Discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm.”
~Morgan Freeman’s character in Lean on Me
From the red and yellow painted walls with black music notes dancing along where the colors meet to a closet full of games, Natalie’s Piano Studio is dedicated to making learning fun! One of my favorite parts of teaching is coming up with just the right approach to help a student fully grasp whatever musical concept we are learning. A connect-the-dots picture might be just the trick to help one student understand the importance of fingering. A fast-paced game of Whack-it! might be just the thing to motivate another student to master the note names. A simple task like learning piano key names is so much more fun when a stop watch times progress from week to week!
I design a lot of custom materials for use in the studio and at home by the students, and many of these are inspired by ideas from students. Here are a few examples:
5 For Fun! Games and Activities for the Private Piano Lesson
This booklet was developed over the course of several years of trying different game ideas with students at their lessons. This is my go-to resource for quick games to play at the lesson to help introduce or reinforce a particular musical concept. The students think I do this just for them, but the truth is that I love playing games at the lesson just as much as they do! 🙂
Kick-it-up-a-Notch! A one-week intensive piano course
My student, Isabella, inspired this week-long summer course. It was designed especially for middle school and high school students who wanted to devote a week to focusing intensely on their musical studies. It proved to be a tremendous success, and was a huge turning point for several students when they saw how much they could accomplish in a short amount of time!
The Pianists’ Book of Musical Scales and Keys
My student, Melodie, recommended that I put together a book of scales that could serve as an easy reference for all the fingerings. I thought it was a fabulous idea, so this simple, yet highly practical, resource served as a Christmas gift for all my students that year!
Music Manuscript Book
Many of my students love composing their own music, so it seemed fitting to design an attractive manuscript book so they could keep all their original work in one place and even use it for specific theory assignments as needed.
Musical Quote Calendar
What better way to keep the importance of music and practicing in mind than with a calendar? These specially designed calendars include an inspiring musical quote as part of the picture for each month of the year.