Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Value of Singing at Piano Lessons: Part 3 Chord Progressions and Transposition

Practical Chord Progressions
Post 3
Practical Chord Progressions and Transposition
When introducing the Primary Chords, I pull out a few primer level books with traditional songs and ask my student to play accompanying chords while I play the melody and we both sing the song.  They can hear the application of learning chords right away and it is a lot more fun for them to play a duet than simply play chord progressions in different keys.   They can practice at home by singing the melody as they add chords to harmonize.  I have written in I, IV or V Chord symbols underneath the staff for the student.  Making Music Fun has a wealth of free printable sheet music ideals for this purpose. Another resource that I have

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Value of Singing at Piano Lessons: Part 2 Teaching Keyboard Skills through Song

Keyboard Skills Songs
Post 2:
 Some students tend to confuse the names of keyboard skills (scale, arpeggio, chord progression, etc.), but ever since I read a helpful blog post a few years ago,

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Value of Singing at Piano Lessons: Beginning Concepts (Part 1 in a Series of Posts)

 Singing is such a powerful tool to accelerate learning and reinforce musical concepts in piano lessons, and yet I don't recall any of my teachers singing at piano lessons, and I'm pretty sure they never asked me to do it.  Honestly, I used to be a little hesitant to do it myself with my students, because although I can sing on pitch and have sung in multiple choirs, I'd rather be the one hiding behind the keys than belting out a vocal solo.  But the past few years, I've stretched outside my comfort zone and asked my students to do a little stretching as well.  This series of posts will  highlight different resources and methods of using singing to accelerate learning during piano lessons.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Piano Lab Online Activities Level 2

Level 2 Activities correlate with concepts in Hal Leonard Book 2 or Faber Piano Adventures Book 1
Technique Videos
  Piano Adventures Book 1 Technique Secrets
  Piano Adventures Book 1 Artistry Pieces  
Repertoire Videos
  Hal Leonard Book 2
  Piano Adventures Lesson Book 1
Bass Clef Staff Notes
  Pedaplus Bass Beginning 
  Piano Safari Notes on the Staff Video 
  Music Tech Teacher The Missing Notes
Hearing Steps/Skips
  Tone Savvy Ear Training M2 M3
  Theta Three Tones Level 1
  Tonic Tutor Stick people
 Teoria Ear Training Intervals M2 M3
Intervals 2nd/3rd
  Music Tech Teacher 2nds/3rds Quiz (Letter Names)
  Music Tech Teacher Listen to 2nds/3rds Quiz (On Staff + Sound Sample)
Interval 4th/5th
  Theta Paddle Pitch Level 1 & 2
  Theta Parrot Phrases Level 1
  Music Tech TeacherListen to 4ths/5ths (On Staff + Sound Sample)
Aural Memory
  Music Tech Teacher Flash Piano Memory
Upbeats/Time Signature
Rhythm Ear Training
  Tonic Tutor Dancing Jelly Beans
Melodic Ear Training
  Tonic Tutor Robot
  Music Tech Teacher Flash Piano Memory
Note Value Review
Treble Staff Notes
  Classics for Kids Note Name Game
  Vic Speed Note Reading  
Interval Ear Training M2-P5
   Pedaplus Flash Intervals
  Melody and Harmony
   SanFran Symphony  Harmony
 Major Minor Chords
  Theta Tone Tree Level 1
  Theta  Chord Spells Level 1
  Theta Chord Spells Level 2 
  Music Tech Teacher Ties and Slurs Quiz
Sharps/Flats on the Keys
  Tonic Tutor Piano Keys 
  Music Tech Teacher Mighty Music Man 1
  Music Tech Teacher Mighty Music Man 2
  Music Tech Teacher Identify the Piano Keys Quiz
Sharps/Flats on the Staff
  Tone Savvy Piano Keys
Notes on the Staff
  Pedaplus Older Version Treble Beginner
  Pedaplus Older Version Bass Beginner
  Tonic Tutor Lasers
  Tonic Tutor Note Bird
Terms and Signs
  Tonic Tutor Boxing Glove
  Tonic Tutor Piggybank
  San Fran Symphony Symbols
  Quizlet Terms and Signs
  Music Tech Teacher Choose Your Path
Theory Review
Thinking Theory Rhythm Q-H-DH-H
Thinking Theory Accidentals Half/Whole Steps

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Piano Tracking Power

I love checklists.  I also like the positive power of a little competition.  So recently I came up with a little Piano Point Competition to help my students intensify their focus during home practice to prepare for an upcoming festival and recital. I wanted something...
  • Motivating
  • Competitive
  • Practical
  • Specific
  • Adaptable
I modeled my incentive after a 22 day wellness challenge that I recently completed that was super motivating for me to jumpstart my efforts to live a more healthy well-balanced life.   I was amazed at how motivating the simple tool of daily tracking was for me to boost my discipline.  And I have to admit that a little competition really works wonders for me!  As the results are coming in, I'm seeing that it is a great motivator for some of my students as well.  Following is a snapshot of the tracking sheet.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

22 Days of Wellness

This wellness competition was the inspiration for my recent studio practice competition which you can read more about here.

22 Days of Wellness

I am not a fitness buff.  In fact I really despise exercise and am only consistent because I have a great friend who comes to my house 5 days a week who I love to socialize with and get some early morning inspiring conversation as we do our "Walk away the pounds" video.
The past few weeks I've joined with some other ladies in my neighborhood to do a 3 phase wellness challenge and  have loved the feeling of conquering myself and also focussing on spiritual elements.  Everyday I track my points for drinking water, eating healthy meals, at least 2 servings of fruits and 3 veggies a day, limiting to 2 healthy snacks, 30 min exercise, 5 min abs, spiritual enrichment, 10000 steps, no pop.  One of my favorite parts is focusing on one  of 22  things happy people do each day (see below).  I'm less tempted to eat sweets when I know I have to lose points, although going without treats for 22 days was a serious challenge for me. I "celebrated" last night on my free day by making some mint chocolate hot fudge pudding dessert with vanilla ice cream. I've always been a listmaker, goalsetter, tracker personality so this worked perfectly for me.  I lost 7 lbs in 22 days ( of course 5 of that was the results of all the extra sweets I totally indulged in over the holidays).  I took first place!  Of course, next round I don't expect things to happen so quickly, but I love feeling like I'm accomplishing something each day and it has totally helped me feel more optimistic.  I've pasted the 22 Day Focus items below.

22 Things Happy People Do Differently
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama
There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, walking around with a spring in every step. Happy people are happy because...