Archive for September, 2011

September Challenge Results

We are off to a great start! Each student has been working hard, and many stickers have been earned for meeting the practice challenge and being a diligent student during lesson times.

Here are the results for the super master challenges for September. We worked hard on flashcards this month! Remember, you can access any of the theory worksheets anytime to earn an extra bead, and the music appreciation challenge is a fun and entertaining way to earn a bead.

Web Challenge

Adelaide (3), Amelia (2), Auliver (3), Annabelle (2), Anwyn (4), Cade (3), Claire (3), Elly (4), Jayn (3), Joseph (2), Kensie (2), Leah (2)

Music Appreciation


Annabelle (2)




Adelaide (Level 1,2)

Annabelle (Level 1,2,3,4,5)

Anwyn (Level 1, 2,3,4)

Auliver (Level 1,2,3,4)

Cade (Level 1,2,3)

Claire (Level 1,2,3)

Elly (Level 1,2,3)

Kensie (Level 1,2,3)

Lauren (Level 1,2,3)

Leah (Level 1)

Theory (number of worksheets completed in shown in parenthesis)

Adelaide (3)

Anwyn (1)

Cade (1)

Claire (1)

Jayn (2)

Joseph (1)

Kensie (1)

Leah (2)


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Sergei Rachmaninoff

This week we will be learning a little about Sergei Rachmaninoff. He was a Russian Composer who lived from 1873 to 1943. He is considered a Romantic Era composer, since his music fits that style.

You can hear his Prelude in G minor in this short video, performed by Muse.

Here is Jon Schmidts interpretation of Rachmaninoff.

Go here to download the report sheet if you would like to receive Super Master Challenge credit for watching these videos.

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Web Challenge #10

We’re going to stick with Tonic Tutor for the weekly web challenge. I think everyone agrees that the games are great fun, and hopefully you are learning something at the same time!

Click here for games especially for beginning students.


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Boogie Woogie Piano

Boogie Woogie is such a fun style of music. Isn’t it amazing how fast he plays?!

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Tonic Tutor for Beginners

I was really excited to discover that Tonic Tutor is offering full access to all of the games for the month of September. This is a great opportunity to really explore the games, learn some new things, and have fun. If you aren’t sure how to play a game, click on the instructions box on the lower right hand corner of the game screen.

For my brand new beginner students (those in the Primer level or My First Piano Adventures), some of the games include some concepts that you haven’t been taught yet (so don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answer!) Here are the games that are best suited to the Beginner level (select level 1 when you play):

Finger Puppets

Piano Keys

Jungle Journey

Player Piano

Dancing Jelly Beans

Rhythm Zoo

Stick People

Mystery Note

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Web Challenge #9

Have fun with Tonic Tutor this week! To complete this challenge you must play for at least 15 minutes, and try at least 5 different games.

**Note: For the month of September, Tonic Tutor is giving full access to all of the games. So…there are a lot of games that you can try this week! Have fun, and let me know which games you really like.

If this is your first time accessing Tonic Tutor, here is what you need to know to play:

1) To access the games, go to and click login in the top right hand corner. Or click here to login.

2) Enter the temporary login and password that I gave you during our weekly lesson.

3) You will then be prompted to create a user name and password that will replace the temporary login and password I gave you . You will then use your new user name and password whenever you login to Tonic Tutor. Make sure you remember (and write it down!) your new user name and password.

4) Explore the games in Freeplay, there are ten to choose from. Try level 1 to start with, but if you want to challenge yourself, select a more difficult level.

Try as many of the games as you like, they are all pretty short. If you don’t know how to play a game, look for the instructions box in the bottom right corner.

5) Write down the name of your three favorite games on your assignment sheet.

Please email me or leave a comment if you have any questions about the games, or if you have any difficulty logging in.

Have fun!


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Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson: Charlie Brown Medley

This video is just fun to watch. It makes me smile. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a performance at a local care center?

Go here to download the report sheet if you would like to receive Super Master Challenge credit for watching this video.

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