Students Quitting Before the Holidays?

Several years ago I noticed a trend when students typically quit lessons. The first was usually in November right before the Christmas holidays and the second was in April right before our big spring recital celebration. It would drive me nuts because I felt that they were missing out on the BIG stuff where we celebrate the end of the semester. I realized that both of these trends probably stemmed from the fact that parents simply wanted to save money and/or time before 1) Christmas and 2) Summer. It wasn’t necessarily because the student wanted to quit. So where there […]

Adding a Video Element to a Creative Story Composition

Recently I added a video element to the Creative Story Compositions, FaLaLaLaLa and Fall Fun. I will be adding this element to all the creative story compositions later this month. Last week at Christmas camp I was able to try the new video element with my students and they turned out so cute! I had 4 different groups. I explained to each group that we would be creating a Christmas story, round robin style. I then took each page from FaLaLaLaLa, cut the top half so just the picture scene was showing, numbered them on the back and laminated them.  […]

DIY- Sheet Music Heart Ornament

Last week was our first week of Christmas camp (for more on how I do Christmas camps, read Christmas Camp: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year). I like to have some kind of craft during our time together and ornaments make the perfect craft for this time of year. Students had two choices of the ornament they could make. I wanted to share a video of how we made the music heart ornament because I LOVE how it turned out! You will need: Strips of sheet music (I like to cut these in advance) Stapler Ribbon or string so […]

Review: Piano Program Music Theory Courses

Have you ever been excited about something where it ends up taking over your dreams? This happens to me all the time, but I didn’t expect it to happen with this… Dr. Kathy Rabago from PianoProgram.com has created Music Theory Courses for students. These courses are the very definition of flipped learning and something that I have been wanting to find for a while. Students learn the music theory concepts at home or during their music lab time, reinforce the concepts through worksheets (provided), and return to their lessons with an increased knowledge of music theory. Currently, there are 6 levels […]

Piano Teacher Academy

I am excited to introduce you to Piano Teacher Academy. Elizabeth Gutierrez, whom you may know from her published compositions or clinicians with Faber started holding piano camps for teachers in 2009. In recent years she started putting these workshops and resources online so more teachers can take advantage thus Piano Teacher Academy was born. Recently I had the pleasure to be a guest on Elizabeth’s Best Ideas Webinar where she shares tips and tricks for teachers. She has some new ideas in store for next year so stay tuned. I also had the chance to meet Elizabeth in person at […]

Review: Jingle Those Bells

Once a year about mid to late October I give my students Christmas books so they can start learning their Christmas music for our annual Christmas camp and/or music at the mall performance. While I like to give suggestions to what I think they would enjoy (or what I would really LOVE for them to play) I always have them make the final decision on what they would like to perform. It is inevitable that I will have a handful of students that want to play… can you guess it? Yep! Jingle Bells! But what if… you had a book that […]

Christmas Camp Lesson Plans Added!

Have any fun plans in store for the holiday season? I have been doing Christmas camp for almost 20 years now and will never go back to the traditional lesson format during this time because it has been such a win in my studio. Matter of fact, just the other day while I was explaining Christmas camp to a new student, she piped up and said, “Christmas camp is why I’m taking piano lessons!” I was taken back for a minute and said, really? She said, yes it was after my brother talking about how much fun it was that […]