Studio Tours, Anyone?

Several years ago, our local music teachers association organized one of my all-time favorite meetings – we toured the studios of several of the teachers in our group. It was a blast! We got to see how they decorated, how they organized their music, listen to them share about how they teach, what inspires them, etc. It was truly memorable! With that in mind, I’ve decided to host a series of virtual studio tours. (Don’t all music teachers just love peeking into the studios of other teachers?!)

If you are interested in participating, please e-mail me either pictures or video of your studio, along with any descriptions or organization tips you’d like to include in your tour. I’ll feature a different studio in each post of the series. Let me know if you have any questions!

Composer Trading Game

For our Mid-Winter Ball, the theme was “an evening of serious music – experience the masterpieces of yesteryear composed by world famous musicians.” Each student played a classical piece and shared a biographical sketch of their composer. The games centered around the composers represented in the performances. Here’s a game that was a favorite!

Composer Trading Game

1. Print and cut out out 8 copies of the Composer Trading Cards
2. Separate each of the composers into his own stack. (There are 20 different composers.)
3. Select as many composers as you have students playing the game and mix them into one deck. (e.g. If you have 10 students, select 10 of the composers and include all 8 cards with that composer in the final deck of cards.)
4. Pass out 8 cards to each player or pair. (I paired students up at the beginning of the evening and they played this game in pairs.)
5. When you give the signal to begin, every player has to try to trade cards with the other players in an effort to collect all of the same composer. This is accomplished by holding out the cards they desire to trade face down and calling out the number of cards they are trading. (If you’re familiar with the game, Pit, that’s what this is patterned after.) Only cards picturing the same composer may be traded in a single trade. (e.g. A player may hold out a set of 3 cards with Schubert, but not 3 cards with Schubert, Grieg and Mozart.)
6. Players may change the number of cards they are trading at any time in order to complete a trade with another player.
7. Once a player has collected all 8 cards for one composer, they must ding a bell (or, I had them run to the piano and play the middle C).
8. Check to be sure they have collected all 8 cards!

Here’s a video of the Composer Trading Game in action!

A Great Music Dictionary for Students!

Throughout the year this year I’m holding six musical balls for my students. It’s part of our studio incentive program for the year, Let’s Have A Ball! (After the year is over, I’m hoping to package it up like I did the Climbing the Ladder to Success incentive program.) At each of the balls, I hold a drawing and give out a prize to the three students whose names are drawn. The theme of the Spring Ball is original compositions and arrangements, so I thought it would be fitting if the prize was a music dictionary. I absolutely love this music dictionary from FJH:

Look inside this title
The FJH Classic Music Dictionary - sheet music at
The FJH Classic Music Dictionary By Edwin Mclean. The FJH Piano Teaching Library. Features: Handy reference charts, and index of musical symbols, a table of common chords, reference for electronic music, guide to orchestral instruments and more. Reference. Level: All levels. Book. Published by The FJH Music Company, Inc. (FF1149)
See more info…

Not only did I get a 10% discount for ordering more than one copy, I was also able to track down the following coupon code to receive an additional $1.50 off the order. (This coupon code is good on any order from Sheet Music Plus.)

Coupon Code: s07-5dd-m53
Expiration Date: March 9, 2007