Makeover Madness

I am participating in a #TPTSellerChallenge where we are supposed to give some of our old products a makeover! I’ve been doing some small makeovers the last week or so but I was really excited because I knew which product in my store needed a major makeover. It has been on my list for awhile and this has given me the push to get it done!

So I am happy to announce that Magic of Music got a makeover! Check out some of these before and after pics!Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 8.53.14 AM

HUGE difference! It makes me want to do this incentive program all over again! And one of these days I will for sure. But this year I’m working on a new one. Stay tuned for that one.


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!

 

A Fun Change to Keyboard Festival this Year!

IMG_4643Every year I have a keyboard festival in my studio. Keyboard festival is similar to Clavinova festival if you are familiar with those. Matter of fact, the reason I started keyboard festival was because of the Clavinova festival experience I had years ago! I thought it was fun and was looking forward in having my students participate in this yearly event with my students, but then the store in my area that hosted Clavinova festival closed. And so did the opportunity of participating. So when that happened I decided to host my own festival and called it keyboard festival, where students played on the digital piano or Clavinova (I didn’t have a Clavinova until last year) with background accompaniments.

This year, I decided to use the Piano Maestro app as our tool for the background tracks. All but one of my students (he made his own backing track), played their piece on Piano Maestro. Before students performed I gave a little tutorial about Piano Maestro and all the cool features it has. My wish is all my students eventually would have access to the app at home.

I thought I would share what I did to help make things go quick and smooth.

First, I didn’t want students to log into their individual Piano Maestro accounts to find their pieces because I wanted loading time to be at a minimum. So with a different email, I set my studio up as a “student” and connected to me as the teacher. I then plugged all the students pieces into the Home Challenges. So when it was a students turn to play, it was already opened to “Foxx Piano Studio” and they just chose their piece from the pieces that were in home challenges. It made it super quick and easy!

Again, to keep things simple yet effective, I took advantage of the Clavinova speakers and hooked a longer, good quality audio cable from the iPad to the Clavinova. This is the audio cable I used. (click picture for link)

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 12.02.28 PMIt worked GREAT!

Not all my students have Piano Maestro to practice with at home, so for those who didn’t, I just made sure they chose a piece that had a hard copy available. (Piano Pronto, SuperSonics, Higgledy Piggledy Jazz, etc…). Then I simply recorded the background music from Piano Maestro to my phone and emailed it to them so they had the accompaniment to practice with. They practiced on the app itself when they came to lessons during their lab time.

I’m sure most of you are aware, but just in case you aren’t… Did you know? Piano Maestro is FREE for teachers and their students! So if you have an iPad and don’t have it, be sure to download it here! JoyTunes also has a great Facebook support page for teachers here.

I always have the families bring goodies to share (I provide drinks and paper goods), but I like to also do a little something so this year I used these music themed ice trays and made chocolate music molds! They were a hit. Yum!

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You can find the music themed ice trays on Amazon here.

Feel free to watch the video of our Keyboard Festival below if you are interested.

Review: Pronto Pizazz

What is better than some great piano solo’s? Great solos that have pizazz of course!

Jennifer Eklund of Piano Pronto has a book for your students that if you don’t already have you will want to grab it now! Pronto Pizazz is written for your early elementary to elementary students. First, the cover is absolutely beautiful with exciting colors and design that pop with pizazz! Inside your students will be able to enjoy 16 easy contemporary solos. You will find fun rhythms and various styles of music.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 4.33.15 PMThese solos are so fun to play but what makes Pronto Pizazz the book to have is truly the teacher duets that are included with every piece. Jennifer understands that the accompaniments are just as important as the solos. They can help the solos sound even more rich and stylistic. As Jennifer has said in different showcases that I’ve attended “I want to open young ears up to fresh, contemporary harmonies beyond the standard primary triads found in a lot of beginning level teacher accompaniments and also to syncopated rhythms so they can start internalizing common beat patterns.”

No more ‘oom-pah-pah’ accompaniments. Students can now play along with rich melodies and harmonies! Matter of fact, these teacher accompaniments can stand totally on their own as well. I have even used one with a student to learn as a supplementary solo piece for fun. There is another piece that I’m seriously thinking of having a student play the teacher part as their solo for the spring recital! Jennifer has even mentioned the teacher accompaniments are also great sight-reading material for intermediate students.

Who knew that you can get so much bang for your buck? Seriously! It’s pretty amazing! As with all of Jennifer Eklund’s music, you can see every page of Pronto Pizazz and listen to every piece in the book at PianoPronto.com.

Jennifer Eklund has graciously offered to give away 5 copies (hard copies if in the US, digital if not) of Pronto Pizazz! To enter leave a comment below by Tuesday, March 10th; 10:00pm (AZ MST). Good luck! GIVEAWAY HAS EXPIRED

sELFless Challenge Freebie

In conjunction with the Creative Clips sELFless challenge week, I made this penguin listening glyph with her adorable penguin clipart. One of my favorite musicals is Mary Poppins so I thought it would be a fun activity for this time of year to combine the penguin clipart to the penguin song in Mary Poppins.

You can download it for free here or by clicking on the picture. Enjoy, please remember to leave a comment if you download. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Here is more info on the sELFless challenge…

Selfless Challenge Week 1

 

What is new in the TpT store? A couple fun holiday games! Click on the pictures to check them out…

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

Halloween Game GIVEAWAY!

Even though it is still hitting 100 degrees here in AZ (I heard it is supposed to ‘cool’ down to the 90’s next week), I’m totally ready to start decorating for Halloween. Maybe it’s because I’ve been creating some fun Halloween games and can’t wait to play them with my students! I thought it would be fun to giveaway 1 of each of my Halloween games that are currently in my TpT store as of today. That means 3 teachers will win one of these games!

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 9.01.23 AMWitches’ Brew- A Halloween Composition Game is an interactive composition game where students will roll a dice and spin a letter to determine the rhythm they should use for their Halloween composition. It’s a great way to review note placement on the staff (stems going up/down), time signatures, rhythm, measures… all while creating a fun piece they can call their own!

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 11.49.54 AMTrick or Treat is a brand new game I added to my store. It is a halloween themed game in “hot potato” style. Students will be earning treats or doing musical tricks in this fun group game!

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 11.50.36 AMBoo! (A Rhythm Bump It Game). Students will have fun “boo-ing” other players off the board with this Halloween themed rhythm game. Players will roll a dice and find the matching rhythm values to the number rolled. The goal is to “boo!” the other players off the board and be the last ghost standing. Can be played in a small group or between student and teacher.

 

To enter to win one of these games, first ‘follow’ FPSResources on TpT here. Then come back and leave a comment on which game you would like to win and how you would use it with your students. Deadline to enter is next Sunday, September 28, 2014; 10:00pm AZ MST.  DEADLINE HAS EXPIRED.

Top 3 Benefits of following FPSResources on TpT:

1) Notified of new products

2) 20% off all new products the first 24 hours they are available!

3) Exclusive discounts and freebies for TpT followers!

If you download something, please remember to leave some positive feedback. When you leave feedback you will earn credits towards future purchases! It is very important to me to receive all 4.0’s on my products. If you feel that you cannot leave all 4.0’s, please email me at jennifer@foxxpianostudio.com before you leave feedback so I can rectify the problem first.

 

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

 

Reach Beyond the Stars- A Practice Incentive Program

I’m excited to announce that I have completed my new incentive program for this year!

Reach Beyond the Stars Promo

A lot of hours went into developing this program and I can confidently say that it is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

As students practice they will make their way throughout the solar system reaching beyond the stars. When they land or pass a planet they will complete mission assignments and advance ranks. If you have students who love space themes, (boys especially!) they will really enjoy this program. It is a motivating program that encourages students to want to practice so they can progress along with their peers.

PLUS– I threw in a little bonus! When you purchase this program it will include a free copy of the the Reach Beyond the Stars Board Game! (Board game is also available as a separate purchase)

If you have never done an incentive program before, this is the perfect time to try it out. All the work has already been done for you, now your students can enjoy!

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

Music Camps and Workshops Part 1 of 3

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Today I begin my first session of Piano Olympic Training Camp. Every summer I do either a camp or a choice of workshops students can participate in. I thought I would blog about how I go about music camps and workshops each year and give some ideas that might help teachers that have thought about holding one but not quite sure how to go about it.

First to explain the difference between a camp and a workshop… Camp- typically has several topics that you are teaching in one setting. Workshop- is more focused.  For example the subject is only on composing.

Today’s post will concentrate on Why, When and Who.

1) Why music camps and workshops?

– Schedule conflicts. Avoiding schedule conflicts with vacations or other events that might happening in certain times of the year. I live in AZ where it can get pretty hot during the summer. Many families want to leave the heat and go somewhere cooler but I can’t afford not to teach in the summer. So camps and workshops are the next best thing. Matter of fact, my families appreciate and me and my students prefer it because it is so fun!

Review/Learn something new. This is a great time not only to review what students are learning through the year, but to learn something new that can’t be fit in the regular weekly lessons.  When I say learn something new.  This isn’t necessarily just for students.  When I decide a topic that I would like to do a workshop on, I consider topics that maybe I’m not as strong in but would like to improve in.  For example, one year at my spring recital I had a student draw four note out of a hat where I was to start an improvised piece from and create a theme per se based off of those four notes.  If you were to ask me even 5 years ago to do this, I would have told you, you were crazy!  But because I have gone to workshops like Forrest Kinney (Pattern Play), I was motivated to implement improvisation in my studio and would hold workshops, and group lessons on improvising.  This allowed not only my students to grow but for me to grow as well.  Another workshop that I have done during the summer was on reading lead sheets which is something I was never comfortable in doing but had the desire to get better at it.  Bu picking a topic that I’m not comfortable doing, gives me the drive to learn all I can about the topic so I can teach it to my students.

Retain income. Music camps allow me to retain income that could drop dramatically during those summer months but at the same time give me and my students a much needed break.

2) When should I hold a music camp or workshop?

I hold my camps and workshops starting the end of May right after my recital party and into June.  Then I hold a Christmas camp in December.

Summer is a great time to hold camps or workshops.  I have students that are gone all summer, they leave the country, they go visit their other parent that lives out of state, they go on vacation, participate in other summer activities, etc…  By doing summer workshops, I am able to retain my income but allow them the freedom of having summer plans.

I started Christmas camps in December well over 10 years ago after being very frustrated at all the no shows that would happen that month. Music camps and workshops have solved many frustrations for me over the years and has become a win-win for both me and my piano families over the years.

3) Who should participate in the music camp or workshop?

Target audience– Are the camps going to be for your current students only or are you going to open them to others that aren’t in lessons?  One of the workshops that I hold each summer is an intro to piano class.  So my target audience is those on my waiting list and those who are inquiring for lessons.

Pre-requisites– While you are considering your camp topic and activities keep in mind if there is is certain pre-requisites for students in order for them to take that class.  For example my lead sheet class that I did has a level 2 pre-requisite.  I want them to already be familiar with basic chord structure and so on before they take this class.  But my rhythm class does not have a pre-requisite so anyone can sign up, including siblings, friends of students, etc…

Mixed/ages– My camps/workshops typically have mixed ages/levels in a group.  Pre-requisites determine a lot of what ages end up in the classes, but when there are not pre-requisites I can have a variety of ages in one group.  It has never been a problem to do this.  Matter of fact, it’s been helpful to have the older students assist the younger students if needed.

For some camps it may be helpful to have an assistant depending on the size and dynamic of your group.  For example one of my intro to piano classes had 3 brothers all a year a part in age. At the time, I hadn’t yet worked with them yet, but after meeting them realized that I will need my daughter to help assist me in this particular session so we can keep the class controlled because I predict that if I’m not on top of it at all times, they might lose focus. It ended up being a good decision. So always be prepared or have a back up plan. And always plan for more activities then you think you will need.

Click here for Part 2 will focus on how to determine what to charge and scheduling.