Friday, June 2, 2017

June 2017 0 Better Late than later

Oh my.
I've been on a bit of a vacation from blogging and creating.  Needed a bit of a rest.  I've enjoyed going to conferences and showing what products I have available and sharing my ideas both in class and out of class.
With summer upon us its a great time to see if you need new flashcards from previous purchased products.  Each page is $2.00.
Here is a link to a free product to get you inspired for fall!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Interval Round Up and Jingling Jenny

Good afternoon from rainy lower Fraser Valley catching the windy aftermath of typhoon Songda.
But I've completed a new game!  Finally after some encouragement from a friend I completed it.  Interval Round is a new teaching aid to help theory students start determining if an interval is Major or minor third.
A very colourful game and great flashcards.

Also my favorite new instrument that I need someone to build for me and  I would love to have for my studio is a 
Jingling Jenny.

Talk to you soon!

Monday, March 28, 2016

March 2016

STG logo
Putting the "Flash" in Flashcards!
In this Issue - Exams
Dear Friends and Teachers,
I have students taking RCM piano exams in April.  I thought it would be a good idea to take the early exam instead of June exams then they could relax and enjoy their last couple months of lessons. 

I was thinking they might focus and work a little harder knowing the exam was sooner than usual.  There is that saying "best laid plans of mice and men often go awry," I'm wondering about my decision now. 

My desire is for them to do well but the problem is they think they are doing well. Everything is memorize except ....... (add your own - dynamics, phrasing, slurs etc. I'm anxious for them to do their best but inside I'm saying "Please just memorize those melodic scales!"

But then on the flip side, I know I would be thinking the same thing if they were taking June exams. I'm sure many of you know what I mean.

As a result I had to come up with some incentives to get them revved up:

1)  Group Lessons - Scale competition with playbacks and clap backs.
2)  Cut up a photocopies of their songs into measures and have them glue them together.  Some could do this and others could not.
3)  Mix up the cut up photocopies. This was mean but it showed me who had their song memorized and could sort them out.
4) Mix up each others Sonatina's and they have to sort them out and put them together.  Actually this went well. 
5)  A lesson with another teacher.
6)  Mock exam with another teacher.
7) Serve pizza - meat and vegetarian to meet everyone's nutrition component.   
8) Find another teacher in another city as the students is going there for two weeks and where he is staying does not have a piano.   I actually did this.  The teacher was wonderful and offered her piano every morning for practice and would give 2-3 lessons to get the child ready.  

Aren't piano teachers wonderful people?

8) I tried.

Due to the falling and rising and falling Canadian dollar ordering Solo Time Music Games is a great deal for American's but not so great for me dealing with Constant Contact as a result I will be changing email providers as of April 2016. 

Be sure to check out the St. Patrick's Day activity for the week of March 17th and Easter activities for the week of March 28th; both PDF files have levels for all ages included in the file. 

This spring break I'm off to Banff, Alberta to ski with Jakob and Declan but before that I'm sending over 100 games to Korea.  So grateful teachers around the world see the value of Solo Time Music Games for their students.  It's going to be a busy week putting everything together.

Have a great spring break.


Lois Dicknoether
Solo Time Music Games 

Solo Time Music Games
are designed to instill a life long passion 
and understanding of music and its concepts 
through a fun hands on experience.

February 2016

Solo Time Banner
February 2016
Give It a Rest.
Good Morning,
I'm hearing about massive snowfalls out east so I guess I won't comment on the rain out west.  I do hope you are doing well and that there won't be too much trouble to schedule make up classes due to the snowfall.   Cancellations are a fact of teaching piano and sometimes parents don't value our time the same as they do hockey and dance.  A great tongue and cheek and advice article on why you shouldn't cancel lessons is from Wendy Stevens at Compose Create.

Plenty of Give it a Rest teaching aids have been going out this month.  It's a great way to teach rest placement.   The teaching aid comes in two sizes 8 1/2 by 11 for $12.00 and 11 by 17 for $20.00. Read below how to get a free game.

I've been teaching the song "Bingo" to my level one and pre-school students and it is a favorite.  Here is a GREAT visual aid and It's free to help little ones who can't read yet.  Did you know that you get points towards your next purchase at the Teacher Notebook Store if you comment when you purchase or download a free item?  It helps me also by giving the store a higher standing.  So if you do print off "Bingo" please comment.  It only takes a moment.

Mariya is only three and in music class she sits on the bench with a frown.  I inquired about this and found out she is on the autism spectrum.  So I tried to make an effort to make eye contact and encourage her to join in.  Four months later I feel this little nudge and snuggle right in on my side under the ukulele as I played,  I looked down and it's Mariya. What fun it was to have her join the circle on her own accord.  She did go back to the bench after awhile but how wonderful it felt to have her join in and know that she is taking in all the musical activities in the class even when not participating.

St. Patrick's Day is not that far away.  Here is a great little teaching aid for students to learn the value of notes.

Apple has a great new app out called  Music Memos, sorry if I'm repeating myself as I did post information about it on Facebook.   It's nothing fancy but it is free. Students record their piece onto their iPhone or iPad and the app will add drums and guitar to their piece.  It's simple, easy and great fun for them to hear their song with background music and every piece ends with a smashing of cymbals. 

Have a musical day- snowy or rainy!


Free choice of any "Flashcard" game when you order "7" Flashcard games before February 29th, 2016.
(Does not include pdf files or items from Teachers Notebook Store)

January 2016

Solo Time Banner
Solo Time Music Games
January 2016

Putting the "Flash" in Flashcards!
 Composing and what I've been using
Happy January!

Trust you had a wonderful Christmas Season.  It was our year to have Christmas without the kids so we took off to California and went camping in Wallmart parking lots and then finally on the beach in Santa Cruz.   No point shopping as the dollar is so low but gas was cheap so we went and enjoyed the beaches.  Then January came and it was Christmas again with all the family at a ski hill in Vernon.  Great snow, skiing, visiting, games, food and grand kids, food and grand kids and more food.   It was a great time.

Composing season is here.  I posted last month a new composition idea about using "One Note"  it's upgraded and now includes rhythms $2.29.  Also check out Caterpillar Composition and Composing Snowman.     

Marketing of my studio is always on my mind.  This fall I started music in a couple of Montessori schools and it has been great boost and exposure for my studio and lots of fun using my ukulele.

What games have I been using this month with my
Music For Young Children classes?
Give it a Rest and Weak and Strong Beats
for Sunbeam and Moonbeam  3's.  Definitely Bee - For and Bee - After for Sunbeam 1's and review for Moonbeam 1's and Sunbeam 2's.  Monster Patterns for Sunbeam 1 and Sunshine 2.   Don't Put Your Apples for Sunbeam 3 for enharmonic review.  Noah's Ark has been great for helping young ones learn the value of notes (I even used the easy cards with my Sunshine 1 class.)

Valentines Day is in a couple of weeks and posted below is a list of what is available in the  Solo Time Music Games Teachers Notebook store. Most of the Valentine Day printables have been updated and I think you will be happy with the result. 
Have a wonderful day!
Heartily Yours,

Lois Dicknoether
Solo Time Music Games 

Solo Time Music Games
are designed to instill a life long passion 
and understanding of music and its concepts 
through a fun hands on experience.

 Follow us on TwitterFind us on Google+View our videos on YouTubeFind us on PinterestLike us on Facebook
Valentine Activities
  Valentine Match up - Note and keyboard
 Valentine Circle of 5th's - Keys to My Heart
 Valentine Beginner Match Up - Music for Young Children specific
Valentine Beats - includes Triplets
 Valentine Music  - Rhythms using 16th notes
 Valentine Tic Tac Toe  and X's and O's - Beginner - Two levels included

New and updated versions of all the games played in the form of tic tac toe and ending with a black out where everyone wins!
Key's to my Heart - students match keys to the heart signatures. 
Great review for theory students learning
key signatures up to four sharps and four flats. 

December 2015

Merry Christmas
Season's greetings to you and yours!
December has come so quickly! 
It took longer than usual to get into a routine this year.
 I don't really know why, it just did. 
But when routine came I set a day aside for a composing class.  
Early this fall there was a song going around that contained only "C"'s.  It was very creative and I put it in the back of my mind to do something similar for composing with my students.  So last week I had a composing class and we all wrote songs that contained only one letter name but could use as many of the same note name in any position on the staff.  
What a fun class that was!  And so successful.  The children got right into it and enjoyed being creative with the "surprise cards"
after their composition was supposedly finished. 
I've posted the file at the teachers notebook store for you to take a look at
and perhaps use with your students. 

When I was younger I thought by the time I reached the age I am right now life be would a lot simpler.   But not so.  But I am grateful for what life has brought us through and the journey ahead with family.  May you have a wonderful Christmas and many blessings with family and friends.
Solo Time Music Games

Thursday, January 21, 2016

November 2015

Whats new in Solfege?

I love creating little rhymes and solfege tunes to use in group and pre-school classes.  This fall my students just loved posing as a Jack-o-lantern when we sang "Pumpkin Pumpkin" for the month of October. 

New this month is "Winter" and  "Never Make a Sound". Never make a Sound is about a Snowman melting quietly away.  Both tunes help children in understanding piano and pianissimo as dynamics.

I believe in supporting musicians who compose music and stores that sell it.  At the beginning of each teaching  year I have students purchase their books from local music stores.

But I do have quite an extensive library of music that I loan out to students.  Some books have been given to me by parents whose child has gone on the to the next level, finished music, a Value Village find or I've purchased it myself so I'm able to loan out books as students need them.

But the problem is, although I keep a list of students who borrow music some how that list disappears or I forget about it or parents say they cannot find the book.  My books have my name written on them in BOLD and should be easy to find.  In August I decided to send out a note out to parents regarding books that needed to be returned.  One parent after having four children with me over 12 years returned 14 books, I just had to laugh.  So I've been mulling over on how do I keep track of all the books?

I've decided  that  taking a picture of the student who borrows a book with the book they borrow.  This way I will have a record of the student with the book and will also have a record of the title, colour of the book and composer all on my phone. Simple and easy. 

I'm a fan of composers who have studio licenses for their music.  A studio license gives me permission to print off as many copies as I need and I don't have to worry about whether the music is returned or not.

Tonight I'm off to see Natalie MacMaster. So excited to hear east coast music again and Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.
Solo Time Music Games

What does Solo Time Music Games have for you?
There is the Santa Claus practice incentive to encourage practicing during the upcoming busy Christmas season. 
Use this tune at recital and divide the audience in half
or thirds to sing this lovely song called
Sing Sing Together.
Composing with Music for Young Children is here.  Check out the composing aids that have been created to help students complete their compositions.
Caterpillar Composing, Composer Tricks,
Composing Snowman, Composing Spinner.