Intervals1
 Pedaplus Flash Intervals   
  Theta Paddle Pitch Level 3
  Theta Tone Drops Level 1,2,3 
  Theta Parrot Phrases Level 3
  Theta Melodic Drops Level 2,3
  Theta Harmonic Balloons Level 1,2,3
  Theta Flash Intervals Melodic Level 1,2,3
Aug/dim Triads
  Teoria Triad Ear Training (Maj, min, dim & Aug)
Secondary Triads
Triad Review
  Quizlet Root Chords CFG
  Quizlet Root Chords DAE 
  Quizlet Chord Definitions 
  MLC Tumble Triads
  Theta Tone Trees Level 3
  Theta Chord Locks Level 3
  Theta Chord Drops Level 1,2,3 
  Music Tech Teacher Chords a Plenty (Spelling) 
  Music Tech Teacher Chord Quest 
  Teoria Triad Construction (Maj/min) 
  Teoria Triad Identification 
Open Position Triads
Question and Answer Phrases
Dotted Eighth/Sixteenths
 Phil Tulga Rhythm Counter
Triad Inversions
  Quizlet Major Chord Inversions on Staff
Key Signatures
  Quizlet Key Signatures 5#/5b   
  Theta Key Puzzles Level 1,2,3
  Pedaplus Flash Key Signatures
  Challenge: Pedaplus Flash Scale Degrees
  Teoria Key Signature Identification
  Teoria Key Signature Construction 
Relative Minors
  Pianoanne Relative Minor Tutorial
  Quizlet Relative Keys
  Teoria Key Signature Identification  
Chromatic Scales
Terms and Signs
  Tonic Tutor Boxing Glove
  Quizlet Terms and Signs Level 5 
  Theta Speaker Chords Level 1,2,3
  Theta Flash Chords Level 1 
Multi-Concept Review 
    Compose Create Web Rewards 5
  Classics for Kids - Baroque Era
  Classics for Kids Telemann
  Halloween Listening Lab: Bach Toccata and Fugue 
  Classics for Kids - Classical Era
  Classics for Kids - Romantic Era
  Classics for Kids - Impressionistic Era
  Classics for Kids - Modern 
  Classics for Kids - Jazz
Musical Forms
  Minuet - Classics for Kids Click in the purple box to hear podcast
   Concerto - Classics for Kids
  Rondo - Classics for Kids
  Harmony - Classics for Kids (Monophony, Homophony, Polyphony) 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Piano Lab Online Activities - Level 3

Since my old computer crashed and most of my music software games no longer work on my new computer, I've revamped my piano lab assignments to utilize many more of the online resources during piano lab.  Each of my students has a tracking sheet to record their scores.
Following are activities for Level 3 (Hal Leonard or Faber 2B) organized by concept.
Eighth Notes/Rests Review Visual
Eighth Notes Ear Training
             Rhythm Trainer Quarter & Eighth Notes
             TonicTutor Dancing Jelly Beans (requires free login)
            Music Tech Teacher Rhythm Sound Match 

Ties and Slurs
            MusicTech Teacher Ties and Slurs

 Bass Low GABCD

Interval Ear Training PU-P6

Intervals up to a 6th Visual
Treble Above the Staff
           Pedaplus Older Version Treble Advanced          
           Pedaplus Flash Notes
           Music Tech Teacher Treble Word Warrior
 Chords on Piano
           Music Tech Teacher A Chording to Santa
Dotted Quarter Notes
           Phil Tulga Rhythm Counter
Half/Whole Steps
                MusicTech Teacher Half Step Hoedown
                MusicTech Teacher Watch Your Step
Key Signatures
           Pedaplus Flash Key Signatures
Major Scale WWH
Sharps/Flats on the Staff
Major/Minor Ear Training
               TeoriaTriad Ear Training –Chord Type
Theory Terms
             Classics for Kids Tempo 
             TonicTutor Boxing Glove

Time Signature
                MusicTech Teacher Going Nuts Over Time Signs
                ComposeCreate Web Rewards 3