Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Getting Ready for Lessons

For many of you, lessons have already started and but some of us, we have a couple of weeks left of summer.  My lessons start at the beginning of September so I am in the midst of completing my planning, putting together binders, cleaning, reorganizing and decorating the studio, preparing my incentive program and getting all the paperwork done!  I thought I would share how I go about this process in case some of it may help you!

When I close out the end of regular lessons in June, there are a few things I take care of then.  I collect each student's annual enrollment fee (this fee covers the cost of music, the incentive program, recitals, awards, etc.), collect students' 3-ring practice binders,  re-register students for the fall and have parents complete a simple form stating their top 3 time slots requests for use when I put together the studio lesson schedule for the new year.   This is also the time I let parents know changes in tuition costs.  I do all of this on the last lesson before summer when I do student evaluations with the parent and student together.

In August (after my summer program is over), I put together the lesson schedule (sometimes easy, sometimes a bit challenging!) & complete the studio calendar for the upcoming year.  My calendar tells parents when lessons start, when tuition is due, each of the group lessons I offer, recital dates, dates for student evaluations and dates for the summer program.  This calendar is sent to the parents by email while also highlighting some of the dates and confirming the lessons slot time/day for their child.

This is also the time that I re-evaluate all of my forms (safety form, photo release form, studio policy, etc.) and make any adjustments.  If there are adjustments, parents are emailed the form explaining the adjustments and asking them to sign them and return them by mail or bring them to the first lesson.  I also have extras on hand for them to sign when they come to the first lesson in case they forget.

I work on the new practice incentive program for months (planning, working through ideas, etc.) but it isn't until August that I physically put it together so right now I'm completing that.  Each of my students is given a 3-ring binder and each year I adjust it to work with the incentive and the plan I have for the year.  I always decorate the studio to match the incentive since I put together a full plan for the year.   The incentive, the group lessons, the recitals and camps all tie together.  It's a lot of work, but parents, students and I love every bit of it!

This year I elected to again start the year with a group lesson and then start individual lessons the following week.  This first group lesson allows me to introduce new students, reveal the much anticipated incentive program, and do some fun activities together.  My students LOVE group lessons so the more I offer, the happier they are!

That's about it!  I hope this gives you ideas!  I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas as well!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cupcake Clef

Who doesn't love cupcakes?

There's just something about those little frosted delicacies that warms the heart!  One of my students inspired this fun game she helped name, Cupcake Clef The game takes a simple cupcake with frosting to a beautifully decorated one all while drilling notes on the staff!

Slide across the rolling pin and watch out for cherry spots!  You never know what to expect, but it sure is fun!

I found these adorable cupcake erasers which fit perfectly on the game board (they're scented too!) which only adds to the fun.

This is a great game for classroom centers or for a 5-minute game at a student's piano lesson.  Just print and laminate the game board and two sets of cards and add some game pieces!

To purchase this adorable game, just click on the Birds of a Feather tab above!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Beyond City Limits

We just finished the third day of our new camp this year, BEYOND CITY LIMITS!  This is an exciting look at the city - skyscrapers and all things super large!  Of course, everything has a music twist to it!  I have 20 campers this week and we've been having a blast!

Here's a sneak peek of some of what we've been doing.
The morning dew did a bit of damage to our city decor, but it still looked great!

Here's a look at some game winners!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dunk It!

Have any students that LOVE basketball??  One of my students wanted a basketball-themed game.  So with that request came...

This fun "basketball court" style game board puts a whole new spin on learning notes on the grand staff!

Included on the game spots are adorable high top sneakers!  If you land on one, take a sneaker card and see what other twists make this game even more fun!

Your basketball loving students will be asking for this game over and over!  The best part??  Watch how quickly they learn their notes on the staff!!

This game can be purchased under Birds of a Feather!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

What's the Scoop?

Interested in a super-fun game with a super-fun summer twist?  What's the Scoop? is a great way to work on interval recognition while trying to build the tallest ice cream cone!  It's become a favorite game in my studio!

Students work their way around the game board while trying to collect scoops for their cones.  There's all kinds of flavors - Ballad Beat Blueberry, Perfectly Presto Pistachio, Rocky Road Ritardando, Triplet Chocolate Chunk, Stradivarius Strawberry, Minty Mezzo Mango and Tutti Frutti Fermata!

The best part - while having fun with this favorite summer treat, they're also learning to recognize musical intervals!

Enjoy this fun game with your students this summer by purchasing this game through Birds of a Feather!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Musical Menagerie

Looking for a fun way to drill your elementary students on their bass clef notes?  It seems that treble clef notes are always a bit easier for them to grasp so we need ways to make that bass clef more fun!  Well look no further!!   Musical Menagerie not only fits the bill, but it also involves animals!  And ALL kids LOVE animals!  What a fun way to make learning something hard, easier!

Students travel around the board, naming bass clef notes while also trying to collect musical animals - or their own menagerie!

There's a "Nothing but Treble" monkey, a 2-beat bat, a fast-paced furry gerbil, and a fermata fish! Collect all 4, make a least one lap around the board and you're a bass clef superstar!

Great fun, great learning and happy students!  Now that's a GREAT combination!

Musical Menagerie can be purchased under the Birds of a Feather tab above!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Castle Chords!

CASTLE CHORDS is a really fun game for students who are working on their major chords and inversions.
Be the first to build your castle, complete with a keep and surrounding walls!  Select a Castle card, play the chord correctly within 3 tries and earn the right to spin the spinner!  The spinner allows students to collect coins (I had some fun gold plastic coins I used, but pennies or any type of chip will work great!) and "purchase" parts of their castle.

There are a few twists to this game...B flats and C sharps change up the game a bit!

This game has become a FAVORITE with my middle school to early teen students!!

CASTLE CHORDS  is available for purchase under Birds of a Feather!

Monday, April 25, 2016

2 MORE Fun Games!!

I have 2 more games to share with you today!  There's actually quite a few more coming!  Birds of a Feather have been VERY busy whipping up loads of FUN for your studios and classrooms!

Up first....

This fun game reviews musical terminology!

Players zip-line through the Fermata Forest trying to be the first to the end!  Along the way they NAME or DRAW musical terms.

And how about a FACE OFF or two?  Or some cute monkey game pieces?This is a great way to help your students to be quick with all those terms you work so hard on with them!

The Fermata Forest is a super-fun place to hang out!  But BEWARE!!! Your students just might start to learn faster than you expected!

Or how about...

This adorable game idea came from one of my students.  In fact, she made the cute cloud game pieces by dyeing cotton balls.

Need another fun game to review notes on the grand staff?  This one is a winner!  It is SO ADORABLE. Your younger students will especially LOVE it!

Of course, there is also a fun little twist to the game!

It's a great game for your studio or as a center game in your classroom!

Both games are available for purchase under the Birds of a Feather tab above!  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Musical Golf!

I'm not a true golfer, but have done some golfing and even played in a few tournaments.  While I will never claim to be an expert, I do know that I really enjoyed it and hope someday I might have more time to get out on the golf course.  I also have some students who love golf and ALL of them love miniature golf, so this game was created to review music terminology!

Included is a fun game board complete with sand traps and water, game cards, a spinner and full instructions to play the game.

I've played the game with some of my students and they love it!  It's a quick way to review some or all of the terminology included.  Do you have a student who has trouble remembering what terms mean or how to describe them?  How about a quick game of golf?

Every day is a perfect, sunny day for golf with this fun studio/classroom game.  To purchase Musical Golf, simply click on Birds of a Feather above!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Emojis are all the Rage!

Emojis!  They're everywhere!  And a favorite among my students right now.  With that in mind, I have a NEW GAME available to encourage emoji love and to learn to recognize, play and draw accidentals!

This super fun-filled game is perfect to work on accidentals with your students.  Students start on a very sad , injured emoji and work their way around the board to turn their emoji into a happy, healthier version!

How?  Play and Draw accidentals!  Students learn to recognize and to draw accidentals to move forward.  I don't know about you, but the drawing part was really stumping my students!  All those flats, sharps and natural signs were showing up AFTER the note and not correctly placed on lines and spaces.

This game is a fun way to encourage students to pay more attention to those details.  It's also a way for students to notice enharmonic notes!

Emoji Accidental is available in the store - it's a Birds of a Feather game!  Purchasing the game provides you with the game board, 3 sets of cards, grand staff boards, full directions and a ton of fun!