Mastermind Lesson

About 6 months ago, I was trying to think of a way I can add more time to use games in my studio. I hold group lessons and camps throughout the year and occasionally we will have some time in a lesson, but I have so many games that I have not even touched yet! I knew how beneficial games can be. They can create lightbulb moments, they help assess understanding, they are tactile, they teach life skills and learning experiences and so much more. At the same time, I also wanted to create an environment where students can listen […]

Strive for 5!

We are about 8 weeks into the school year now and while students are getting settled into their routine, sports have been starting to take over in their mindset. As we know there are ups and downs in how busy students are. Sometimes it feels like some of them are constantly going with no breaks at all during the year and then some you simply just ride the wave as their practice routines have highs and lows. I thought it was time for a little practice motivation boost, so this week I gave the challenge for students to strive for […]

A.N.T.H.E.M. A Superhero Practice Incentive Music Program

  I’m SUPER excited to announce that the new practice incentive theme, A.N.T.H.E.M. has been released. This year students will be training to become musical superheroes! If you have done a superhero theme in the past, trust me, you will want to do it again as it is nothing like anything you have done before! A.N.T.H.E.M. is a practice incentive program for music teachers. It is a teacher-licensed resource which means everything included in the A.N.T.H.E.M. program is reproducible for all your students. You can choose to print and use everything or pick and choose what you woudl like. Whether […]

Guest Review: Music Lab- Setting Up For Success! Solving a Problem

Anna Fagan shares her experience with music lab and how it all began for her in this review below. I love her story and maybe yours is similar? Whether or not you have been running a music lab for years or just getting started, music lab was born to solve a problem. To help our students learn. In 1991, I had been out of college for 10 years, teaching part-time (about 10-12 students per week), and I was sick of spending lesson time to check written Music Theory work that had probably been completed in the back seat of a […]

Combining Vocal Exploration with Story Telling and Composition

I’m collaborating with my music teacher blog friends at MusicEd Blogs on Facebook to discuss all the different ways we teach melody! Today I wanted to share an easy idea that combines melody composition with story-telling. Many of you are probably familiar with vocal explorations. I love the idea of vocal explorations and how simple yet effective they are. If you aren’t familiar with vocal explorations, here is an example of one you might see… Vocal explorations are typically used for vocal warmups. Students follow a lined path singing different pitches. The visual representation of those pitches is what inspired me […]

Review: Little Gems for Piano Primer Level

About a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to review Paula Dreyer’s Volume 1 and 2 of Little Gems for Piano. If you missed that review, you can read it here. This time, I am excited to let you know about the primer level in the Little Gems for Piano series. The primer level is perfect for your beginner students. Students learn the pieces by rote. Each book includes access to audio downloads and video tutorials. When students are home, they can listen to the audio files or study the pieces through the online video tutorials. In the […]

Review: Sarah and The Magic Piano

Summertime, when I was a child, meant lots of trips to the library and many, many books to read.  Anytime that I can combine a story element to creating music, my interest is peaked. Combining those two elements together is something that I love to do with my students with their compositions, so when I found out about Sarah and the Magic Piano, you can bet I was interested in what it was all about. In the story, Sarah discovers a magic piano in her grandmother’s basement which transports her through time and space. Sarah and the Magic Piano is the […]

Review: Practice Habits

I am a huge fan of giving students a variety of music and lots of it! I believe it helps with their sight-reading and reading skills as well as their motivation. Because of this, I like to subscribe to different digital sheet music subscription services. This last summer, I joined the Practice Habits community. Chris Owenby is the composer/arranger of all the music you can find inside Practice Habits. You can read more about him here. What makes Practice Habits a little different from some of the other music subscriptions is that Chris includes more than sheet music. Of course, it […]

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 […]