Here on Pianissimo, I like to share a lot of great resources, ideas and tips to help people make the most of piano lessons. But, I thought it would also be fun to occasionally give you a behind the scenes peak into other things going on. Here are a few tidbits about this past week:
I’m super excited about a new improvisation curriculum that I recently learned about called Innermusician. I love working with my students on improvising and composing, but I have never found just the right material to help them. I think Innermusician is exactly what I’ve been looking for. It uses stories and videos along with a few musical concepts to guide students through creating music at the piano. I am working through the training videos right now and I can’t wait to start incorporating this into my lessons. I’m thinking of making this program be the focus of my summer lessons and camps.
On flex weeks:
I’m really grateful that I built a couple of flex weeks into my teaching calendar this year! If I have to cancel lessons due to my own or a family member’s illness, I already have days set aside to make up the lessons I miss. I had a crazy eye infection last week that caused me to miss 2 days of teaching. In this situation, it was really helpful to know that I could take the time I needed to recover without the pressure of trying to squeeze in extra lessons.
Awesome find at the library:
Our theme in Preschool Music Class right now is music from around the world. We always read a story during our class, and I can usually come up with something from our book collection at home to fit the theme. I have several French story books, and we read this really cute one for the first several weeks of the session. (I usually read the same book for about 4 weeks in a row. Preschoolers really like the repetition and predictability of hear the same story from week to week!)
During a long Saturday afternoon at home with the kids, we took a little walk over to our neighborhood library to search for just the right book that I wasn’t even sure existed.
I browsed for a few minutes and didn’t see anything right off the bat. I asked a librarian if she had any suggestions of where to search for such a book. She came up with something similar to what I was looking for, except that it was clearly for a much old audience. Each page had pretty lengthy text about the culture it was describing. I took the book assuming I would have to simplify it, and as a back up, I found a couple of Spanish board books.
Right before I checked out my books, quickly glanced over all of the books on display on top of the bookshelves. Right on the end, I saw the words “Adventure in 8 languages”. I grabbed the book, and it turns out it was exactly what I had in mind. It was a board book, How Hippo Says Hello about a hippo who gets on an airplane. Each page represents a stop on his journey and it tells what country he is visiting and how he would say hello. Perfect! It really goes along great with the hello song we’re sing right now, which includes how to say “hello” many different languages.
It turns out this book is from a series of books called Little Traveler Series. I just ordered a few others from the series. Looks like we’re all set for music class stories for a while!
In the spirit of Valentine’s day, I wanted to write a little hand-written note to some of the most important people in my studio, the parents. Pretty much each day at the end of my teaching day, I marvel at how awesome my students are! I truly have the best bunch of students right now. Every single one of them practices, is respectful to me and my other students, has a great attitude and really works hard. On top of that, they all have such fun and amazing personalities. My days are so pleasant and enjoyable while I’m teaching them! I know this a lot of this is thanks to the great parents that they have, so I felt compelled to share my thoughts with them! If found these cute cards on Amazon and stuck in a little chocolate, because everyone needs more chocolate this week! 🙂