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Showing posts from 2012

Happy New Year!

I am excited to report that I am taking a new Kindergarten Position at my son's school in January.  I have stopped teaching piano privately, so I will not be making any new resources.  I thank all of you for your support and hope my materials continue to help teachers and students learn the joy of music.  I will keep this blog up for all those teachers who are looking for songs and resources.  Have a wonderful New Year!

Fall Song Sheet

Here are some great Fall Songs.  I have included a Song Sheet for lyrics and visuals to use in the classroom.  Enjoy! Fall Songs

Halloween Songs

Pumpkin in the dark   (Tune: Farmer in the Dell) The Pumpkin in the dark, the pumpkin in the dark, Hi ho, Halloween, the pumpkin in the dark. The pumpkin takes the witch... The witch takes the bat... The bat takes the cat The cat takes the spider The spider takes the ghost.... The ghost says, "BOO!" Idea:  Have students pretend to be a character and take another student into the circle each time.  You could also have representations of these characters by way of pictures, cut outs, foam crafts, stuffed animals, etc . . . Spooky Skeleton  Sung to: "Mulberry Bush" 1 Spooky skeleton jumping up & down, jumping up & down, jumping up & down (hold 1 finger up to jump) 1 Spooking skeleton jumping up *& down, FOR THIS IS HALLOWEEN! 2 little witches - zooming thru the air . . . . (make 2 witches flying) 3 black cats - walking on the fence . . . 4 silly scarecrows - waving in the wind . . . . 5 trick or treaters - knocking at your do

Resources for Halloween

Here are some great free resources for Halloween: Candy Match-Up: Worksheet to identify notes Candy Match-Up Witch's Brew :  Students pick a rhythm card and perform it.  If they pick a witch they get a piece of candy. CLICK HERE FOR Witch's Brew Game Also, check out my Halloween Music Games Volume 1 and Volume 2

Halloween Music Games Volume 2

Halloween Music Games Volume 2 has 5 new and exciting games for your students to help them improve at note naming, intervals, chords, rhythms and symbols. Don't Eat Jack: A fun filled game that focuses on rhythm recognition. The game has five levels and is sure to be a favorite with your students. Find the Ghost: Players race around to find the ghost cards and then identify symbols. Haunted House Harmony: Students build chords or intervals in the haunted house Pumpkin Patch Match: Players match notes. There is a Catch the Jack-o-lantern version as well. Candy Corn Catch: Identify notes on the staff or keyboard using candy corn. Check out Halloween Music Games Vol.1 for even more games and activities Includes: Games, printables and instructions Format: PDF Printing: 8.5' x 11' - Grayscale or Color Price: $10.00 Instructions for purchasing it with Paypal: Click on the Buy Now button. You will be asked to pay with Paypal. Once your t

Peek inside Shooting for the Stars

My studio is in full swing and the students are loving Shooting for the Stars.  Here is how the incentive works: Students earn stars for different things during their lesson. I have chosen to give stars for the following items: 1. Sight Reading: Each week the students sight read a piece during their lesson.  If they are successful they earn a star. 2. Rhythm: Each week the students perform a rhythm by clapping, counting and then playing them on a note or chord.  They can also earn additional rhythm stars by counting while playing an assigned piece or performing a song with wonderful rhythm. 3. Note Naming: The students always play their rhythm to a note or chord I have them name.  I usually include notes they are struggling on.  If they get them correct they win a star.  I also have the students name notes in their assigned piece.  More stars! 4. Presentation: I give this star to students who come prepared with materials and present their assigned piece musically.  Dynamics,

New Theme for 2012: Shooting for the Stars

I am excited to begin a new school year with our new theme: Shooting for the Stars.  Students will collect stars as they explore the galaxy of music.  Here are some great pictures of my studio decorations.

New Incentive Cards: Star Wars and Legos

A reader requested some new incentive cards for Star Wars and Legos.  You can use these for just about anything.  I have used it for writing incentives for my son.  For each word he writes neatly, he gets a chip.  He loves it! Star Wars Incentive Cards

Blackbeard's Revenge

Blackbeard's Revenge is a game from the Hidden Treasures Studio Kit .  It is a game fashioned after Old Maid.  You match up the cards and try not to be the one who get the cursed "Jolly Roger" card.  You can get all four version for $6.50 or buy them individually. The Blackbeard's Revenge Kit: Includes note name cards, keyboard cards, interval cards, key signature cards and chord cards. The Blackbeard's Revenge Note Names comes with 41 pirate flashcards of staff notes on the Treble and Bass Clef.  Keyboard cards are also included. The Blackbeard's Revenge Intervals comes with 48 interval flashcards from 2nds to Octaves. The Blackbeard's Revenge Chords  comes with 50 cards with chords in root position. The Blackbeard's Revenge Inversion Chords and Keys  comes with 78 cards with inversion of chords and key signatures.

Summer Fun!

After 15 years of teaching I am taking the summer off for the first time ever!!  I am looking forward to doing some traveling and relaxing, but  I still want my students to continue to practice in the summer so I came up with a summer practice chart. Each key has a specific goal to accomplish.  Some are just for fun and some require some concentration.  They are supposed to color the key in when they have completed the goal.  If they can bring back all the practice sheets colored in I will have a prize for them (candy) when they return.  I plan on writing some page numbers in on some of the keys to give them some specific pieces to practice.  The goal is to review the material they already know and keep their skills up.  I have included a blank one for you to modify.  Hopefully if you have students that take the summer off, they can use this to stay motivated!

How Many Hours a Day Should I Practice?

I came across this great article about practicing at   Bulletproof Musician .  They have other great articles to read as well. How Many Hours a Day Should You Practice? by  Dr. Noa Kageyama  ·  144 comments 2 hours? 4 hours? 8 hours? 12 hours? How much is enough? Is there such a thing as practicing too much? Is there an optimal number of hours that one should practice? What Do Performers Say? Some of the great artists of the 20th century have shared their thoughts on these questions. I once read an interview with Rubinstein (or it may have been Horowitz – I can’t remember exactly whom), in which he stated that nobody should have to practice more than four hours a day, explaining that if you needed to practice more than four hours a day, you probably weren’t doing it right. Other great artists have expressed similar sentiments. Violinist Nathan Milstein is said to have once asked his teacher Leopold Auer how many hours a day he should be practicing. “If you practice with your finger

Hidden Treasure Kit

This year my studio used a pirate theme.  I created games, activities and incentives centered around the theme.  The kids really enjoyed traveling on our treasure map and seeing what adventures would come at each lesson.  I am offering this kit for a low price of $20.00 this summer.  Even if you don't adopt the theme, there are plenty of great games to play. The Hidden Treasures Studio Kit comes with 11 games with multiple levels, over 280 pirate themed flashcards for notes, intervals, chords and keys, piano assignment sheet, recital templates, invitations and ideas to implement a year long practice incentive.  Your students will blast their way through the year finding lots of treasures along the way. Hidden Treasures Studio Kit Includes: Games, printables and instructions Format: PDF Printing: 8.5' x 11' - Grayscale or Color Price: $38.00 Pay with Paypal Once you purchase the material you will be sent the pdf files within 24 hours. For an extra bonus,

K5 Learning

I recently have been looking for help for my son, who is autistic and struggles with learning sight words. I found this great program:  K5 Learning . I have been able to assign specific assignments to him and track his progress.  I have really enjoyed the program.  Read more below if you are interested in it. K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program. A note on the assessments When kids start K5, their reading and math lessons are cued at their grade level. Once kids become familiar with the system, we recommend they complete our free online placement assessments in reading and math.  The idea is to gauge skill levels in different areas (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, site words, comprehension, numbers/operations, geom

Paint Chips

I came across this idea on Pinterest . Teachers we're using paint chips to test sight words and math facts.  I decided to put my own musical twist on it.  Instead of words, I used different rhythms.  The students are to match the rhythm to the correct time signature.  You will need to put all the time signatures you want to test on one paint chip. I also found this unique Better Home and Gardens paint chips at Walmart with a hole in them.  If you get these you could play "Find the missing rhythm."  Students have to put the hole on top of the rhythm that completes the measure correctly.

Autism Awareness

Hi blog world!  I have been teaching an autism inclusion class for the last nine weeks for a teacher who was out on maternity leave.  It was an amazing experience and has kept me super busy.  So busy, I haven't been able to keep up with my blog.  I learned so much from these wonderful children. 1st:  Autism does not define the child. The child has autism, but this is not the only thing you need to know about the child.  They each have distinct personalities and different challenges.  They are learning how to do their best, just like every other child.  Some just have some challenges that are more difficult due to their autism.  They have particular interests, hopes and dreams that make a uniquely, wonderful individual. 2nd: Each child is an individual In my experience, I found children who were really friendly and some who more reserved and withdrawn.  Some children struggled with their emotions and some were very quite.  As I got to know each child, I understood their st

Monster Box

Motivating students to doing something is a big challenge.  Motivating them to accomplish something with purpose and a specific goal in mind is also a challenge.  With this in mind, I have come up with a Monster Box.  The monster box is a way for students to be motivated to accomplish a task with a specific goal in mind that rewards their efforts in a tangible way.  Much like my Incentive Cards, this accomplishes the same goal, but in a different way. I made my monster box by simply cutting the top off of a Goldfish box.  Then I glued pieces of construction paper around the box. I got the monsters from an bulletin board set.  Here is some you could print out from Scappin Doodles for $1.00! You could put anything on the side of the box, as long as you can cut a whole at the mouth. I bought inexpensive pom poms to feed the monster with.  My kids loved it!  I made each monster a different focus.  So we had the note monster, the rhythm monster, the dynamic monster and the po

Incentive Cards: Princess Version

Incentive cards are a great motivation tool for any activity.  Students love the fun backgrounds and try to fill up their cards with the tokens.  I printed these out front and back on card stock and then laminated them. I use magnetic chips to fill the circles, but you can use bingo chips, pennies, M&M's, etc.. You can use the incentive card to motivate a student to practice.  They must complete a passage with no errors, or with dynamics, or 5 times to get a chip.   You can add a fun element and roll a dice to see how many chips you are playing for.  Have fun with the incentive cards.   Let me know if you have a request for a favorite character and I will try and make one. Princess Incentive Cards