Halloween Festival 2014

Halloween Decor

Every year my students dress up in costume and perform a halloween piece in October. It’s one of our favorite events to look forward to! Every year I also like to put a little twist on the event and come up withsomething between the performance pieces. And let me tell you it is getting harder and harder to figure out new ideas. But this year I came across a Halloween Jokes “I Have, Who Has” Game that Tweet Resources created. PERFECT!


If you not familiar with how “I have who has” games work it goes like this…  Someone starts off with the question. Then everyone looks at their cards to figure out if they have the answer. So in this case being jokes, I started off with a joke, then each family looks at their cards. If they think they have the answer to the joke then they give the answer. Then everyone laughs and a performer performs! It is a great way to not only entertain during the event but to relax each performer before they go up to perform!

Afterwards I picked a students name from the pumpkin jar to see who won a treat. Then it was pictures, goodies and guess how many candies are in the jar time! A spooktacular time for all!

Here are a couple group pictures. If you want to see more pictures, just click here to go to my studio blog.


IMG_6592My families bring in treats to share, but I saw a cute fruit kabob pumpkin online and thought it would be an easy thing to do and would make a perfect center piece. Turned out super cute!

IMG_3483I dressed up as a Jedi music teacher who fights Rhythm Wars with Boomwackers. ;)



Are you doing something fun for with your students next week? You may be interested in some of these Halloween themed games…

Witches Brew: A Halloween Composition Game 

Witches Brew: A Halloween Composition Game

Boo! (A Rhythm Bump It Game) A fun 5-10 min. game to end your lessons with!

Boo! (A Rhythm Bump It Game)

Trick or Treat (A musical Hot Potato style game)

Trick or Treat: A Musical Game

Spider Scales Puzzle (Building major and minor scales)

Spider Scales Puzzle

Music Web-Mathsters (A board game using rhythm/math skills)

Music Web-Mathsters

Be sure to ‘Like’ FPSResources on Facebook and follow FPSResources on TpT to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!

Review Series: Music Teacher Store; The Whole Shebang: Theory Power Cubes

Today I am reviewing a product you can find in the Music Teacher Store called The Whole Shebang: Theory Power Cubes.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.30.05 AMThe theory power cubes is a set of 14 alphabet blocks which include sharps, double sharps, flats, double flats and natural sides. The best part of this product is the 7 page booklet of ideas of what you can do with these cubes. Ranging from simple alphabet order to spelling intervals, chords and scales and more. I decided to use the cubes last week as a scale review with my students.

First we reviewed basic pentascale patterns.

Music Blocks

Then we reviewed full scale patterns. I loved that my student below decided to build his scale vertically instead of horizontally.

Music Blocks2

The wonderful thing about these cubes is they are very versatile. Not only can you do a ton of things with them with your students, but you can use them with any level and any age! You can check out details on The Whole Shebang: Theory Power Cubes here on the Music Teacher Store website.


Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.22.28 AMJune Christenson is the creator of The Whole Shebang: Theory Power Cubes. June has always loved music and knew she wanted to be a piano teacher since getting piano lessons for her sixth birthday. Now June has been teaching piano for over 50 years, giving her first lessons at the age of 14 and continuing to maintain a large private studio.

June graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Music Composite Secondary Education. To broaden her knowledge in teaching techniques, she has continued to attend music workshops and seminars around the country. She is certified in many programs including the Suzuki and Kindermusik methods.

June believes that music is a life skill.  “Music education is not the education of the musician, but above all, the education of the human being,” she says. June strongly believes that teaching goals should not only include music literacy, musical independence and a love of music, but also etiquette, poise, self-confidence, self-esteem, mental discipline and creativity. You can read more about June and her teaching philosophy here.

Halloween Composition Activity

This week during lab time, my students will be composing a Halloween composition using the composition game, Witches’ Brew. One thing that I will be reinforcing with this activity is stem direction.

Witches' BrewI can’t wait to see what they stir up!

I thought I would give a little tip on spinners… Amazon has a set of spinners you can purchase and to your card stock spinner. They are really cheap and if you have Prime, you can get free shipping! You can find them here. Also, I have made spinners simply by sticking a brad through the card stock and wrapping a large paperclip around it. Either way works. In the picture you will notice a spinner that is on top of a CD jewel case. This was just glued on, and then I stick the card stock inside the case. So lots of different ways you can adapt the spinners.

Piano Bench Magazine Winners!

We have our two winners that will enjoy a 6-month subscription to Piano Bench magazine!

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.12.28 AM

Congratulations goes to Leigh and Rebecca! Check your email inbox for instructions how to download.

Don’t forget that you can get past issues of the The Piano Bench Magazine this month for only .99! Awesome deal be sure to snag them up and subscribe!

Be sure to ‘Like’ FPSResources on Facebook and follow FPSResources on TpT to stay up to date on giveaways, reviews and other music resources!

Winner for Rosamund Conrad’s duet book!

We have a winner who will receive a copy of Rosamund Conrad’s Delightfully Easy Piano Duet book.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 1.26.20 PM

Congratulations goes to Sheila! Sheila, Rosa will be contacting you through email in the next couple days. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 8.45.54 AM


Don’t forget, if you haven’t already… You can download free samples of this book (V. Breeze and VIII. Saloon Bar Blues) for free! Click here.

You can order Rosa’s book either on her website here. Or AMAZON and AMAZON (UK)

Review Series: Music Teacher Store; Susan’s Seminars for Music Teachers

Today I am reviewing one of Susan’s Seminars for Music Teachers, Maximizing One-on-One Time with Your Students. All of Susan’s Seminars can be found in the Music Teacher Store.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.56.08 AMI was excited about this particular seminar as it is a common frustration many teachers can relate to. Limited time, a ton of resources, how to fit it all in? In this seminar, Susan focuses on 3 things to for teachers to consider: Dedication, Energy and Organization.

Susan “speaks” to us in this printable seminar as if we were in the same room listening to her give the seminar. Her tone is warm, caring and helpful. She shares personal experiences that can help us connect and relate to her. And most importantly, in this seminar, Susan gives a breakdown of a typical 30 min. lesson in her studio. Her students accomplish quite a bit because she is very efficient with her time.

Susan uses a report card system with her students. I have always wondered how doing a report card in the studio would work with my students and it sounds like it has been very successful in her studio. Maximizing One-on-One Time with Your Students includes Susan’s report card and how to use it.

Maximizing One-on-One Time with Your Students is a 14 page downloadeable pdf packet. You can hear Susan explain a little more about this seminar by watching this short video clip.

You can check out Maximizing One-on-One Time with Your Students and the other seminars Susan offers in the Music Teacher Store here.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.56.39 AMSusan Nicholes grew up hearing her mother, Jane Calder, giving piano lessons in the basement studio of their Salt Lake City home.   Who knew that Susan would become a second generation piano teacher and that her children too would hear piano lessons in their home after school.   Music is in her blood, which makes sense with her rich musical heritage.  On her father’s side is renowned organ maker, David O. Calder, and also her great-great-great grandfather,  John M. Parry, the singing Welshman, who was the founder of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  

Susan has been a piano teacher for over 23 years and is currently working towards her National Certification.  Susan and her mother, Jane Calder have taught piano teaching workshops and seminars to teachers throughout both Utah and Idaho.  They have shared Jane’s wonderful games and music materials and also their philosophy of being great music teachers.  Following one of these workshops in Orem, Utah, a handful of teachers approached Susan asking for more information about continued education and information on how to be a better music teacher.  Susan  went home and immediately put together some great curriculum and a title for her seminars, ”Susan’s Seminars for Music Teachers”.  She has been teaching these mentoring seminars in her home-based studio for the past 5 years.   Being a professional mentor for other music teachers has been one of the most satisfying parts of Susan’s 23-year career in the music field.  You can read more about Susan here. 

Tech Tuesday: The Piano Bench Magazine Anniversary Celebration!

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.12.28 AM

This month marks The Piano Bench Magazine 1 year Anniversary! Congratulations to Karen Gibson for all her hard work in making this magazine happen. Piano Bench is available on your iPad. It is full of practical teaching tips and ideas for the average student in your studio. The layout is clean, colorful and very easy to read. Each month you can look forward to helpful articles that will motivate and inspire you and your students. In addition to the articles, you will find a monthly recipe, reviews on apps and music and relevant resources. A new feature that you can look forward to in the magazine is “Notes with Nick” where you can ask Nick Ambrosino, author of Coffee with Ray, a question to answer.

This month I have two articles included in this anniversary issue. One is on my Halloween Festival I do every year and the other one is on Christmas camps and why I even started them. Be sure to check them out along with the other great articles and tips!

Did you know that Piano Bench is hosting a pedagogy conference CRUISE in April? It’s not to late to hop aboard what will be a fabulous cruise to Belize! I wish I could go, but it’s not in the cards for me, this time… The presenters on this cruise are going to be absolutely fabulous! I’m so jealous of all who can go! Be sure to join the Creatives on the Sea Cruise Facebook page to get more information.

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 10.13.45 AM

Now we can’t celebrate an anniversary without some celebrating can we? Karen has all past issues of the magazine on sale this month for only .99! For less then the cost of sheet music, you can get some fantastic issues! In addition, Karen offered to do a giveaway to TWO lucky teachers to win 6 months of the magazine for FREE!

In order to qualify, there are 5 simple things for you to do…  (many of you have done most if not all of these so it’s super easy!)

1) Like Piano Bench Magazine on Facebook here.

2) Download Piano Bench Magazine on your iPad here. (It is free to just download, then from the app you can choose your purchase options.)

3) Like FPSResources on Facebook here.

4) Follow FPSResources on TpT here.

5) Comment you did all of the above and why you want to win!

Deadline to enter is by this Saturday, October 11, 10:00pm (AZ MST).