Holding an Online Workshop with Your Students

Last week my students and I had a chance to connect online with Jason Lyle Black. From Nashville, TN, Jason is a performer, composer, speaker, and entertainer who is also nicknamed the “Backwards Piano Man”.  You might be familiar with Jason from this YouTube video he made back in 2015… Jason gives a nice mix of music, comedy and personal touch in his concerts. I was able to see Jason in concert when he came to Arizona last December and had been following him ever since. When I saw he was doing a Kickstarter for his new Disney album late […]

Mission Santa

Jack Frost has not been kind this winter. Santa has been frozen and is stuck at the North Pole… LITERALLY! He must be rescued in time for Christmas! Luckily the Superhero Apprentices have been training and are ready to help! Each challenge will test their abilities and bring them closer to rescuing Santa! With no time to waste… Mission Santa!   In Mission Santa, Each mission activity will bring students closer to rescue Santa. The activities go along with the superpowers students are training for in the A.N.T.H.E.M. program if you are using that program. However, you do not need […]

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 […]

Fall Kickoff 2018

This last week was our fall kickoff! I always look forward to the fall kickoff. I have been doing this for years and found that not only is it a great way to get excited about the new school year but it has also been a perfect way to ease back into a routine without the overwhelm. This is the time where I introduce our new theme, we share what they have done over the summer, do some kind of activity and/or game. Students come on their normal scheduled lesson day, but all the same hour. If they can’t make […]

Surprise the Teacher at Fall Kickoff

When do you kick off fall semester? My fall semester begins next week. I just got back from vacation so I’m busy pulling everything together. Luckily, all the big stuff was done before I left so now it’s all the little things that can add up. In my piano studio, I do what is called, Fall Kickoff for the first lesson of the year. All my students come on their normal lesson day at the same time. I introduce our new theme. (This year it is the A.N.T.H.E.M. program) If they can’t make it on their normal lesson day at […]

Camp Lesson Plan Made Easy

I kicked off my summer camp workshops last week! I wanted to share how easy it is to create a lesson plan for a summer camp using the resources you might already own. For this post, I will be giving an example of an easy composer camp that can be created by Composer Time Capsules and the Composer Who Am I bundle and because my email subscriber freebie for May, June and July are Composer card sets, let’s throw those in as well as an “if time” activity. (If you missed subscribing to my email list before May 1st, no […]

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 […]

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 […]

Games, Games and MORE Games!

Games. Why do we love to play games? Whether it is a board game, a physical game, a video game, played in a group, or by yourself, games just make things more fun! But does it go beyond that? Are there actual benefits to playing games? Of course, there are! GAME BENEFITS Educational– Let’s face it, playing games makes learning more fun! Take any subject and turn it into a game and you have instant reinforcement of what they are learning. Many times lightbulb moments come on during these times! Retention– A well known Chinese proverb says, “Tell Me and I […]