Monday, January 8, 2018

Sound Beginnings Articles


If you're a Sound Beginnings Parent, we've collected some blog posts that will be most helpful to you:



Sun, Moon, and Stars: Why we teach patterns in Sound Beginnings class. Learn the reasons AND get ideas for playing with patterns in your daily life here.




Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick! Here are 3 more fun ways to enjoy this nursery rhyme and extend learning at home. Read more here









If you love to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider, be sure to check out these extension activities and crafts for more fun at home. Read more here.







Solfege is a powerful tool for ear training and singing skills. Find out why it works, why we use it in class, and how you can learn solfege quickly in this series:

Part One Here
Part Two Here
Part Three Here




Let's Sing! In PART ONE, learn why singing is a fundamental musicianship skill and essential for ear training. Read it here.

In PART TWO, help your child sing on pitch and match pitch with some exercises and activities. Read it here.









Ready for a fun exercise? Turn your favorite story books into song! Story time just reached a new level of greatness! Read our post and enjoy some easy to sing books- or create your own.








Discover the Pentatonic Scale in this post here. This simple five-note scale is a basic learning tool for musicians and children all around the world. Bobby McFerrin gives a demonstration showing how humans naturally internalize the pentatonic scale.



Why do youngsters need so much repetition in learning? Find out in this post and learn how to apply layered repetition to your own learning and teaching- you'll be able to remember every song you know!









Understand instrument families with this post: how we categorize the instruments of the orchestra and how we help students hear the different timbres they make. Sound Beginnings instrument day is a "petting zoo of instruments" for your child!








Understand the heart maps in your workbook, and learn more about helping your child develop the ability to find and keep a steady beat with some games and tips in this post.






You might also enjoy these topics from our FIRST YEAR STUDENT articles:
Big Ideas that Shape Let's Play Music:
Have a request for a post? Leave a comment below! Fresh posts come every month to help you get more from class by playing at home.

Third Year Articles



If you're a third- year student or parent, let us help you find the articles that are most helpful. 



The Purple semester begins in a few weeks! Let us help you and your student refresh your piano skills so you'll be totally prepared for the MAGIC. Find out how here.






If your child is working on learning Cockles and Muscles, check out these tips and tricks to help overcome the challenging parts of this song. Read them here.



How much technique do we need when teaching beginning pianists? Our program focuses on building complete musicians...you may be surprised to read our take on technique.  Read more here.



What technique and posture do we cover? Find out here.


Make a major scale ANYWHERE on the keyboard using your ear and following a pattern of tones and semitones (Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half.) Read more here.








Our 'Magic Keys' song is packed with music theory. In this post we'll lay out everything you heard in the song, and show you how you can find Do from ANY key signature. Read more here.





CEG is the C triad or C chord. Is it Red, Yellow, or Blue?  The answer is... it can be any of them!  A chord's role depends on SCALE DEGREES and where Do is. Read more here.











Memorization helps you get ready for your recital AND has loads of brain-boosting benefits. Here are tips to help you memorize painlessly and keep those songs in the bank forever! Read more here.
Practice Habits: Parents need to develop habits of their own to become consistent cheer leaders and practice reminders.  Here are a few tried and true ways to get going on your habit so you can, in turn, help your child. Read more here.







You hope your child practices because he LOVES making music, but right now he's only motivated by extrinsic factors.  Here's a guide for talking to your child about piano practice in a way that nurtures the developing intrinsic motivation. Read more here.






Looking for more ease and peace at practice time? Author Carol Tuttle, the Child Whisperer, helps you adjust practice habits for your child's personality in this post here.




Frustrated with your child's practice time? One strategy for bringing peace and ease back into this family routine is adjusting expectations. Read more here.





When is the right time to use flashcards to drill reading skills and note skills? The answer might surprise you! Read the post here to find out and make some fun progress at note reading mastery.





Reading and playing is a mental process, so here are some tips, games, and tiny flashcards to help you master note reading at the piano. Read more here.







Do you get worried when your pianist isn't looking at the music? She's playing by ear.... is that bad? Read this article to learn when and how to guide note reading.  Read more here.






Our culminating semester of Let's Play Music is called Orange Roots- it's all about the culmination of musicianship after laying 2.5 years of roots that cover all aspects of musicianship. It's also about how playing with chords and chord roots provides a foundation for composition and improvisation. Check it out here.







Playing chords in different styles is one of the secret superpowers held by musicians. Our students learn chord styles and change them up with some classic songs. Check it out here.







Learn a bit about Johann Strauss II and the real story behind the music for our skater's waltz puppet show. Read the story here.










Don't get too scared! Our Monsters puppets show uses dramatic music by Prokofiev. It's tricky to keep two themes running simultaneously, but you can learn how in this post.



Chords are a foundation for understanding music, composition, and improvisation. This classic song demonstrates what you can do with just one chord- check out some of the ways we use Paint to explore chords and inversions at many levels, in this post.






Discover the pentatonic scale and why it's such a great teaching tool for musicians. You'll be surprised to find out how this scale is popular around the entire world! Read more here





Variation is an important element to composition. See how we use Twinkle Twinkle to help teach this idea. Read more here.








The connections songbook and program: every graduate needs it!  See how we transition students from our Let's Play Music program into mainstream private piano lessons. Read more here








Have a request/ topic for an article? Leave a comment below! New posts come out every month to help you get the most from class by playing at home.

Big Ideas in the Third Year:




More Ways to Succeed in Third Year:


Check out These Examples of Third Year Compositions:
A Few More Interesting Topics:
CLICK HERE for posts about our CORE VALUES

CLICK HERE for Second Year Topics

CLICK HERE for First Year Topics

CLICK HERE for Sound Beginings Topics  

First Year Articles



If you have a first year student, let us help you find the articles that are most helpful right now!  

Have a request for a topic/post? Leave a comment below. New articles come out regularly to help you get the most from music class by playing and learning at home



Parent involvement is the single most critical factor determining a student's long-term achievement in music. In Let's Play Music, parents attend class with students, and they don't just watch! Find out the why, the what, and the how of being an awesome music parent in this post.



The first year of the Let's Play Music program is light on the practice schedule, but when recital time comes, it's time to ramp up the regular, recorded practices with an intention of polishing the recital songs. Get a fun practice chart and some ideas in our blog post here.









Solfege is a powerful tool for ear training and singing skills. Find out why it works, why we use it in class, and how you can learn solfege quickly in this series:




Let's Sing! In PART ONE, learn why singing is a fundamental musicianship skill and essential for ear training. Read it here.

In PART TWO, help your child sing on pitch and match pitch with some exercises and activities. Read it here.




YES. We do teach perfect (absolute) pitch. Find out what this term means, how we teach it, and how it will benefit your child. Superpowers, here you come! Read the post here.
Ready for a fun exercise? Turn your favorite story books into song! Story time just reached a new level of greatness! Read our post and enjoy some easy to sing books- or create your own.







One facet of ear training is recognizing major and minor sounds. We have lots of fun training with a classic song and teach you a cup-passing-game in this post.








Have some pitch-matching, ear-training fun at home with your tone bells and a classic memory game. Find out how in this post.








We use vocal channeling to expand your range with this Halloween song. Plus some trick-or-treating with memorable melodies. There's even a coloring page just for fun. Read about it here.








Tambourine Train: Understand the difference between BEAT and RHYTHM, and learn more about helping your child find and keep a steady beat with some games and tips in this post.








Ever wondered: what exactly is ear training and what can it do for you? Find out a bit more from an ear training expert by reading this post.






Meet the BLUE BUGS! We use rhythm syllables to teach accurate and easy rhythm reading- find out how. Read the article here

How can building blocks and jungle drums help teach musical rhythms? Check out clever ways to think about subdividing beats in this article. Read more here.












The autoharp gives students a chance to read chords, play accompaniment, sing, and keep rhythm. Even without a harp at home, you can practice skills from class: read this post to see how.







We sing several traditional nursery songs in each of our programs. Find out why (and read to find out what happens next to the 3 blind mice) in this post.









Chords are a foundation for understanding music, composition, and improvisation. This classic song demonstrates what you can do with just one chord- check out some of the ways we use Paint to explore chords and inversions at many levels, in this post.





Make a major scale artwork to display in your home, starring YOUR CHILD. SO CUTE. Read more here.

Big Ideas that Shape Let's Play Music:
More Fun Ways to Succeed in First Year:
 Even More Interesting Topics:

CLICK HERE for posts about our CORE VALUES

CLICK HERE for Second Year Topics

CLICK HERE for Third Year Topics

CLICK HERE for Sound Beginings Topics