February 2010- Olympics and Chord Changes

Olympic Greetings from BC!
The Olympics are in full swing here in B.C. and the excitement is high.  What an honour to have been selected by the ticket lottery to get tickets to go!   As a result we are off to see bronze metal hockey and figure skating.
Compositions are in the mail and my students are thrilled with their composing torches and anxious to take them home and to take to school for show and tell.  What great advertising!  
A new teaching aid is out this month and I'm quite excited about it being of great benefit to you and your students. Check it out below.
Have a great spring break!
Lois Dicknoether
MYC Certiļ¬ed Teacher
Solo Time Music Games

Music Tips- Chord Changes
I'm always on the look out for ideas to put the "fun" element in my music classes without taking up too much time.  At fall conference a couple of  teachers shared how they have increased the "fun"in class by using the "W" section called "Chord Changes" and I have used it with great success in my classes. Once the  students have  learned all four lines of "Chord Changes" and up to tempo, I have them rotate pianos during the 8 beat bar break.  Parents participate by staying at the piano they started with, so they are able to guide and point for each new child when they change pianos. When the "W" page is known really well, I speed up the music even faster and the fun begins as the children race to the next piano.

"Your Lessons are Too Expensive"
It's never to early to talk about monthly rates and registration and  at one time or another we have had a parent question our rates and policies.  I've learned, over the years, to never undervalue the quality of the program I teach or my teaching. 

Many unseen hours are put in to lesson prep and most parents don't realize that MYC requires us to give more than just our one  teaching hour every week. I've also realized that when I lower my price to meet a parents expectations, they are the ones who usually ask for financial favors if they should  withdraw from lessons or ask for deal on  registering for fall lessons.

If this comes up,  I remind parent, that when I register my children for  sport or dance activities, there are strict rules, firm rates and refunds are almost non-existent.  Piano lessons are no different than any of these other activities, but why is a piano teacher expected to cave?  Is it because we are too nice? Well, it's time to realize that we are highly trained and are highly qualified music teachers and never to undervalue the quality of time, work and the training  that's been put in to become a great teacher.

So what have I learned?  I am a quality teacher, teaching a quality program, why should I lower my price when they wouldn't expect me to lower my standard of teaching? I encourage you to be firm in your policies, confident in your rates and value your time for family,friends and life. 
Have your guidelines written up and on paper to give to parents when they come into your studio and sign a copy when they register.  This way you will protect yourself, leave no room open for discussion regarding your policies and practices in the future.

                           HOT OFF THE PRESS
                           NEW Teaching Aid!
                              Give  It a Rest!

                  Teaching rest placement and it's concepts, 
                      could be one of the hardest parts of
               theory to teach to  young students but not any more!

                                 Solo Time Music Games
                 has now designed the ultimate rest game called
                                        "Give It a Rest!"

The idea behind this new teaching aid is that students have  to complete each measure with rests.  Some measures need one rest and others will need three or four rests to complete the measure.
Each level includes 40 different measures, rests to teach and reinforce rest placement for up to six children at one time.
1) Level 1-  Whole, half, quarter and eight rests are used in this level.
2) Level 2 -  Comes with  the addition of the 16th rest and triplets.
3)Level 3 - New Time Signatures (2/2. 3/8, 4/2 etc)  are introduced along with more triplet  variations. (some assembly required)
  Check out Level 2 games to order  this exciting new game!