Monday, March 16, 2020

Online Piano Learning Activities Organized by Concept and Level

Free Online Piano Teaching Activities Organized by Concept and Level for the Piano Teaching Lab or Piano Lesson Assignment
The online piano activity list includes a variety of links to online games, listening activities, theory/technique videos,

AIM Piano Keyboard Skills Videos Levels 1-5

Scales, chords, and arpeggios are the key ingredients used to make music. Although I encourage my students to learn to play their keyboard skills in all keys on their scale level charts, these videos provide a demonstration in just a few keys that students can play to pass off to move up levels on the leader board for "Advancement in Music." For more fun try playing your scales along with a fun backing tracking from Bensound.comClick here for a list of  tracks to choose from in the key in of your scale.

AIM Level 1 Keyboard Skills- Pentascale + Chord  in C, G, D, A and E Major
For more details see this post.

AIM Level 2 Keyboard Skills-  Pentascale, Chord, Hand over Hand Arpeggios

AIM Level 3 Keyboard Skills One Octave Scales, I-V-I Chord, Hand over Hand Arpeggios 

AIM Level 4 Keyboard Skills One Octave Scale, I-IV-I-V7-I Chords, 1 Octave Arpeggio + Inversions

AIM Level 5 Keyboard Skills 1 Octave Scales, I-IV-I-V7-I Chords, 1 Octave Arpeggio, Primary Inversions, V7-I6/4

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Piano Technique Warmups Caterpillar Crawl Video

How do you prepare beginning piano students to play with proper technique?

Teaching proper piano technique is not a "one and done" activity, but instead something that requires repetition and frequent reminders to master.  

I posted this unique piano warm-up exercise a few years ago that introduces the various movements necessary to play the piano with proper technique as students listen to excerpts from a Mozart favorite, Rondo alla Turca. Written directions and lyrics are included on this post, and the video also includes lyrics .

 I have used it periodically at group lessons, but with this new video, students can also warm up regularly at home as they follow along with the motions demonstrated in the video.  

Frequent repetition prepares students to use the motions with automaticity early on as the brain pathways are already paved before they actually encounter frequent scale thumb tucks, phrase end float-offs and other technical motions in their music. After a brief explanation the exercise begins at 1:06.
This Free Printable Caterpillar Crawl Music Map can help students visualize the form of the music with it's repeating patterns.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Split Second Music Theory Game

 One of my favorite things to browse at the thrift store is the games.  I'm always on the lookout for game that I can tweak for my music instruction purposes and this game of Split Second is a real winner!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Theory Choice Challenge

Theory Challenge Options

This month  my piano studio focus is music theory. Students can select from the following challenges to earn a prize at their lesson for each challenge they complete. Winners of the Tonic Tutor Aim High (highest overall game scores) and Overachiever (most extra achievements earned after finishing lesson) contests will be announced at next month's group lesson
  • Complete a written theory test and pass with at least 90% during piano lab.
  • Complete a written terms and signs test with at least 90% during piano lab.
  • Choose at least 3 music terms or signs and draw a poster to help teach others what it means in a memorable way. Click Here to See Sample Posters
  • Watch a Thinking Theory Playlist on YouTube and draw and label at least 10 of the music signs/terms that you learned about as you watched.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Simplified Piano "Come Follow Me" Songs for March

The Holy Ghost (I Can Play It) (Layton Music pg 81)

When I am Baptized (I Can Play It) (Layton Music pg 90) (Sing-a-long video)

Layton Music Melody OnlyVersion: Listen to the sing-a-long video and tap the rhythm using the correct hand.

Concepts: Fermata, 4ths, alternating hands melody, upbeat
When you look at the fermata sign from a bird's eye view it looks like a music conductor with their arms stretched out (the dot is the head, the curve is the arms and body of the person). Imagine she is holding up her arms to let you know to sing that note longer fer mater (for mother) until she finally gives a cut off cue with her hand telling you to stop.
I Can Play it Version:
Concepts: Fermata, Alignment with Arcs and Swoops
1. Divide the piece into 5 practice phrases, using punctuation as a guide.
2. Play an F Major Scale.  Mark the B flats throughout the piece.
3. Prep: Watch the Hanon-Faber Swoop Gesture 1 & 2 Videos and use the same swoop  motion when the melody goes up and arc when it goes down as you play the first 2 lines of the right hand of "When I am Baptized"
4. Learn the right hand paying close attention to fingering.
5. Play the left hand paying close attention to fingering.
6. Play the left hand as you sing the melody.
7. Play hands together slowly one section at a time and then the entire piece hands together.

The Wise Man and the Foolish Man (I Can Play It) (Sing-a-long-video)

Dare to do Right  (I Can Play It) (Sing-a-long video)

I Can Play It Version Concepts: Accompanying by Reading Primary Chord Symbols
1. Listen to the Sing-a-long video and color the  primary chord symbols
 (C-Red, F-BlueG-Yellow) written above the music.
2. If a measure doesn't have a chord written above it, add in the last chord from the previous measure.
See Teaching Chords in Color

A Child's Prayer (Layton Music pg 16 & 17)

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Simplified Piano "Come Follow Me" Songs for January
Simplified Piano "Come Follow Me" Songs for February