Piano Explorer Magazine Discontinued

This a month of new discoveries and unfortunately, not great ones!

Last week I shared that The Royal Conservatory had removed its theory apps from the app store.

Today, I’ve learned that Piano Explorer Magazine, published by The Instrumentalist is no longer taking any new subscriptions.

Unfortunately, their subscriptions significantly decreased during the pandemic and they will no longer be able to continue the print magazine after the May/June issue.

 

Petition to Reinstate the RCM Theory Apps

It’s a sad day! I’ve recently discovered and now have 100% confirmation that The Royal Conservatory’s Theory apps are no longer available in the app store.

While the image above displays Prep – Level 3, there was actually a Level 4 as well (so 5 total); it just didn’t fit into my screenshot image – ha!

Apparently, they’ve been gone for quite some months. However, if (like me), if you already own these apps, you would have never known because they still work on your iPad!

I only discovered it when a reader contacted me regarding the correlating music labs wondering if there was a level 5. Rather than finding any newly published apps, I instead discovered they were gone entirely!

These apps were some of the best quality theory apps and my students loved them. I am incredibly bummed to see these no longer in the app store.

Thanks to Judy Naillion in the iPad Piano Teacher’s group for assisting in this research. She made the call to RCM to investigate (including a long hold wait) and obtained information on how we can submit complaints/petition to have them reinstated.

Taking her suggestion, I’ve created an online petition that will be sent to The Royal Conservatory requesting the reconsider publishing these apps.

Thank you for your participation!

Music Lab Time for Young Students

This post is part of a series called Your Questions Answered that highlights questions that readers like yourself have asked of me over the last few years. 

 


Do you have a certain age range that you have created your Piano Pantry Lab items for? Do you think 2nd graders would do fine watching the videos (like the 1st Halloween one that is 10 minutes)?

I only had one student today so I got to hear her feedback on the two videos of the organ and the wine glasses from page 1 of your Halloween videos. It was fun to see how excited she was about it!

Keep creating wonderful materials to help us teach our students. Love all that you do!

-LS

 

 

Hi, L!

I’m so glad to hear your student was enjoying the Halloween lab!

As far as the age range, lab time can definitely be trickier with students younger than 3rd grade. As I’m sure you have experienced, they have a hard time working on their own without you helping with every step. So, yes, most of the labs I have available work better for mid-elementary students or older.

That being said, sometimes it can depend on the student. I’ve had 1st or 2nd graders that do better than 3rd graders on their own!

My lab time for younger students is always shorter than most – 15 minutes is usually enough for them.

I still use many of my lab resources – like the Halloween video series you mentioned – but pick and choose which ones to assign. Shorter ones under 5 minutes or ones that are visually appealing like the animated version of Danse Macabre by Saint-Saëns work nicely.

In instances like this, rather than simply having them watch, I always give them a blank notebook when giving listening and ask them to color what they hear.

Several of the videos from Set 1 of the Music Theory video series are also good for younger student’s lab time.

One other thing I sometimes do with young students is listening to enriching music while coloring in their own personal art books. Check out more details in these posts:

Friday Finds: Productivity Tools and Simple Songs 

Inspiring Creativity with Student Art Books

Other programs I’ve used in the past with success during lab time for young students include:

Sproutbeat (which just went through an awesome update, merging their worksheets and games apps!)
Music Learning Lab Pro

Ningenius
My Orchestra App from Naxos
Beanie’s Musical Instruments
TuneTrain
Pitch Painter
Rhythm Swing

I hope this helps!

~Amy

 


P.S. If you would like to get a closer look into how I run my labs, you might check out the Music Labs Made Easy ebook!

This 15-page eBook is chock full of all kinds of “pro tips”.

We’ll talk about scheduling, set-up, and organizing labs.

Laid out in an easy-to-read and understand format, this book will answer all your questions regarding music lab time!

 


P.S.S.

In celebration of the 5-year anniversary of Piano Pantry, everything in the shop (including the eBook!) is 15% off through the end of March 2021.

Visit the Piano Pantry Shop

 


Did you enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.

 

Waay Music Theory App

New courses, a giveaway, and an updated music lab tracking sheet

Back in August 2019, I introduced you to two of my favorite high-quality music theory apps for the iPad.

One of those, Waay, has added two new courses.

In this post, I’ll share a little about the new courses and introduce you to the updated music lab tracking sheet available in the Piano Pantry Shop that’s designed to go along with the app.

As an extra bonus, thanks to Waay’s founder and developer, Alex Andrews, I have FIVE promo codes to give away for the new courses!

 

Continue reading

The New Christmas Lab Video Series

Ready for a little joy and good cheer?

The Christmas season is just around the corner and that means it’s time to start thinking of ways you can incorporate this glorious season into your lesson time.

We’re all a little tired, so can I help you out? 

Believe me when I say that the new free Christmas Video series here on Piano Pantry is a guaranteed smile on your student’s face.

The best part of it? This is a series that can easily be assigned to your online students, especially if you use a program like Tonara (see how I set up assignments like this in Tonara).

 

Where to find this video series

You can easily navigate to all of the free video series here on Piano Pantry by going to the Menu > Resources > Music Labs.

Currently, there are four different video series available:

Music Theory Videos

Holiday Lab – Halloween

Holiday Lab – Christmas

Fun Music Videos

 

Listening Guides

If you would like to go a little further, both the Halloween Lab and the new Christmas Lab have listening guides available in the Music Labs Shop.

The Christmas video series includes 23 videos and around 90 minutes of listening in a 9-page document.

A variety of songs and artists are included.

You’ll see pieces such as Silent Night, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Mary Did You Know, and Sleigh Ride, and hear from artists like Cameron Carpenter, Eric Whitacre, The Piano Guys (a lot, of course), the Berlin Philharmonic Choir, and more.

The accompanying lab sheet gives students brief and easy-to-digest background information on each piece followed by a reflection question.

Students are not necessarily asked to physically write out an answer to the reflection question (although you could certainly ask them to!), it is simply there to help guide them in active listening.

They are also asked to rate the video with 1-3 stars, which serves both as a way for students to reflect on how much they enjoyed the video and to track the pieces that they’ve listened to in the lab.

Add this lab to your cart now, or find it (along with other music labs in the shop).

 

 

Music Labs Made Easy eBook

Curious for more details on how I run my music labs? Get this 15-page eBook that is chock full of all kinds of “pro tips.”

We’ll talk about scheduling, set-up, and organizing labs. Laid out in an easy-to-read and understand format, this book will answer all your questions regarding music lab time!

 

 

Online Music Labs and Organizing Repertoire in Tonara

Over the years I’ve gotten lots of emails with great questions from readers like yourself.

Recently, it dawned on me that instead of keeping that information between me and the person who asked, perhaps others could find it useful!

So, I’m beginning a series on Piano Pantry called Your Questions Answered, and will post approximately one per month. Enjoy!


In this time of online lessons, what does a “lab” look like? When I read your posts I feel like I’ve been teaching in the dark ages, and suddenly been thrust into the light. You inspire me to up my game!!!

I am wondering how you organize your resources on your computer too. I am struggling with this….especially videos. Are you using Tonara? I am, but struggling with saving repertoire to re-use.

I know this is a busy time for you with the new teaching year. I’m grateful for any help you can offer. I want to be better!!!!!!

-CW

 

Hi, C!

These are all great questions and am happy to help.

I’ve always promoted my lab time as a “bonus”, so when the COVID lockdown went into effect in March 2020, I didn’t worry about moving the entire lab time online. My students and I simply had our individual lessons and called it good – luckily with no complaints from parents. 🙂

One thing I did do, however, was to use the Music Theory Video lab series and assigned it through Tonara.

I pre-created a set of assignments in the “repertoire” section of Tonara for each video and titled it not only by the “set number” and “video number” in which I ordered it but also by what they were supposed to do (an “action word”).

For example:  WATCH: (S1 #15) Steps and Skips on the Staff

(Here’s a screenshot for you to see it in my Tonara repertoire database – click on the image to view it more closely if needed.)

A link to the video on YouTube video is included in the assignment.

As you stated, while the repertoire tool in Tonara is super awesome for storing frequently-used assignments like this, I know it can be a struggle to take the time to make it happen.

Last year I went through that and tried to just focus on inputting one book at a time into Tonara. I title the assignment by an acronym for the book first then the name of the piece.

For example, for my Music Moves for Piano books I might title assignment like this:

MM1 (U01) PLAY: Popcorn

MM1 (U02) SING: Triple Meter

(The “U” stands for “Unit”). 

This makes it easier when you use the search function to be able to see all of the pieces in one book together IN ORDER of the book.

Keep in mind that the longer the title gets, the student won’t be able to read the whole title on their device until they actually click on the assignment itself. That’s why I try to keep the title as descriptive and yet succinct as possible.

Here’s another screenshot:

I don’t know if that completely answers all of your questions but hopefully, it’s a start and can inspire you to find some ways that will work for you!

Best wishes!

~Amy

 


P.S.

Just a heads up that all links in this post to Tonara are affiliate links. All it means is if you sign up to use it through one of those links, I get a little back without it costing you extra. Being an affiliate for great products helps me cover the cost of running this free blog! 🙂

 


Did you enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.

 

Best-Selling Music Labs and the new “Top Music Marketplace”

As we’re just getting started with the start of the 2020-2021 school year I just wanted to highlight four of the best-selling Music Labs here on Piano Pantry as well as mention the kickoff of Tim Topham’s new Top Music Marketplace.

There are 15 different music lab sheets for sale here on Piano Pantry. They include:

  1. Essentials of Music Theory
  2. Fun Music Videos
  3. Halloween Lab
  4. Music Theory Videos
  5. Piano Explorer Magazine
  6. RCM Theory App Prep
  7. RCM Theory App Level 1
  8. RCM Theory App Level 2
  9. RCM Theory App Level 3
  10. RCM Theory App Level 4
  11. RCM Theory App Bundle
  12. Rhythm Cat HD
  13. Rhythm Lab
  14. Staff Wars App
  15. Waay App

(Clicking on the links will take you to the blog post that tells you more about each one!)

Not surprisingly, the four bestsellers have been:

  1. Fun Music Videos
  2. RCM Theory App Bundle
  3. Music Theory Videos
  4. Rhythm Lab

 


Visit the Music Labs Shop here on Piano Pantry


 

 

Top Music Marketplace

All of these labs are still available here on Piano Pantry, but will select ones will also now be available on Tim Topham’s new Top Music Marketplace.

While I have the ability to sell products right here on Piano Pantry (and will continue to do so), Top Music Marketplace is one of the first websites (at least that I’m aware of) to set up one location for music teachers to sell their products.

While it’s a great opportunity for teachers who don’t have their own online platform to sell products (sign up here), it’s also an opportunity for those like myself that have a platform to reach an even bigger audience – and for that, I’m in! 🙂

Of course, it also makes it convenient for you as well to be able to search out a multitude of products in one location – some of which you might not otherwise have had exposure!


Hop on over and check out TopMusicMarkepace.co


View the Piano Pantry shop on TopMusicMarkepace.


 

A Simple (and Free) Video Supplement to Support Your Online Teaching

Are you looking for a few extra (but simple) tools to help you with your new journey into online teaching?

Here’s one you may have not even considered!

A free compilation of 48 of the best music-theory videos from all over the web is available to you here on Piano Pantry.

How can this video-series help make your life easier over the coming weeks?

The videos have been leveled into four sets based on the rough/general order in which concepts are introduced in most piano methods.

You will be able to quickly and easily access videos that can help reinforce new concepts your students may be learning. Here are a few examples of videos in each set:

Set 1
  1. Key names and the music alphabet
  2. How to draw the treble and bass clef
  3. Landmark notes
Set 2
  1. Skips alphabet on the staff
  2. Sharps, flats, and naturals
  3. How to build major and minor triads
Set 3
  1. AB and ABA Form
  2. Chord inversions
  3. Circle of fifths
Set 4
  1. Scale degree names
  2. Augmented intervals
  3. Double sharps and flats

 

Before, during, or after your online lesson, grab the link and text or email it to students/parents. (If you use a program such as Tonara, simply attach a link to the video in a theory lesson assignment. Easy!)

Should these videos replace a lesson?
No!

Are they an easy and fun way to provide additional e-learning to your students?
Yes!


Access the video series here.


Here’s a screenshot showing a few videos that are included in the series:

 

Tracking Sheet

If you’re interested in having a way to keep track of what videos you’ve assigned to each student, find the 2-page guide that accompanies this series in the Music Labs Shop or simply add it to your shopping cart now.

P.S. All music labs are studio licenses so you can print it as much as you need for your students.

 

 

 


Did you find this post helpful? Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list where you’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.


 

A New Halloween-Themed Music Lab

Looking for a fun, educational, and, easy activity for your students around Halloween time?

Introduce students to “spooky” classical music with this fun Halloween-themed lab!

Four pages long, this lab guide accompanies the (free) Halloween Videos series published here on Piano Pantry. Comprised of 13 videos, there’s over an hour of listening for your students to enjoy!

This lab sheet gives students brief and easy-to-digest background information on each piece followed by a reflection question.

Students are not necessarily asked to physically write out an answer to the reflection question (although you could certainly ask them to!), it is simply there to help guide them in active listening.

They are also asked to rate the video with 1-3 stars, which serves both as a way for students to reflect on how the piece made them feel and to track the pieces that they’ve listened to in the lab.

The lab and videos are long enough that if you only assign this lab during a once-a-week lesson for one or week or two weeks leading up to Halloween, then you might be able to use it with students two or three years in a row depending on how long your lab time is!

Add this lab to your cart now, or find it (along with other music labs in the shop).

 

 

Music Labs Made Easy eBook

Curious for more details on how I run my music labs? Get this 15-page eBook that is chock full of all kinds of “pro tips.”

We’ll talk about scheduling, set-up, and organizing labs. Laid out in an easy-to-read and understand format, this book will answer all your questions regarding music lab time!

 

Favorite iPad Apps for Music Lab

This post highlights some of my favorite iPad apps that I use for my student’s off-bench music lab time.

While these are all great-quality apps, most apps do not allow students to “sign-in” and thus track their progress.

Consequently, I have designed corresponding tracking sheets that are all available in the shop.

Today we’ll talk about:

  1. Waay (Theory/Songwriting App)
  2. Rhythm Cat HD
  3. Rhythm Lab
  4. Staff Wars

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