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  • Diane Hidy

Gummy worms for dinner?


Natalie has her own ideas. Lots of them.

As her teacher, I have choices. Lots of them.

I could:

Tell her she’s wrong.

Force her to sing the lyrics I wrote to Graduation Day from the Piano Town Primer. They’re perfectly serviceable words. In writing her own lyrics, though, she had to grapple with the rhythmic constraints of the music. She’d learned the piece correctly, so she had to stop and really think about what words would fit together with the rhythm.

Criticize her lyrics because they’re silly and fun and filled with whimsy.

Embrace her brilliant creativity and we could both have a zippy afternoon.

Obviously, I chose the latter.

When your students show their opinions, preferences and personalities, how do you respond?


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© 2019 by Diane Hidy

You'll wonder how you ever taught without this 32-page book. I made these cards for my students to give them plenty of opportunities to practice all the different skills they were acquiring. This series starts with the simplest possible rhythmic patterns on the Landmark notes Middle C, Bass F and Treble G. Each set becomes incrementally more difficult.

Here are a few of the many different ways to use these cards:

  • Encourage students to write in their own fingering. This paves the way for making true fingering choices later on

  • Circle the thirds before starting to read the flashcards. This helps the student focus on the difference between steps and skips.

  • Help your student write in their own staccatos and slurs. Try them out. Talk to them about why they do or don't like them. 

  • Help the student add dynamics and phrase marks.

  • Print these in their entirety and use them as a book.

  • Print them on heavy paper or card stock and cut them into separate cards. Trying sending home a set with a student and ask them to become proficient with each one. At the next lesson, mix them up and play them in random order. It’s a nice combination of preparation and reading.