Category Archives: Teaching Aids

New Recital Certificate

Certificate for Recital Performance

Recital Certificate

A couple of teachers asked me if I had a recital certificate to match the recital programs I posted a while back. My first thought was to find it on my site and send them the link, because I knew I made one. Alas, it wasn’t on my site! But it is today! So if you haven’t had your recital yet, feel free to use this one.

I think I know what happened. I was planning on making this certificate so that you could personalize it and not have to write in all your students’ names. Then I got busy with a lot of other things and never came back to it. So there it set in my computer files, alone and neglected, along with all my other projects, finished and unfinished.

I hope those of you who like my editable material aren’t disappointed, but I just don’t have time right now! Here are some certificates you might find useful at the end of the year. For those of you who have really big studios, there are several below that are editable when you open them in Adobe Reader.

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Throwback Thursday – Robot Practice Chart

Robot Practice Chart

Robot Practice Chart

Today’s Throwback Thursday is a very fun and colorful practice chart for students to use at home. I made it so that there are enough spaces to check off practice for three months. If you use a practice chart, it might as well be cute,  colorful, and appealing to the students who are going to use it!

It brings back happy memories for me. When my son was young and I was teaching a few students in the afternoon, in the background I would always hear the sound of him searching through his giant Lego box looking for parts. He made amazing Lego creations, and as long as I could hear that sound, I knew his was OK. He says his childhood was spent listening to piano music in the background!

One day when he was a teen, I was playing through some really old music and he came in with a puzzled look on his face and asked me the name of the piece I was playing. He said he knew the music, but he couldn’t remember where he heard it. I just about dropped my teeth because that was the piece I practiced regularly a few months before he was born. Is is possible he remembered it from when I was pregnant? I like to think so!

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Piano Tic Tac Toe Practice Aid

Piano Tic Tac Toe is funny poster that explains how to keep track of practicing with a Tic Tac Toe Game

Piano Tic Tac Toe Practice Aid

Piano Tic Tac Toe is a funny practice aid that explains how to keep track of practicing with a tic tac toe board. It’s not a game, but it is a poster you can either use in your lessons, or put in your student’s binder to read at home. The objective is to encourage students to practice difficult sections slowly by playing a tic tac toe game with themselves. A cute little dog explains how to do it.  I’ve always thought that a little humor goes a long way!

Students draw a tic tac toe game on a sheet of paper. They chose a few tricky measures they need to spot practice. They slowly play the measures and if they play correctly, they draw an X. If they play incorrectly, they draw an O. Once they have three X’s in a row, they can move on. This is obviously for younger students who have short attention spans. When students are older, then I suggest different games where they have to play the section correctly 3 or more times in a row or start over. But this game does not require that, so it is a very good way for beginners to learn how to practice slowly and carefully. I hope your students enjoy it. Be sure to ask students if they know what the initials in the little dog’s name stand for!

Here are some more free practice aids.

 

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Throwback Thursday Rhythm Pizza

Rhythm Pizza

When I first posted Rhythm Pizza it was one of my most popular printables. Teachers from all around the world wrote to me about how using this hands-on approach helped teach rhythm values.  Over the years it seems to be forgotten, buried in long ago posts. You can find the original post here. 

After I shared my frustrations in trying to cut circles in foam board, one teacher left a comment that it would have been easier for me to cut it with kitchen shears. Also if foam board sounds too hard to use, try gluing it to sheets of craft foam, which unlike foam board, is really easy to cut. Or you can just laminate and use it without the 3-D effect. However, gluing it to foam board really makes it easier for children to manipulate.

Anyway, I hope you will give it a try because it is really a great way to explain note values to children who haven’t learned fractions yet. If you’ve ever asked a student how many quarter notes is equal to a half note and received a blank stare,  you know what I mean. If they are in elementary school, it could be they have not yet been introduced to the concept of fractions, so you have to do that. Piano teachers are so used to gifted children that sometimes we forget many children don’t learn fractions until 4th grade. Rhythm Pizza works really well to get the concept across, plus you are giving them a head start in math. If students learn what notes equal instead of how many beats the notes receive, then it works for all time signatures. Two eighths always equals one quarter note.

We all learn in our own time.

Cut a picture of pizza into halves, quarters, and eighths to show rhythm values.

 

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Filed under Rhythm, Teaching Aids, Theory, Uncategorized