Here’s a simple “video” game I created to help students test their knowledge of note values for quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. It’s quick and easy! Click here to view/play the game
Category: music lessons
Affirmations For Singers With Big Dreams
If you’re working with young singers, you know that CONFIDENCE is one of the biggest obstacles to getting our students to perform at their best! After seeing so many of my students struggling in this area, I decided to create a resource that would help them in the days between lessons. Instead of ME cheering them on during the week (which I am always happy to do), I wanted them to have tools to cheer themselves on. And just like that, 31 Affirmations For Singers With Big Dreams was born!
This downloadable pdf is filled with a month of positive messages to boost singer confidence and set singers free to follow their vocal dreams. Some of the affirmations in the book include:
“I am more than enough”
“I am an ocean of beautiful sounds washing over the earth”
“The crowds are cheering for me”
“I have a voice and it is powerful.”
“When I sing, doors of hope open for me and for everyone who hears me.”
You can download a copy of “31 Affirmations For Singers With Big Dreams” for only $5 at https://danaricemusic.com/product/847203
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to spice up your lessons and add value to your students. Well, 31 Affirmations For Singers With Big Dreams can be used as a journaling assignment for your students. I have created assignments that you can share with all your students whether they are singers or instrumentalists! You can download the journal assignments for FREE at https://danaricemusic.com/piano-student-resources
In addition to the book, there is also an album available that contains 15 songs based on the affirmations in the book. Most of the songs on the album are a minute or less, making it EASY to include listening as part of your daily routine. The album is streaming on all major platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and others. Click here to get the link to the album on your favorite streaming service https://danaricemusic.ampl.ink/VkbGR
I’d love to hear you feedback on both the “Affirmations” album and the book
“31 Affirmations For Singers With Big Dreams”.
Leave me a comment here and/or on any of my socials –
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube @DanaRiceMusic
What To Do When Your Child Gets An On Camera Acting Audition That Requires Singing
Tips From A Vocal Coach
So your child’s agent has just sent you sides for an audition and you discover that the character sings. Do you A.) pass on the audition, B.) go into panic mode, C.) something else? Hopefully you answered c.) something else because with a little guidance neither choice A or B has to be your only option. Read on to find out 4 simple things you can do to improve your young star’s chances of booking an acting role that requires singing.
Ask Yourself WHY. The first thing you can do when you get sides that require singing is think about WHY your child might be a good fit for this role. If you have listed singing as a special skill on the resume then clearly the agent or casting director has requested your child based on the fact that you identified him or her as a singer. Be sure your child is prepared to back up that claim. If singing is not listed as a special skill on the resume then think in terms of character development. Perhaps the character just needs to be able to carry a simple tune and most children can do that!
Once you’ve worked up the nerve to do the audition it’s time to do some research. Look for 2-3 examples of the song on YouTube to get an idea of what the song sounds like and how it should be performed.
Think About The Character.
Approach the audition with the question “How would this character sing this part”?
You and your child will need to listen intentionally to the clips you found of the song in order to get ideas on how to recreate that sound for the character. Think about why the character is singing, what the character is singing, and to whom the character is singing.
Get help from a vocal coach. A good vocal coach will be able to give your child guidance on singing the right notes with the right rhythm and help him/her sing in character. Working with a vocal coach can also help boost your child’s confidence as it relates to singing.
If your child has never gotten an audition that requires singing, there is a possibility that one day he/she will because singing is such a natural part of being a kid. Since It’s one of the main ways people express emotions, having a basic knowledge of how to use the voice for singing can make your young star a stronger actor.
Dana Rice is the Momager of two young adults who are actively working in music/film/tv.
For Info About Lessons, Singing For Actors Workshops, and Dana’s Music visit http://www.DanaRiceMusic.com
Follow Dana Rice on Social Media at http://www.Facebook.com/DanaRiceMusic http://www.Instagram.com/DanaRiceMusic
Tips From A Piano & Vocal Coach
Isn’t it frustrating when your kid has to be in multiple places at the same time? You stress out over what to do and end up caving in to the coach or teacher who makes the biggest fuss only to second guess yourself later. If this is you, momager, then it’s time to take control of the one thing you can control when it comes to your young star’s schedule – your priorities. Your priorities in this situation will depend on your young star’s career goals and your family’s values. The next time you have to be in multiple places at once ask yourself the following questions to help you prioritize so you feel great about your decision.
Before we get into the questions a word of caution: be sure that you always do everything possible to never over schedule your young child!
Now, on to the questions that will help you prioritize!
- Is the activity directly related to my young star’s career goals? This is the most important question when having to choose one activity over another.
- Does my child have a lead role or leadership position in the activity?Be very honest with yourself here. Of course your young star is irreplaceable BUT in this situation can the activity go on successfully without your child’s involvement? *If your child has a lead in both activities refer to question number one. In the event that both activities are directly related to your young star’s career try to work out a compromise to get one of the dates/times changed so your child can do both. This approach should be used in only the rarest of circumstances. Be aware that a compromise may not be possible and you may have to choose one activity over the other.
- Can you leave one activity early and make it in time to participate in the other? Do some pre-planning and be prepared to present a full solution to the coaches/teachers/directors involved of what time your child will be at each activity. They will appreciate you for bringing a solution rather than a problem.
There are some situations where the priority must be clear. For example- if your child has a performance and a dress rehearsal for a different event on the same day, the performance is the priority. This is a non-negotiable. As soon as you are aware of the conflict let whoever is in charge of the dress rehearsal know about it and try to work out something with them. If your young star is an integral part of the event with the dress rehearsal the director is likely to be understanding. Remember that your young star’s inability to be present at the dress rehearsal is a stressor for the director. With this in mind, be prepared with solutions to any problems that your child’s absence may cause. This will help you maintain a good relationship with the director.
Deciding what your priorities are before you find yourself in another one of these impossible situations of having to be in multiple places at once will make your life as a momager easier.
Keep in mind that professionals who are accustomed to working with talented kids know that there will be times that they have conflicts. Early communication with your coach or director helps keep the relationship positive and makes you a rockstar momager!
Dana Rice is the Momager of two young adults who are actively working in music/film/tv. Dana is also the owner of Dana Rice Music’s FAME Studio in metro Atlanta where she develops performing artists through piano lessons and vocal coaching.
For Info About Lessons, Singing For Actors Workshops, and Her Music visit http://www.DanaRiceMusic.com
Follow Dana Rice on Social Media at
Valentine’s Day Music Activities
Today I’m sharing my most popular Valentine’s Day Music Activities. Click the pics for inspiration for lessons or at home activities to enhance the music learning!
What other music concepts with Valentine’s Day themed activities would you like to see? Comment below and I will create it and share in a future post!
Cold Weather Voice Care: Apple Tea
This is one of my go-to recipes for managing the stuffy nose and throat discomfort that often comes along during the winter season. It’s a great way to make sure you’re feeling well during recitals, concerts, and performances.
Here is a link to the cinnamon I use. By clicking the link to purchase you will be helping fund the music education of a deserving student through my afiliate fee. How cool is that?!
Piano Trick or Treat
When the October rolls around, it means that Halloween is just around the corner. If you’re working with kids this time of the year one thing is certain – even if you’re not into Halloween many of your students (and their parents) are! This is an opportunity for you to create connections between the holiday and the lessons you are teaching. Here are a couple of ideas to use with younger students and teens whose minds are preoccupied with Halloween.
Building on the Trick or Treat theme, I created a special incentive that works well with both younger students and teens. Each week in October the student has the chance to earn a treat by learning a piano trick. The piano trick can be technique related – like using “thumb under” when playing scales or it can be something more advanced like playing contrasting rhythms in each hand (left hand slow, right hand fast or vice versa). Another piano trick could be playing repeated notes with different fingers. The possibilities are endless!
The idea is to choose a skill that the student has been struggling with or one that you wish to introduce that will be used in a piece they will learn next. Your student will work hard and focus to earn the candy treat and you will have accomplished teaching them a new skill.
In addition to teaching students new piano tricks, you can also use this time to introduce them to pianists who do fascinating piano tricks when they perform. Here are a few YouTube links to these types of performances. Both you and your student will surely enjoy watching these. You may even be inspired to try some of them yourself!
Brian Culbertson plays piano backwards:
Tom Hanks plays piano with his feet:
Hazel Scott Plays 2 Grand Pianos At The Same Time:
Jon Schmidt of The Piano Guys Plays Piano Upside Down:
What piano tricks can you come up with?
Share them in a comment so I can have my students try it too!
Music Video Reveals The Power of The Piano Lesson!
As a music teacher you know the power of lessons to completely change a student’s mood from blah to YAY! How many times has a student showed up to the lesson so stressed out that your original lesson plan didn’t stand a chance?
I am so excited to announce that my student Mary Rene Quarles just released her first music video and it addresses this very issue! Mary Rene is 13 years old and has been studying voice with me since she was 9 years old. This year she released her first single, Monday Is Coming, which she co-wrote with myself and Grammy Winning Songwriter Jayne Olderman. Since then Mary Rene has started piano with me because she wants to be able to accompany herself while singing. Her story is a perfect example of how music lessons can benefit a kid! It’s also an example of out of the box ways teachers can deepen their student’s learning.
Monday is Coming is a celebration of the weekend and in this music video it shows us how music can change our whole outlook! You should definitely set your Friday morning alarm to this song. Check out the video AND just to FUN things up a bit, answer this trivia question for a chance to win a FREE DOWNLOAD of Monday Is Coming.
How many times do we see Mary Rene at the Skating Rink in the Monday Is Coming music video?
Comment with your answer and I’ll enter you into a random drawing for the Free Download! 3 Winners will be chosen and announced on Friday October 13th!
Singer’s Tip: Don’t Forget The Lyrics!
One thing every singer needs to be careful of is forgetting the lyrics! I’ve forgotten lyrics a time or two and I know for a fact it’s NOT what you as a singer want to do!
“The lyrics hold the message you’re trying to communicate in the song so it’s crucial to get them right.”
Taking specific steps to learn the lyrics – apart from the melody is very helpful. Most people say they don’t really pay attention to the lyrics, but as a singer this is NOT one of your choices.
Write those lyrics out – don’t just print the lyric sheet and read from there. The physical act of writing the lyrics out is so much more effective – especially if you write them as you hear them on the recording rather than copying them from a googled lyrics sheet.
You may also be interested in Singer Tip: Auditioning
Make Practice Fun: Piano Play Dates
Do you have students or kids of your own who HATE piano practice? There are so many reasons why kids hate practicing piano, but one of the main reasons is that it can be LONELY. With a little imagination and planning, though, piano practice can be a social event! Watch the short video below to see how…
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