1st Grade · 2nd Grade · 3rd Grade · 4th Grade · 5th Grade · 6th Grade · Homeschool · Kindergarten

Music Practice Tip That Will Surprise You

Are you ready to make a change in the way you practice, and start getting incredible results?

Most of us practice too fast, and we don’t accomplish everything we could in the time we spend.

I tell my students:

“Practice slow enough to play it right the first time.”

It’s not always possible, but getting it right the first time can happen far more often if you pick the right goal (a few notes or a phrase) and the right tempo.

Try slowing things down to see what you can accomplish. Not just Quarter Note = 60 on the metronome – I mean way down. Try Eighth Note = 60.

Practicing, in part, is training muscle memory. If your fingers are only trained enough to play a phrase at a moderate tempo, they will fail at a faster tempo. If your fingers are trained perfectly at a very slow tempo, playing very fast will be easy. It just happens.

I’ve had students surprise themselves!

Give it a try.

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Carnegie Hall Park™ Music Theory Board Game

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2nd Grade · 3rd Grade · 4th Grade · 5th Grade · 6th Grade · Homeschool · Sheet Music

MakingMusicFun.net All-In-One Piano Book, Level 3 (PDF)

Looking for the perfect piano book to start your kids with? This all-in-one piano book provides students with graded music that steadily increases the challenges as they improve week by week, but never so much that they don’t feel successful. Also included are worksheets for note naming.

Print Beginner Piano Lesson Book

MakingMusicFun.net All-In-One Piano Book for Level 3 (Digital Print)

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About This Course
The MMF! All-In-One Beginner Piano Book Level 3 is intended for students that have completed prior levels, Primer-Level 2. The songs are carefully sequenced to make sure kids are always challenged but never feel frustrated because they don’t know what to do or just can’t sound good playing the piece.

Pieces in this book are meant to be practiced in pairs. They are called partner pieces. Each piece with a partner piece will name that piece at the bottom of the page. Whatever the focus, being rhythm or patterns or meter, the partner piece will help students to drill that skill a bit more so they really learn it.

The theory resources included in this book are four Intervals! worksheets. They are intended to introduce musical intervals and drill note naming skills. Teachers should explain the worksheet during the lesson and work through part of it together. Students can complete the rest of the worksheet at home. If you need more worksheets you can print them for free on the MakingMusicFun.net website.

Contents
Introduction
Goodbye, Old Paint
Brahms’ Lullaby by Brahms
Camel Hump, Funny Bump
Fur Elise by Beethoven
Egyptian Dance by Saint-Saens
Malaguena by Lecuona
The Entertainer by Jopin
Intervals! Worksheet (2nds)
Intervals! Worksheet (3rds)
Intervals! Worksheet (4ths)
Intervals! Worksheet (5ths)
Turkey in the Straw
Maple Leaf Rag by Joplin
Wee Falorie Man
The Campbells Are Coming
Le Donna E Mobile by Verdi
Russian Folk Song by Beethoven
Oh, Susanna
Camptown Races by Foster
Musette’s Waltz (La Boeme) by Puccini
Go Down Moses
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Scales (2 Pages)
Intervals! Worksheet (2nds) – Answer Key
Intervals! Worksheet (3rds) – Answer Key
Intervals! Worksheet (4ths) – Answer Key
Intervals! Worksheet (5ths) – Answer Key
Certificate of Promotion

MakingMusicFun.net All-In-One Piano Book for Level 3 (Digital Print)

Compare to Alfred’s Basic Piano Library

The MMF All-In-One Piano Lesson Course, Level 3 is similar to the Alfred Basic Piano Library Course, offering well written arrangements that are thoughtfully created for the young player, but offers digital printing and considerable savings. The MMF All-In-One Piano Lesson Course is intended to provide study resources for students five years and up. Special attention was given to the attention span and small-sized hands of the young beginner. The pages are clean and uncluttered, with fonts and colors that are  designed to appeal to kids. The focus of the Level 1A book is to introduce new musical symbols, drill symbols that have already been introduced, and support note reading.

Interested in Learning Piano Lessons Online?

The MakingMusicFun Music Academy is one of the most affordable options for quality piano lessons for kids. In fact, at the time of this post they are offering an introductory rate of just $10/month or $100/year – almost half that of other online academies. Your subscription provides you with access to the entire collection HD quality piano lessons, piano sheet music, digital print books, and worksheets. If you sign up for the annual plan you can also participate in the MusicStars Online Music Festival, and get personalized feedback on your progress. This is a pretty special offering for an online academy.

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1st Grade · 2nd Grade · 3rd Grade · 4th Grade · 5th Grade · 6th Grade · Homeschool · Kindergarten · Sheet Music

Pros and Cons of Online Piano Lessons for Kids

When it comes to learning things these days most of us head for the computer. Sometimes we want an article. Other times a video tutorials… and the interest in this is growing rapidly.

It used to be the only way to learn the play the piano was to have a piano teacher sitting next to you, guiding you every step of the way. With the introduction of desktop computers, tablets. and phones, traditional ways of learning are changing. To better understand whether this new method of instruction works – and if it can work for your kids – I’ve written this pros and cons post about online piano lessons for kids.

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You may have grown up taking piano lessons from some lady that you mom met in your neighborhood. She was the closest and most affordable, so that was the teacher you were given. She seated you down on a hard piano bench and made you play scale after scale, followed by some seriously boring piano music. That was bad enough, but it wasn’t over yet. You still had to practice those boring scales and music 30 minutes every day.

When you’re limited to the teacher that’s closest and most affordable you don’t always get the best teacher.

Those days are over if you’re ready to embrace online lessons for kids.

The teachers that create online lessons are typically master teachers that know how to help kids be successful and keep them interested. They are using the latest trends and teaching methods to deliver lessons that are clear and easy to understand.

Pro – Piano Lessons Are “Watch and Learn”

Piano lessons have always been a “watch and learn” experience. Whether you’re sitting next to teacher or watching your teacher online, you are observing to learn – being guided through listening and though verbal instruction.

Pro – Students Benefit Through Instant Replay

Online piano lessons really shine in the days that follow the piano lesson. With traditional instruction students only receive guidance during the lesson. Then they’re stuck trying to remember everything that was shared during the lesson. The unfortunate result is that students don’t remember everything that they were taught. Online piano lessons solve that problem, allowing the piano student to listen to the instruction every day if they want to, so that every lesson is fully understood and fully mastered.

Pro – Cost Online Piano Lessons vs. Traditional Lessons

Online piano lessons provide a substantial cost savings for families. Depending on where you are living in the USA, you may pay as much as $40 for a 30-minute lesson. That’s $160-$200 per month. Online piano lessons cost around $18 per month.

Con – Not Every Need is Met with Online Piano Lessons

Online piano lessons don’t address the individual needs of every student, and sometimes the pacing is too quick. Sometimes students need something explained in a different way.

It’s not a perfect system, but there’s much that can be learned and many families are benefiting from online piano lessons and saving big.

Are You Ready to Give Online Piano Lessons a Try?

Here are two online piano academies that are worth a look.

MakingMusicFun Music Academy – The MakingMusicFun.net Music Academy is one of the most affordable options for quality piano lessons for kids. In fact, at the time of this post they are offering an introductory rate of just $10/month or $100/year – almost half that of other online academies. Your subscription provides you with access to the entire collection HD quality piano lessons, piano sheet music, digital print books, and worksheets. If you sign up for the annual plan you can also participate in the MusicStars Online Music Festival, and get personalized feedback on your progress. This is a pretty special offering for an online academy.

Hoffman Piano Academy – The Hoffman Piano Academy is chock full of quality piano lessons and resources for kids, including HD quality piano lessons, sheet music and worksheets. The basic plan is free and the premium plan is family friendly at just $18/month or $179/year.

Summary 

Online piano lessons aren’t for everyone, but it’s pretty clear that they are providing a rich experience for many adults and kids. And they are making piano more affordable, at a fraction of the cost of traditional lessons.

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Free Piano Sheet Music | Beginner/Level 2A
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Carnegie Hall Park™ Music Theory Board Game

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3rd Grade · 4th Grade · 5th Grade · 6th Grade · Homeschool · Sheet Music

Hungarian Dance No.5 | Easy Guitar Sheet Music w/TAB

The Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms are a set of twenty-one spirited dances based on Hungarian folksongs for the most part. The set was completed in 1869. The dances range in length, from approximately one minute to five minutes. They are among Brahms’s most popular works and were the most profitable for him.

Print Guitar Sheet Music (TAB)

Hungarian Dance No. 5 | Easy Guitar Sheet Music (TAB)

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About the Composer of ‘Hungarian Dance No. 5’

Johannes Brahms (May 1833 – April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor during the Romantic period. He was born in Hamburg to a Lutheran family. He spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. He is often grouped with high status composers like Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the “Three B’s” composers.

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5th Grade · 6th Grade · Homeschool · Sheet Music

Turkish March by Beethoven | Easy Guitar Sheet Music

Turkish March (Marcia alla Turca), is a popular classical march by German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. It’s written in the Turkish style that was popular in his time. Turkish March appears as movement four of the incidental music for a play by August von Kotzebue, The Ruins of Athens (1811). It premiered in Pest in 1812.

Print Guitar Sheet Music (TAB)

Turkish March (Beethoven) | Easy Guitar Sheet Music

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Need help learning your rhythms?

Most beginning guitar students are still working learning the value of basic rhythms, so I’m including several links to helpful printable music theory worksheets, flashcards, and games. Learning rhythms will help your students feel confident, and learn the music they want to play far more quickly.

Joseph and his Coat of Many Colors | Free Color-Me-Rhythmic Worksheet
Clown Fish | Free Color-Me-Rhythmic Worksheet
Adam and Eve | Free Color-Me-Rhythmic Worksheet
It All Adds Up! | Free Music Rhythm Worksheet One (Whole/Half/Quarter)
It All Adds Up! | Free Music Rhythm Worksheet Two (Half/Quarter/Eighth)

About the Composer of ‘Turkish March’

Ludwig van Beethoven was a renowned German composer and piano player. He was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770 to parents Johann van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich. His father Johann and composer and conductor Christian Gootlob Neefe were his teachers, and both worked to enhance his musical talents. Neefe was the one who helped Beethoven publish his first piece of music.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s most popular pieces are his Fifth Symphony, Für Elise for piano solo, and his Ninth Symphony, which includes the melody, Ode to Joy. He is remembered as an important composer in the transitional period between the Classical Era and Romantic Era in music, and continues to be one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.

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Guitar Sheet Music with TAB | Beginner and Easy

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5th Grade · 6th Grade · Homeschool · Music Worksheets · Sheet Music

The Place Where Lost Things Go (Mary Poppins Returns) | Easy Piano Sheet Music

The Place Where Lost Things Go is performed by Emily Blunt who plays the umbrella toting English nanny in the Disney movie, Mary Poppins Returns. The film is an American musical fantasy directed by Rob Marshall, starring Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Colin Firth, Dick van Dyke, and Meryl Streep. The plot for this sequel to the 1964 film, Mary Poppins, focuses on bank teller, Michael Banks, when he learns that his home will be repossessed by the bank unless he can repay the loan in five days. Just when all hope is lost Mary Poppins returns to save the day. The film has earned $174.5 million worldwide and received numerous award nominations, including four Golden Globe nominations and nine Critics’ Choice nominations.

Print Easy Piano Sheet Music

The Place Where Lost Things Go | Easy Piano Sheet Music

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About the Composer of ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’

‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’ was composed by Marc Shaiman. Shaiman is an American composer and lyricist for TV shows and movie scores. He is best known for his collaborations with lyricist and director, Scott Wittman.

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4th Grade · 5th Grade · 6th Grade · Homeschool

7 Easy Tips for Reading Guitar Chord Charts

You don’t need to learn to all the ins and outs of music notation to play the guitar, but you should learn to read guitar chord charts. A guitar chord chart, also known as a guitar chord diagram, is a visual representation of a chord. They show you which finger goes where and on what string to place them. Once you learn what the lines, number and circles mean guitar chord charts will be a breeze.

Here are 10 things you’ll need to know to start reading guitar chord charts.

Visualization

The grid you see on chord charts contains six vertical and five horizontal lines. They represent the guitar fretboard. If you’re are having trouble visualizing this, hold the guitar in front of you so that the strings are facing you. When you do you’ll see that the chart represents the same view that you now have of your guitar, with the strings running vertically and the frets running horizontally.

Vertical Lines

The vertical lines on the diagram represent the six strings on the guitar. The leftmost line represents the sixth string – the low E string. It’s the thickest one. It’s followed by A, D,G, and B. The thinnest string that’s furthest to the right is the high E string.

Horizontal Lines

The horizontal lines shown on the chart represent the metal frets on the guitar. The first row of boxes represent the first fret, the second row represents the second fret, and so on.

Chord Name

The letters placed above a diagram represent the chord. As a beginner, you will most likely be playing major and minor chords, without all the fancy chord extensions.

Black Dots

The dots on the chord chart shows which fret to press down on and which string to place your fingers on to play a certain chord. Sometimes numbers are added. These numbers correspond to the four fingers of your fretting hand. Fingers on your left hand are numbered from 1 to 4, with #1 being the index finger, #2 being the middle finger, #3 being the ring finger, and #4 being your pinky. A T indicates that your Thumb should be used.

X’s and O’s

An “X” above the bolded nut mark means that you shouldn’t pick or strum a certain string. An “O” means to play the string open.

Barre Symbol

Barre chords are chords that use only one finger to hold down multiple strings simultaneously – usually the index finger. The symbol for barre chords is a curved or solid line placed above the nut or running through a fret from the first note to the last note.

Ready to start expanding your knowledge of chords? Here’s a link to a great chord chart for beginners.

Beginner Guitar Chord Chart

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