The students liked the original set of Keyboard Kritters, and emphatically expressed they wanted “more” for Christmas! Ideas: I ask the students to place the correct Kritters on the starting notes for both hands when introducing a piece, or sometimes when there is a tricky chromatic section I’ll have them place the Kritters on that passage of notes before playing. We also routinely use the Keyboard Kritters for flash cards. My younger students have enjoyed the added “spice” to the lessons!
Our first Christmas together as newly weds, I quickly learned that Gingerbread cookies were indeed my husband’s favorite! One year I made the mistake of only doubling the recipe instead of tripling the amount of dough! Oops – big mistake! This early elementary level piece, Gingerbread Cookies is a fun and festive piece. My children and I are gearing up soon to make our Gingerbread Cookies!
I also would like to introduce an intermediate level Christmas piano piece, Sleigh Ride, in which you can imagine being swept away across the snow! This has been a favorite among my students.
We tried out our fall glow in the dark bean bags on our glow in the dark grand staff mat now that the time has changed, and boom – the students loved it! I added glow in the dark paint to my existing bean bags and to the lines on my grand staff to create this “special effect”. My older students even joined in on the fun! (Sassy Kitty always enjoys this part of the lesson too!)
We had a great first class of the year at preschool music! Baby M. (stands for music) my wee monkey helper introduced the children to right hand, treble clef uptown, and then left hand, bass clef downtown. We then marched uptown to the music of “Candy Corn Munch,” to the pumpkin patch where we met Captain Crescendo! The children learned about the two black keys from Floppy the elephant, and then each child received two pieces of candy corn as they stood on the two black notes of our giant keyboard. – Great music fun!
Fall has arrived – which for many people, means leaves changing color, apple cider and pumpkin patch time, but in my house growing up it always meant that candy corn would be more readily available in the stores! My mom started my siblings and me on the tradition, so I thought the other week when I bought a bag of yummy mix for my mom she would be ecstatic, but no. She announced to me, “Oh no! Do not get me started. I’m trying to eliminate sugar out of my diet!” Now my brother, Tim, still loves candy corn and will raid whatever stash he can find this time of year. I dedicate this song, “Candy Corn Munch,” to my beloved mom and to my brother, Tim!
My younger students have been begging for Festive Fall bean bag notes to use on our grand staff mat. Well – here goes: we have pumpkins, candy corn and fall leaves. Since the days are shorter and “fall back” is soon around the corner, some lessons may be after dark, which is perfect for glow in the dark bean bags! The lines in the mat also become glow in the dark! (Shh! – some of my students do not know this yet – Surprise!)
I love using the iPad in piano lessons, and I have also become spoiled using it for special music in church. The note clarity is amazing, and I love the page turns – no more sheet music falling all over the piano! Medieval Melodies: A Fairy Tale Suite – Volume II is specially written for the iPad. The early intermediate piano book couples the sister arts of music and painting through a storybook format that sparks the imagination of the performer. Original compositions come to life on the iPad through vivid illustrations and audio performances. Medieval Melodies: A Fairy Tale Suite – Volume II can be downloaded in the iBookstore.