3 Non-Piano Teaching Music Blogs To Add To Your BlogRoll Now!

I get inspiration for my piano lessons from a variety of resources on the internet. Of course I read a TON of piano teaching blogs, but I also like to peruse blogs of elementary music classroom teachers. They have a wealth of ideas that are excellent for teaching music theory concepts and for performance. Here are some of my newest favorites:
Mrs. Q's Music Blog








What I LOVE about this blog:

Mrs. Q. shares a lot of great ideas that she uses in her school music classroom. Many of these ideas can also be used in private and group piano lessons. She also has cool color by note pages that can be printed for FREE here.


Technology Rocks Serioussly





What I LOVE about this blog:

This blog is not about music at all, but it is FULL of inspiration for teachers and music bloggers. Check it out to get some astonishing FREE printable posters for decor and inspiration! Did I say FREE? Yep!



Make Moments Matter

What I Love About This Blog:

Finally a male elementary music teacher with a blog! Aside from sharing his great ideas for the classroom (which can sometimes be used for piano lessons as well) David has a MASSIVE resource list sorted by various topics of interest to music teachers. Let me warn you, you will need LOTS of time to go through the whole list!

Be Back Soon!

This is a just a quick post to let you know that I will be back to regularly posting next week. This weekend, my daughter and I are performing in a dance production called Dancing The Word: A Reflection of Mirrors. The show is about a girl finding out where true beauty comes from. What an important lesson for young people to learn! My daughter is dancing and I am singing and acting. Such a joy to be able to do this with her!

See you next week!

Football and Piano

This is a just a quick post to share something one of my 3 year old piano students said this week while we were learning about Quarter Notes. We were playing the Valentine Card Hunt game designed by Susan Paradis where she had to find notes scattered around the room and tell me the name of them. She brilliantly breezed through all of them – whole note, half note, etc. and when she got to the Quarter Note she said, “That one’s a Quarterback!”

“Peek A Boo” Game

As piano teachers, we are always looking for ways to get students to “Play It Again” or “Play It Till You Get It”. Unfortunately, this usually equates to being locked up in a prison in a child’s mind. So, like me you are probably always on the lookout for a practice game. Here is a video of the latest practice game from my studio presented by one of my students. Enjoy!

Fun Drawing Music Symbols

I have to thank my daughter for making me aware of a wonderful app called KidsDoodle. (I got it through itunes). It’s a high tech etch a sketch of sorts. I used it to make videos that show how to draw music symbols. My students have really enjoyed learning how to draw those fancy treble clefs! The great thing about KidsDoodle is that it’s FREE! If you want to save videos, it only costs $0.99 to upgrade!


The Crocodile In The Studio


“Crocky Loves Music”

Besides the piano, this is probably the most used thing in my studio. Years ago when my children were preschool age someone gave them this toy crocodile game. To play, you push down his teeth one at a time. Apparently one of his teeth is bad and it hurts him when you push that tooth. So, he slams his mouth shut. The cool thing is that the bad tooth changes every time you play! All the kids in my studio love the shock of finding the bad tooth!
So, how does Crocky help us play piano? Well whenever we run into a tricky passage or something that needs to be played several times, we ask Crocky for help. The student plays the part we are working on and gets to push a tooth each time they play it. Once Crocky closes his mouth we know we’re finished working on that part for now.
The anticipated shock of Crocky closing his mouth and of guessing which one is the bad tooth keep the kids wanting to play their tricky piano parts over and over again! Sometimes they even ask “Where is Crocky” as soon as they enter the studio!
As I said, I’ve had Crocky for a long time, but you can probably find one at a toy store or maybe even online.
Do you have any especially fun props or characters that you use with your students to get them to do repetitions? I’d love to hear about them!

Play-Doh Re-Mi, Anyone?

Making A Staff

Sometimes it escapes me how much difficulty piano students have learning to read notes on the staff. You see, the more than 30 years that I’ve spent playing the piano have fooled me into thinking that reading notes on a music staff is EASY-PEASY. Not to worry – reality quickly sets in once my students sit at the piano and I put a sheet of music in front of them. The cheerful, excited faces they had during the pre-staff notation days of their lessons are suddenly absent – replaced by blank stares and a series of failed attempts at finding the right note. So, what to do?

Enter… Play Doh!

Step 1: Have the student make a staff. Some surprising revelations can occur at this time. Here’s one from a student: “There are only 5 lines?”

Step 2: Now the student can add space notes or line notes.  Another revelation: “You mean the space notes have to fit BETWEEN the lines?” 

Happy FACE notes

Step 3: The teacher can add a Treble Clef OR Bass Clef. Then give the student the appropriate phrase to remember the note names. Now have them make up a phrase of their own.

Step 4: Take a picture of that beautiful smile your student is flashing!

3-D Bass Clef Staff