Welcome back! In this blog post, I’ll do a quick recap on December, a tiny preview of my plans for the new year, and shamelessly plug my piano teaching services and encourage you to help me spread the word:D
To start off, December was a great month for piano. This year, I finally added some of the holiday cheer into my teaching that is ever so available through amazing online resources, and had an absolute blast doing it. Some of these turned into such big hits that I’ll be using them again next December, while others will be tweaked and personalized according to the flavor of the students in my studio.
The first thing from this year that I absolutely loved was our Piano Practice Elf, found through the following link:
After an introduction to their practice elf through an adorable short Christmas story, each of my students went home with their very own Piano Practice Elf. The elf, (a cute bookmark with a picture of either Melody or Forte – Santa’s music elves) showed up in a new place in their piano books every day. If the student found their elf and practiced the page, Melody or Forte could then report back to Santa that the student was doing their piano practice! I was so excited to find this idea, and I think the kids really liked it. Before introducing this idea to the kids, I checked with each of my piano parents to make sure this would be something they enjoyed in their homes. What with everyone having an Elf on the Shelf these days, (plus everything else you have to do around Christmas) I didn’t want to stress anyone out. And, at the moment, none of my piano students really know each other – so there was no concern about some families not receiving a practice elf while others did.
I am absolutely kicking myself about the second December treat because I didn’t take a picture of what I did with it! But through the following link: https://www.theplayfulpiano.com/?product=a-merry-musical-christmas-piano-advent-calendar I found a Piano Practice Advent Calendar that added some extra incentive to practice. This project could be adapted in a few ways, but in my studio everyone received small Christmas buckets with chocolate kisses and the days to the advent calendar inside. Each day listed had a different task associated with their practice routine in order to make things a little more interesting and offer some variation in their standard practice routine. (Not to mention, the added incentive to get some chocolate if they practiced that day). While I didn’t get a picture of the cute little buckets before sending them out, I do have a pic of the free printable advent calendar from the website The Playful Piano.
Our third and final bit of piano Christmas cheer comes from the wonderful Susan Paradis. Through her website, (https://susanparadis.com/product/pre-reading-christmas-music/ ) and for only $7.99, I was able to purchase unlimited prints of fun, pre-reading Christmas music for my beginning piano students. At the moment, I have only absolute beginners who are not yet able to read the music on the staff. For these students in particular, being able to play songs they recognize is key in keeping them interested in piano. Finding the appropriate level of said songs can prove to be very difficult, but Ms. Paradis makes it easy! Thanks to her, each of my students were able to take home more Christmas music than we had time to learn, at a level that was very attainable for them to play.
This was, by far, the most successful Christmas season I’ve ever had in my studio, and I honestly can’t wait for next year! So much so that I already have plans in the works for 2020. Seriously. I’m a total nut-job for piano and Christmas.
In addition to planning WAY too far in advance, I’ve also begun the preliminaries for New Year’s songs and activities, Valentines, and a Spring Recital. Stay tuned for more info to come, and, if you like what you read here – jump on board and click below for you or your child's New Year of piano lessons:D