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!

Conductor's Bouquet

Conductors Bouquet Valentine’s Day Activity

Valentine Match Up

Valentine’s Day Match Up – Same Note, Different Value

Valentine's Piano Activities

Valentine’s Day Staff Note Activities for piano students.

valentine

Valentine’s Note Steps

Broken Hearts

Broken Hearts Rhythm Practice

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! 

 

Recommended Reading: The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone

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Are you looking for the right motivation to help you or your music student get to the next level? If so, The 10x Rule is one book that should definitely be on your reading list! Whether you are a parent of a music student or a music teacher yourself, this book (in my opinion) can change your life. I recently read the book after being introduced to it by my coach – yes, I have a coach too- and WOW! This book is not directed specifically toward music students, teachers, or parents but the information it contains can be of great value to either of these.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, if you decide to click the link above and purchase The 10x Rule I will receive an affiliate fee that will help provide more music training to more students.

BUT that is not the main reason I am sharing this book with you.

I’m sharing The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure because it has been extremely helpful and motivating for me – so much so that after reading it, I required (yes REQUIRED) both my teenagers to read it and strongly suggested that my husband read it as well. So far, my son has encouraged his friends to read it (no affiliate link) and my daughter has started speaking in 10x (she literally judges situations against concepts in the book). Then there’s my husband – not only is he reading the book, he is also listening to the audio version of it.

If you’re curious to know WHY all of us are so into this book, I encourage you to pick up a copy today. Read a few pages and then come back to this post and let me know your thoughts. I have a really good feeling that you’ll be impressed and motivated to keep reading!  The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure

Want to know more about my teaching? Visit www.DanaRiceMusic.com to get info about Dana Rice Music’s FAME Studio where we don’t just focus on teaching piano and voice, but we go the extra mile to develop performing artists and coach creativepreneurs.

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?!

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Piano Trick or Treat

Piano Trick or Treat by TheFameSchoolBlog.com

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!

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

How To Choose A Song To Sing

How To Choose A Song To Sing

Singing is a big part of life for many piano students. Either the student likes to play and sing OR the student accompanies singers from time to time. The student may even have a group or band where they have the responsibility for helping choose songs to perform. Because choosing the right song for vocalists is often quite tricky, I’m offering some general suggestions in this post on the most important things to consider when choosing a song.

  1. Make sure the song is age appropriate. Even if the singer sounds AMAZING, if the lyrics are a mismatch for the singer in terms of age then the performance will not have the desired affect. Nothing is more distracting than listening to a young child sing about topics they are too young to have any experience with. For example, no one wants to hear a child singing about having been cheated on by a lover!
  2.  BE HONEST about the singer’s current vocal capabilities! In order for the singer to make a great presentation, ALL the notes in the song must be singable by that particular singer! Resist the urge to select songs where only half of the song is within range and where the ending of the song is far too advanced for the singer’s stage of development. This deserves repeating: Song selection is a time to BE HONEST about the singer’s current capabilities! Keep in mind that any song can be transposed into a lower or higher key. Sometimes a simple change in key can make all the difference, however, it is important to recognize that even with a key change some songs still won’t work for every singer.
  3. Think about where the singer will be singing. Is this a performance for a talent show, a church service, school setting, funeral, musical theatre audition, etc? Who is the audience? Be mindful that a public performance is for the benefit of the audience! Do NOT choose material that will be offensive, uninteresting or unrelatable to the audience. 
  4. Take tempo into consideration. Sometimes tempo is not a deciding factor in song selection, but there are times when it certainly is! If you are singing 2 songs, it may be advisable to start with a slower tempo and end with an uptempo song. Also the same considerations from number 3 above are important here. Think about what the audience needs/wants in the situation.
  5. About those original songs– Unless the performance is specifically about original songs (as in that’s what the audience expects), you want to steer clear of originals in one song performances. If however, the performance is at a talent show and the singer wants to display their songwriting abilities, it is extremely important to inform the audience that this is an original song. Otherwise they may not be impressed by hearing a song they don’t know. That brings me to the next point – audiences usually want to hear songs they know and love so it’s to the singer’s advantage to choose a popular song that he/she can sing and perform well. In that same line of thinking, be careful about choosing obscure songs from well known artists. Remember, the audience wants to hear songs they know and love!

A good vocal coach will help you with song selection whether you’re preparing for an audition or performance. If you’re interesting in improving your singing and performance, consider studying with a vocal coach. Contact me for vocal coaching via Skype or FaceTime OR if you are in the metro Atlanta area make an appointment for an in person session.