With a creative mindset, The Dollar Tree can be a piano teacher’s greatest resource! Here is my latest find and how you can use it to make your piano teaching life easier – and more fun!
With 5 minutes and a sharpie, you can transform this simple wooden puzzle into a visual tool for:
1. Teaching Whole Note, Half Note and Quarter Note recognition and their matching rests.
2. Help students understand the concept of REST in music by asking – What side of the house is quite?
3. Help students understand the concept of Symbols representing sound in music by asking – What side of the house do you think is noisy?
4. Reinforce the concepts above by sending an unopened puzzle home with your student (You can afford it – remember it only costs $1). Have your student draw the symbols on the puzzle and take a picture of it at home to show you their creation at the next lesson.
Bonus: Use the back of the puzzle to write steps 1-4 down (with a sharpie) to help you remember for the next time you use this!
Here is what your final creation will look like –
I found a few other cool things at my last trip to The Dollar Tree which I’ll be sharing in my next post! In the meantime, what everyday things have you transformed into piano teaching tools? Share in a comment below to help other teachers make piano lessons fun!
This Valentine’s Day Themed Conductors Bouquet is going to be used in 3 ways in my studio next week:
– To teach kids which hand plays treble clef notes and which plays bass clef notes
– To teach kids how to feel different time signatures by conducting with the wands
– As a decoration to brighten up the studio so I can see kids’ faces light up as they enter for their lessons
When students arrive for lessons, I will be playing Bob Marley’s “One Love” and Annie Lennox and Al Green’s “Put A Little Love In Your Heart”. The Student will take a wand from the bouquet and using the correct hand for the symbol on the heart join me in conducting the song. We will extend the activity by conducting some of the pieces that they are working on as well. At the end of their lesson they will get to take the wand home to keep!
Here’s what you need in order to do this activity:
1. Valentine’s Wands from Dollar Tree (They come in packs of 3)
2. A sharpie marker to draw bass clef and treble clef symbols on the hearts
3. A nice vase to keep them in
4. Songs of different time signatures
Before we go I have a question: What other Valentine Themed songs can you suggest with different time signatures that can be used in this lesson? Please let me know in a comment below!
In yesterday’s post I shared some pictures and video from our Piano Bears Spring Project where the students made bears at Build A Bear Workshop that have a recording of them playing the piano. The picture above is one of the bears a student made.
My students and I enjoyed working on this project because it gave the students a chance to do something fun and memorable with their music. Every time they squeeze their bear they get to hear how their hard work all year has paid off!
If you are interested in doing this project in your studio, download my eBook, A Piano Project Kids Love: Piano Bears, for FREE by clicking here!
I’d love to hear about what kinds of special projects you do with your students as well!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you might already know that I love doing recording projects with my piano students every year. For the past several years we have done CD’s. The first year we did a studio wide compilation CD then we moved to making individual CD’s for each child. The CD’s were a hit with parents and kids, but this year I decided to try something a little different. This year we recorded and placed the recordings inside stuffed animals at Build A Bear Workshop! Every time they squeeze their stuffed animal they get to hear themselves playing the piano!
How cool is that? Way cool! Even the staff at Build A Bear was impressed with these kids!
When my students and I were invited to play at a local retail store that was featuring a day of continuous piano music from area piano teachers and their students, I got the idea to have everybody wear something that showed they were part of The FAME School. I decided to try CustomInk, a company which allows you to design your t-shirt online. The process was EASY and quick! They sent me digital proofs before filling my order and shipping was FREE. Here’s how they looked at the performance:
Everyone was proud to wear their shirt to the event, and I honestly think it pumped them up a little bit! So, if you’re looking for ways to add some social to the piano lesson, I suggest getting some studio t-shirts that everyone can wear to performances or maybe even to group piano class or a group outing to see a concert!
Today I discovered the coolest app in a post from the blog An Ethical Island. The app is called CloudArt and is available for iPad in the iTunes store. The app is quite versatile in that you can type in text and it will give you a design. You can also type in a website address and it will generate a design from the website itself! You can even choose your own colors and fonts. The pic above is the what I got when I typed in my website and added more words that describe my studio. It would be great to frame and hang up in the studio so that parents and kids get a quick visual of what’s in store for them when they take lessons. The art generated from the app would also be great for marketing materials. Another possibility is musical terms review. Students could type in words and generate a graphic. I think visual learners might really benefit from something like that. At just $0.99 this little app can have a big impact!
What do you think? If you buy the app and create a graphic I’d love to see it in a comment below!
I can see so many possibilities for using this app for the piano studio.