Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Ultimate Piano Teacher's Organization Binder: Covers & Dividers

I absolutely LOVE being organized, so I created "The Ultimate Piano Teacher's Organization Binder" - 82 pages of binder covers and divider pages! If you want to be the most organized teacher on the block, this is the tool for you. The color scheme is lime green, black, gray, and white, OR shades of pink, black, gray, and white, OR shades of yellow, black, gray, and white, OR shades of blue, black, gray, and white. There are 10 different page designs. The pages are labeled with topics every piano teacher deals with on a daily basis: Recitals, Studio Wish List, Favorite Apps, Group Classes, Lesson Plans, Music to Purchase, and many, many others, as well as pages labeled with the months of the year plus a set of pages without labels that you can customize to suit your studio needs. If you need additional pages, contact me, let me know what additional pages you need, and I will add them. If you want a set personalized with your students' names, let me know and I'll put one together for you. 

Currently available in lime green OR pink OR yellow OR blue




Currently available in pink OR lime green OR yellow OR blue


Currently available in pink OR lime green OR yellow OR blue


Currently available in blue OR pink OR lime green OR yellow 



For an additional free page, be sure to visit my Facebook page and click the Free Stuff tab.


To purchase The Ultimate Piano Teacher's Organization Binder: Covers & Dividers, please visit my store by clicking the Store tab above.







Happy organizing!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Piano Improv Spin-Spiration

My students love to use these colorful and kid-friendly Piano Improv Spin-Spiration spinner pages to help them come up with ideas for improvisation, and I'm sure your students will love them too! 

Four different single-page spinner pages like the one below plus a blank customizable spinner page are included in this pack. Each page contains 8 different ideas for improvisation subjects, including animals, holidays, people, travel, etc., for a total of 32 different improv ideas.

Print the pages onto white card stock or glossy photo paper (and laminate if desired), then attach the plastic spinners to the center of the page. Students should spin the spinner to select an improv idea, then improvise a piece with that topic in mind. For example, if the spinner lands on "Circus", the student could think of all the things he would see, hear, smell, and feelings he would feel when visiting a circus, then use those ideas for inspiration as he creates his improvisation. These spinner pages can be used in private lessons, group classes, camps, or any other way you can imagine! I purchased these plastic spinners to use with the pages. 





To purchase this colorful and fun set of Piano Improv Spin-Spiration spinner pages, 
please visit my store

To receive a free unmarked copy of the sample page above, 
visit my Facebook page and click the Free Stuff tab. 





MEGA Measures: Early Elementary Edition

A reader requested an early elementary version of Mega Measures, so here it is! 

Mega Measures: Early Elementary Edition includes three separate worksheet pages with a chalkboard and polkadot theme, and incorporates quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes, as well as 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time signatures. On the first page, students will identify the number of beats in each measure and add a time signature. On the second page, the measures have too many beats and students must “erase” (cross out) a note or rest to give each measure the correct number of beats. On the third page, the measures don’t have enough beats, and students must add notes or rests to each measure to give each measure the appropriate number of beats according to the given time signature.



Please visit my store to purchase your copy of Mega Measures: Early Elementary Edition. 

If there is an item that you'd like me to create, feel free to get in touch with me by using the Contact Me form on my blog, or via my Facebook page

Thanks for being part of the Plucky Pianista community! 





Friday, July 26, 2013

"Keys are a Breeze!" Piano Keyboard Packet


The six reproducible PDF worksheets included in the "Keys Are A Breeze!" piano keyboard packet are sure to help your beginners learn the letter names of the piano keys in no time. The worksheets in this packet review the piano keys in a variety of ways - coloring the piano keys, writing the letter names on the keys, labeling the piano keys with a variety of shapes, identifying specific piano keys, drawing a line from the keys to their correct letter, and drawing their very own piano keyboard - students could complete a different sheet each day! These colorful worksheets are especially great for visual and kinesthetic learning styles, and they can be printed or used on an iPad! Click here to visit my Facebook page and receive a free unmarked copy of the sample page included below by clicking the "Free Stuff" tab.


Please visit my store to purchase the entire packet. 

Happy teaching!



Thursday, July 25, 2013

101 Ear Training Tips for the Modern Musician: ebook Review

Today I'd like to share with you some information about a wonderful new ear training ebook by Easy Ear Training founder Christopher Sutton, with Ethan Bennett and Victoria Williams: 101 Ear Training Tips for the Modern Musician.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mega Measures Rhythm Worksheets




Hot off the press...

Brand new rhythm worksheets! If you’re searching for attractive and quality rhythm worksheets to use on your iPad or to print and use with your students, look no further! Mega Measures includes three separate worksheet pages with a chalkboard and polkadot theme, and incorporates quarter notes and rests, half notes, dotted quarter notes, whole notes, dotted quarter-eighth note combinations, eighth notes, and eighth rests, as well as 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time signatures. 

On the first page, students will identify the number of beats in each measure and add a time signature. On the second page, the measures have too many beats and students must “erase” (cross out) a note or rest to give each measure the correct number of beats. On the third page, the measures don’t have enough beats, and students must add notes or rests to each measure to give each measure the appropriate number of beats according to the given time signature.

Facebook fans may visit my Facebook page (click the "Free Stuff" tab) for a free unmarked copy of the worksheet sample above. 

If you want to add all three worksheets to your collection of resources, please visit my store to purchase them. 

Leave a comment below to let me know how you incorporated Mega Measures into your lessons. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Monster Melodies


introducing a brand new sight-reading adventure...




This exciting version of Monster Melodies contains 32 two-measure sight-reading flash cards that correspond to 16 all-new four-measure sight-reading examples (8 pages) that are to be played on groups of 3 black keys. Students should sight-read from the flash cards prior to sight-reading the full examples. Flash cards are color-coded to match the full example page from which they are derived.

Print the monster flash cards onto card stock and cut out the cards. Print the full examples or have the student sight-read them directly from your iPad or laptop. Choose which monster set of cards and sight-reading examples the student should play (green monster, pink monster, etc.). Student draws a card, then sight-reads the two-measure melody. After student has sight-read the melodies from the flash cards, he is ready to sight-read the full examples. 

A free page of flash cards is included below, and if you would like to receive the corresponding sight-reading page, visit my Facebook page and click the "Free Stuff" tab. 



To purchase Monster Melodies, please visit my store

Happy sight-reading!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Penguintervals Printable Review Sheets Freebie

Three of my youngest students are busily working on intervals this summer, so I've needed to create more review activities for them. The most recent creation is a continuation of the Penguintervals Interval Flash Cards idea from last month.

This collection of Penguintervals contains three worksheets: 
1. Drawing a line to the correct interval
2. Identifying intervals by writing the correct interval on the sheet
3. Notating intervals onto the penguins' tummies





Click here for your Penguintervals Printable Review Sheets freebie.
Or, right click (or control click) each image above to save as a jpg.

Use these sheets as printables, or use them on your iPad.


I hope you and your students enjoy!



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Practice Stache


Most days, I really believe my students are truly learning and understanding what it means to practice. Some days, I'm not so sure :)

As we approach a new year of piano lessons, new ideas, new resources, and new students, I wanted to devise a way to encourage my students to try different ways of practicing, using creativity as well as specific and general goals, rather than the "same old, same old" way during each practice session that some of them tend to do.

I wanted to create a collection of my favorite practice tips and make it into something that could be used as a game. My solution to this was to create a collection of separate practice cards that students could use during practice sessions. Once the idea solidified, I tried out a few different names, including "My Practice Pack" and "My Practice Jar". Those names just didn't quite click, so I decided to call it "My Practice Stache", complete with a mustache :)

Assembly is required, but it doesn't take too long. The PDF contains 52 practice tips on separate cards that should be cut out, a template for a box in which to store the cards, and instructions for assembly.

If you're looking for a unique way to encourage creativity during your students' practice sessions, maybe they need their own Practice Stache! This deck of cards can be used in TONS of ways, so feel free to post your favorite ideas below. Make My Practice Stache the thing you can't live without during the upcoming year. Click here to purchase a copy of My Practice Stache for your students!








Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guest Post: "Teach Kids to Create Their Own Mystery Song" by Kristin from EarTrainingandImprov.com

This week I'm taking some time away from blogging and teaching to rest and spend some time with my hubby, who is off work this week. No, we're not vacationing - unless overhauling our landscaping sounds like a vacation! :) 

In my absence, Kristin from EarTrainingandImprov.com will be sharing with you. If you haven't visited her blog, take some time to look around. She has shared some fun activities and games for piano students, and I'm sure you'll find many things you and your students will enjoy. Welcome to The Plucky Pianista blog, Kristin!


Kids love composing their own songs on the piano. And teachers love composition because it helps kids apply the theory they’re learning, allows them to express their creativity, and keeps them excited about studying the piano with you.
In this fun tutorial, you’ll learn a simple formula you can teach to your students to get them creating their own mystery song.
How to Create a Mystery Song on the Piano
Refer to the diagrams and instructions below to learn the formula. Play an example for your student and then show him or her how to get started.
Your students will be extra excited about this activity if you take a moment to help them imagine a mystery story. Is someone or something missing? Where should you go to look for clues? Imaginations run wild when you set the stage like this and that creates fertile ground for a fantastic musical composition.
Step 1: Learn the left hand. Locate the highlighted keys and play them in descending order.


Step 2: Improvise the Right Hand. Once you can play the left hand in a steady rhythm, add in the right hand. You can improvise using any of the highlighted keys in any order. Watch the video for an example.


This piano improv activity for kids also makes a great duet that’s fun and easy for little kids. You play the left hand and show your young child which keys he can use to improvise the right hand. Later switch and show him how to play the left hand by itself in a slow and steady mystery rhythm. 
Click play to see an example

Piano improv is easy when you know the formulas. For more tips on teaching kids how to create their own music, visit EarTrainingandImprov.com.

Kristin is a piano teacher who specializes in teaching children how to create their own music. Kristin is supported by a wonderful husband and darling toddler boy, who will hopefully soon be making music too! See Kristin's music teaching tips at EarTrainingandImprov.com.