A teacher emailed to ask me what program I use to make worksheets.  I draw all the art  by hand in Photoshop, a program that I have extensive experience in. I am saving up to upgrade my programs, (the upgrade I need is is over $1000) so *thank you* so very much for your donations to  this website!  To all the teachers who are supporters of my website, I really can’t thank you enough! If you have downloaded material from this site, please consider making a donation to help maintain the website. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Susan Paradis Piano Teaching Resources · Music, games, teaching material, and iPad ideas for piano teachers. I’m trying to post everything that is on my website here, because it is easier to organize material into categories on this blog. I’m not much of a video maker, but I made this about 4 years ago showing students of all ages practicing. In case you don’t have any blank business cards,  I added short cutting lines for you to use a ruler and draw cutting lines. After students earn the cards,  I put them in clear plastic ID holders and attach them to their  book bag with a small chain. Unfortunately, it can easily turn into drudgery if the teacher doesn’t have the right attitude or plows into all the cards at once. If  students learn they can play just two or three cards successfully, then we can gradually add cards so that they don’t get overwhelmed.
If you’re reading this and have no idea what the One Minute Club is, well, I’ve written about it extensively. Cecilly sent me a new activity she is using with her students and I made some cards to go with it. There are 8 pages of words in this printable PDF, ranging from 3 to 7 letter words. When I made these cards, I carefully designed them for the smallest amount of cutting necessary. Although I have given some ways to play my card game,  you can certainly make up your own rules.  I tried very hard to make these the same size as regular playing cards.
If you have been following my blog, you know about my new series of short piano teaching pieces that feature letters of the alphabet.
Before you show this to your student, ask if he knows what kind of shoes that start with  F that frogs wear.
I plan to use this with the right hand thumb on F and then switch around to several fingers.
Then I started thinking why more method books don’t leave fingering out of beginning books and let us add our own. If you prefer middle C position and you don’t like the fingering in my music, cross it out and add your own. As some of you guessed, the next letter in my series of songs that introduce notes on the staff to young beginners is the note middle E. This new series of sheets I am posting can help keep young students from thinking middle C is always the thumb. If we teach young children, we know that some students need to take the scenic route when learning to read notes on the staff. With that disclaimer, I do think children should learn the names of notes, because how can they learn theory if they don’t know the names of notes? After I showed the student middle D on the staff, I placed large size flash cards around the room.
To reinforce reading by intervals, I followed that up with some of the pre-reading cards posted above.
If you teach 4-6 year old children or have a learning challenged student, you might want to try this out! Just sending out a quick email today to announce that registration for the upcoming Fall 2016 session of my Piano Pedagogy 101 online course will be available this Friday (July 29) at 9am Eastern time. If you live anywhere near Ohio or Indiana, I would love to invite you to join me at a couple of upcoming conferences for music teachers this Fall.
Discover new repertoire for engaging your students as we explore the profusion of piano literature for children composed after the example of Robert Schumann’s Album for the Young, Op.
Registration for the full conference is $80 for IndianaMTA members and $95 for non-members. I will also present a session during the OhioMTA state conference occurring November 3-5, 2016 in Kent, Ohio. Seven of my students registered for this camp this year, plus I had a high school student volunteer as my helper.
As I informed my students on the first day of our camp, the goal of the week is to be able to listen to an unfamiliar piece of classical music and identify the style period (or, at least, take a good guess). Each day, we had a listening quiz game where we listen to pieces from a YouTube playlist with the goal of identifying the style period we hear. I am pleased to announce the two randomly-chosen winners of the promo code giveaway for the Note Rush app.
Today, I am so excited to introduce to you a brand new app for music teachers called Note Rush.
The app automatically calibrates to the piano, allowing the app to be useable even if the piano may be slightly out-of-tune. Because the rounds are timed, students are invited to repeat the rounds to try to improve their times. The three themes appeal to a wide range of students while not creating a distraction through too many options.
On our final day of camp, students reviewed the drafts of their composition that I had updated and printed from Finale the previous evening. Students took turns using the piano and keyboard to practice their compositions, so that they could perform them for the group.


There were a number of other games and activities we used throughout the week, but I mostly wanted to highlight the process of guiding all ten of my students to complete a composition by the end of the week. I used guiding questions to help the students figure out how to dictate the rhythm and properly notate their compositions.
All in all, I couldn’t be happier with how the week went and with the resulting compositions! That evening, I updated each student’s composition in Finale and printed nearly-completed drafts for students to work from the following day.
On Day 2 of our composing camp, our goal was to get a good amount of our pieces composed and written down by the end of the day.
That evening, I took it upon myself to enter each student’s composition so far into Finale.
As mentioned previously, this week is the week: it’s composition camp for my students and me!
Throughout this camp, students will experience the joy of creation while composing their own music: from the energy of the initial creative urge, following the path of their personal inspiration, then settling it all into a captured vision. On the first day of camp, our goal was for each student to (1) chose a subject for their musical composition and (2) draw an illustration. It is so fun to see what each student chooses and how they choose depict the subject matter through their drawing. The rest of the group provided feedback about how the improvisation made them feel or what the music reminded them of. This is good preparation for Day 2, when we will start formulating the structure of our compositions and writing them down on staff paper.
That evening, I scanned each student’s illustration so that it would be ready to digitally insert into Finale software later in the week.
For a long time, I have identified myself as someone who is terrible at remembering to take my daily multivitamin pill. So, I started experimenting with putting my multivitamin bottle in a certain place in the house that might help me create a daily habit of taking my multivitamin each morning. Next, I tried putting the multivitamin bottle in the bathroom, near my toothbrush and other getting-ready-for-the-day items. Then, I tried putting the multivitamin bottle in the kitchen pantry, on the shelf just below the cereal boxes. This experience made me wonder: What other behavior changes can I make in my piano teaching or in other areas of my life?
We piano teachers tend to cite a lack of motivation when it comes to students failing to practice regularly. Instead of focusing on motivating our students to practice, what if we helped our students brainstorm and implement practical ways to eliminate the barriers that make practice difficult or inconvenient? To receive notifications when Sara’s other compositions became available, please like her Facebook page or join the email list at her website. At the bottom, there is a form where students can make their selection regarding the summer camps and lessons.
I originally made these Five Finger Major Picture Scales for a very young student who was having some trouble reading notes.
The (blue and green) borders around the cards extend past the cutting lines to aid in printer alignment problems.
This activity actually helps sight reading because the student must physically find the note.
But then I got to thinking that many teachers have perfectly valid reasons to use a 4 or any other finger on F.
I know a lot of teachers cross out fingering,  but why not a beginning method book that “suggests” fingerings, but leaves it up to the teacher?
I also think that most piano teachers outside of North America use middle C position, but I have no firm facts to back that up. Then I am going to present all kinds of games and activities to help solve different kinds of teaching problems. Elizabeth has so much professional experience in the music business that she knows just about everything ever published, so I am really looking forward to that session. Further help with this is available in my beginning reading book Sunny Solos ($4.95), a digital download from Sheet Music Plus.
It is so satisfying to see the feeling of accomplishment on their face, rather than frustration.
I don’t ask my students to say note names out loud as they play music from their books.
Plus, students need the confidence to move around the keyboard, or to find the starting note. During this session, we will learn how to best choose or create music games that will inspire, activate, and spark memorable learning moments. Each day of camp, we study a music style period (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern) as well as a particular composer from that time period. This is the same goal that my college professor had for us during the first semester of music history class. As I mentioned in my full review, Note Rush has quickly become my favorite app for piano teaching.
As I have been experimenting with this app during beta testing, I soon discovered just what a useful tool this app is for my students.
For a chance to win a free download of Note Rush, leave a comment below before Tuesday, June 28 at midnight (Eastern time) sharing your favorite aspect of Note Rush. The goal for this four-day camp was to experience the process of expressing something through the piano and writing it down. With that in mind, we spent time discussing form (AB, ABA, through-composed, etc.) as well as various aspects of proper music notation.


On this particular day, one of my students brought in a birthday snack to share: homemade ice cream sandwiches! By the end of the week, each student will take home an illustrated copy of their composition, printed using professional music notation software. I hoped that seeing the multivitamins when I came into the kitchen for breakfast would serve as a good reminder every day. I tend to eat a bowl of cereal every morning, so I thought this would be a good place. And I liked that the bottle was out-of-sight instead of out on the countertop. But what about when the problem isn’t a lack of motivation? Many of our students want to practice, but there are barriers preventing it from occurring daily.
I provide my students with a few package options to choose from, while expecting them to continue making the normal tuition payments each month.
Photoshop is a difficult program, so I do not advise piano teachers to buy it just to make this kind of worksheet.
It was so long ago I can’t even remember who I made it for, but it is one of the most popular downloads on my web site. After we learn the 5-finger scales we learn cross over arpeggios in all the major and minor keys. Included in the file are cards and certificates for both the Junior One Minute Club and the regular One Minute Club.
Make sure your PDF printer window is set to “actual size,” and you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader. But at some point in their career they have to know the real deal, so I came up with these flash cards and then decided to make a game out of it. Click on the links to read about E is for Elephant, The Doughnut Mystery, Pat the Cat’s Patting Song, and Notey Notes flash cards (to help read by intervals).
In this intimate setting, we will be able to play some games so you can see how they work, as well as practical suggestions on how to use off the bench activities.
Valentine’s House of Music is going to have the music there if we want to buy it for our students.
If you have ever played a one note song, I must mention that it is a lot more fun with the duet. I’m reposting them below, and on my website you can find some older ones that are larger and not as fancy. As we study each composer’s childhood and career, students will learn about the music, fashion, art, and architecture of the time. It’s so important for students to learn to associate staff positions with the corresponding piano key in the correct octave, and Note Rush encourages this! In addition to individual work, students will get to take part in group-based improvisation and composition throughout the week.
The problem was that it wasn’t convenient to get a drink of water for swallowing the multivitamin. As it turned out, however, my eyes did not always see the multivitamin bottle there in the pantry. This works because I always take out a cereal bowl every morning, so I can’t miss seeing the bottle. How can we help students create their own opportunities to achieve “small wins” on their way to establishing new habits?
But here on my blog it’s a lot easier to group thing into categories to make it easier for teachers to  choose what they want.
I went to my first workshop with Elizabeth many years ago, and I still remember and use her tips every day I teach.
There will be music from various publishers that will become your students’ favorites. At least that is what one of my intermediate students said, who saw it in my studio and wanted to try it out.
I was worried that these cards would confuse students who are also learning to read notes on the staff, but that has not happened to my students.
Every year, students are fascinated to find that they can relate to the life stories of composers who lived hundreds of years ago. I have no doubt that this group of students will be composing more pieces down the road, sooner rather than later, at which time we can spend more time on refinement during their private lessons.
I had to find my water bottle (which tends to travel all over the house with me) or go to the kitchen for a glass. Once spelled accurately on the staff, ask the student to dictate the interval path of the melody created by the chips to you out loud (F down a 2nd E, up an 8va E, down a 2nd D: FEED). Are you unsure how to go about teaching scales, and are they important for our students to learn? If you have any questions about how to get started using games in a piano lesson, this will help you out. In the long run, having this broader context of music history enriches later years of piano study, especially when playing classical piano literature. While it is important that students learn to play by intervals and not think of each note as they play, students should learn the names of the notes to give them confidence. I don’t think it does a whole lot of good in piano to know the name of the note, but not which key it is on the keyboard. These flash cards are posted on my web site, but I’m putting them here to help with organization.




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