Tech Tuesday: The Modern Musician Show

Colin Thomson, creator of Sight-Reading Academy has created a fabulous new podcast show called “The Modern Musician Show with Colin Thomson“. Colin says, “I interview the best of the best, both musicians as well as “outsiders” to the music industry, to find out what musicians everywhere can and should be doing to lead fulfilling and financially successful careers in music today.”

Three days a week Colin will be finding out from his guests some steps and tips that will help musicians grow online and offline.

I recently had the privilege to be one of Colin’s guest. The podcast will be available to listen to tomorrow so be sure to tune in to the show! I have a little spoiler for my new incentive program that’s coming out next month at the end of the show so be sure to listen to the whole thing.

To help other musicians find the show on iTunes, The Modern Musician Show needs some subscribes, ratings and reviews. Now through July 10th, Colin is offering a free video course (a $49.95 value!) on how musicians should be using Instagram to anyone who leaves a review! The video course is going to go through all of the steps musicians should be taking to grow their audience on Instagram.


Here are the steps to get the video course for free:

1. Go to:

2. Click “View in iTunes”

3. Click “Ratings and Reviews”

4. Click “Write a review”

5. Write your review, and leave a rating

6. BEFORE you click submit, take a screenshot (how to take a screenshot for Mac or PC) and email it to: – (He will email you your free access to the video course, launching this week! If you forget this step, you can take the screenshot after the review shows up in itunes, in a couple days)

7. Click “Submit”

And that’s it! Don’t forget to do this by July 10th!

Whether you choose to do this or not, please do checkout the podcast and the free resources on the growing website!

Shownotes at:

iTunes link:

Stitcher link:

Be sure to ‘Like’ FPSResources on Facebook and follow FPSResources on TpT to stay up to date on giveaways, discounts, reviews and other music resources!

Tech Tuesday: NinGenius Music iOS app

There is a fairly new music app in the app store and it is a lot of fun! If you have any students that enjoy the martial arts, this will most likely be a favorite. NG5NinGenius has 3 different purchase options to choose from. The Student edition ($2.99) is for individual students learning one instrument. Scores will only be tracked for that student. The Studio edition ($9.99) will allow the teacher to put unlimited students under one instrument. And the School edition ($17.99) will allow unlimited students under unlimited instruments. (This is great if you have a studio or classroom that teachers more than one instrument) In the school edition the instruments included so far are: Baritone, Bass, Bassoon, Clarinet, Cello, Flute, F Horn, Guitar, Mallets, Oboe, Piano, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Viola and Violin.

NinGenius was developed by two brothers, Anthony and Curtis Winters. Anthony is the programmer and Curtis does the music and graphics. Curtis is a junior band & orchestra teacher in Orem, Utah, and has been using this app for several months with great success. Curtis said, “Band, Orchestra, Choir, and Piano teachers should know that we are committed to keeping it updated, bug-free, and expanded with each update, allowing teachers to use it year after year and keep track of thousands of student scores (with the freedom to delete individual students and all student data whenever they want).”

I love that they created these 3 app options so we can determine what is best for us. For the purpose of this review I will be focusing on the Studio edition using Piano as the instrument.

First to add students you will want to turn on the INSTRUCTOR MODE. This will unlock the ability to add, delete and change names. Instructors will also be able to view the play history to see how students did on their score, accuracy and speed. This is especially helpful if you aren’t right there with them while they are playing. The instructor mode does need a password. I actually appreciated this feature and wish it was available other apps like Piano Maestro as my students like to go in and change other students names thinking they are being silly.NG4There are a couple playing modes in NinGenius Music. The STUDY MODE teaches the note names AND fingerings for each note in the chosen level. The fingering mode really is what sets this app apart from other note reading apps out there. In the  Study Mode, students can choose to hide an answer until tapped. So they can name the answer and then tap the scroll to see if they got it right. When they feel they know their notes pretty well they can go on to TEST MODE.

NG3TEST MODE is where the fun begins! If in the fingering option for piano, students will see a 3 multiple choice options on the actual keyboard. For the note option, they will see the note names. In test mode there is a countdown clock as they are naming their notes. As the countdown gets smaller the background music gets faster with a higher pitch. If you have students where that kind of thing causes major anxiety I would just recommend muting the music.   When they get the note right enough times they break the board (the board gets weaker until breaking point). When they get the note wrong it can cause the poor ninja some pain. Get them wrong enough times, the ninja will pass out and the game will be over.

There are 4 levels of difficulty. (Easy, Medium, Advanced, and NinGenius) From what I can tell EASY concentrates on treble lines, MEDIUM adds in the bass clef, ADVANCED is treble and bass clef with more notes and NINGENIUS adds in some ledger lines.

NG2Scores are based on accuracy and speed. Students can earn speed bonus points for answering quickly and correctly. Once they complete their round they will earn a colored belt and a score. If their score is high enough they will make it into the Top 10 High Scores list which is found on the main screen. This is a huge motivator for trying to beat their score again and again! The high score list shows the current Top-10 scores for each level. GN6

When I shared with Curtis that I would love to see the option to customize notes, he told me that it is already on their to-do list!

Here are some ways I thought would be fun to use NinGenius:

1) The typical way (with you, during music tech time, at home, etc…)

2) Round Robin/Hot Potato style- Students lining up to the iPad and taking turns answering a note one at a time or passing the iPad around before the timer goes off. (remember to keep iPad on the floor!)

3) Projecting it on a screen and having students answer aloud while you push the answer. (or do this in round robin style, projected)

Curtis shared with me that they have a long list of ways to improve and build NinGenius. “We really want to make this the premium music education app by including rhythm games, a two-player versus mode, music theory training sessions, Game Center compatibility (so students and teachers can compare scores all across the world), bonus belts and collectible wardrobe options, etc., etc.”

He shared that he is especially eager to get several instruments (including piano) set up to where you touch the correct key or place on the fingerboard rather than choose between three multiple-choice options.

Whether your students are in a private, group or classroom setting, NinGenius Music is a very fun and engaging note and fingering game students will enjoy! I cannot wait to see what else they add to NinGenius!

The Winter brothers were so kind enough to do a giveaway in conjunction with this review. The giveaway is for two Student Editions and one Studio Edition.

To enter this giveaway, like NinGenius on Facebook, like FPSResources on Facebook (if you haven’t already) and leave a comment below. Good luck! Deadline to enter is Friday, June 26th, 10:00pm (AZ) MST time.

Be sure to ‘Like’ FPSResources on Facebook and follow FPSResources on TpT to stay up to date on giveaways, discounts, reviews and other music resources!

Tech Tuesday Review: My Music Staff

mymusicstaff-logo-2015My Music Staff is a web-based resource you can use on whatever device  you have. Just log into your account online wherever you are and manage your studio.

My Music Staff is super easy to set up. Simply input your students and family details (you can do this by importing your contacts if you wish) to set up their account. Have multiple teachers in your studio? No problem, My Music Staff makes managing easy for you too.

MMSHome-1024x640 MMSStudent-Details-1024x640 MMSStudents-1024x640Once that is done you will be able to include and access attendance notes, practice log, repertoire and email history.

Next you can schedule events, group lessons, camps and more to be added to your calendar (in addition to regular lessons). The calendar will even show students birthdays!

MMSCalendar-1024x640Easily keep track of your lending library…

MMSLibrary-1024x640… and send invoices to families. By the way, My Music Staff is working on an exciting update (currently in beta). “Now, when a student/parent clicks the “Make Payment” button (or uses the “Pay Online” link in an invoice), they’ll be taken to a new payment page first that displays your invoice logo and a few other details about their payment before they’re taken to PayPal.” That is coming soon!

MMSFamilies Invoices-1024x640Expenses and income log, very helpful at tax time! And don’t forget to keep track of your mileage.



You can even set up a website page and posts. If you already have one, they have some widget codes you can add to yours.

MMSWebsite-1024x640When you log into My Music Staff you not only see your agenda for the day, but you can see the latest “staff room news” so you are always updated with the latest.

My Music Staff has a clean interface that makes managing you studio super easy for even the tech challenged teacher! My Music Staff is just $12.95 a month no matter how many students you have.

My Music Staff does not do an affiliate program like some of the others. Keith Russell stated “We believe in offering the lowest price possible to everyone without compromising features, benefits or service.”

You can check out My Music Staff here and sign up for a month trial for free.

Be sure to ‘Like’ FPSResources on Facebook and follow FPSResources on TpT to stay up to date on giveaways, discounts, reviews and other music resources!

Tech Tuesday: Guidebook app

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If you are going to MTNA conference, you will want to download the Guidebook app on your mobile device. It’s free and will give you access to the full schedule, information about presenters, tracks, exhibitors and conference maps. You can even customize your own schedule. Click here to download. Then search for 2015 MTNA National Conference and click to open. Easy and very handy!

See you soon!

Tech Tuesday: Dragon Scales

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.20.17 PMSpeaking of Dragons (if you saw my post earlier today, you will know what I’m talking about)…  Dragon Scales, an iOS app for the iPad is on sale 40% off for the month of March.

Dragon Scales is a fun way for students to review their scales. Students begin by playing the scale on the iPad keyboard. The goal is to play it up and down correctly before the dragon gets the knight. (Warning: sometimes boys like it when this happens) There are several speeds and game length options to choose from. So if a student is just learning a new scale they might want to start with the slow speed and work their way up.

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Both Major and Minor, including harmonic, melodic and natural scales are included. It is super easy to choose which keys to review.

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Did you know there are instructional videos to help students learn their scales? I’ve used this app several times and for some reason either didn’t realize this or totally forgot about this feature! I’m glad I was reminded. A perfect way to use this during lab time is have a student watch a video and follow up with the game.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.16.24 PMAnother little tidbit you may have not known: “Students preparing for the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations (Canada) or the assessments of the Music Development Program (USA) will find that the specific scale requirements for each grade level are available as presets. A single tap will enable all of the scales that could be requested on your next examination.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.16.45 PMIf you don’t have Dragon Scales yet, be sure to take advantage of the big discount this month!

Be sure to ‘Like’ FPSResources on Facebook and follow FPSResources on TpT to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!

Tech Tuesday: Video Lesson Example

About 6 months ago, I posted about the different options my parents have to take advantage of when they miss a lesson as I do not give makeups. (You can read the post here if you missed it) This month is spring break month. I have students that have different spring break weeks spread throughout the month. So I have suggested to my families that if their spring break is a different week than the studio spring break, they request a video lesson.

I’ve had a few teachers inquire a little more about this option trying to visualize exactly what it is. So I decided I would download an example for you to watch. My video lessons are a little different than some others that have been suggested. For example, Wendy Stevens has students email her their practicing and she gives them feedback either in written form or in video form.

What I like to do instead is video myself (I just use my iPad- super easy and quick to upload to an unlisted link on YouTube) giving a lesson as if the student was here with me (but they aren’t) so I’m talking to them in the video. This will allow them to polish up what they were working on the previous week and then be able to move on for the week they missed. If I already don’t have a copy of their last assignment page, I just have them text or email me a picture of it.

The example I’m giving you is for a student who is just learning the notes on the staff. She started in Pianimals Book B (off staff- letter names) and we are just starting in Book C. I hope this gives you a better idea of what a video lesson is at least in my studio.


By the way, the FPSResources YouTube page is brand new, so feel free to subscribe!

On another note: If you have purchased Group Made Fun: Conducting Basics, I updated links and added a powerpoint version as well. Be sure you click here and re-download.

Did you miss these freebies? Don’t forget to leave feedback each time you download. 😉

Music Makes Me… (bookmarks) 

MISOM: Rhythm e-Book

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Celebrating MIOSM!

March is Music in our Schools Month and music teachers on TpT are celebrating in a big way! Each week this month, you will receive a FREE e-book chalk full of free musical goodies you can enjoy! So keep your eye out!

This week we are celebrating with a Rhythm e-book. This is the book I contributed in. Thank you to Amy Abbott for being such a great editor and putting this book together for all the contributors so you to enjoy! Click on the picture below to download. Remember to leave some kind feedback when you download each.



Kicking off MIOSM, yesterday I posted some free bookmarks you can give to your students. If you haven’t downloaded them yet, you can do so here or by clicking the picture below. Remember to leave some feedback.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.02.04 AMEnjoy MIOSM!

Be sure to ‘Like’ FPSResources on Facebook and follow FPSResources on TpT to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!