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:
Key names and the music alphabet
How to draw the treble and bass clef
Skips alphabet on the staff
Sharps, flats, and naturals
How to build major and minor triads
AB and ABA Form
Circle of fifths
Scale degree names
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?
Are they an easy and fun way to provide additional e-learning to your students? Yes!
Here’s a screenshot showing a few videos that are included in the series:
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.
Being known as an organized person means I frequently get asked what some of my favorite tools and resources are I use on a day-to-day basis. If you’ve been around Piano Pantry long enough, you already know my #1 is by far Evernote.
When we talk about “tools” though, we use daily a wide gamut whether it’s for organizing music, social media, our schedule, resources, etc. Today I want to highlight four digital tools that help me stay organized that in 2020 I would now find it very hard to live without.
Evernote. The easiest way to describe Evernote is that it’s a digital filing cabinet where you can save multiple types of content formats in one location: documents, URL links, clips from YouTube, selections from internet pages, PDF files, and more. Highly useful for both our teaching and personal lives!
Feedly. Using an RSS Reader is, in my opinion, the only way to properly manage content in today’s world. An RSS Reader is like a personalized digital newspaper. You tell it the website you want to follow and it will stream all the newsfeeds into one location so you can keep up on new content in one place.
Grammarly. My English teacher and writing sidekick. With Grammarly Premium, you not only get the basic critical grammar and spell-check errors, but you also get instant feedback on over 400 advanced grammar rules. Microsoft Word spell-check can’t even touch the capability of this program.
Here we are with the close of 2019 in our sight. The act of hitting pause and taking a moment to look back and reflect on the past 365 days has always proven to be a life-giving exercise.
I’ve been doing this since I started Piano Pantry and it always proves to be a lesson in gratitude – not just for what’s been “accomplished” – but for what life has given. Opportunity and the freedom to do what we love can easily be taken for granted in today’s world.
Thank you for being here, for connecting with me whether it be through Facebook comments, email replies to my newsletter, or comments on blog posts.
I hope that my little slice of pie in the online piano teacher content world proves to be, for you, not just useful, but inspiring, invigorating, and more than anything…inviting.
In today’s post, I’ll share:
Five posts from 2019 that you deemed that most “fabulous” (by visiting them, of course 🙂 ).
The top five posts of all time since Piano Pantry started in March 2016.
At $13.00 for a pack of 10, you can’t go wrong with such a cute, economical gift!
Confession: I didn’t read the description close enough when I purchased these initially, and I thought they were ornaments!
No harm done, though! The tassel on them means they can be hung on a tree, so consider it a bonus that they could be used in two different ways for students! Plus, they come in a cute little box, so no wrapping is required!
See? So cute!
Other Ideas from Our Teacher Friends
Now, onto lots of great ideas from other teachers all over the web!
(I update this list from time to time with other ideas, even those after this blog post’s date.)
Do you ever come across a piece of music that grabs you so deeply that you never tire of playing it?
Over the past year, I’ve experienced this with one particular piece that I would like to share with you today.
Initially, I purchased it for myself as a fresh addition to my church repertoire stash. Even if I don’t have immediate intentions of using a digital download for students, I almost always purchase a studio copy just to be safe.
I’m so glad I did with this one especially because I loved it so much I’ve been handing it out like candy to every student that was willing/interested!
This is a post I’ve been excited to write for a long time. I don’t know why exactly. I think it’s because it’s a fun and light post that doesn’t require us to revamp our piano teaching or extend our to-do list. LOL.
Whether you’re just creating your Instagram account for the first time, or if you’ve been on there since the day it launched in 2010, there are five Instagram accounts I’ve enjoyed recently you might want to consider following if you’re not already.
Before I give you my list, I wanted to let you know exactly what I was looking for in this particular list.
While there are many piano teachers, bloggers, etc. on Instagram, this post focuses on accounts that spark a little “fun” in the piano studio world.
They can includea little (but not too much) of:
Marketing for their website or product.
Videos of their own playing or their students playing.
They should include:
Student / studio-related photos (but not too many).
A few personal photos – keep yourself real and relatable!
A lot of fun, beautiful piano-related eye candy.
In other words, I was looking for accounts that balanced life and studio, didn’t seem focused on marketing themselves or products, and included a lot of piano beauty, fun, and even humor.
Here are my recommendations in no particular order. (Except the last one, which is definitely my favorite!)
Over my years of teaching, I’ve encountered several lists of tunes to harmonize using primary chords. Often, however, they’re either not very comprehensive, or they include a lot of tunes that students these days have never heard because they only include folk tunes and a couple of Christmas songs.
Last summer, I started a studio-wide harmonization focus that lasted through the summer and fall. After continually having students look at the song list and shake their heads that they didn’t know many of the songs, I finally decided it was time to compile my own list.
This comprehensive list includes 147 tunes (traditional, popular, and Christmas). The list progresses from tunes that only use a tonic chord to those that use four chords (I, IV, V, vi). They are mostly in major tonality (of course, because we live in the Western World), but there are also some minor tunes.
They are also not tied to any particular chord progression (such as I-IV-V-I or I-vi-IV-V). It will be up to you and your student(s) to determine when the harmonic changes occur within each tune.
Besides sharing this free download, I thought we could chat briefly about what it means to “harmonize” tunes.
Contrary motion scales are awesome. Not only are they fun to play and sound cool, but they’re a wonderful way to teach scale fingerings – especially when students are first learning to play scales.
A step up from a simple contrary motion scale is playing scales using what’s called a “formula pattern.”
P.S. I’ve always wondered why it’s called a “formula pattern” so if you know, please educate me! I find it to be a boring name for such a fun scale! Ha!
Actually, I think we should call them zig-zag scales instead! What do you think?! LOL
What is the Formula Pattern?
If you’re unfamiliar with this scale pattern, it is basically a 2 (or 4) octave scale with a bump in the road.
Begin by playing the scale ascending in parallel motion.
At the halfway point, play a contrary motion scale, returning back to the middle.
Finish the top half of the ascending scale in parallel motion.
Once again, after descending halfway back down the parallel motion scale, throw in another contrary motion scale (out and back in).
Finally, finish the pattern by descending the final half of the scale in parallel motion.
Why the Visual Works
The first time I tried to teach a student the formula pattern, it was a struggle. I try to avoid using formal “scale books” for students to have to read every note and fingering, so I needed to find an easy way to explain the pattern.
Since I’m a visual person, I came up with this simple visual for my students. Every student I’ve used this with has found it very helpful – I hope that perhaps it will help your students as well!
Formula Scale Progressions
Here is the leveling based on the Royal Conservatory of Music program’s technical skill requirements to give you a rough idea of a good progression of this particular technical skill.
Level 1 = C Major (2 octaves)
Level 2 = C, G Major (2 octaves)
Level 3 = D Major (2 octaves)
Level 4 = C harmonic minor (2 octaves)
Level 5 = A Major, A harmonic minor (2 octaves)
Level 6 = E Major, E harmonic minor (2 octaves)
Level 7 = D Major, D harmonic minor (2 octaves)
Level 8 = Eb Major, Eb harmonic minor (4 octaves)
Level 9 = Db Major, F Major, C# harmonic minor, F harmonic minor (4 octaves)
While this was not one of the top posts, the addition of the monthly “Secret Letter” was the biggest addition to Piano Pantry this year and the one thing that has excited me (and still excites me) the most.
Writing them is a highlight of my month (and hopefully it’s a highlight for readers as well!). They feel like a special piece of me delivered right into your hands.
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