Using the Metronome - Eye of the Tiger

​Here is an excerpt from a practice video I made for one of my students.

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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Zoom Lesson Example

​Here are some clips of things I would be doing in a Zoom lesson.  (Zoom is a video conferencing app like Skype)

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! 

Using Melody Patterns in Composition

​This is a lovely composition idea one of my students created by using a repeating melody pattern.

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

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

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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The Importance of Finger Numbers

​Choosing the right finger numbers for the student and the notes is important.  Here is an example from the other day with one of my students.


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!

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!
  • 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.
  • 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!
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