First Piano Lesson

First Piano Lesson Certificates
How many of you have watched your students grow up before your very eyes? After summer break it seems like they’ve changed overnight. At certain ages they come back in a completely different stage of life!
I love teaching little ones, with their love of the teacher and their fresh sense of wonder at things that don’t impress our older students. And their humor! I had a darling student looking out the window at a neighbor using a hand pushed lawn mower, something we don’t see that often in our area. He had no idea what it was so I told him that kind of mower had been around for hundreds of years. He looked a little harder and said, “Wow! He doesn’t look that old.”
I thought that was so cute but as I thought about it later it made me realize how confused our students must be when we talk about music theory. I remember nodding my head and agreeing with my teacher when I secretly had no idea what she was explaining. “Four beats in a measure and a quarter note gets one beat,” just doesn’t mean much to a beginning student.
I was thinking about how students grow and change as I made the first piano lesson certificates. Will these little students be beginning years of music study, or will they take lessons for a while and then move on to something else? Even if they do what we have to remember is that piano lessons even for a short while introduce students to the art of playing a musical instrument. They learn something about the language of music and how to go about reading music. It is never a waste for children to broaden their horizons, even for brief periods.
I made these certificates to help make your younger students’ first piano lesson special. Do something really fun at the end of the lesson and give them this certificate and they will leave their first lesson with a big smile. Take a picture of this first day, too, because if they do stay with you for years, it will be a very special photo.
End of lesson activity
In case you are wondering what might be something fast and fun to do at the end of the lesson, here is an idea that always works for me.
•  Toss a ball back and forth to your student.•  As each person catches it, they say the next letter of the music alphabet: A B C D E F G.•  They will quickly learn that after G always comes A.•  If they are older, try saying skips: A C E G B D F etc.•  I like to use a big beach ball because even the little ones can catch it.
I hope you have a great year!
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2021-2002 Studio Calendar

 The 2021-22 studio calendar is free in the store. Click here. 
Even if families are given a detailed calendar of the piano schedule for the year, students still ask questions like, “When is the recital,” or “When does the piece have to be memorized.” After I started giving students their own calendar to put in the clear pocket of their binder, I would just say, “Let’s look at your calendar!” I put it right on the front of their binder. On the back was a key signature chart for older students and a grand staff chart for beginners. If you don’t use binders, glue or tape it to their assignment notebook. Don’t forget to give a copy to parents.
The middle of the calendar is where you type your schedule. A handy Word template is included to make it easier.
You can add the days the studio opens and closes, recitals, holidays, festivals, theory exams, group lessons and most importantly the date a piece needs to be memorized. This calendar will help you plan out your entire year.
Along with the academic calendar that starts in August, there is an optional Word template for you to use to type in your studio schedule. Also Included is an illustrated instruction sheet on how to use the Word template. If you don’t have Word there are instructions for the margin settings when you use another word processing program.
I got this idea from a teaching colleague who told me it was the very best calendar for piano studios, and she was right! If you’ve never used this calendar format before, give it a try!
This year the calendar is a freebie to support all the music teachers who have been though so much recently. Thank you for all you do to promote music education.

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Webinar for Be aware Studying with ACE Teams

Learn all about how to teach music reading with ACE groups.

If you have seen the recent ACE activities I posted recently but you’re not exactly sure how to teach note reading with ACE grouping, teacher to the teachers Elizabeth Gutierrez, is presenting a workshop tomorrow, April 20, 2021 at 10:00 CST.

Elizabeth says if you have students who could use rapid improvement in note-naming, intervallic reading, and keyboard orientation, then this webinar is for you.

There is no quick and easy way to learn how to read music notes by intervals on the grand staff. But I have found using the groups of ACE is the easiest for the majority of my students to remember, especially those that seem to have the most trouble. Plus, since A, C, and E are skips, they also get a head start in learning intervallic reading. ACE is a pattern, and patterns help children learn.

I’ve attended this workshop and it was eye-opening. It changed my approach to teaching note reading.
If you would like to attend this webinar, purchase your ticket here:

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Color Coded Two-handed Rhythm Flash Cards

Click here to order
These Two-handed Rhythm Flash Cards consist of 48 color coded rhythm flash cards with two-measure rhythm patterns that use both hands. There are five levels of difficulty including beginning note values as well as dotted quarters, 8th notes, dotted eighths, 8th rests, 16th notes, 16th rests, 4/4, 3/4, 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, syncopation, and triplets.
Each level of cards has a different colored border. The borders were added to keep the cards in groups and to help teachers select the cards for particular students. They are 12 pages of files with four cards to a page for you to cut out. They will last longer if you laminate them.
These cards are for students of all ages and include late intermediate as well as beginning levels. In the majority of the cards, either the left hand or the right hand is tapping the steady beat. Since they are over seven inches wide, they are large enough to use in group lessons. The large notes are easy to read.
Students can begin by tapping the pattern with one hand. Once they are successful, they can add the other hand, which is the steady beat on most of the cards. For more of a challenge, students can switch hands. Seeing the steady beat written on the card helps music reading, also.
These cards will be a big help if you have any students who have trouble with hands together or reading rhythms! Please click the order page for terms of use.
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