Giveaway Winners

I'd like to announce the three winners of the Amazing Autumn giveaway! (Sorry I didn't do this two days ago like I said I would - we went on a last-minute trip for Labor Day weekend and just got back last night!)

The three lucky winners are:


Ladies, please contact me and let me know what your email address is and I will send you the lesson plan!

And don't forget, the Amazing Autumn lesson plan is on sale for 25% off until September 23rd! To get it at the discounted rate, purchase it at the bottom of the giveaway post.

Happy Autumn!


Autumn Time is Here!

As is obvious from my last post, I am way excited about Autumn! The other day I got giddy when I noticed pumpkin decorations outside of a grocery store. I can't wait for the leaves on our 5 or 6 huge trees to change colors. I'm even sort of excited to rake said leaves. At this time of year I always have Vivaldi's "Autumn" (3rd movement) running through my head with the lyrics we sing at our preschool Early Explorers class.

Who else is excited for Autumn?? Who would like to try out the Amazing Autumn preschool lesson plan for free? I'd love to give away THREE free copies of the Amazing Autumn Early Explorers lesson plan! Are you interested? Just leave a comment below to be entered into a drawing for a free copy. For an extra entry, subscribe to my blog and leave an extra comment letting me know you did. For an additional extra entry, share a link to this post via Facebook, Pinterest, or another social media site of your choice, and leave an additional comment letting me know you did. I will draw the three winners on Monday, September 1.
And for all those of you who want to try out this amazing lesson plan and don't want to wait and try your chances at winning (I never win these things!! haha), I am offering the Amazing Autumn lesson plan at 25% off until the first day of Autumn, which according to Google is September 23.

You may purchase it at the discounted rate only in this post - if you purchase it in the Teaching Studio Store it will not be the discounted rate. Got it?

Special Discount - Amazing Autumn Early Explorers Lesson Plan
Price: $7.50

Happy Autumn!


Classical Piano Pieces for Autumn

This past week has been so wonderful - it has been pretty rainy here, and the temperatures have cooled down a bit. My family and I are just giddy with this weather! We have not experienced a true Autumn for four years now (in San Antonio the leaves don't change colors, they don't fall down until after the new year, and it doesn't really get cool outside.) With temperatures in the low 60's or high 50's, us Texans are breaking out our sweats, drinking hot chocolate and leaving the windows open to enjoy the cool breeze. We are in heaven!

Autumn is my favorite time of year! I love it so much. In honor of this beautiful season that is upon us, I decided to do a little research and find some great classical piano pieces about Autumn. I found some really great pieces. These would make a great Autumn recital program, or is a wonderful list of beautiful pieces to play or listen to to get in the mood for chilly days. I hope you enjoy!

4 Sketches, Op.15 (Amy Beach) I. In Autumn

6 Études de concert, Op.35 (Cécile Chaminade) II. Automne. Lento (D♭ major)

In Autumn, H.162 (Frank Bridge)

10 Woodland Sketches, Op.51 (Edward MacDowell) IV. In Autumn

8 Characteristic Pieces, Op.36 (Moritz Moszkowski) En Automne

I love this one and just keep listening to it over and over! You can just hear the Autumn leaves falling and swirling through the air. Beautiful!

Feuilles mortes: Lent et mélancolique (Dead Leaves) (Claude Debussy)

3 Tone-Pictures, Op. 5 No. 3: The Night Winds (Charles Griffes)

I love Charles Griffes. I thought this was a nice one for Autumn.

Yellowed Leaves, Op.31 (Seven Bagatelles) (Nikolay Myaskovsky) sheet music

Now I believe the title "Yellowed Leaves" may be referring to yellowed pages, but I still love this set of pieces. I have never heard of Myaskovsky before and this was a fun little find!

Autumn Waltz (Stephen Foster) sheet music

The Seasons, Op.67 (Glazunov, Aleksandr), IV. L'Automne, transcription for piano solo 

sheet music

Ten Pieces from Cinderella, Op. 97 (Sergei Prokofiev), Autumn Fairy

I love these short fairy pieces! Each one is so beautiful and perfectly evokes the mood of each season.

(Autumn Fairy begins at 5:19 in the video)

Fluttering Leaves, Op. 147 No. 3 (Carl Kolling)

This is a piece I played in junior high school, and is a great little piece for intermediate students. The quick runs sound just like fluttering leaves. It actually is kind of a joke in my family: whenever I would practice this song, after each fast run on the last note of the phrase my family would bang cupboards or slam things in time with the music. One day my grandma was visiting and when my family slammed things in time with the music, my grandma got such a kick out of it that she was crying with laughter. Isn't it wonderful when piano practice becomes a fun family memory? ;)

Other Piano Pieces About Autumn:

An Autumn Ride (Rawlings, Charles Arthur) sheet music
Autumn Sketches, Op.103 (Smith, Wilson) sheet music
Autumn Song, Op.88 (Sudds, William F.) sheet music
Autumn, Op.15 (Sherwood, William H.) sheet music
Autumn Leaflet (Geibel, Adam) sheet music
Trembling Leaves, Op.17 (Wehli, James M.) sheet music
When the Autumn Leaves are Falling, Op.495 (Grobe, Charles) sheet music
Autumn Leaves, Op.40 (Gimbel Junior, Charles) sheet music
Autumn (Saroni, Herrman S.) sheet music


Teaching Ideas From Around the Web

One thing I love about this day and age and the technology we have is how we as piano teachers can share so many ideas with each other to improve one another's teaching. I love the things that I create for my own teaching, but I am also so grateful for others' fantastic ideas, and I am so grateful that we can each benefit from each others' ideas and strengths in the piano-teaching field.

Visit Kristin's awesome website!
Last year I had a guest post from Kristin Jensen, an amazing and creative piano teacher who has a fantastic website all about teaching ear training and improvisation to young piano students. I would encourage you to go back and take a look at all the new resources she has available. She has so many neat improv activities on her blog with step-by-step instructions (often with videos) on how to simply teach a child to improv on the piano. Many of her activities are simple enough for parents and children to do together, which I love! I also love her collection of theory worksheets and games - we could all use more of those to amp up our teaching!

Some other ideas I am loving lately from around the web:

These Animal Alphabet Clothespin Matching Cards from Susan Paradis - what a fun idea! I love piano resources that cater to the younger children, and this is a clever one.

This Practice Makes Awesome pencil found in an Etsy shop (thank you, Pinterest!). This could be a perfect addition to the Building Blocks of Piano Practice Incentive (if you've seen the Lego Movie, you'll understand ;))

Be sure to follow my Pinterest boards, where I pin any fun piano ideas I happen upon! I have three piano boards - Piano Teaching, Preschool Music Class Ideas, and All Things Piano.


Giant Keyboard & Staff Manipulatives Pack

Since I made my Giant Floor Keyboard three years ago, I have gotten so much use out of it! It is absolutely my favorite studio resource, and has been a staple in my preschool music classes in particular, but I have also used it in piano lessons and group classes. My children love playing with it as well! The vinyl has survived lots of love and use very well and I am still so pleased with it. 
The Giant Floor Staff has been wonderful as well! There are so many things you can use it for, and it's just neat to have a large, off-the-bench area to practice theory concepts on. I usually use beanbags (several have ironed-on letter names; see above picture) or foam circles (see picture on left) with my Giant Floor Keyboard and my Giant Floor Staff, but I have been thinking that there is so much more these can be used for with the proper resources. So I created the Giant Floor Keyboard and Staff Manipulatives Pack. This is available in The Teaching Studio Store as two separate digital downloads (one for the keyboard and one for the staff), or as a bundle at a discounted rate.

Included in each pack are several sets of circular "flashcards" that fit perfectly on the keyboard and staff (if you bought the graphics from me and made them into a 3-foot by 8-foot banner), or if you make your own big keyboard or staff, they fit the following dimensions: key width on the keyboard 5-1/8 inches, space height on the staff 6-5/8 inches.

Each pack includes 12 or 13 sets of these circular flashcards, including: full-color letter names, part-color letter names, black and white letter names, black and white and part-color finger numbers, all letter names (including notes with sharps and flats), notes on the staff (to use with the keyboard to help learn where you play each note on the staff), notes on the keyboard (to use with the staff to learn letter names on the staff and how it relates to the keyboard), sharps and flats (key signature and scale practice), line and space cards to teach about the staff, and some plain black or white cards to use in any way you please.

These are perfect for teaching, reinforcing and practicing theory concepts ( notes on the staff, lines and spaces, scales, arpeggios, triads, key signatures, and much more!) in a fun, visual way. Activity suggestions are given for each set of printable circles, including ideas for groups or individuals, young beginners or more advanced students. Just print as many as you’d like, cut them out, laminate, and you’re ready to play!

 Giant Floor Keyboard Manipulatives Pack
 Giant Floor Staff Manipulatives Pack
 Both Manipulative Packs

Includes 12 sets of printable circles, including letter names, finger numbers, sharps and flats, notes on the staff, 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! 

Digital download. 49 pages. 

Price: $12.00

Includes 13 sets of printable circles, including letter names, finger numbers, sharps and flats, 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!

Digital download. 77 pages. 

Price: $12.00
Price: $20.00

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