Name the Notes: Bass Clef Edition

In my years of teaching piano, one thing I consistently encounter is a student who is more confident reading notes in the treble clef (right hand) than the bass clef (left hand). And since many of us are right-hand dominant, it makes sense that playing with the right hand would feel easier and therefore more comfortable. Many students end up with weaker bass clef familiarity and improving this is the goal of the November Music Challenge Monthly.  Continue reading “Name the Notes: Bass Clef Edition”

Be a Kid Composer

Simply stated, I’m obsessed with fall. Around this time every year, I pull out my favorite coat and boots, and start wanting pumpkin-flavored treats and warm cider. For our download this month, I wanted to give your student an opportunity to relish the delights of fall as well. As we near November, the days are shorter, the rain clouds linger, and the leaves turn golden. It’s a very special, beautiful time of year and it tends to bring a certain vibe, a feeling quite different from the excitement of summer.  Continue reading “Be a Kid Composer”

Back-to-School Bingo

The classic game BINGO is a classic for a reason. From kids’ birthday parties to Tuesday nights at the senior center, the game appeals to all ages, in all seasons. I simply had to incorporate it into our Music Challenge Monthly series — a Back-To-School version for September — where I try to offer fun ways to teach supplemental piano theory to your students.  Continue reading “Back-to-School Bingo”

June Members of the Month

Meet Ryan and Jennie, and their two children, Abigail 13 and soon to be 11 Aidan. They are a homeschooling family in Tennessee! However, they have lived in Kentucky, Texas, and Minnesota.

family pic for piano Continue reading “June Members of the Month”

Host A Spring Piano Recital

Have you ever performed at a recital, whether in school or for some private lessons you were taking? I have spent countless hours at recitals, both as a student, and as a piano teacher. Some kids are really nervous when it comes to performing. Others shine in the spotlight. I remember feeling my fingers tremble a few times as I picked out which notes to play while my friends, family, and teacher silently watched. I made mistakes. I played beautiful pieces from memory. And I’ve been the silent onlooker, watching kids perform at every level. Continue reading “Host A Spring Piano Recital”

Spring Activity Pack

Do you have memories from childhood of hearing a song that made you feel happy, sad, or excited? At what point did you begin to associate music with different feelings? Many of us probably found some of this awareness around middle school or high school, when we began to experience more of the ups and downs of life. Most of us found songs to accompany us through those times. Music can be nostalgic and emotional. It can be a strong influence and a significant part of our stories.  Continue reading “Spring Activity Pack”

February Members of the Month

Meet the Nesbitt Family from California! They live in the beautiful San Fransisco Bay area. They are a busy family with two kids in the Busy Kids Do Piano program. Jonah is in 2nd grade and Kyle is in kindergarten. At the start of the pandemic the Nesbitt family started their own YouTube channel called This Japanese American Life.
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Q: What’s your musical background?

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Interview A Female Composer

In my early years of learning piano and music theory, never once was I taught about a female composer. We’ve all heard about the greats – all male composers – but this month, for Music Challenge Monthly, I wanted to get students thinking about why there simply aren’t many notable female composers in history. Since March is Women’s History Month, I thought it was a great opportunity to explore this gender inequity and bring into focus the handful of women who did manage to make their mark in music, though the odds were certainly against them.  

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Valentine Printables – February’s Music Challenge Monthly

When I was a kid, one of my favorite traditions was exchanging Valentines with friends. Sometimes my teacher allowed us to exchange in class, and sometimes I just handed some out to friends on my own. But choosing which kind I would pass out was a big deal. I really wanted them to reflect something about me. This is partly why, this month, I’ve created a set of music-themed Valentines in case your student loves this tradition as much as I did. Your student can color them in with markers or crayons, personalizing them to their heart’s content. If your student is not yet gifted in the cutting department, be sure they are using safety scissors or getting help in cutting them apart. You’ll see 12 different designs, but you may print as many additional pages as needed to cover all your student’s pals.  Continue reading “Valentine Printables – February’s Music Challenge Monthly”

January Members of the Month

Meet the Chan family, who live in California, around the San Francisco Bay Area.They are a family of four, Diana, her husband, Amelia Busy Kids piano student, age 7, and her younger brother age 3.  They adventured as a family to see snow for the first time this winter season.momjan
Q: What’s your musical background?
I can play some piano, but it’s always been off and on. I took a piano class in my elementary school for a few years. Then I took some lessons in high school and college. My husband played the trumpet and baritone horn in high school.

Continue reading “January Members of the Month”