Tech Tuesday: The Piano Bench Magazine Anniversary Celebration!

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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.

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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).

Tech Tuesday: Online or Video Lesson Option

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This is what my studio families received this year. (Click to see it bigger) I don’t do make ups in my studio. Students have the option to exchange with another family if they can and I include bonus group lessons quarterly for the year. They can consider that a make up if they want or a bonus. But this year I decided to give another option that would not kidnap any of my personal time if a student should miss a lesson. First I started out with a FaceTime or Skype option. So if they couldn’t make it due to a circumstance like weather (we have had some crazy flooding here recently in AZ) or a car is not working, this would be a good option to try.

Then when I actually started lessons in August and had a student miss, a thought came to me that I should try doing a practice video for that student and send it to them for the week. I subscribe and use a lot of unlimited reproductions in music so I also sent them a digital copy of the piece I wanted them to learn. It just so happened that a few days later a family of 5 missed so I did the same thing with them. I liked this idea so much that I decided to include it as an option. So far I have done about 4 practice video’s.

These options I give won’t rob me of my personal time as I would do them during their normal scheduled time. I include guidelines so they don’t go overboard. So far I’ve only had students take advantage of the YouTube option which is fine with me! They are easy to do, take about 10-15  min. and then they have a practice video for the week to watch! I’m so excited!

I’m also super excited about our October guest who will be blogging for us soon. She has a lot of experience with online lessons and will be sharing some tips to help those who have always wanted to try it. Keep a look out for the October “Be Our Guest” feature coming soon!


Tech Tuesday: Piano Maestro News

(I had a full day yesterday, so I didn’t get this post out in time, but better late then never right?)

So did you hear the exciting news yet? JoyTunes officially announced that their app, Piano Maestro is now FREE for teachers and their students! Click here for the official announcement.

I’m so excited! My students have been using Piano Maestro over the last 6+ months and they love it. Half of them are doing it at home as well. I would love to see all them have access at home eventually. The thing that I love most about this exciting news is that it shows the world that despite the tech tools out there that can “teach” how to read notes, teachers are still important! JoyTunes knows that teachers are #1 and the app is a great supplemental tool.

If you haven’t had the chance to try Piano Maestro yet or don’t have an iPad. Now is the time to see what it’s all about. One of my favorite things to do with Piano Maestro is simply having my students play their scales with the app! Scales no longer get the groans they used to. It’s so much more fun with background music, getting 3 stars and sharing the moment!

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Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 8.56.09 AMHeads up! My September guest will be posting more about Piano Maestro so keep your eye out! Are you part of the JoyTunes Teachers group on Facebook? If not, be sure to join here.

Tech Tuesday: TpT Tips

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I know many of you are brand new to TeacherPayTeachers so I thought I would give some tips and answer some questions you might have.


  • It is free to sign up for a membership as a buyer or basic seller. If you think you would like to become a seller I would appreciate it if you use my referral link when you sign up:
  • To download free and paid products, you do need to sign up for a membership but the benefits of doing so, is you will get your downloads right away AND you will get free updates on the digital product you already purchased. Plus you can earn TpT credits! (more on that later…)
  • When a file is updated your account will be notified. You do need to check your account for updates. Go to “My Purchases” and see if there are any updated downloads. These updates can be fixes on something or addition on a product.
  • Sellers love feedback. If you downloaded an item, please take a moment to leave some feedback. This not only helps the sellers, but future buyers as well.
  • Limit your feedback to only things about the product itself. If you have a technical issue (something won’t download, a typo, etc…), there is a link at the top of the sellers store that says “Ask a Question”. Click on that link and ask your question or let the seller know of the issue. I know I personally am anxious to remedy whatever the problem is. You can also contact me directly:
  • Sellers love followers. By being a follower you will be notified on any specials or sales that may happen with that store, etc. (Need 24 more followers before I post a fan freebie!) Follow me here.
  • TpT products are copyrighted products created by teachers for teachers. Please remember to follow copyright guidelines when purchasing products. We are all here to support each other. Many times a seller will include a term of use with their product. When you see this, take the time to read through it.
  • TpT has a free app. For iOS download here. For google download here.
  • I saved the BEST for last! Earn TpT credits! “TpT credits are points which can be applied to future purchases to save you money. To earn credits: After you make a purchase, rate and comment fairly on the product page of your purchased item. You need to do both to earn your credits. But you don’t have to rate and comment right away. You can do so after you’ve had a chance to use the product. Just return to the product page when you’re logged in to TpT. For every dollar you spend on TpT, you’ll earn 1 credit—and we’ll round up for you, too! If you provide fair feedback on a $4.75 item, you will earn 5 credits. Every 20 credits you earn equals $1 to apply toward future TpT purchases. To redeem credits: Once you’ve earned at least 20 credits, you’ll see the option to apply credits at checkout.”

There is a lot of products on TpT to explore! Enjoy!



Tech Tuesday: Grand Opening FPSResources TPT Store!

This last weekend I was able to attend the TpT conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas.


I learned a lot and am excited to announce the GRAND OPENING of my TpT store! Right now my store is pretty new but I am planning on filling it up with lots of musical goodies. I have a new incentive program coming that I am super stoked about. And some downloads in my store will even be FREE! (Hint there are already some freebies over there!) To make sure you stay updated on what is new in the store, as well as special discounts and freebies be sure to become a follower.

Now don’t forget when you download anything in my store, please be kind and leave some feedback. This helps both of us when everyone takes just an extra 30 seconds to do that.

To follow me on TpT, just click on this link and then click follow me…



Now the exciting stuff!!! When I reach 150 followers I will be posting a FAN FREEBIE over on my Facebook page. Let’s see how quick we can make that happen. Make sure you are also a Facebook fan in addition to a TpT follower so you can grab that fan freebie.  Click here to “like” FPSResources on Facebook. Follow me on TpT here. Now go spread the word!

Tech Tuesday: SproutBeat app

I usually have a pretty long to do “wish list” in the summer. I say wish list because not everything on my list gets done, but it is what I hope to get done. One of those things on my list has been to transfer worksheets that Eik Siang Mar has created over the years on her website for teachers to use (for free may I add) to my iPad. She has been so generous!

Imagine my pure delight when I found out that she created an iOS app for the iPad where ALL her worksheets- over 400 of them are available on an app! I can’t tell you how excited I am about this as it immediately crosses one of my “to do’s” off the list! The work is done for me and it is AWESOME!!!

SproutBeat has over 400 worksheets and games that you can use at the tip of your fingertips with your students with more added weekly. Need to review notes? There is a worksheet for it. How about key signatures, intervals, chords? You name it- chances are high that it is there. And I can bet if you are in need of something Eik Siang Mar would create it.

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Everything is categorized by theory subject so you can easily find what you are looking for. Once the worksheet is downloaded, you can open it up later without internet connection.

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Once the worksheet is downloaded. Students will pick their “writing” tool (pen, pencil or marker) and then choose a color they would like to use. Students can erase and change the color. It even allows you to print the worksheet if you want.

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SproutBeat is free to download and allows you to download your first 25 worksheets for free. I thought this was a generous amount to give it a try and see how you like it. If you are using it, and are liking it, then you can upgrade and have all access for $19.99.

Check out the website for more information on this fantastic app. I highly recommend SproutBeat for teachers to use in the studio. The worksheets are colorful, fun and motivating. It is a definite must have in the studio!