MusicNotes App for iPad

Musicnotes iPad App

I’ve been using to purchase instant sheet music downloads for over five years now.  In fact, I’m a member of the MusicNotes Digital Club, which means I save 10% on every piece of music I purchase.  (That may not sound like much, but when you buy as much as I do, it adds up.)

The only bummer about buying sheet music from MusicNotes is that once you’ve printed your allotted single copy, you can no longer access that piece of music.

Enter the MusicNotes app for iPad.  I discovered this last week when I was downloading yet another song, and saw on the sidebar of my screen that it was “iPad compatible”.  So I clicked on the link to read more, and found that if you have an iPad, you can access your account and then view all of the compatible songs (most of which are) right on the screen.  Not only that, but you can annotate and transpose the score right on your iPad.

This app has opened up an entire collection of music for use with my students, and also just for my own personal use.  It even works with my new wireless foot pedal-controlled page turner, the AirTurn BT-105.

There are a couple of other music-related iPad apps that are currently rocking my world, but each deserves its own blog post.  More to come soon!  Which apps have you been digging lately?

My Biggest Misconception About Private Practice

My Biggest Misconception About Private Practice

It’s after 10 pm, and I’m just now getting around to writing today’s blog post.  So much for having more spare time now that I’m completely self-employed.  Looking back just a few weeks, I was naive to think that owning a full-time private practice was going to allow for a more flexible schedule.

It’s one thing to run a part-time business, but doing so full-time is a completely different ballgame.  And as thrilled as I am with my decision to leave my former job, I find myself thinking nostalgically about a time when I actually had a few extra minutes to catch up on my Google Reader, write blog posts in advance, reply to non-work-related email, etc.

Giving lessons and providing music therapy to an average of 13 students per day is the easy part of my business.  It’s the administrative and prep work — choosing repertoire, responding to billing inquiries, managing schedules, sending out nightly lesson and session notes, studio upkeep — that leaves me completely exhausted at the end of the day.

But then I remember that I’m 100% in control of my days and my private practice; there is no handbook.  I’m writing it as I go, and I’m appreciative of all the lessons I’m learning along the way. I’m also appreciative of my incredibly comfortable bed, which is where I’m headed right now.

Sunday Singalong: The Summer Song

After all the crazy-hot weather we’ve already experienced, it’s hard to believe that the official start of summer isn’t even here yet. But it will be on Tuesday, so I wanted to give you a little jump start.

I think my summer song embodies the happy laziness I feel (when I’m not super busy working, of course!) on a long summer day, especially when I’m poolside. But it does double-duty as an educational tune, since I threw in some facts about my favorite season as well.

Summer started for me on June 2 (the last day of school and my job at The Hope Institute), and it’s been amazing so far. In the time since then, I’ve already been to three weddings, celebrated my birthday, spent an awesome weekend in Florida, and opened my new studio. How’s your summer going so far?

Elephants and Deer Grow Big Ears

Learning the Order of Guitar Strings

No, this isn’t a lesson in zoology.  “Elephants And Deer Grow Big Ears” is actually the sentence I teach my guitar students to help them memorize the order of strings (lowest to highest) on the guitar.

When I first started learning to play, I just memorized E-A-D-G-B-E.  But in the middle of a 7-year-old student’s first lesson, I realized I was going to need to find a way to make it stick.  So I came up with my sentence on the spot, wrote it down for my student, and have been using it ever since.

I was curious as to whether anyone else uses that same sentence, so I googled it.  I didn’t come across my sentence, but I did find these:

  • Every Ant Does Good Bad Everyday
  • Elvis Always Dug Good Banana Eating
  • Every Apple Does Good Being Eaten
  • Every Athlete Does Good Before Events
  • Every American Dog Growls Barks Eats
  • Eat All Delicious Green Beans Everyday

How do you remember and/or teach the order of strings on the guitar?  Some people go the opposite way, starting with the highest string.  In either case, I’d be curious to hear other mnemonic devices for guitar.  Please share yours in the comments!

Mashup: Jason Mraz Meets the Jonas Brothers

Jason Mraz Jonas Brothers Mashup

The first time my student Carrie and I listened to the Jonas Brothers song “Introducing Me” during her lesson, I told her that it reminded me of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.  Every time we worked on the song, I remarked that we should do a mashup of the two tunes.

It only took two months, but I finally got around to working out the arrangement so that we could tackle it at today’s lesson.  Carrie and I had a lot of fun recording our mashup, starting with both of our guitars and then adding the vocals.  Here is the finished version:

Carrie and I both love the show Glee (at least a couple minutes of each lesson are devoted to rehashing the latest episode), which is what inspired this first mashup.  I have a feeling there are more in our future!

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