Halloween Group Lessons

Happy Halloween! My Halloween Festival was last week. Feel free to stop by the studio blog to see pictures: http://www.foxxpianostudio.blogspot.com

This week in the studio I held group lessons so I didn’t have to teach today. Last year for the first time in a very long time I decided for some weird reason to hold group lesson a different week which meant I had to teach on halloween. Never again! I like Halloween just as much as my students and frankly I just didn’t like teaching on Halloween. So if I didn’t like it, you can bet my students would not want to come that day either.

I thought I would share what we did in group class this week.

First, as students arrived I had them do the first two workbook pages of their Piano Olympics book. We will be continuing in this book throughout the year at group, Christmas camp and in lab.






We then played a game of I Have…. Whooo Has?, a fun rhythm game created by Melody Payne. With this game students need to put on their careful listening ears and listen out for the rhythm that was clapped.The nice thing is several of my piano students were familiar how to do this game because they did a different version (non-music) at school. You can find more details about this game in the Plucky Pianista blog store hereIMG_5316




On to rhythm dictation. Aimee with O For Tuna Orff blog created these great Halloween rhythm dictation slides (quarter and eighth note patterns) and these slides (adding 16th’s).

Students were first shown the first slide…


Then I had them use Wendy Chan’s rhythm flashcards that I won in her giveaway last August to figure the rhythm out. After they were done dictating the rhythm with the flashcards I showed them the answer…


THEN I played the rhythm on the piano with different accents and they added the strong, medium and weak flashcards that are also included in this terrific rhythm flashcard set. These flashcard sets are absolutely stunning and high quality. Included in her blog link is a video showing all that is included in the set and how you can use them with students. Be sure to check it out.

The pictures below will show students using Wendy’s rhythm flashcards dictating from the Halloween slides that were shown.






After rhythm we moved on to notes. First I had each group put together the candy corn note match puzzles created by D’Net Layton. I timed each group on how fast they could correctly put them all together.





Our last group activity was to play Don’t eat Pete! I had a candy note worksheet in my files (I think it was created by TCW but I could be wrong – so if you recognize it and know where it came from, please comment). We put 5 candy corn candies on top of the candy corn notes and chose one to be “Pete”. Someone would leave the room when Pete was chosen and when they came back they were to guess which one was Pete (and hopefully choose him last). For example they would say “Is treble G Pete?” and so on and if middle C was chosen as Pete, everyone would say “Don’t eat Pete!” and their turn would be over. Yes, they got to eat the candy corn that wasn’t Pete. Of course, that was their favorite part!







The Piano Bench Mag subscription winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and contributed with ideas you would like to be included in The Piano Bench Mag! There were some wonderful ideas that I would love to see implemented.

Without further adieu, our 5 winners for the 3-month subscription are:


Geri Miller


Penny Lazarus


Congrats! Be sure to check your email for download details and enjoy your subscription! The first issue of The Piano Bench Magis free to everyone so be sure to check it out!

Tech Tuesday: The Piano Bench Magazine (and giveaway!)


I am excited to introduce you to a new piano teacher magazine created by Karen Gibson (editor/publisher) called, The Piano Bench Mag. The Piano Bench Mag is available by download on iTunes to your iPhone or iPad. The magazine will then sync to your NewStand app.

The first issue of The Piano Bench Mag has come out this month and is full of holiday ideas for the piano studio.

Inside the first issue you will find:

  • Find a Treasury of Holiday ideas (different website resources for you to check out!)
  • Giving Back- My Studio and Operation Christmas Child
  • How Charlie Brown Helped my Career
  • App Review- Master in a Minute
  • 5 Alternatives to the December Recital
  • Jazz Up Your Christmas Carols!

I am looking forward to seeing what future issues will hold. Next month the main topic will be on Technology.

Subscription rates are 1 issue for $1.99; 6 month for $7.99 or 1 year for $11.99.

Karen has offered 5 lucky readers of FPSResources a 3 month subscription to The Piano Bench Mag out for FREE!

To enter please comment on what topics you would like to see written in The Piano Bench Magazine. Deadline to enter is Saturday, October 26th 10:00pm (mountain standard time).  (*Winner MUST respond within 72 hours of announcement or another winner will be chosen*) The winner will be announced on this blog and on the FPSResources Facebook page by Sunday, October 27th. Be sure you subscribe to the blog and on our Facebook page so you don’t miss out seeing if you are a winner! Good luck!

NoteBuster WINNER!

I really enjoyed reading all the fun things everyone does with their students to help with note reading.

We have a winner for a free copy of NoteBuster! Congratulations to….

AMY SADLER  (Amy, keep a look out for your email…)

BUT WAIT!!! GOOD NEWS for everyone else! Steven Gross has generously offered all my readers some awesome discounts on NoteBuster. For the discount to work,  you will need to order from this link and then type in the following codes…

The coupon codes are:

20% off one book: PTXYJQZL

30% off two or more books: 4KKPKN5Q

The codes will be good until 10/31/2013 so don’t delay!

Review: NoteBusters

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Do you have students in your studio that struggle with note reading? When I received the book, NoteBusters in the mail my first thought was WOW!!! I was not expecting such a thick book. NoteBusters is a note reading drill workbook on steroids. I kid you not.

Developed by Karen Spurney and Steven Gross, NoteBusters is jam packed with 240 one minute exercises your student can do covering over 30 notes on the grand staff. The cover page is bright and fun and the inside layout is very clean and organized. It is divided into 6 sections adding more notes on the grand staff to drill. As explained on the website, “The first three sections cover notes that appear on the treble, bass, and grand staves. The final three sections cover notes both on and off the staff (ledger line notes). Each one-minute exercise contains 20-24 notes for the student to identify.” Included in the back of NoteBusters is an answer sheet for students to check their answers on their own.

Sample pages…

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The nice thing about this book is it can be used however you need and would like to use it. Want to use just one exercise each week? Or maybe as a class in a group setting? Or maybe you want to drill several pages at a time? Or perhaps you would like a resource for a little friendly note reading competition? Regardless what your goal is for a student, it can be done.

On the NoteBusters blog, Karen has created a 3 part series of video’s for note reading that students can watch before they begin NoteBusters (optional).

There is something to be said by repetition. By the time a student is done with NoteBusters they will have BUSTED their note reading problem away.

Steven has graciously offered to giveaway 1 copy of NoteBusters to a lucky reader of FPSResources!  To enter, leave a comment on what you do to improve note reading in your studio.  Deadline to enter is Thursday, October 17th 10:00pm (mountain standard time).  (*Winner MUST respond within 72 hours of announcement or another winner will be chosen*) The winner will be announced on this blog and on the FPSResources Facebook page by Friday, October 18th. Be sure you subscribe to the blog and on our Facebook page so you don’t miss out seeing if you are a winner! Good luck!


Disclaimer:  I received this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own. 


Congratulations to #16- Christine Bookman!

Christine you won the free registration to the MusicEdConnect.com online conference. Details will be emailed to you soon. Thank you MusicEdConnect.com! Enjoy Christine!

Now for those of you who didn’t win this time round, you have another chance to win on Joy Morin’s ColorinMyPiano blog. Click here to enter. Joy’s deadline is coming up midnight EST, Wednesday October 16th so don’t delay!

Also don’t forget right now you can register for MusicEdConnect.com online conference at a discount ($79 instead of $99) until October 31st.

Giveaway extended one more day!

I just got back from a fall break vacation. Tonight was going to be the deadline to enter for the online music teachers conference giveaway but since I need some time to “catch up” I’m extending the deadline 1 more day!

I didn’t have very much time before I left to really put my two cents about the conference in when I sent out the press release. So I wanted to explain a little more about what this is all about since I’m sure some of you might not be wrapping your brain around it.

Here are the top 3 benefits of registering for an online virtual conference:

1) NO travel expenses! (Airfare, lodging, food- all that can add up!)

2) The conference comes to YOU in the comfort of you own home, studio or wherever you decide to log in.  (This means you don’t even have to get dressed up! Watch in your pj’s if you want!)

3) You can log in WHENEVER is convenient for you! (While the sessions will be available to teachers live so you can ask questions at the end if you want, all the sessions will be recorded so you can watch on your OWN time if you can’t log in when it is live.)

So now you have a better idea what this is all about, go now and re-read the press release and enter the giveaway at this link! This is a $99 value! Deadline to enter is now tomorrow- Saturday, October 12th; 10:00pm Mountain Standard time.

You won’t want to miss out! Oh! And did I mention I am one of the presenters?! So excited! Hope you are too!