Saturday, August 27, 2011

Great Gems: Aspects of a Great Musician

Each week I am going to focus on a different aspect of a great musician.  These will be my "Great Gems."

My different aspects will be

*  Notes: Good Reading and Listening
*  Rhythm: Steady Counting and Accuracy
*  Dynamics: Observes Louds and Softs
*  Articulation: Observes all markings
*  Focus: Listening to directions, Paying attention, 
                Keeps hands in lap
*  Prepared: Brings all materials, Completes assignments
*  Technique: Good Posture, Good Hand Position

Each week I plan on focusing on a different aspect.  We will talk about why this aspect is important and how to improve in our lesson time and practice.  

This week our "Great Gem" is FOCUS.  It really helped the students, especially the younger ones, understand what I mean when I say "Let's Focus".  I rewarded the student with a extra jewel to go with my Hidden Treasures Theme if they kept their FOCUS throughout the lesson.  If you are not doing an incentive you could reward them with a small piece of candy.  It really worked great!

Here is a picture of my "Great Gems" in my studio!  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Invoice App

Invoice2go App

I have been looking for an App that will send invoices to my piano students.  I tried out several apps and loved Invoice to Go.  This app has several great features, but overall I liked how easy it was to use.

You have several templates to choose from and you can even import your own logo.  Don't have a logo?  Pick one from the clip art provided.

Another great feature is the use of paypal built right in the invoice.  If you use paypal, it can be an easy way for parents to pay you.

You can also send a receipt once the student has paid.

Here are some screen shots:

Easily add customer name and item.  

See monthly, quarterly or yearly reports

Sample of email sent that works as a receipt

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Boom Songs

Click on the picture for a copy of these songs!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Song
Sung to"The Ant's Go Marching"
written by Jeana Beasley

A told B then B told C (Chicka, Chicka)
C told D and E and F (Chicka, Chicka)
I'll meet you at the top of the tree
Tell the other letters for me
And they all went climbing 
Up the tree (Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom)

F told G then G told H (Chicka, Chicka)
H told I and J and K (Chicka, Chicka)
I'll meet you at the top of the tree
Tell the other letters for me
And they all went climbing 
Up the tree (Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom)

K told L then L told M (Chicka Chicka)
M told N then O then P  (Chicka Chicka)
I'll meet you at the top of the tree
Tell the other letters for me
And they all went climbing 
Up the tree (Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom)

P told Q then Q told R (Chicka Chicka)
R told S then T then U (Chicka Chicka)
I'll meet you at the top of the tree
Tell the other letters for me
And they all went climbing 
Up the tree (Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom)

U told V then V told W (Chicka Chicka)
W told X then Y then Z (Chicka Chicka)
Oh no, what can it be?
There's not enough room in the coconut tree
And they all fell down 
Out of the tree (Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom)
Out of the tree (Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom)

Dare Double Dare  Sung to "Skip to my Lou"
written by Jeana Beasley

Dare double dare you can't catch me
Dare double dare you can't catch me
Dare double dare you can't catch me
I'll beat you to the top of the coconut tree

A B C D E F G 
Q R S T U and V
W  X  Y and Z

Teaching Ideas:
1. Think of different ways to move: march to the beat, jump, skip, gallop

2. Play a version of Duck Duck Goose.  The child (IT) goes around the circle on the ABC part and on the letter Z whoever he touches on the head must try to tag him before the first child (IT) sits in the child's spot.  The group sings Dare double dare while they chase each other.

3. Have the children guess which letter you are chasing.  This letter says the "t" sound and starts words like "Tiger" and "Top".  Children could be holding different letters and whoever has the letter has been caught and must turn in their letter.  Another variation is to match the lowercase letter with the Uppercase letter.  Whoever has the letter that matches has been caught.  

Boom Chicka Boom
I said a boom chicka boom (I said a boom chicka boom)
I said a boom chicka boom (I said a boom chicka boom)
I said a boom chicka rocka, chicka rocka, chicak boom
(I said a boom chicka rocka, chicka rocka, chicak boom)
Oh Yeah (Oh Yeah) (Monster style)

Repeat using a monster voice
Other voices to try: Princess, Country, Opera, 
Mermaid style (hold nose), Baby style (whining), Librarian style (whisper)

Look who's coming!
written by Jeana Beasley

Chicka Chicka (shake hands) Boom Boom (pat lap)
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Will there be (hands up) enough room? (pat lap)
Will there be enough room?
Look who's coming it's __A__?
   A, A,   A, A,  A,  A   Rhythm below 

Substitute different letters saying letter name or sound.

Other Resources:
The Virtual Vine
DLTK'S Printables and Crafts
Old Mother  Hubbard

Check out these Great Resources!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fun Downloadable Music Games for FREE!

I came across a great resource today:  The Music Interactive.  The website has a lot of free games to download, including a fun STAFF WARS game.  You must register to download the games.  I can't wait to share these with my students!

Other great games are RHYTHM DICTATION, which has the student listen to a rhythm and choose the correct sequence from the rhythms provided.  You are able to choose what rhythms to include, so it is appropriate for different levels.

RHYTHM BLOCK is similar, except their patterns to choose from.

SPEED NOTE is not as exciting as Staff Wars, though it does have selectable levels.

Enjoy these fun games!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Staff Flashcards

Here are some staff note flashcards I use.  They go from Low C to High C.
I have two versions:  Plain flashcards and some smaller playing cards.

Staff Flashcards

Staff Playing Cards

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hidden Treasures Practice Assignment Record

I have modified my assignment sheet to record the progress of the students as they sail the high seas.
There is now a place to record how many jewels they have collected each week.  The graphic to the left is placed at the bottom of the assignment sheet.  For some reason it shows up a little blurry in the preview below, but it prints out clear!

For more information on this year's theme click: Hidden Treasures.

Google Docs: Hidden Treasures Piano Assignment Record

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Treasure Map: Reward Incentive

Ahoy Mateys!  I have been swabbing the deck (cleaning my studio) and preparing to embark on our pirate journey this week!  I am using this treasure map as an incentive chart for my students.

For my treasure map, I will have students collect hidden treasure (jewels) for different accomplishments.
1 Jewel
·      Accomplishing a practice goal
·      Mastering a technique
·      Mastery of a piece

3 Jewels
                        ·    Memorizing a piece
·      Improvement in One Minute Score
·      Perform outside studio
·      Finish drill card
·      Complete 10 sight reading drills
·      Complete 10 rhythm drills
5 Jewels
·      Participate in Festival
·      Complete 10 pages of drill sheets

Here are the jewels I am giving away:  Just little tiny beads I got at Walmart.

When the student collects 5 beads I will mark them off on their Treasure Map.  When they reach a landmark and are promoted, I am going to reward them with a little pirate duck.  I got these from Amazon as well.  

I am thinking of making a big chart on the wall to chart everyone's progress along the map.  When and if I get this together, I will post about it.

At each group lessons student will spend their booty (jewels) in the treasure chest.  I have lots of goodies, big and small that will cost various amounts of jewels.  This way we only shop one time.  If students want to hold on to their jewels till the end of the year, they can, but they have to spend all their jewels at the last group lesson.

I also made a super find at Office Depot during some back to school shopping:

These mini reward charts are from Eureka and come with gold coin stickers.  I found them on sale at these websites as well:

I plan on using the little charts for group lessons!  


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