Friday, December 30, 2016

Musical Christmas Lights Pictionary

I adapted this fun Musical Christmas Lights Bingo game by Susan Paradis at our Christmas group lesson to extend the learning and suit it for multiple learning levels.

How to Play:
Divide players into 2 teams of mixed abilities
Teams take turn choosing a Christmas light card and draw the symbol on it for their team to guess. They can earn a total of 3 points each turn
1 point -for identifying the name of the symbol
1 point - for defining the meaning of the symbol
1 point - for sorting the symbol into the correct groups below

Musical Christmas Lights Sort

Notes – How long is the sound?

Rests – How long is the silence?

Dynamics – How loud or soft?

Articulation – Quality of Sound (smooth, short, loud)

Accidentals/Clefs – How high or low?

Meter/Time Signature – How are the beats grouped?

Repeat Sign – Bonus Extra Turn

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Halloween Piano Group Fun

 I love the excitement of a themed group lesson. A new Pinterest find that I tried this year in addition to some of the other Halloween ideas I have posted in the past was the Addams Family Cup Passing Activity.
The A section triplets provided a nice challenge for my more advanced students and the B quarter note section made great steady beat practice for the young beginners.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dictating with Rhythm Monsters

I'm excited to try out these new manipulatives for some rhythm dictation practice at our Halloween Group Lesson today.
I found this fun idea on pinterest at the yellowbrickroad blog and adapted it to add a greater variety of  rhythms for beginning and more advanced students.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Bug Dance: Teaching Left and Right Through Movement

Young piano students often have difficulty remembering how to distinguish Left from Right. This dance/rote piece combines the concepts of left/right, up/down, steps/skips and feeling the beat all into fun activity. When I checked out "Bug Dance"  (by Stuart J Murphy) from my local library for my preschooler this week, my piano teacher wheels started churning.  This engaging MathStart Book introduces the concept of left and right as coach caterpillar teaches his gym class of bugs a new dance with these simple steps (which you can see in the preview on
Two steps to the Left.
(E,             D,      C, )
(Step-        ping   Down)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Festival Music Samples

I'm feeling invigorated after attending my first Music Teacher's Association in my new city of Rexburg.  I'm excited to join UVMTA and learn from so many talented teachers and workshops planned this year including Jason Lyle Black!  It was nice to hear a few samples of potential festival pieces played by different teachers in our area.  It reminded me of the Piano Listening Lab Assignment I made several years ago to help my students select pieces that they enjoy to prepare for festival while also honing their listening skills.
Another excellent resource for selecting festival pieces

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Preschool "Staff Eater" Game

Sometimes my kids are lacking motivation for music practice when the sledding on the dirt hill outside or riding bikes in the vacant lot seem so much more appealing.

So after my son's Let's Play Music Class today I ramped up the motivation a bit by letting him pick out a little treat at the Dollar Store to play this tasty music game at home that I came up with. 
Materials Needed:
Small Edible Objects (golfish, m&ms, skittles, etc, marshmallows, fruit snackes, etc.)
Paper Music Staff (free printable staff from  Colorinmypiano) or (Susan

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Movement and Music with Traditional Songs

I am completely loving the Let's Play Music Class that my son is enrolled in and am excited to train to become a teacher in the future.  The order of concepts introduced is age appropriate and so many musical elements are couched into quick fun activities.  I love how his teacher layered so many concepts [bubble hand (hand position), finger taps (finger #s) and echoing rhythms] as she introduced the class rules.  In addition to his at home activities we've tried a few more music and movement songs on youtube.  Here are a few video activities that are fun for preschoolers that can be used to reinforce musical concepts through play and movement.
Going on a Bear Hunt
Concepts: (Steady Beat, Rhythm Fast and Slow, Pitch High and Low)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer K-6 Piano Camp Game Links

In addition to all of the hands on activities and games at piano camp, Piano Campers get to increase their skills using some fun online games and iPad laps during a portion of our music camp.  
If you want to extend the fun and learning from piano camp at home, check out some of these fun online activities that reinforce the concepts we are learning. Most of them work best on a pc.  If you want a challenge select the starred activities.

Piano Camp Game Links
Piano Keys
·         *Quizlet Piano Keys Scatter
·          *Quackin’ Rhythms

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer K-6 Piano Camp: Games Galore

Our upcoming Rexburg Summer Piano Camp  will be filled with Hands on Fun, Edible Engagement, Creative Melody Making, Technology Tools and Games Galore!

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.