Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ideas for Reward Charts

I was out running errands this past week and came across a section of back-to-school supplies (already!). 
After getting over the shock of feeling like the summer is flying past, I spent some time looking at what was available.  I came across the individual reward sheets pictured here.  And, I felt like they were perfect for my piano students. 

I'm planning on have one sheet for each student, and when he accomplishes his weekly goal of practice time, he'll get a sticker.  Once he has filled his entire sheet, he'll be able to pick out a prize.  Guess I'll have to make a trip to the dollar store to stock up!

I like the fact that each student will be able to move at his own pace - some of my students are not very faithful in practicing.  However, it will still give each one incentive and a goal to work towards. 

Question for you: Do you reward your students for their practice?  If so, how?  If not, why not?

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Sheet Music Available - G Major Scales and Chords

This one-page sheet music has both an easy and an intermediate version of the G major scale and the main G major chords.  Click here to view the worksheet.
If you'd like to order your own copy, please click here and fill out the form.  You will receive the sheet as a pdf file.

Friday, June 24, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - June 24

Two articles from the Studio Helper Blog this week.

What are the Goals of Your Program | by Kim Lorimier
Kim outlines some great thoughts on the spectrum of goals for a music program.

The Courage to Charge What You're Worth | by Suzanne Greer
The title says it all!  Here are some extremely valuable thoughts and ideas on how to set your rates as a music teacher.

Let's talk: What do you think?  I'd love to hear your ideas and thoughts!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Method Books for Beginner Guitar Students

While there are quite a few method series out for piano students, I have really struggled to find something that I can use with my guitar students.  Some may argue against using a method book for guitar students, and I'd love to hear your comments!  However, I find it beneficial for both myself and the student.  Using a method book gives the student structure and also a sense of progression and accomplishment.  As a teacher, I like it because it helps to ensure that we cover all the basics in a consistent and regular pattern. 

I had been using Everybody's Guitar Method from FJH Music Company, but found myself having a hard time tracking down copies of the book.  Therefore, I was excited when I came across Alfred's Basic Guitar Method.  There are three books to this series, as well as quite a few supplements including theory books, chord charts, and pop song books.  The method books offer everything you would expect from a method book, including how to play notes, reading music, chords, and of course songs. 

If you have a guitar method you use, I'd enjoy hearing about it.  Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below. 

Disclaimer:  This recommendation is purely my own, based upon my own preferences.  I have not received any products or compensation from Alfred Music Publishing. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - June 17

Here are this week's finds.  I hope you find something that catches your attention.  Enjoy!

Is My Child Old Enough to Take Piano Lessons? | For Love of Piano
This is a very common question, and Leah addresses things that both parents and teachers need to keep in mind.

Tips for Teaching Our Littlest Learners | Music Teachers Blog
If you work with young students, this post is worth a read.  Amanda gives some great insight into and ideas for how to approach teaching young beginners.

Music Camp: Day Two | Sing a New Song
Here are some great ideas on how to teach rhythm, whether in a music camp situation or in regular lessons.

Let's talk! Have any finds that you would like to pass on? Post a comment below or send me an email.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

7 Piano Blogs Worth Reading

Here's a list of the piano blogs that I follow.  I hope you can find some ideas here to help you with your music studio and teaching.

For Love of Piano
Leah blogs about her experiences as a piano teacher with a special focus on beginner students.

Layton Music
While this blog hasn't been updated in a while, there are still a whole bunch of games and ideas that are worth taking a look at.

Piano Escapades
Wendy blogs about her piano teaching and shares some incredibly creative ideas.

Color in My Piano
Joy shares some great question and answer forums as well as some very helpful printables.

Sing a New Song
Looking for interactive songs for your students?  Jeana has some incredible ideas and resiou

Studio Helper 
This blog lists tips and resources to help you run your music studio.

The Teaching Studio
Jenny and Janina have teamed up to run this blog.  They always have some great ideas, plus there are some helpful posts on how to set up and run a studio, as well as teaching resources.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - June 10

Here's this week's roundup.  Have fun!

Twelve Benefits of Music Education | Children's Music Workshop
Looking for some reasons as to why students should take music lessons?  Here's a list of some of the benefits.

It's All About the Student | Music Teachers Helper
This article has some great insights on creating a positive atmosphere in your lessons.

10 Self-Promotion Tips that Always Work and are Never Sleazy | Passive Panda
As a music teacher, you are probably your own marketing department.  Here are some ideas on positive promotion.

I hope you have a great weekend.  If you find any of these articles helpful, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

7 Reasons for Teachers to Learn Some New Music

1.  It fuels your creativity.  Learning something new expands your thought process and opens you up to new ideas. 

2.  It gets you out of a rut.  Most of us are creatures of habit, so here's a way to branch out.

3.  It allows you to expand your repetoire.  Each of us has our favorite composers, so this a great way for you to come in contact with something fresh.

4.  It opens up new ideas for your teaching.  Getting to know new pieces - and new composers - gives you new suggestions for your students. 

5.  It gives you some time to focus on yourself.  Many of us carry full loads, so this is a great way to carve out some time to focus on yourself and honing your own skills.

6.  It helps you identify with some of the struggles your students face.  Nothing helps like a little bit of empathy.  Plus, it can be encouraging to your students when they know that you have to work to learn new pieces, just as they have to work at it.

7.  It allows you to reconnect with why you like music.  Chances are, you teach music because you like music.  Sometimes, however, it's easy to lose sight of that connection in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of teaching.

So, go out, and spend some time in the next couple of weeks and months learning something new.  Have fun with it, and let me know what you end up doing!

Friday, June 3, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - June 3

I hope the month of June has started well for you.  Here's this week's collection of articles.  Enjoy!

Some of My Favorite Non-Translation Business Books | Thoughts on Translation
If you run a music studio, you run a business, no matter how small your studio is.  Here are some business books that might be a great read for you over the summer.

How Do You Introduce Classical Music to Kids? | NPR
Any music student will come in contact with classical music at some time.  And that's probably a good thing.  How do you get kids to like it, though?  This article addresses this question.

Piano Teaching 101 - Ten Tips on How to Begin | Heidi's Piano Studio
Thinking about teaching piano?  Or another instrument?  Heidi gives some wonderful tips on how to start. 

Let's talk! Have any finds that you would like to pass on? Post a comment below or send me an email.

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