Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mystery on Musicians' Island!

Mystery on Musicians' Island was a HUGE hit this summer!  Here's a look at some of what we did:

Flamingo - Mania!

Island Dress!

Loads of games!

Bucket Drumming!

And loads of crafts and activities that helped us learn and reinforce musical terminology, rhythm, notes on the grand staff and intervals!

It was a super fun week!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Trip Around Musicians' Island

Our practice incentive theme this year was "Marooned on Musicians' Island".  What a GREAT time we had!  It was fun, engaging and motivating for my students.  I always try to tie in my Spring Recital with the incentive program so last Saturday's recital was "A Trip Around Musicians' Island".  

Part of my program this year was to have each student compose their own song to play at this recital and I'm happy to say, "We accomplished that goal!".  What a great night of music!  Each of the 21 students that participated in the recital played their own piece as well as a favorite song they enjoyed learning in the past few months.  And of course we had an "island" theme!

Here's a peek:
As a gift to each of my students, I put all of their compositions in Finale and gave them each a book of the studio compositions.
They were excited to see each other's pieces and have them to play.  It took a bit of time for me to get all of them done, but it was well worth it!  I left space on each composition above the title so they could also do artwork.  I'm so thrilled to have worked on this with the kids this year.  Many of them expressed that it seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but with my help and a bit of nudging they grew to LOVE IT!  I see much more of this in our future!

There were also several other awards given out since the Spring recital is also Award's Night.  It was a superb night of music.  I'm proud of all of my students and how hard they worked! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wheel of Terms!

It's that time of year where I'm getting ready for the spring recital, preparing student evaluations and getting ready for summer camps.  It's super busy with piles everywhere, but I thought I would post about a group lesson we had recently.  One game in particular was a favorite!

Before the summer hit, I wanted to use up some small prize box items and some leftover candy I had hanging around the studio, so I put together a game I called "Wheel of Terms"!

I made the spinner on a medium size white boards and used my Spinzone magnetic spinner which is ALWAYS a big hit.  The wheel could stop on candy, prize box, move ahead 1 space or lose a turn.  The candy and prize box are obvious!  The move ahead 1 space related to this years practice incentive program, allowing students to move ahead one space without practicing for the week!  You can imagine that went over well.  Lose a turn meant that their turn passed to the other team.
We did play this in teams and based on the kids that came to the group lesson, I divided them up boys against girls which increased the excitement!  To play the game I wrote out a bunch of musical terms I knew were familiar to the students and grabbed another white board and marker.

I placed lines to match the number of letters in the word and had the first team spin the wheel.  As long as it didn't land on "lose a turn", the first team could guess a letter.  If they guessed a letter that was in the word, I filled it in on the correct space.  If there were two or more of the same letter, I filled all of them in.  The team then had a chance to guess the word based on the position of the letter(s) in the word.  If they guessed it correctly, they would receive the reward on the spinner.

Play would then pass to the next team with a new word.  If a team originally guessed a letter that was not in the word, I wrote it on the bottom of the white board and again, play would pass to the other team and the first team would lose their reward for that round.  We did several rounds and my students LOVED it.  It was also helpful to review each term after it was guessed.  SUPER FUN!

Can you guess the above musical term??

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Getting Ready for Camps!

It's a beautiful day out today and all the snow has melted so I decided to work outside a bit.  So, here's a quick peek at some items I'm getting ready for camp!  Don't you just love spray paint?  It makes anything instantly kid-friendly!
I hope you're having a great Spring!  Thank you to all of you who purchased resources while they were on sale!

Have a great day!

Friday, April 17, 2015


RoadTrip USA!, World Adventure! and Meet the Composers!  are not just for camps!  While they were original set up that way, there are many uses throughout the year!  Here's some ideas for you:

     1.  All three of them contain games and activities that can be used anytime.  They teach and drill rhythm, note ID, terminology, intervallic reading, composition, etc!
     2.  RoadTrip USA! and World Adventure! can easily frame a year-long program in your studio or
          classroom as they are FULL of ideas that work together.
     3.  World Adventure! is loaded and I mean LOADED with games and activities (crafts, science
          projects, etc) that are divided out by continent and country.  Many months of research went into
          this project and many of the games, though musical, were based on actual games unique to
          each country.
     4.  RoadTrip USA! has a very fun traffic theme to it that my students LOVED.  Why not add that
          same fun to your own studio or classroom.
     5.  All the resources needed are easy to put together or are completely provided!
     6.  The activities and games are easy to implement.
     7.  The activities and games are inexpensive.
     8.  Decorating your camp, studio or classroom to work with the theme is easy since each
          resource contains ideas to do just that!
     9.  Each Resource provides you with information about how to run the program as a camp.

    Enough said!

If you've been thinking about ordering RoadTrip USA, World Adventure, Meet the Composers or any of the sticker books, TODAY, 4/17/2015, IS THE DAY!  After today, the sale prices will be gone!  Hurry and get one or all of them while they are at these great prices!!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Just 4 Days Left!

Don't miss out on the big sale!  Only 4 days left to get resources at the reduced rate!  Keep in mind the camp resources are not limited to your summer break!  Each camp is loaded with games and activities that can be used all year long in your studio or classroom!  If. however, you want an easy camp to run, all the plans are done for you!  Don't miss out on the great savings!


Friday, March 20, 2015


Wow!  I am SO happy to finally be able to say that!  Up here in Connecticut we're welcoming Spring with another snow storm, but I won't be discouraged!  The fact that today is the first day of Spring puts a bit of a step in my feet (or snow boots!).

In honor of what I hope is the end of winter, I'm having a SALE in my on-line store!  I'm already deep in the planning of my summer camps so for those of you who are starting to think about it, there are camp plans for SALE!  All the work has been done for you!

RoadTrip USA! is a fun-filled exploration of the musical styles of America.  It has a bit of a twist to it with all kinds of road hazards!  It can be used as a full-week camp or you can use parts of it for group lessons!

World Adventure! invites you and your students to explore the music around the world, visiting 6 continents in 5 days!  You can use the full camp in one week or use parts of it, choosing which countries you would like to explore!   Loads of fun!

Meet the Composers!  If you're looking for a bit of a simpler plan for your summer, consider this one!  Meet the Composers! explores 4 different composers - Chopin, Copland, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky - and the art of composition!

All three of these camps include loads of resources, games & activities all planned out for you!  So take advantage of the SALE and stock up on all 3!

The SALE will extend through April 17th!  Even if you already have plans for the summer, any of these plans are great resources for your studio or classroom!

In addition to the camp plans, there are Music Sticker books for SALE!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

What are you doing this summer?

Have you thought ahead about what you want to do this summer with your students?  Regular lessons? Group lessons? Camps?  Each summer I run summer music camps so my students have a choice between a week of camp or 2 double lessons in July.   I am in the process of putting together my camps for this year.  If you are interested in using any of the camps I have put together in previous years, you can find them available in my on-line store.

Last summer I put together a Composition camp and also did a fun week, entitled, Games, Games, Games!  I had 8 students attend the composition camp which was a perfect amount.  We had SO much fun together and they are still talking about it!  I had 16 students attend Games, Games, Games and although the weather didn't cooperate on some days, we had a week filled with all kinds of board and active games, inside and outside!  Plans for that camp will be available soon!

I wish you the best as you plan for your summer!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

LABYRINTH - Terminology Style!

Labyrinth is a fun game all in itself, but imagine a terminology version!  Well, that's what we did!

In Labyrinth you race to search for treasure  within a twisting maze.  A little adjusting and this game was ready to play! If you want to try your hand at it, grab a sharpie or two, some stickable labels and scissors!

I cut address labels in thirds and covered each of the pictures on the game board and game pieces.   I chose 24 terms I wanted to drill with my students and drew them on the labels.

Then I placed labels on the game cards - again covering the picture on the card and then wrote the name of the term on the cards.  This way students need to match up the name of the term with the picture of the term.

That's it!

The game is then played like the instructions tell you!  The nice thing about this game is that you can tailor it to the time you have available.  Use all 24 cards (it takes about 30 minutes so it would be great for a station at a group lesson) or choose a few and limit the time.

I played the game recently with several of my students and they LOVED it!  It was a great, FUN way to review musical terminology!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful for all of you who support my blog and have offered so many words of encouragement.  I hope you have a wonderful day with your family and friends!