I have been doing themed recitals for years. It started back when I was teaching in-home lessons and all of my students wanted to play music from the same genre.
When I had 10, 20, even 30 students it was easy to find enough variety of pieces for them to play, but as my studio grew, I began having trouble finding pieces to fit my themes.
The biggest problem? There was a limited amount of pre-staff reading piano music for my newest piano students. There is some out there, but at the time I had more students than pieces, so I began to write my own music for these kiddos.
Here are 3 winter songs that I wrote for my piano students. I hope your students enjoy them as much as mine have!
So many of my students have been obsessed with dinosaurs at some point in their young lives. Dinosaur Winter was written for one of these students.
This white key pre-reading piece uses quarter notes, quarter rests (which can be taught by rote) and half notes. Played on C, D, & E it's the perfect piece for a student just learning the white keys on the piano!
Dancing in the Snow
This is a lyrical piece that is centered around the C 5-Finger Scale (aka C position). It has students swirling down the piano with cross-hand motion.
I typically have my students start on G7 (the highest G on the piano), but it can be started in any octave.
The Abominable Snowman
Have a student who loves those low sounds? This song is for them!
Written in A minor, with basic rhythms of quarter, half, and whole notes, and an easy hand position, this fun piece will delight every student!
All downloads come with a studio license. An explanation of this license can be found on each listing.
Want to get your hands on all 3 pieces? Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers shop to purchase the Winter Piano Music Bundle and save!
It's Wednesday morning and I've just finished my morning routine (more about that to come!). While I was drinking my coffee, I started thinking about all of the things that have happened over the last several weeks.
I started this blog and got my Tpt store up and running.
My students have been sharing so many stories in their lessons.
I'm (finally) able to exercise regularly.
I'm practicing regularly.
So many good, funny, wonderful things are happening and I want to share them with you!
On Wednesdays I will be sharing something wonderful from my life. A story, a photo, a recipe, who knows what the week will bring!
This week is I have a cute little a story from one of my kindergartners:
"Miss Christie, guess what."
"I am so fast! I can run faster than the gingerbread man!"
"Yeah, I can run 100, but he can only run 20, so I'm going to catch him because I'm so fast!"
What would Valentine's Day be without a little music teacher love? Here are 5 of my favorite music activities that I have used with my students over the years:
1. Valentine's Composing A couple of years ago I came up with the idea to have my students compose their own pieces for Valentine's Day. Not all of my students were reading on the staff, so I put together this little composing activity for them to use.
2. Puppy Love is an adorable note reading game from Andrea & Trevor Dow over at TeachPianoToday.
3. Valentine's Cookie Memory I love the many different levels this game incorporates. I'll be introducing a lot of new symbols to some of my little ones and testing the memories of my older ones. I decided to print the black and white version onto 2 sided color card card stock, then I laminated them. Personally, I think they're adorable, thanks Sara for this freebie :)
4. Susan Paradis has a plethora of awesome piano and music activities, games, & songs on her website, I won't list them all today, but here's where they can be found.
5. I have no idea where I got this worksheet from, but it's a hit every year!
Do you do holiday activities with your students? Have you used any of these?
I love giving my students in lesson challenges. Sometimes they run for a month or two, sometimes a couple of weeks. This is a one lesson challenge.
Wendy Stevens has a number of great resources on her website ComposeCreate.com. I found her set of snowman flashcards several years ago and have used them every winter since.
The basic principle is to match the top to the correct bottom. This set covers many levels of learners. They come with intervals, white keys, note names on the staff (up to 2 ledger lines!), and steps & skips.
Best part? They're free!
When I first used these flashcards in lessons, I didn't think to time my students until a little one asked how fast he did it compared to himself previously, and his 2 sisters.
And so, The Great Snowman Challenge was born!
I created a simple spreadsheet to track my students' times and had each student choose two categories to complete.
Here are a few things I love about this challenge:
1. It takes less than 5 minutes of lesson time including setup and cleanup.
2. My students get instant feedback about their learning.
3. I get a good view of my students current strengths & weaknesses.
An extra bonus is my kids seriously love this challenge!
Wondering about rules? I only have 1: Everyone must start with their hands on their heads!
If you're looking for an alternative activity, Sara Campbell over at Sara's Music Studio uses these flashcards to play Go Fish with her students. You can find more about it on her blog post.
Here's a link to the free snowman download: Snowman Flashcards
Here's the link to my tracker: The Great Snowman Challenge Tracker
Hi there, I'm Christie! Welcome to the blog!
I'm a private music teacher and owner of Bravo Music Academy in Denville, New Jersey.
Here I'll be sharing my experiences as a music school owner and teacher. I will also be sharing some new ideas, resources, inspiration, and maybe some other fun along the way.