I began teaching music lessons in September of 2001, and I have grown so much as a musician and teacher since then. Sharing the joy of music with my students makes my day each and every day!

William Tell Overture

​Here is a wonderful recording of one of my guitar students playing her recital piece - William Tell Overture!

Artist Name -
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U Better Sing!

U Better Sing! is a really neat sight-singing app trainer.  It is challenging enough for any singer to get something out of it, but accessible enough for younger students to enjoy.  I don't typically teach voice, but one of my students is really motivated by singing, so we have been doing some voice lessons for the past 6 months.  

This app is great.  It uses a fun cartoon environment to teach the basics of solfege singing.  The students earn and unlock new levels.  There is a microphone input so the app can tell if you are matching pitch.  There are also listening clips to make sure the student can hear what the notes will sounds like.

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La Villageoise - Rameau

Jean Philippe Rameau was a French composer who wrote music for harpsichord and voice.  This piece comes from his harpsichord works.  The style is termed "Baroque" and is characterized by the ornaments such as trills (the quick notes moving back and forth).  It is a fun song to play and would be a delight to play on a harpsichord as there is a different touch and feel that would complement the piece greatly.

Artist Name - DV-2018-01-04-105335.mp3
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New Project Ideas

​About 3 years ago Ellie and I started to include a "Projects" portion in the recital.  This would include any creative thing done by the student - arranging a song, composing a song, improvising a song, making a Garage Band original composition, arrangement of a song, etc.  This year there are some new creative ideas from some of my percussion players I would like to share with you.

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Flashnote Derby

Flashnote Derby is a fun app that has many options for learning notes.  You can drill by note name, piano keyboard, or microphone input.  It is cross-platform  for iPad, Android, and even Kindle (the Kindle version does not have microphone input)

The range of the notes is great and the flexibility to choose the exact notes you want to drill is wonderful.  There are some downsides - there are no options for drilling flats or sharps, and the microphone input will only work for instruments in the key of C (and also not guitar, as the guitar notes sound 1 octave lower than written).  But for getting students started on the basics of note reading, it has been an indispensable app for me! 
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Phantom of the Opera Medley

​One of my students is planning to play a Phantom of the Opera Medley that I arranged several years ago.  After hearing it again I was not happy with the segue from "Phantom of the Opera" to "Music of the Night."  Here is the updated segue.  Enjoy!

Artist Name - PhantomSegue.mp3
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Imperial March - Student Garage Band Project

​Here is one of my student's Garage Band projects.  They picked a drum pattern and played in the other instruments.  Enjoy!

Artist Name - Imperial March Penny.m4a
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Music is Teamwork

It is very encouraging to see many of my students go into the school band programs and talk about how they are helping out their classmates.  Doing things to help out the other students gives them a sense of participation, teamwork, and leadership.

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Aaaaand We're Back!

​Well it has been a long time since the last post!  Other projects and priorities were happening, but Ellie and I are ready to get back into the swing of regular blog posting.  It is one of our New Year's Resolutions!

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Spring Is Beginning

​Here is a Garage Band project by one of my students.  We took a song and changed it from major to minor and then made a background for it.

Artist Name - Spring is Beginning.m4a
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Our Favorite Composers/Books

  • Melody Bober
    Melody Bober is such a popular composer with our students! We think it is because she is from Minnesota. So she knows what Minnesotans like in their music!
  • Frederic Chopin
    Chopin is Elizabeth's favorite composer for the piano. In fact, he composed ONLY for the piano. It is no wonder many of her more advanced students enjoy playing his music also!
  • John Williams
    John Williams has been composing music for movies for such a long time! Many of the students enjoy playing the music from "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter," two of his most loved musical scores.
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