Have you ever had a student come into their lesson thrilled to show you the new song that their friend just taught them? Only to discover that it’s at the top of every piano teacher’s list of Most Disliked Songs? You know which one I’m talking about, don’t you? Yup. Heart and Soul. But, as much as you might want to plug your ears and scream the next time you hear it, the reality is that students love playing it! Plus, it can serve as the perfect tool for learning to improvise freely using the chord progression in it. In this video Claire demonstrates the Heart and Soul remix she came up with just for fun:
I love it when my students put their creative juices to work to come up with something innovative! Check out this new musical symbol that Stephanie devised:
In honor of Valentine’s Day this month (and getting married to the love of my life a little over a month ago :-)), I thought I would run a special offer here on Music Matters Blog! For the next two weeks, you can get $5 off any purchase made in the Music Matters Blog store. This includes any practice incentive theme, piano camp curriculum, the 5 For Fun! music game idea book, and any other books. Just enter the following code when you checkout to receive your $5 off: M014M45X
The New Year is off to a great start, and we’re having fun playing a variety of quick 5-minute games in the studio! Here are a couple of recent pictures:
Ellie has a blast playing this simple note direction game by moving her magnetic “note” up or down depending on what she rolls on the up and down die. As she moves, she says “up a step to D”, “down a step to C”, etc. Once setting a designated “finish line”, she and I take turns rolling and moving our notes to see who can get there first!
After learning about the difference between Major and minor chords, Kaily draws a scale block to determine the chord root, then rolls the Major-minor die to see what type of chord she is supposed to build and play on the piano keys.
Shaylah is one of several students who loved playing this musical memory game where each player takes a turn flipping two cards to try to form matches between specified keys in a pictured piano keyboard and notes on a staff. This is a perfect game for siblings or back-to-back students to play together as well!
There are lots more game ideas in our studio favorite 5 For Fun! book! My students love flipping through it and selecting their own game when they’ve earned that privilege in this year’s practice incentive!
In doing some blog browsing recently, I came across this fabulous list of piano game resources on Heidi’s Blog! Heidi has organized links to game ideas and materials around the blogosphere according to specific categories: Music Alphabet/Piano Key Names, Note Reading, Musical Terms/Symbols, Rhythm, Whole/Half Step, Accidentals, Enharmonics, Intervals, Ear Training, Stem Placement, Chords, Scales, Key Signatures, Music History, Composition/Improv, and Multi-Concept. I love having resources like this at my fingertips so I can find just the right activity when a student needs to be introduced to a concept or have it reinforced through a fun music game.
There’s also a wealth of resources organized by categories in the Community section of Music Matters Blog, too!
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
One week only! In honor of Beethoven’s 242nd birthday anniversary on December 16, your family can enjoy learning about music together in Marcia Washburn’s all-inclusive e-course, Beethoven Who? Family Fun with Music. No expensive CDs to buy! No prior musical knowledge required!
A $29.99 value but order today for half-price–just $14.99. Special price ends Dec. 16, so don’t put it off. A great gift or something fresh to start your new year in January.
That’s not all! She’s throwing in a free bonus e-book for all who order this week: Teach Your Family to Play the Soprano Recorder. Marcia teaches you how to play the recorder, even if you can’t read a note!
To order, or for more information, go to http://www.marciawashburn.com/BeethovenWho.html.
Remember: this half-price offer ends Dec. 16. Order Beethoven Who? Family Fun with Music now so you won’t miss out on half-price plus the free recorder book.
Marcia is graciously giving away one copy of Beethoven Who? to a Music Matters Blog reader. Just leave a comment below to be entered to win the drawing. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator at noon (CST) this Thursday, December 13.
If I let them, I think a good 50% of my studio would choose to play Carol of the Bells for the Christmas recital every year. It’s one of those pieces that everyone just loves. Well…check out this cool a cappella version of the Christmas favorite by Pentatonix:
The Young People’s Concert series put on by our Wichita Symphony Orchestra featured Billy and the Carnival this fall. I had never heard the piece before, but it’s a wonderful, fun musical work! Here’s an excerpt from the concert this morning: