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A Patriotic Medley

Wanted to say thank you to all who sacrificed their lives for our country. May your memories live on forever. This Patriotic Medley by Amy Potter is for them, how they served our country in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Thanks is just the beginning.

Face Flashback Cards

I'm always trying to find new ways to help piano students know the notes on the staff well. Board and card games are favorites with our students. They enjoy the opportunity to play a fun game where they are learning. Mostly they like to win and tell me all about it. Yet I have a game that I've used before and while looking for easy ideas to parents to print off, I found the Face Flashback Cards. To find this funny emoji face game, you need to find the website: colorfulkeys. You will need to print off the game pieces of the notes from Bass G (4th space) to Treble G (2nd line). Currently I've been playing the game where I show the students the staff note and they have to figure out what the no

Chord Game Worksheet

One of the recent games we've been doing is a chord worksheet that students are enjoying. I'm not sure where I found the game, yet it has been helpful in this time. When I figure it out where I found it, I'll let you know. I love the set up the of board game with the colorful monsters on it. The students appear to like it too. How we play is we pick a major or minor chord and we'll need legos, beads, small candy or whatever they happen to have around. Once we figure out the notes of the chord, we put the 3 objects on the game board. Then we show each other what we have created. This is an easy assessment game to see what they know. The other focus is to create inversions of the chords. That

Always Learning with Technology

Olaf states that technology is our savior and doom. LOL. This week I've learned more about how to use technology to help the students succeed, including more about Zoom and Skype. Some have not been the best, yet others have brought on learning opportunities. I know that's good. I'm so blessed and thankful to learn how to do online lessons well. One of the things I've been working on is adding my phone to the Zoom or Skype lesson so the students are able to see what I'm playing. I will admit that I still learning how to turn off the volume on the phone, so it will not echo. Still working on that. Connection issues and lighting have been a bit crazy, yet I'm trying to make the best of the opt

Takelessons.TV event

On Wednesday, March 13th I'll be one of the teachers for the takelssons.TV Classes. I'll be doing a free 45 minute class from 3-3:45 CST on vocal music theater. Those who participate will learn some basic vocal techniques and work on 2 songs: The Greatest Show (The Greatest Showman) and We're All in This Together (High School Musical). The TV class will be a live event where those who participate will be able ask me questions through the chat. I will not be able to see who is participating, yet you can chat on the zoom classroom, asking questions. Would love to have everyone's support. This is a bit beyond myself, yet I'm learning and trying. If your interested in other free classes TakeLess

Mother's Day Script

Happy Mother's Day to every mother and women alive. No matter if you have children or you are a mentor, thanks for all you that you do. I can say that I'm so thankful for my mom, as she continues to support and love her children very well. Plus my incredible aunts, cousins, friends, coworkers and colleagues in my life who have been great role model. Thanks. Here is an excerpt from a play script called Mother's Day, where two siblings are pouring the ashes of their mom into the ocean. Davon and I made it work as two brothers. The story points out that no matter what we do a mother will always love us and that all mothers help their children become who they were created to be. Even if one of t

The One and Only Ivan

Before the quarantine, my wife got this children's book that has really been speaking to me about the importance of doing what you're called to do, right where we are all at. For me that's teaching voice, piano and acting. This extremely easy read children's book goes through various emotions of the characters, especially Ivan, the silverback gorilla, Ruby, a baby elephant, Max the owner of the mall in Washington State that contains these exotic animals. I don't want to give the story away, yet the One and Only Ivan, based on a true story has spoken to me about doing what we're called to do. To help others find a "home" that is safe and secure. If you don't know anything about this book, pl

Sounds from Below

Daniel McFarlane is one of the many incredible composers that the student love to play. They are always begging for more songs from him. Daniel's music always sounds like movie soundtracks, which are relatable to the students. His website supersonicpiano.com is filled amazing music from early beginners to advanced. Really love the variety of music he creates. The song called the Sounds From Below is a great song that makes anyone think they are at the bottom of the ocean, filled with sounds we don't experience on land. The copy I have is in A minor, yet it's mostly available in C minor. In the A minor version I really like the left hand sounds using A and E, plus the melody in the right hand

Recent Piano Lessons

So thankful that I'm still learning how to help students flourish while in quarantine. I've recently came across a favorite classical song that is familiar to everyone, no matter if you know music or not. The most classic song by Beethoven: Fur Elise. The beautiful melody tells an incredible story. I'm not here to share history about the song, yet wanted to share how this song has impacted my studio recently. Specifically how a small arrangement has helped with some of my students to inspire and encourage them to practice. The arrangement is from musicformusicteachers.com. The beginning melody is so evident in this 6/4 arrangement with quarter and dotted half notes, including the main chords

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