Tech Tuesday: NotateMe and NotateMe Now app

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about an iOS app and one that I have been wanting to write about is NotateMe.

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If you aren’t familiar with NotateMe, it is a composition app that recognizes handwriting and will put it in computer notation form. The thing that I like about this particularly app is that it gives students practice on how notation is written. Currently NotateMe is $21.99. As the app improves, the price goes up. (Right now it says that it is 25% off for a limited time.)

Now the good news, if you want to simply use this app as a practice tool for students in drawing notation and learning basic melody composition, there is a free version called NotateMe Now. The main difference between the two is the free version only includes a single stave.

I wanted to share some wonderful video resources created by Christopher Russell “choirboy” over at the Technology in Music Education blog. He put together four video lessons for his students to help them when they start composing and using NotateMe Now. I was thrilled to see these video’s because it is a perfect tool to have students view during lab time or at home. In addition he has included PDF’s which include the guide for the theory that is being taught in the lesson, the assignments, and the checklist for the assignment.

Here are the links where you can easily find them.

#1 Using NotateMe Now

#2 NotateMe Now Lesson

#3 and 4 Final Lessons and Thoughts

So if you don’t want to spend money for NotateMe, at the very least check out NotateMe Now. (Just remember the paid version’s price will continue to go up in the meantime)

 

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Hoffman Academy winner!

Winner

Congratulations to Nicole D! She is our winner via the random generator. Enjoy the supplementary unit 1 book with your students Nicole!

Just a reminder the video’s on Hoffman Academy are free to view. While not required to purchase, Hoffman Academy also offers supplemental material. Included in the supplementary materials are theory worksheets and activity pages, songs with practice instructions, piano listening mp’s and practice mp3′s. All the materials are available for download. You can see all the purchase options in the store here. You will notice that going with the bundle of all 3 units gives you the most bang for your buck.

Be sure to follow the blog and like FPSResources on Facebook to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!

 

Review: Hoffman Academy Teaching Resources

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I was approached by Hoffman Academy to review their piano lesson resources. When you visit their website, HoffmanAcademy.com you will immediately be asked to either register or view the lessons as a guest. Then you will be taken to the first of 60 video lessons by Mr. Joseph Hoffman that are available to view for free. You can read more about Mr. Hoffman here.  Now you are probably thinking to yourself, why would I be interested in using these video lessons with my students? Doesn’t this kind of thing hurt what I am trying to accomplish?

I’m sure Mr. Hoffman would agree that video lessons no matter how helpful, cannot fully replace what can be accomplished with a “live” teacher. However, I’m always open to how my students and I can benefit from other resources that are out there. The video lessons are short in length varying from 5-15 min. which means they can easily be used to review concepts with a student both during and after lessons. Have you ever wished a student could come for lessons more then once a week? Have you ever thought what could happen with a student if they had a visual tool that can reinforce at home? I think of these videos like I would when I would show a video from YouTube, Quaver’s Music, etc… A tool that I can utilize that would reinforce what I am teaching. And I love that all the video’s are free, great quality and easily accessible! Mr. Hoffman is pleasant, easy to watch and understand and even a little quirky. I personally got a kick of the little puppet “shows” at the end.

THE HOFFMAN TEACHING PHILOSOPHY (excerpt from website)

In 2002, when Joseph Hoffman began his piano teaching career, he set out to find a teaching method that would help students to get the most out of their music lessons. He found several good methods, but none of them designed to develop the kind of “whole musicianship” that he wanted for his students. He liked the basic philosophy of the Suzuki method, which teaches students by ear first, but wanted something that also emphasized total fluency in music including note reading, music dictation, and composing from an early stage. Unable to find the method he wanted, Mr. Hoffman decided to create it himself.

The Hoffman Method, based on research in child development and learning theory, teaches students to play both by ear and sight. It engages a child’s natural curiosity and creativity using a multi-sensory approach while providing the kind of training needed to reach a high level of musical proficiency. Its child-friendly teaching tools make deep, meaningful learning both easy and fun, and it creates well rounded musicians who will love making music throughout their lifetime.

You can read more on the philosophy here.

The lessons are divided into 3 Units. Unit 1 covers the musical alphabet, finger numbers, basic rhythms and stepping, C and D Major Pentascales. Mr. Hoffman uses both the alphabet and solfege in his materials. Unit 2 covers the grand staff, more rhythms, G major pentascale, skipping and chords. Unit 3 covers more rhythm, chords and F and E Major Pentascales. Each unit includes dictation, composition, improvisation, ear training, sight-reading, technique and theory. 

Here is the first video-

While not required to purchase, Hoffman Academy also offers supplemental material. I had a chance to look over the Unit 1 materials and especially enjoyed the activity pages. Included in the supplementary materials are theory worksheets and activity pages, songs with practice instructions, piano listening mp’s and practice mp3’s. All the materials are available for download. You can see all the purchase options in the store here. You will notice that going with the bundle of all 3 units gives you the most bang for your buck.

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You can see some more sample pages here.

There is a section on the website that I encourage you to visit called Support. In this section you will find several articles about Getting Started, Practice Helps and even a helpful article for parents on How to Find a Piano Teacher.

Hoffman Academy is giving away 1 copy of supplementary Unit One materials to a lucky teacher. To enter, just leave a comment how you like to use video resources like these in your studio if you ever have and if you haven’t yet, how you think you would going forward. Deadline to enter is Sunday, February 23rd 10:00pm (az mountain standard).  Giveaway has expired.

Be sure to follow the blog and like FPSResources on Facebook to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!

*Disclosure

Spotlight Solos Winner!

WinnerCongratulations goes to Nina! Enjoy the Spotlight Solos book! Jennifer will be contacting you soon.

Remember you can get 10% off this book and everything in the PianoPronto.com store through the end of this month by entering promo code: foxx10feb.

Be sure to check out Jennifer Eklund’s new piece, Home Run! It’s hot off the press!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and like FPSResources on Facebook to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!

 

Review: Spotlight Solos

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Jennifer Eklund (Piano Pronto) recently came out with a new supplementary book that I wanted to share with you today. Spotlight Solos is a highly motivating supplementary solo book for Late Beginners through Early Intermediate students. You may recognize some of the pieces that are available elsewhere, but may have been arranged a little different then the original version.

Someday is perfect for those students that enjoy the pop style arrangements such as Taylor Swift.

Spanish Dance is a fun piece to play that is upbeat with fun syncopated rhythms.

End Game is a studio favorite that is played fast and has lots of LH crossovers for students to have fun with. Boys and girls alike enjoy playing this one! Since it’s in C minor it would even work well for Halloween time!

The Return is another pop style piece that is very motivational to learn and play.

No Limits is an exciting piece especially for boys (but girls like it too!). I love the rhythms in this one!

Bluesy Tuesday is a fun jazzy piece that practices swing and triplets.

Super Spy Guy is another great piece that would be perfect to play at Halloween time or any time. Sneaky fun!

Oh Snap! gets the student snapping and swinging. Another great piece for students who enjoy playing jazzy solos.

Skipping Town was written with the teacher in mind. Perfect for students who need to practice their steps vs. skips and 2 note phrases.

The Chase is another favorite. Fast and furious and oh so much fun to play! It’s one of those “sounds harder then it is” pieces that inspires and motivates a student to keep playing!

Spotlight Solos is 5 star book that is jam packed with motivation pieces for students to play. Each piece will become a favorite as they learn them. A student saver must have!

Jennifer has offered to giveaway a copy of Spotlight Solos to a lucky teacher! If the winner is domestic, you will receive a hardcopy and if you are international, you will receive a single license digital copy. To enter just leave a comment below by this Tuesday, February 18th 10:00pm (AZ mountain standard). Giveaway has expired. Don’t forget to check out all the music at PianoPronto.com!

Want a 10% discount on PianoPronto.com? Just enter promo code: foxx10feb. This code is good through February. 

*Disclosure

Triumphant Winners

Congratulations to all our winners of Jerald Simon’s Triumphant.

The hard copies go to:

#10- Bev Haley

#6- Nicole D

The single user ebook license goes to:

#2- Carla

#4- Betsy

#5- Amy

#9- Laura B

#12- Saundra

#13- Robbin

#15- Karen

#16- Ronda Gerhart

#21- Brad Garner

#25- Aroundthecornermusicstudio

Jerald will be emailing everyone soon.

Triumphant is available to purchase in the Music Motivation store for only $4.95 for the single license pdf version or $18.95 for a spiral bound hardcopy.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog and like FPSResources on Facebook to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!

Music Review: Triumphant

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With the Olympics in full swing, I wanted to review a book that goes along perfectly with any Olympic theme. Triumphant, original inspirational and majestic piano solos composed by Jerald Simon fits the bill perfectly. Written for intermediate to late intermediate students every piece in this book is motivating and exciting to play.

Inside Triumphant, you will find:

Introduction (theory used to compose the pieces)
Triumphant
What Could Have Been
Prestige
Stepping Stones
Conviction
Standing Tall
Ahead of the Game
Looking Up
If at First You Don’t Succeed
Starting Over

Don’t you LOVE these titles? Just wait until you play the music!

Here is the link where you can watch a music video of Jerald playing TRIUMPHANT (one of the pieces in the book) with the minus track (which teachers and students can download for $.99 from his website). The track to this piece was recorded in studio with musicians.

If you are doing a Piano Olympic theme in your studio this year like I am, this book is a must! Even if you aren’t it is what I consider a ‘student saver’ book! You can view samples of the pieces inside Triumphant here. Triumphant is available to purchase in the Music Motivation store for only $4.95 for the single license pdf version  or $18.95 for a spiral bound hardcopy.

Be sure to check out Jerald’s blog where every Monday he posts a Monday Motivator post and on Tuesdays a Theory Tip Tuesday. The Theory Tip Tuesday posts includes a video where he teaches a cool theory concept and includes a FREE PDF download of the exercise he is teaching in the video. Go to his blog to check it out.

Ever wanted to see Jerald give a workshop? Well, you are in luck! He did a workshop on “How to Motivate Piano Students to Learn the Piano” last month for teachers in Utah and recorded it, so you can view on YouTube! Check it out here.

Jerald has a lot of exciting things in store coming soon, so keep your eye out!

Jerald is sharing the love this month and has graciously offered to giveaway 10 PDF versions and 2 hard copies of Triumphant away to my readers! Wow!!! To enter, please comment below. Deadline to enter is by Friday, February 14th; 10:00pm (az mountain standard).  Giveaway has expired.

Be sure to like FPSResources on Facebook to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!