Note Ninjas Escape Room
Ten students attended and 3 of our teen students came to help out and man our 3 Note Drill stations:
Our Ninja Prize Box
It was such a fun event! We got such good feedback from the parents, and it was encouraging seeing the students' scores improve on each repetition of the activities. We will definitely be doing another "Escape Room" again.
MUSIC SYMBOL CHARTS
Score Study - New Song Prep
Christmas Recital For Beginners
After 2.5 years online, we went back to partial in-person lessons in September, and we started 4 beginner group classes for our Music for Little Mozarts program. In December, some of these students had their first piano recital using the Music for Little Mozarts Recital Story Book. The parents were thrilled that even the students who only started in November were able to take part in the recital.
The Recital Story Book is great because it follows the progress of the Lesson Book, so any student working through the Lesson Book can play pieces from the Recital Story Book. I read a cut down version of the story and the students sang and played the songs. One of the older students played the accompaniment parts, and I encouraged (bribed) the students to sing along by letting them know the goody bags and stickers were only for those I heard singing :)
It was so much fun that we are starting our 5th Little Mozarts group class next week! Yay!
A Cute Christmas Gift
In September a whole bunch of new kiddos signed up for lesson with us. It has been a delight teaching them. This Christmas we are planning a mini-recital during the last lesson of the year, and we put together cute sticker/candy packs with encouraging greeting cards for each student to collect after the recital.
The stickers and cards are available on the Piano Together Etsy Store.
Piano Stickers Galore
Students love stickers.
Piano students love piano stickers.
This year, we're finally returning to in-person lessons for new students, and we have made personalized stickers for them to put on their folders and music books. We'll also be adding stickers to the Piano Packs that we mail to online students.
This summer, we tested different styles of stickers on some of our summer students. They were such a big hit - even some of the older teens (14, 15, 16 year olds) were delighted with them, so we are making them available to others on the Piano Together Etsy Store.
Our stickers come in sets of 8 or 16, and you can personalize each sticker in the set. For example, if you have 16 students, just select the style you want, enter the student names, and we'll set you 16 personalized stickers. I'm sure your student will love them just as much as ours do!
All stickers are 25% off through August 31. Yay!
Super Easy Piano Pieces
Earlier this year I wrote out easy versions of a few worship songs for a couple of the primer students. Their reactions were amazing! We were so delighted at how much practice they put into the "real songs." Even the parents were getting more involved.
This prompted me to find simple versions of well-known songs at primer level, as I began to imagine a studio filled with super-motivated students :) There were several books on Amazon, but most of them had the note names written on the notes. After months of note drills and students working hard to learn to read music on the staff, using a book with note names was not something we wanted to do, so I put together my own book (without note names!) of 20 well known songs including:
It has been so well received by both the students and their parents, that we now use it as the “Performance Book” for our primer and early level 1 students.
Our Music Mania Mats (theory worksheets) were such a big hit this past year, that I included the same style worksheet for nearly every song in the book. Our students are enjoying coloring the worksheets, and answering the questions - and most of all, they are enjoying playing "real songs." I think parents enjoy hearing songs they know too 😊
You can find Super Easy Piano Pieces on Amazon . A nice inexpensive way to make your primer students happy :)
Preparing For Easter
A few years ago, we had lots of fun at Easter with group pieces. Arranging several pieces for 3 or 4 pianos was a good way of getting a whole lot of students into a 40-minute recital.
We will probably be doing an online recital again this year, but for those of you who are back to in-person, feel free to download and use with your students!
Download these and other group-piano-arrangements FREE from TeachersPayTeachers. We would love, love, love to see videos of your students performing them! Share them with us if you like :)
Our Pre-Primer (and some of our Primer), (and actually some of our Level 1) students consistently check their fingers before playing each key. Rather than focusing on the sheet music, they look down at the piano keys every few notes, resulting in numerous pauses in each line of music.
We put together this Finger Power activity to encourage our young students to keep their eyes on the sheet music as much as possible.
We also use this activity to strengthen understanding of stepping up/stepping down. Getting the firework display reward keeps the students super focused on playing the 8 notes without looking down at their hands.
We have had a few tears from the youngest student who didn't get through all 8 notes. Sometimes it seems a little harsh for their turn to be over if they look at their fingers at any point, but it has been so effective. After having their turn terminated a couple of times, students are super focused and disciplined enough not to look at their hands. It has been really rewarding watching them all grow stronger in this area of trusting their fingers to find the keys on their own.
The trick is to repeat this activity for several weeks - even when it's easy for the students. It's important to remind them to carry these skills from the activity to their actual music books.
Sharing The Joy Of Music
One of our goals at Piano-Together, is to have as many children as possible involved with the piano. Our lessons are inexpensive, we take on students with digital pianos and keyboards, we often compose music specifically for our students, we use LOTS of PowerPoint games and activities, and we make the classes as fun as possible. All these efforts have helped our studio to really grow!
Another thing that has helped us grow, is music videos! Now that all our lessons are online for the foreseeable future, our recitals are also online. We encourage families to share the recital videos with family and friends, and when they do, it brings more students to our studio so we can share the joy of music with even more children. Yay!
Ode to Joy is very popular among our primer students - and new beginners are looking forward to learning it after seeing Vihaan perform it this past Christmas! You can download a copy of this primer version of Ode to Joy for your own studio :)
Julia & Diana
Two sisters on two different continents, working together, creating resources that keep our students motivated and loving piano!