Category Archives: Elementary Music

A Simple Guide to Teach Major Scales Without a Book

A simple step-by-step start to major scales

Click here for the special price

I am excited to share with you a special offer on a simple guide to teach major scales without a book taught by the outstanding pedagogy teacher, Elizabeth Gutierrez. She is extending this offer to my followers, for a special price before it goes live to the public.

This course was originally part of the 2017 Piano Camp for Piano Teachers, so if you have purchased the 2017  bundle in the past, you already have this. But for those of you who didn’t, and are not able to attend PCPT in person, it is now available as a stand alone class for only $37.00 for a limited time. Included with the price is lifetime access to it across all your devices. Plus, Elizabeth is adding a couple of more modules of additional help.

Course Description

Why wait until students can read a scale book and understand key signatures before starting scales? You can start students easily with scales once they know steps and skips at the keyboard. Elizabeth shares a tried and true method for introducing scales in a highly visual, auditory, and kinesthetic manner to confirm understand of all 12 major scales in just a few weeks! All without a book! When students are finished with this system, they will be able to move easily into playing one octave scales with the traditional fingerings.

The course contains a video lesson plus 4 PDF handouts.

Course Enhancements Coming Soon

  • A week-to-week assignment plan for an average age beginners so you will have a better idea of how to progress from week to week.
  • A video of an actual student performing scales

Benefits

Elizabeth’s system will get your primer-level students (any age, even 4-5 year olds) started on scales in a very straightforward, understanding way. No more waiting until method books introduce scales. She begins this step-by-step teaching plan when students have demonstrated a good grasp of steps vs. skips on the keyboard and on the staff.

This system works beautifully for beginners of all ages and it’s especially helpful for teaching transfer students who need serious review or who have never learned scales at all. The reason it can be used with pre-schoolers who have learned whole and half steps, is because it is all on the keyboard, without a book!

If you are an adult who always wanted to learn some music theory, you can enroll in this program and guide yourself along quite easily. 

Home school parents who have some background in music will learn how to teach their students scales in all the keys. Once students are finished with this two-hand method, it will be easy to move into key signatures and the circle of fifths. It will help students who want to learn how to play with church groups or take theory exams.

Access this course anytime, on demand, across all your devices. All the PDF handouts are downloadable so you can use them again and again with your students.

The good news: You get the pre-launch price of $37.00! Hooray!

The bad news: You have to grab this before Sunday, Feb. 18 at midnight Central time.

About Elizabeth

Founder ELIZABETH GUTIERREZ began Piano Camp for Piano Teachers in 2009 as an extension of her instructional blog for piano teachers. She has years of experience teaching piano, piano pedagogy, and piano literature to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has given numerous workshops and master classes to working independent teachers around the globe both in person and via livestream on Facebook and Periscope and also as a national clinician for Faber Piano Adventures. For her workshops and online courses, she draws on her extensive background as an independent teacher, professor, performer, and composer/editor/author.

Filed under Elementary Music, Preschool Music Resources, Teaching Aids, Teaching Business, Texas State Theory Test

New Valentine Song for Beginners

Will You Be My Valentine

Will You Be My Valentine

Today I am posting a new Valentine’s piece that I wrote just for young children.  It is in middle C position, (both thumbs on middle C) and it has no skips, just stepping notes in each hand. If you’re not an experienced piano teacher, but like to work with your young child at the piano, you may be interested to know that notes that move from one finger to the next are much easier for beginners. Most piano teachers wait until students have mastered stepping notes before they move into notes that skip fingers. That is not something I knew when I was a young teacher. Back before there was such a thing as piano pedagogy, we learned on the job! I’m sure a lot of my readers can identify with that!

This will be good piece for sight-reading or just something fun the week of Valentine’s Day.

In case you’re looking for some more easy Valentine’s Day music for beginners, go to my Valentine’s Music page here. There are also some that are a little harder, including one that is late elementary. I’ve written several levels of this one, because it used to be a favorite of mine when I had a classroom.

Theres a Little Wheel A-Turning in My Heart

There’s a Little wheel A-Turning in My Heart

Here is one of my favorite preschool songs that I’ve made in both pre-reading and on-the-staff versions.

Chocolate Valentines Pre-reading

Chocolate Valentines Pre-reading

 I hope some of your young students will enjoy my little Valentine ditties!

Filed under Elementary Music, Preschool Music Resources, Steps and Skips, Valentine's Day

Black Friday Sale!

Black Friday Sale
From November 24 until Monday, Nov. 27, all the books in my store are on sale for 30% off. Plus, the complete bundle of the practice incentive Music Money is also on sale.

Books on sale include:

The books in my store rarely go on sale! All my music comes with a studio license, so after you save it on your computer, you can print as many copies as you wish to give to your students. You can also download it to your iPad or mobile device.

This is your chance to try printable music, if you haven’t before. You will find it is so easy to always have it on your computer, ready to print when you need it. You can print individual pages from these books, or have them made into books at your local copy shop.

All of these books are great for giving to students who have finished their primer book but need a little extra review before they are ready to move on. Plus, students love the fun lyrics and colorful art on each page.

They are also good for students who are “stuck” in middle C position and need some easy music to bridge the gap. They can be used as supplementary books to stretch out their method book with more material, or as sight reading material. Most of the books include duet accompaniments.

Take this opportunity to stock up!

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Filed under Elementary Music, Preschool Music Resources, Store

Come Ye Thankful People Come – Elementary

Come Ye Thankful People Come

Come Ye Thankful People Come

Today I am posting another well-known Thanksgiving hymn. I put off arranging this for beginners because I was undecided about how to present the dotted quarter note and the best way to write the treble A.

I finally decided to teach the rhythm by rote and use what is called “near middle C position” which is a nice way to say it isn’t in middle C position.

In this case, the right hand is in D minor position. I use this frequently because moving the thumb just slightly gives you “A.” What a difference it is to have one more note! What would Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star be without the treble A? In singing it is a very important note!

If both thumbs are on middle C and there is a treble A in the music, what can you do? Cross the left hand over to play it? Move the pinkie over every time there is an A? Shift the hand? Yes, all of these work and I think the teacher has to decide what is best for her particular students.

But if the song has other challenges, such as the dotted quarter note in this hymn, I think it is easier to write the right hand in D position. If this is a new position, some extra finger numbers and circling the skipping fingers will give them confidence that they can do it.

This might be a good time to mention that it is fairly easy to teach the dotted rhythm by rote. Substitute the words in the first phrase with London Bridge is Falling Down and tap it on the piano cover. Use both hands at first, and then use the correct hands. Change from hands to the correct fingers and play the phrase in the air, then the piano. Because I really want your students to enjoy this Thanksgiving hymn! PS It would be great for you to add some chords while they play an octave higher!

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Filed under Elementary Music, Thanksgiving