Welcome to Fall Special Coupon!

I know I’m a few days after the official beginning of fall, but I’m sure enjoying the gorgeous days! So, in honor of another fall of teaching, I’m offering a special sale in the Music Matters Blog store. You can get $5 off any order by entering the following coupon code when you checkout: 05355663

By far, the favorite item in the store is 5 for Fun! Games and Activities for the Private Piano Lesson. These are tried and true games that we have used for years in the studio. Last year, my students loved perusing this book and selecting games they wanted to play as part of the e.p.i.c. practice incentive. But I also find myself referring to the book to pick out specific games to help reinforce a concept I’m working on with a student.

The coupon will be good until next Friday, October 10, so have fun picking out any item you’d like! Hope you all are enjoying a lovely fall of teaching!

Two Great New Resources!

Many moons ago I, like most music teachers, dreaded the “b” word. We love to teach, to play, to create. But, by and large, we do not like to do bookkeeping. I don’t mind finances at all, but I had such a difficult time collecting money from families or reminding them when they had overdue lesson fees, etc. Then in 2006 that all changed. Music Teacher’s Helper came on the scene and that has forever changed! This is probably the best money I spend every month because once I have everything set up for the year, I create automatic invoicing and the whole process is seamless. Families receive their invoice on the first of each month with their lesson fee amount plus any additional materials, book, or event fees. They can pay on-line or check their account at any time for details.

My posts about MTH always seem to turn into sales pitches, but the main reason I’m posting is because they have finally revamped their IOS app, and I am super thrilled! I do a lot of business from my iPhone, so it’s been a pain not having a working MTH app to record student payments, update info, etc. The new interface looks great, and I can highly recommend the whole MTH package to any teacher looking to make the business side of their studio operations a headache-less venture! (When you click on the links in this post for Music Teacher’s Helper, you’ll receive 20% off your first month and Music Matters Blog will receive a small commission that helps keep this site running.)

I am still pretty much in love with Piano Safari – the latest and greatest (in my humble opinion :-) ) piano method on the market! The students who started and are still working through it have done so well and truly enjoy making music at the piano. Even though they are learning more musically rich music via rote teaching right from the start, the approach to reading rhythms and notation is thorough and effective.

So I was excited to see that the Sight Reading and Rhythm Cards for Level 3 are now available! What’s even better is that if you order the package of all three sets of Sight Reading and Rhythm Cards (and believe me, you want these no matter what method you are using with your students!) are available for 20% off for a limited time. There are so many great ways to use these cards in the lessons (this week we’ve been having fun using rhythm instruments to play the rhythm patterns while selected rhythms from my keyboard provide a steady – but fun – beat in the background!) and the students enjoy having easy-to-manage exercises that they can work on and achieve success in their sight reading endeavors. I have a few students working through the Level 2 books and cards right now, so I’m excited to check out this new set of cards for Level 3!

Van Cliburn Finalists

Even if you missed the live coverage, you can still catch the archived recordings from each round of the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition! Here’s a rundown of the winners:

First Prize: Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal and Van Cliburn Winner’s Cup:
Vadym Kholodenko

Second Prize: Silver Medal
Beatrice Rana

Third Prize: Crystal Award
Sean Chen

Audience Award:
Beatrice Rana

Steven De Groote Memorial Award for the Best Performance of Chamber Music:
Vadym Kholodenko

Beverley Taylor Smith Award for the Best Performance of a New Work:
Vadym Kholodenko

John Giordano Jury Chairman Discretionary Award:
Steven Lin

The Raymond E. Buck Jury Discretionary Award:
Alessandro Deljavan

Jury Discretionary Award:
Claire Huangci

Watch the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition

One of my early music inspirations was the CD “World’s Favorite Piano Music” by Van Cliburn. I think because of that and because of the opportunity I had to hear him in person at the 2006 MTNA Conference, he will always have a special place in my heart. The piano competition he began in 1962 is getting ready to hold its fourteenth event.

30 of the finest pianists from around the world will be converging on Fort Worth, Texas, May 24-June 9 to participate in the competition. And the rest of us around the world are privileged to be able to tune in to watch the live webcast on the Cliburn website.

And for those who are in Fort Worth or close enough to make the drive, you should check out the wonderful free events open to the public that are being held in conjunction with the competition. If I was closer, I would sure love to get in on some of these!

The Inaugural World Pianist Invitational

Destined to take its place among the world’s premier international classical music challenge events, the World Pianist Invitational is a two-part competition.

Phase I – which officially launches this week – is an online entry activity through which aspiring competitors, aged 5-29,will submit a video recording of their classical piano performance to a blue chip panel of international judges. From those submissions – and we are capping the entries at 2,500 – five finalists across five age groups (25 performers total) will be invited to participate in Phase II – a live concert performance at the world renowned Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Washington, D.C.

Sounds like a pretty exciting new event for pianists! You can find out more on the World Pianist Invitational website.

Theta Music Winter Competition 2013 Starts Today

Theta Music, one of the best sites for on-line music theory games is commencing their 3rd Annual Ear Training and Music Theory Competition today! This is a great way for teachers and students to have some fun while building their skills. It’s a one-day competition, so sign up and start playing now for your chance to win up to a $30 Amazon gift certificate!

Happy New Year and a Special Offer!

Welcome to 2013!

It’s always exciting to start a New Year, contemplate possibilities for growth, launch new ideas in the studio, renew each student’s vision for success, and dream that maybe, just maybe, this is the year when I will become completely organized and efficient as a business owner/teacher! It’s good to dream, right? :-)

We should be back to a regular blogging schedule next week, but in the meantime I thought I would launch the New Year with a special offer for all Music Matters Blog readers. From now until January 15th, you can get $5 off any purchase in the Music Matters Blog Store! Maybe a new Practice Incentive Theme, or the 5 for Fun book of games and activities for the private piano lesson, or a beautiful and organized Book of Scales and Keys will be just the thing to jumpstart the New Year in your studio. Enter this coupon code and you’ll get $5 off your total order amount: 06PF9J98