Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Assignment Sheets

As I take advantage of my week off from lessons, I find myself taking care of a million little things. Like spray-painting new name tags for 3 students' practice chains, putting together materials and notebooks for new students, cleaning up the studio, putting away Christmas stuff, re-organizing my book shelf labels...oh, the list is endless.

My big project has been switching everyone over to the Celebrate Piano series. My more advanced students have already been using Piano Perspectives Repertoire and Studies & Etudes.

Everyone also got new theory books. I chose the Keyboard Music Theory Prep Books A-E for my Celebrate Piano students and the Basic Keyboard Rudiments (Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced) for my classical students. The content is clean, the page isn't over cluttered with pictures, etc. They are just down ot the point.

My students will be offered the opportunity to take the Achievement Program Assessments. Whether they take the assessment or not, I will teach this curriculum. Its new to me, but so far, so good. It is heavier in concept than I am used to (I usually focus on sight reading skills and performance). But this might be just the thing my students need. I'll keep you posted.

Here is the link to the Achievement Program stuff:

Now, here is my problem....I can never keep track of all the requirements for exams. I always prefer to have them on an easy to find page. But generally they turn into long charts, and pages of instructions....too much information for me. So I've been working on new assignment sheets that include exactly what I need quickly and on hand for each student as they come in for their lesson. This way I won't have to keep looking things up in the book and I can quickly see where that particular student is in terms of their readiness.

Here is what I came up with:

Prep A Assessment Readiness/ Assignment Sheet

Prep B Assessment Readiness/ Assignment Sheet

Grade 1 Assessment Readiness/ Level 1 Assignment Sheet

Grade 3 Assessment Readiness/ Level 3 Assignment Sheet

Incidentally, CAT is just a book that I put together for my own personal use. It stands for Completely Awesome Technique. I wrote about it on this post:

CAT Books

I hope this all works well. If it doesn't, I'll go back to my old methods until such time that I begin to just write my own and stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. In other words, stop trying to teach what I want my students to learn according to someone else's agenda. I say that in the nicest way, because I really do like many of the published lesson books, etc.

I know some people are opposed to all the Canadian influence of this program. Some say this is just a financial vehicle for Fredrick Harris and the Canadian Government...I don't really care what country its from. I just want a decent program for my students. Anyway, the last time I checked Germany put out couple of good composers, too and no one has an issue playing their music.

Anyway, I don't know if these will help anyone, and I only have students in Prep A, Prep B, and Grades 1 & 3. Hope you like them. (I know they aren't very pretty.....) But the info is there in a manner that makes sense to me. Even if  it sparks a new idea for someone, I'll be glad I shared.

Monday, December 24, 2012

What Gift Can We Give?

Christmas isn't warm and fuzzy for everyone. 

Allison, Annabelle and I were able to give back our gift of music today for some who will be celebrating their last Christmas. Here is Annabelle after sharing 30 minutes of her music at a critical care hospice unit today on Christmas eve. The patients were unable to see us, but they could hear.

When she finished, we played some Christmas duets together. 

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:40

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Recital

...And a good time was had by all!
Merry Christmas Everyone!