New resource page for teachers

Some big changes are happening to the Piano Program website very soon! I love that many teachers are using the music theory courses, and of course I’m enjoying using it in my teaching as well.

So after taking a step back and looking at all of the work I’ve done on this website, I’ve decided that the projects I’m most proud of are the resources I’ve created for music teachers.  I’m using my music theory courses daily in my teaching, and it has changed everything from the stress level in my studio (not feeling like I have to have everything on hand for the student at all times) to freeing up valuable lesson times, to covering more teaching topics.

As a teacher, we all need flexibility.  Some of us have dedicated lab times, some of us teach group classes, and some of us are trying to cram every last bit of learning in a private lesson.

Often during my teaching this year, I’ve thought to myself – I wish I had my music theory videos and worksheets organized in a way that I could quickly bring up any concept for a student who need reinforcement.  After all, high quality tools and resources make all of us better teachers.

So I’m recreating the website to include a page that will have all of my music theory resources (videos, worksheets, and interactive exercises) included in one spot.  Everything will be searchable by category and level.  This gives my organization-happy heart a warm glow!  For example, if you need a level 5 exercise or video on key signatures, you’ll be able to find it at the click of the button.  This will help us all as teachers be able to find a resource quickly to use during lesson or lab time.

The best part?  I’ll be adding new resources on a monthly basis for all to use.

The new look and organization of the website will be unveiled July 1st.  I’ll of course send out updates to everyone with information on how to access this new page.

Does this mean I’ll change the login to my current music theory courses?  Not at all.  They will still be available as they are now for student or teacher purchase.  This will just be an additional resource for teachers to use, in a different all-in-one place.

And a huge thank you to all of the students and teachers who have been helping me by pointing out some final editing changes for the music theory worksheets.  I’ve been updating them on a regular basis and posting the new versions on the course platform.

I’m excited for the new resource page!


What I’m reading….

With school finally coming to a close, I’ve been able to sit down with some books.  Here’s what’s been on my shelf this month:

  • The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver – I found myself reading this as part of my neighborhood book club, and I couldn’t put this book down!  This is one of those books where the character development is so strong, that I found myself thinking about the characters at all times of the day.  Have you ever had that happen to you?  It was almost as if the characters were visitors in my house while I was reading this book.  The young child, Turtle, is definitely one of my favorite characters from the book, as well as Taylor, with her strength and gentle determination.
  • The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks – I grabbed this book from the suggestion of a business podcast, and I’m glad I did.  It’s a non-fiction, business based/self help book.  Perhaps most interesting is the four ‘zones’ that the author describes – the zone of incompetence, the zone of competence, the zone of excellence, and the zone of genius.  It was interesting to reflect how I’ve jumped back and forth between the different zones at various times in my life, and what I still need to do on a professional level to make the leap to the zone of genius.
  • Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin – Is anyone else a big financial geek?  (Raises hand….)🤚 I’ve been interested in the ‘early retirement’ model that several others, including Mr. Money Mustache, promote.  This book, written about 25 years ago, was one of the first books to touch on this subject.  So many concepts are common sense – spending less than you make, for example, and tracking spending.  But for me, as a numbers person, it was interesting to think about the lifestyle changes we could make as a family to achieve the freedom of early retirement.

Join me for my website building course

Create your own website from start to finish

I haven’t forgotten about those who are interested in my website building course!  The start date will be in mid June, and enrollment will open next week.  This is a 6 week course for piano teachers looking to build their own website.  I will walk you through all the steps from start to finish.  Click here for more information and to get on the email list to get notified when the course opens.

 

It was such a pleasure to speak at the MTNA National Conference in Orlando today!  I loved seeing old friends and making new ones.  I hope that I was able to inspire you to start thinking about how YOU can use the flipped classroom approach in your studios.

I hope everyone grabbed a printed handout at the conference, but if you didn’t, that’s OK!  I’ve highlighted everything I covered in the talk here in this blog post, with links to the resources that I use to create my online courses and resources for my students.

Dream big everyone – let’s create new and exciting resources for our piano students that will continue to educate students for years to come.

Here are the resources that I use. (Click on the titles to be directed to the webpage.)

Teachery

If you want example of amazing customer service, this is it!  I’ve been using Teachery for my course platform creation for several years now, and I couldn’t be happier.  It’s easy to use, intuitive, clean, and integrates payments seamlessly.  Their customer service is one thing I absolutely love – Jason, the owner, replies back to questions within minutes of asking.  I love the care and attention that he gives to his customers.  Yes, you will have to pay a monthly fee to use this service, but if you are creating a course for your own studio, perhaps you can charge a technology fee to offset this.  You can create course modules, link to video content, link to PDF files, embed additional files, set up comments, add affiliates, and much more.  I love this platform.  If you are curious about Jason, the developer, you can read about an interview that I did with him in this blog post.  

PianoProgram Music Theory Course

This is the music theory course that I created for my own students, and I also offer it for sale to other students and piano teachers.  I have levels 1-7 created, and I’m working on developing levels 8-12 by the end of this year.  You can have your students purchase the levels individually (a steal at $15 per level per student), or you can purchase a studio license for all each level or for all levels.  I’m going to be offering a studio bundle license for all MTNA members soon, where you can purchase all of the levels for a one time fee.  Interested in receiving the offer or just want to know more?  Fill out the form below and I’ll email you more info.

Google Classroom

Free.  Need I say more?  You can link your google classroom to your students’ google accounts (or their parents’ accounts) to interact with your students at home.  Assign videos to watch, or PDFs to read, or multiple choice tests through google forms.  Encourage student interaction through discussion comments, or set up a practice challenge.  Honestly, the possibilities are endless through this platform.

Quizlet

Create a quiz about anything!  Quizlet uses a flashcard format, as well as other format, such as matching, memory games, etc.  If you don’t want to create your own set, there are other sets created by other teachers that you can use.

Kahoot

Such a fun way to get your students to interact together!  This is always a blast when I use this during studio class.  Create your content beforehand (or use another set that another teacher has already created), and then do live games with your students when you have them all together for lab time or studio class.

Evernote

Organize and share notes, files, videos, recording, etc. with your students.

Go Formative

I don’t use this resource (yet) but it is used by a lot of public school teachers and integrates well with Google Classroom.

Ipad apps

The iPad apps that I mentioned during my lecture were: Tenuto, Piano Maestro, Note Rush, Notion, Heads Up, Quizlet, & Book Creator.

There are hundreds more apps that you can also use to create your own content, or use content that others have already created.

FreshBooks


Some of you were interested in the invoicing system that I use for my studio.  This is it.  Not exactly a flipped classroom concept, but automatic credit card invoicing for lessons saves me TONS of time.  With that time, I get to create more flipped classroom lessons for my students.  🙂

Acuity Scheduling

Ditto the above.  This is not a flipped classroom resource, but having online scheduling saves me so much time.  I know some of you were interested in this concept – this is what I use!

I’d love to answer any more questions you might have about using and creating flipped classroom resources for your studio.  Feel free to email me at any time!

If you are a piano teacher like I am, perhaps you have all of your lessons planned out as carefully as possible. Repertoire is selected, technique is planned out, and theory courses assigned. But sometimes lessons don’t always go as planned. So it’s nice to have a few resources to use as additional material for lessons.

I became a member of PracticeHabits.co just for that reason – to have immediately available resources for my students. I love that fact that during a lesson, I can log onto the website, download a piece of music or chord chart, print it out, and assign to my students for additional assignments during the week. I’ve been really pleasantly surprised with the amount of material available! Take for example chord charts. This past semester, I have been working with all of my students on the steps of understanding and reading chord charts. The little students are learning how to form major and minor chords, the intermediate students are applying chords with a melody, and my advanced students are creating wonderful accompaniment patterns to their chord charts. During the month of December, I paused my assignments and instead gave my students a choice of some of the Christmas chord chart tunes listed on PracticeHabits.co. It was magical! My students got to pick the Christmas tune of their choice, I got to pick the key, and I printed them out from the website.

I know with teaching chord charts, that yes, it’s simple to find chord charts online. However, it’s not quite so simple to find chord charts that work with beginner and intermediate students, in keys that are manageable to them. This was a wonderful addition to my piano lessons during the month of December. There are also LeadSheets available for Hymns, popular, and Patriotic tunes on PracticeHabits.co.

Another great resource on this site is the downloadable sheet music. As I am writing this, there are 62 different pieces available for download. As a member, I get an email at least monthly from Chris, the website’s founder, on additional pieces that are added to the download list. I love that Chris has a video of each piece. I love this as a teacher – sometimes my students want to hear the pieces that they will be playing (or choose between a few pieces that I have picked out for them), and this is a fun way for them to hear the piece before we begin learning it. As a teacher, I too enjoy this! It makes choosing additional repertoire for my students so much easier.

If you yourself are looking to check out this resource, you can find the membership page here. If you use this link, you can save 30% off your membership from January 2nd-12th, 2018. Use the word kathy in the discount code box. That’s an awesome deal.

Just a note, I am set up as an affiliate for this website. However, I only recommend products that I also use and love in my own piano studio. I know you won’t be disappointed if you check out this resource yourself, and using my link will give you a 30% discount. Win-win!