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?

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!

Using the iPad 2 for Lesson & Session Notes

iPad 2 for Lesson and Session Notes

As you might have previously read, I got an iPad 2 for my birthday.  The primary reason I wanted one was for use in my studio, and I didn’t waste any time putting it into action yesterday.

Up until this past spring, I’ve sent my students home with written assignment sheets and lesson or music therapy session notes in their binders.  However, with so many students to see every day, I hated the thought of going through so much paper — not to mention all the time spent handwriting notes.

So I whipped up a notes template on Pages (a word processing app I have on both my Macbook Pro and iPad 2) and then created a document for each day of the week.  Each document has a page dedicated to every student I see on that day, with the notes templates all ready to be completed during lessons and music therapy sessions.

At the end of the day after my last student has left, I copy and paste each student’s lesson/session note into an email to either the student (if he/she is an adult) or the parents.  That way, we both have an electronic record of everything that happened in the lesson/session, as well as any assignments.

I also include a reminder at the bottom of my notes template to students and parents that they can log practice time, comments, and questions about that week’s lesson/session in their account on my website.

I knew the iPad 2 would be great for educational music apps and playing and recording music, but this use of it is worth the price alone.  Do you use your iPad or another electronic device to write and share lesson or session notes, or do you stick to paper and pen?

Friday Fave: Scheduling Success!

Scheduling Success

When it comes to private practice, scheduling is an art.  Usually I don’t mind it at all; in fact, I even look forward to it.  But this time around, with over 50 students to schedule, I’m not gonna lie: I was nervous.

I sat down at my computer yesterday with all my students’ preference sheets, prepared for several frustrating hours of work.  However, all that worrying was for naught..because I was finished within 45 minutes!

Not only had I managed to fit every last student (54, to be exact) into my pre-determined studio hours, but I even managed to schedule a couple of 15 minute breaks throughout the week.  I’ll appreciate myself for doing that later this summer, when I’m in the middle of a 14-student day and in desperate need of a snack or bathroom break :)

Once I had the schedule completed, it was time to email all of my students’ families to let them know their designated day and time.  So far I’ve only heard positive feedback, and I’m crossing my fingers and toes that the trend continues.  Because one change could lead to a domino effect, especially with so many siblings needing back-to-back time slots.

Have you celebrated a scheduling success lately?  It feels good, doesn’t it!

The Rainbow Connection

The Rainbow Connection

When I was little, I’d sit in front of the TV on Saturday mornings just waiting for the music video of Kermit the Frog singing “The Rainbow Connection” to come on.  From the first time I heard it, that song had a special place in my heart…and it still does.

“The Rainbow Connection” can be heard frequently inside the Music Therapy Connections studio, because I assign it to many of my beginning voice students.  One such student is Grace, who did an absolutely beautiful job with this song.  Although she’s only 10 years old, she could fool you with her big voice:

Another version I have absolutely fallen in love with is by jazz singer Jane Monheit, which you can listen to here. (Actually, she could record herself singing the phonebook and I’d buy it.)

Are you a fan of this song, too? I know I wasn’t the only little girl singing along with Kermit at the top of my lungs way back when…

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