Friday, July 29, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - July 29

Here's this week's round up of links.  Enjoy!

July Blog Roundup | Color in My Piano
Looking for some new blogs to follow?  Joy has a great roundup of suggestions.

You Do Have The Time For Piano Lessons | The Taylor Studio
Thinking about starting music lessons this fall?  Worried about being too busy?  Here's some insight on how easy it is to make time for music lessons.

The First Lesson | Mariel Mohns Music
Here are some great ideas on what to cover in that first lesson.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Sheet Music Available - Sunset

This piece of music is a simple tune for the words to a poem by Amy Carmichael.  It also includes an easy accompaniment.  Click here to view the music.

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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Self-Employed? What About Finances?

As soon as people find out that I'm self-employed, I get all sorts of questions.  How do I handle taxes?  What about health insurance?  What sort of expenses are business expenses?

Earlier this year I came across a book that I wished I had had when I first started working independently: The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed by Joseph D'Agnese and Denise Kiernan.  Even having read it this year, I found it extremely helpful, and I highly recommend this book.  You'll find the answers to most of your questions in it.

Click here to read a review by Travis King.
Click here to read a review by Sierra Black.
Click here for the website for the book.

Disclaimer: This recommendation is purely my own based upon what I personally have found helpful. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - July 22

Here's this week's round up of links.  Have fun!

Spinners! | Music Study Studio
Looking for a great way to help your students review musical symbols?  Try out these DIY spinners.  This post includes all the downloads you'll need.

Studio Marketing: The Studio Newsletter | Color in My Piano
Joy offers some great insight as to why having a studio newsletter is a great marketing tool for your studio.  She also lists some ideas on what to include in your newsletter.

Why Do You Want Your Child to Take Piano Lessons? | The Taylor Studio
Are you thinking about starting piano lessons for your child?  Kristen writes about some of the things you should consider as you look for a piano teacher.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Sheet Music Available - Olivia's Song

This piece of music was written for a beginner student of mine. It features basic intervals, C position notes, and repeating patterns. It's perfect to add something new to your beginner's repertoire.

To order, click here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - July 16

Here's this week's round up of links.  Have fun!

Flashcard Prompts for Improvisation & Composition | Color in My Piano
Want to try something new for introducing your students to improvisation?  Try these flashcards (free download!) from Joy.

A Fun Teaching Aid for Chords and Scales | For Love of Piano
Here's a fun DIY idea.  Perfect for adding a whimsical touch to your lessons.

Harry Potter Easy Piano Sheet Music Round Up | The Taylor Studio
Add some "Potter" to your music lessons.  Here's a list of easy piano sheet music from the movies.

Allegro Classical Summer 2011 Sampler | Amazon
Here's a free download from Amazon.  Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Math and Music

"Mathematics and music share many traits, not least of which being their reliance on a good system of notation."

- Eli Maor, The Pythagorean Theorem

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Sheet Music Available - Short Drills

This one-page sheet music has three easy drills.  Click here to view the sheet.
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, July 8, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - July 8

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

Building a Major Triad | Teaching Children Music
Here's a very hands-on and visual way to teach kids how to build a major triad.  Plus, it involves Legos.  How cool is that!

Determining Tuition Rates for Piano Teaching | Color in My Piano
Joy addresses some of the key things you should be thinking about when you set your rates for your music lessons.  If you have any additional ideas or thoughts on this, I'd love to hear your comments.

Creative Commons for Music Educators
Do you have questions about copy right and what materials you can use?  This booklet addresses many of these issues.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

6 Ways to Spice Up Your Practice

Sometimes it's hard to get out of the rut when practicing pieces.  You hit the same trouble spots.  You make the same mistakes.  You just don't seem to be making much progress.  Here are six ways to spice things up a bit.  Some of these ideas might be a bit challenging for the beginner student, but not all of them.

1.  Play backwards.
Start with the last measure and play it.  Then back up a measure and play that measure, and so on. 

2.  Play in "slow motion."
Slow everything down and play at half the speed you normally do.

3.  Play by "expanding the box."
Start with a measure with which you are struggling.  Play that measure through once or twice.  Then add the measure before that measure and play through both.  Add the next measure on the next time around.  Rinse.  Repeat.

4.  Play everything in staccato.

5.  Do some transposing.
Take a section of the piece and transpose it into a different (and preferrably an easier) key.

6.  Figure out the chords underlying each measure (and write them in).
This is a great way to help you get the big picture idea.

Question for you: What methods do you use to help you with your practice?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Sheet Music Available - Practice Record

Looking for a way to encourage your students to keep track of their practice time?  Check out this Practice Roster.  It includes space for your students to record the times they practiced and what they practiced.  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, July 1, 2011

Happy Birthday!

This blog turns one today!  Happy Birthday!

It's been exciting to see things grow over this past year.  I want to thank all of you readers for the support you have shown.

The three most popular posts have been the following:
- Make Improvisations Fun!
- Drills - Can They Really be Fun?
- Warm-Ups

Thanks for a great year!  And I'm looking forward to see how things go this next year!

"If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music." - Gustav Mahler

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