Summer Camp Highlights

I made a summer camp highlight video so my piano parents can see what their kids learned at camp. I thought I would share it with all of you as well.

This year I wanted to really focus on performance skills. These included: Conducting, Accompanying, Performance, Technique and then some fun creating iBands.

I used the following resources for this camp…

Conducting Basics

Accompanying Basics

Rhythm ClapBacks 

Technique Trainer


Musical Words

iPad Ensembles (In addition to using a couple of these ensembles, I also had students improvise. In addition I used regular existing music from to create an iPad ensemble)

Wii Music (We used the Mii Maestro Game where they practiced their conducting skills. So fun!)

When I first was planning this camp, I wasn’t sure how well what I had planned would work with all ages. I have students as young as 5 participating and as old as 18years old. The first group that participated was my “hurry out of town” kids. Which meant it would be a mix of ages. It turns out the mixed ages group ended up being a real nice group as most fell in the ages between 8-12 years. The other sessions were either K-5th or 6th and up. So it worked out well. Then for my K-5th groups I adapted a little bit by adding a little more rhythm activities for them. All in all I’m super pleased with how this camp went!

I hope you enjoy the video!


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COMING SOON! A new incentive program that is unlike anything you have seen before! Stay tuned!

2015 Summer Camp Plans

It’s that time of year! Time to prepare for summer! As most of you know I like to hold summer camp in my studio. It has created a win-win solution in my studio and allows both teacher and students a much needed break.

I’m really excited about our summer camp this year as I’m focusing a lot on performance. This is the flyer my families have received about camp…

2015 Summer CampI thought I would share a little more what we are doing in case you are looking for some ideas.

Years ago I did a conducting and accompanying basics camp. I decided it was time to revive this one so I’ve been putting the polishing touches on and am happy to announce that I just added Group Made Fun: Accompanying Basics in my store so it is now available along with Conducting Basics!

If you are doing a summer camp or workshop, I would highly recommend combing both Accompanying Basics and Conducting Basics in the camp as they both blend together quite nicely. To give you an added incentive to include both, I have discounted both of these Group Made Fun packets as a bundled price (Normally they are $12 each, but now $10 each) through the end of the month! You can view complete descriptions and some sample pages on each page. Click on pictures below.

Group Made Fun Accompanying Basics Cover Page

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Okay, back on track…

In Conducting Basics students will learn the basics of conducting (the file includes conducting posters), tips and tricks and of course lots of hands on experience. Do you have a Wii? Purchase Wii Music and use the Open Orchestra, found in the Jam Mode. Players will use the Wii Remote as a baton to conduct an orchestra. FUN!  I have a fun snack and craft in store as well for them. I always like to have some kind of snack and craft to break the camp up a bit.

In Accompanying Basics students will have hands on activities learning how to accompany soloists, choirs, stories/poems, instrumental and dance. They will learn page turning tips, the Be-Attitudes of Accompanying (includes teacher guide) and of course a fun craft and snack!


I wanted to do more because I really wanted to focus on ALL things performance. So we are going to really dive into Technique Secrets and making our Performances POP! Jackie Sharp’s new book, Technique Trainer (see recent review here) will come in really handy, especially her videos. We will be visiting Irina Gorin’s YouTube channel as well. If you subscribe to Piano Book Club, their recent book, My Piano Teacher Thinks She’s a Ninja will come in handy!

And then we will conclude the camp with iBand Ensembles! I did this years ago in a group lesson and have been wanting to bring it back! Susan Oglivy and Dennis Mauricio has created some fun iPad ensembles complete with background tracks! Check them out here. Students will be bringing in their iPads and Tablets. If they don’t have one, I have 3 available in the studio (actually 4 if my husband will lend me his).

If you had extra time, you can add Wendy Stevens Rhythm Cups (recently released Bk. 2!), create Boomwacker ensembles (check out this website with free boomwacker color coded songs) and more! (Tip: Always have more planned than you need) Performance Pizazz is what this camp is all about!

Happy Planning!

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Lucky Shamrock Game

May the luck of the Irish be with you in this fun St. Patricks themed game. Reviewing 36 music symbols, students will enjoy naming musical symbols and collecting gold coins. Will they be one of the lucky one’s to snag the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Be sure to watch out for the leprechaun hat!

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Brand new in the store! I’m extending the 20% off through tomorrow!

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Review: Minimusic

Minimusic banner logo

Back in 2003 when I went to my very first MTNA conference (SLC, UT) I discovered MiniMusic. At the time, Paula Manwaring, creator of Minimusic was selling the program on her own. I was really impressed with what I saw and decided to invest in the program. What I liked best about Minimusic (besides the program itself) was that it was something I could purchase and use it how I saw fit. I didn’t need to certify to use it, I didn’t have to give a percentage of my income to anyone and I can add other activities to it if I wanted to.

Minimusic is now available through Kjos. Since Kjos has picked up MiniMusic it has been given an updated look! I reviewed Minimusic briefly back in 2011 but wanted to review it again in more detail.

First, Minimusic is a children’s music theory course which teaches pre-reading music theory for young children. The Minimusic website suggests children 5-7, but I have used it with children 4 years old with no problems. Minimusic is designed to teach in small groups. I have used it with as little as 2 students. It can also be adapted for a larger class setting.



IMG_3035There are 32 lesson plans all laid out for you. Lessons include hands on activities, (some crafts), worksheets, fun interactive stories, and games. A lesson typically lasts an hour but I like to have “extra” activities in place just in case we go through a lesson too quickly. You can also get away with doing a 45 min. lesson if you have a small class (2-3) unless you have students in your class that REALLY enjoy coloring. One of my students this year loves to color so anytime we go to the workbook it’s hard to get her to move on from it.

Minimusic-18-19 Minimusic-Find-the-Keys Minimusic-Get-Up-Move

Concepts taught in Minimusic are:

  • Note and Rest Values
  • Counting and Rhythm
  • Basic Music Symbols
  • Music Alphabet
  • Direction of Reading
  • Basic Pitch Recognition
  • Black Piano Key Groups
  • White Piano Key Names
  • Intervals up to a 5th
  • Recognition of 23 Instruments and Their Family

When students finish the Minimusic program, they are ready to start any instrument of their choosing! They are off to a great start because their basic theory knowledge is already there.

The Teacher Kit is pretty amazing. When Kjos started selling it they improved the quality of all the products. The program is totally the same, everything – the workbooks, cards, etc… are just nicer quality. A couple conferences ago, I was able to see firsthand in the Kjos booth the updated Minimusic kit with the new look. I loved the updated look so much so that I decided to purchase another set. I knew that I would get good use out of it regardless if I had Minimusic classes or not. That is one of the great things about the teacher kit is it comes with everything you can use with your regular students too! I can’t tell you how many times I have used the items in this kit during private lessons, group lessons and camps. It has come in very handy! Matter of fact, I have even held pre-piano camps using the Minimusic program. It works out VERY well!

The teacher kit includes: A Student Workbook, Cloth Keyboard and Transparencies; Flash Cards (instrument, note value, rhythm, musical alphabet, intervals, keys); Music Symbol and Instrument Bingo Games; Bingo Chips; Pitch Puppets; CD with songs and instrument sounds.

You can see more samples of the kit here.

Minimusic Kit

My picture is missing the CD, puppets and transparencies that are included in the teachers kit.

Minimusic has a couple Facebook pages that you may be interested in joining. First the Minimusic facebook page and then the Minimusic Teacher Support page.

If you are looking for a solid program you can use with beginners before they begin lessons, I highly encourage you to take a look at Minimusic! You can purchase the teachers kit here.

Now for some amazing news! Kjos is giving away a Minimusic teacher kit to a VERY lucky teacher. The teacher kit values at $200.00. If you would like to enter to win a Minimusic teachers kit, comment below what you currently do with young children and your favorite activity or game you like to use with them. (Whether in a group or private setting). Deadline to enter is Sunday, February 15, 2015; 10:00pm (AZ MST) GIVEAWAY HAS EXPIRED.

Christmas Camp 2014

As you probably know by now, our theme for Christmas camp this year was Christmas Around the World. In my preparation for this camp I definitely over-prepared so we didn’t have time to include Israel/Hanukkah this time. It will definitely get used sometime if not next year. I really enjoyed this camp as there was so much to learn! Students came for 2 hours on their normal lesson day for 2 weeks (4 hours total). If they were unable to come on their normal lesson day, then they attended on another day.

This year I decided to do a highlight video. One of my goals is to try to get more comfortable using iMovie without the pre-set trailers. So here is the result… Hope you enjoy!

Thank you Jerald Simon for permission to use your arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High as the background music in this video!



Thanksgiving Freebie!

Thanksgiving is coming soon and I just wanted to express my gratitude to all of you with a little something that I will be having my students do during lab time this week. I don’t teach Thanksgiving week and then the week after Christmas Camp begins! So this week after I listen my students pieces, we will be playing Thanksgiving themed music games and then they will do a thanksgiving themed listening glyph.

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To download this Thanksgiving freebie, just click here (or the picture above). Remember to leave some kind feedback!

If you are looking for some last minute games to do with your students I have two turkey themed music games.

Just click on the pictures below for the links.

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Enjoy the freebie and Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

Also thank you to those who bought the Group Made Fun: Christmas Around the World when it was released! I hope your students enjoy it! I would love to hear! Remember to leave feedback when you have a chance.

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Christmas Around the World

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Did  you hear the good news! Group Made Fun: Christmas Around the World is now available and it’s 20% off right now! I put together a short video to give you a good idea what you can expect.

As with all my Group Made Fun units, all the lesson planning is done for you! So it’s super easy to use in whatever way you would like. Christmas Around the World is set up for a 4-hour camp, with 3-3 ½ hours worth of activities. If you don’t do a Christmas camp, you can take any of the files and resources included and use them during group lessons, performance parties, workshops, etc…

The country files can even be used during a lab or station activity! You can get quite a bit out of this purchase even if you don’t use it as a full camp.

P.S. Don’t forget to follow FPSResources on TpT so you can get your freebie link Saturday morning. You will need to follow by Friday in order it to get in your inbox in time for Saturday. Just click here to follow.


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