Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! 
In honor of Independence Day, I am offering my Forte Fireworks! lesson plan for $4 off the regular price. This fun one-hour lesson plan is from the Mighty Musicians Piano Camp for 5- and 6-year-olds. It is one of my all-time favorite classes I have taught. As we finished off the class listening to the booming "fireworks" at the end of the 1812 Overture, the students were clearly in awe of the grandeur of the beautiful music, and I think it left a lasting impression! Take a listen!

This patriotic lesson plan is a blast, as students explore fireworks, flags and more, and learn that music can be loud or soft! Students will march in a parade, play a matching game, explore dynamics using a variety of instruments, compose their own fireworks song, play a pre-staff notation piece, and go on a memorable musical adventure to "see" a fireworks show! Pieces that students will become familiar with include Handel's Music For the Royal Fireworks, Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever, and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

I am not currently teaching a class of Mighty Musicians, but just typing this up gets me all excited for this lesson plan - I think I'm going to do it with my three children today to get us excited for the holiday!

Get this awesome lesson plan *today and tomorrow only* (July 3rd and 4th) for just $6!

Forte Fireworks! lesson plan
50 pages, digital download. (Download link will be emailed to you immediately after purchase - if you do not receive it, please check your junk mail folder!)
Price: $6

And if you'd prefer to try the entire 5-lesson Mighty Musicians Piano Camp instead of just Forte Fireworks, for *today and tomorrow only* (July 3rd and 4th) you can purchase the piano camp for $4 + an additional 4% off the regular price - for just $40!

Children in our Mighty Musicians music classes (written for ages 5-6) will experience and learn about music through listening, singing, movement and play, and will also use their new found knowledge to work on their basic piano skills. Students will also learn about the great composers and their music, and have the opportunity to do some composing themselves!

Lessons included in this camp:
Night & Day
Traffic Jam
Birds of a Feather
Mountains & Hills
Forte Fireworks

Mighty Musicians Piano Camp
312 pages, digital download. (Download link will be emailed to you immediately after purchase - if you do not receive it, please check your junk mail folder!)
Price: $40


More Muscle Builders for Older Beginners

I think it is super important as one is learning the piano to become comfortable playing in all of the keys. Students benefit so much as they are able to play chords in any key, including major and minor, and chords in all of the different inversions. As students learn to play simple chord progressions and to play different accompaniment patterns in these progressions, not only will they be able to learn (and understand!) their pieces more easily, but they will have skills and knowledge that will be so important in composing, improvising, and other creative keyboard skills. I wish that I had learned more of these skills right from the get-go in my piano study as a young girl. It's totally possible even for beginning students to acquire these skills quickly and to feel confident playing anywhere on the piano - it will help them to soar in their piano progress!

Now available to purchase on the Muscle Builders page are Levels 2 and 3 of the Piano Muscle Builders for Older Beginners. (See Level 1 here.) I love the visual aspect of these books, which include easy-to-follow chord diagrams in each of the keys.

These books cover the same (and more!) material as the Muscle Builder Books for kids, but they are much more concise. They explain concepts more in-depth so the older beginners can understand everything, and they include reviews in playing, spelling, and notating on the staff the different chords and concepts learned.

Here is what is covered in each of the levels!

Level 2: Chords

Level 2 builds on the concepts learned in Level 1, and we learn all different varieties of chords in the white key major and minor keys. This includes chord inversions, tonic, subdominant and dominant 7th chords, simple chord progressions, and left hand accompaniment patterns in those progressions.

Here are some sample pages from Level 2:

 Level 3: Black Key 5-Finger Patterns

Level 3 teaches all of the black key major and minor five-finger scales and chords. In preparation for these scales with trickier fingerings, students will learn how to cross thumbs under and fingers over. Emphasis is placed on playing these scales with correct fingerings, and also in playing them in five different musical ways. Students will play scales and chords in each of these major and minor keys, and then at the end will review by playing them all in a row, spelling the chords and notating the chords on the staff.

Here are some sample pages from Level 3:

Each book is a digital download. A download link will be emailed to you immediately following purchase (please check your email settings to ensure it does not go to your junk mail folder). Purchase below or on the Muscle Builders page.

Piano Muscle Builders for Older Beginners Level 2: Chords

Price: $7.50
Digital download, 16 pages

Piano Muscle Builders for Older Beginners Level 3: Black Key 5-Finger Patterns

Price: $7.50
Digital download, 11 pages

Piano Muscle Builders for Older Beginners Pack: Levels 1-3

Price: $14.00
Digital download, 39 pages


Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway for a free piano camp, and thanks for all your well-wishes!

Our sweet little Norah was born on May 1 at 8:13 am, making Olivia our winner! Congratulations, Olivia - you win a free copy of the Mighty Musicians camp! Please contact me and let me know which email address I can send the camp download link to. I hope you love it!


Limited Time: Save 25% off Summer Piano Camps & more!

This is a fun time of year for piano teachers - finishing up Spring recitals and prepping for some summer studio fun! My spring/summer is looking a little different than that this year - I'm finishing up a pregnancy and prepping for baby number four to be born! I am in super nesting mode and have frantically been trying to pack my hospital bag and clean up my house in anticipation of another sweet little girl joining our family.

In my nesting excitement, I thought I'd offer up a fun little discount for all of you preparing for your piano teaching summers! From TODAY until the day my baby girl is born (give or take a few days - you can't expect me to be on the computer in the hospital, right?), I am offering some of my bestselling piano teaching resources for 25% off!

Here are the products included in this discount (click on titles for more information):

This awesome piano camp will introduce your young students to a year of music, going through each season from Spring through Winter. It works perfectly as a week-long, four-day camp, or as a month-long once-a-week class.
Regular Price: $38
Limited-Time Price: $28.50!  

This super fun camp for children ages 5-6 is a positive and fun introduction to the world of music-making and a good jump-start into piano lessons. Children will listen, sing, move and play, use their new-found knowledge to work on their basic piano skills, learn about the great composers and their music, and will even do some composing themselves! 
Regular Price: $46
Limited-Time Price: $34.50!

A fun practicing incentive program for your creative students who love building with Legos! Students earn blocks for daily practice of assigned "projects" in four elements of piano lessons.
Regular Price: $10
Limited-Time Price: $7.50!  

This incentive pack features an awesome piano-themed pirate map to hang in your studio to track students' progress through the summer. Students complete practicing goals to earn points which move them forward on the treasure map to find the buried treasure!
Regular Price: $10
Limited-Time Price: $7.50!  

Don't miss this opportunity to grab this bestselling resource at an amazing price! My Muscle Builder Books keep students motivated and having fun as they learn to play scales, chords, arpeggios and more all over the piano. With full-col0r cute illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions for correct practicing at home.
Regular Price: $27
Limited-Time Price: $20.25!  

Printable, full-color circular flashcards to use with a giant floor keyboard and giant floor staff. Includes letter names, finger numbers, sharps and flats, notes on the staff, notes on the keyboard, lines and spaces and more. Activity suggestions are given for each set of printable circles. Just print as many as you’d like, cut them out, laminate, and you’re ready to play! 
Regular Price: $20
Limited-Time Price: $15!

Discount will be applied automatically at checkout, whether from the links in this post or from The Teaching Studio Store. All products are digital downloads. Discount lasts from today until my baby comes - which could last a few days or up to about two weeks! (My due date is May 2.) Don't miss out on these great prices!

To celebrate this fun time, I'm in the mood for a GIVEAWAY! Simply leave a comment guessing the date and time you think my baby will be born. (Due date is May 2!) Whoever guesses closest to the actual birthday and time will win a Piano Camp of your choice for FREE!! Choose between the Vivaldi's Four Seasons Camp and the Mighty Musicians Camp (let me know which you would prefer in your comment).


On My Wall

Hanging above my piano, I have framed pages from three pieces that have been meaningful to me in my piano education. I love how this turned out, and I love looking up and seeing these pieces on my wall - it's motivating, that's for sure!

Here are the three pieces I have framed:

1) La fille aux cheveux de lin, or The Girl with the Flaxen Hair by Debussy

This is the first "real" classical piece I learned. I studied for years with a wonderful teacher in my neighborhood, going through mainly just method books (finishing both the entire Eckstein and Schaum methods), never really learning any "real" classical pieces except for versions that were in my method books. My Dad has always loved classical music though, and was always so supportive of me and my music. He came to me one day and encouraged me to learn this Debussy prelude, one of his favorite pieces. So I learned it all on my own and loved it! I used it to audition with my next teacher, who really got me playing correctly, playing some wonderful literature, and who really encouraged and inspired me to become a piano teacher.

2) Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto in G minor, Op 25, 3rd movement

I played this concerto with my high school orchestra my senior year of high school. It's important to me because it is the piece that helped me get into the piano program at Brigham Young University, where I wanted to study piano performance. I had actually already auditioned and had not been accepted, when I performed this piece with the school orchestra. It went so well that my piano teacher got all determined and decided to send a letter, along with a video recording of me playing this piece, to the piano department of the school, asking them to reconsider. Pretty soon I received a phone call from the head of the piano department, telling me that they had watched the video and decided to move me to #1 on the waiting list. I was so excited and so grateful when I got another phone call letting me know I had gotten in! My 4 years in the piano program at BYU were so amazing and have been so important to me in my life. 

3) Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat Major, Op. 61 by Chopin

This is the piece that I concluded my senior recital in college with - sort of the peak of my college career I guess you could say. This piece is meaningful to me because it reminds me how much I learned and accomplished during those four years.

Which pieces have been meaningful to you as you have studied piano?
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