2016-2017: “A Musical Year”

Saturday, October 1, 2016 by Lisa Barwell | Fall

Week Six

The fall recital is getting closer so we’ve been working hard on our pieces.  This student loves to play “Shadows” because of the spooky, minor sound! 

Older students enjoyed another game break this week!  We learned how to play “Udder Space Aliens,” a game that helps us practice chords and inversions.  We had a lot of fun with this one!          

Several students reviewed chords by using these candy corn erasers.  This was good practice for them to really think about which notes are used to build the chords that they regularly play in their warm-ups.


I loved seeing my students make connections this week!  Whether it was through a piece they enjoyed playing or through a better understanding of how music works, it was rewarding!

Fall Fun in the Studio! Part Two

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by Lisa Barwell | Fall

With all our Fall lesson activities and recital preparations, I've been busy!  It's been nice to have a couple of days off for Veterans Day to catch up cleaning the studio, organizing games, and writing the blog.

Here is an activity that my older students enjoyed playing a few weeks ago:

Candy Corn Scales

I found another use for the candy corn erasers I bought (it's amazing the fun you can have with a bag full of inexpensive erasers)!  I wrote the numbers 1-5 on them and we spelled scales.  It was great practice for remembering which finger numbers to use.


We spelled major scales and pentascales.  B major was an especially good one for my students who sometimes get a little confused with the slightly different fingering.  It was a great visual!

We even spelled arpeggios.

This idea has been done before by other teachers so I can't claim the credit, but I hope you enjoyed seeing my studio's take on it.  I am very thankful for all the teachers out there who share their awesome ideas.

Fall Fun in the Studio! Part One

Monday, October 20, 2014 by Lisa Barwell | Fall

I’ve been thinking for a while that I should start doing a blog, but I kept putting it off because I wasn’t sure what to write about.  Well, finally I’m going to just dive in and show everyone what fun we’re having in the studio this fall!                                   

We have done several activities so far this fall.  Here is one of the activities that my beginning students enjoyed:

Bottle Cap Rhythms

I’ve been saving bottle caps from water jugs for quite a while thinking they’d eventually come in handy. 

I wrote notes and rests on them and we used popsicle sticks for bar lines.  These students haven’t learned time signatures yet, but we still practiced creating rhythms with four beats per measure which was a great review for math! 

To write in the beats, we used little candy corn erasers that I bought at Target for $1.  I wrote the beats 1, 2, 3, and 4 on several of them so we could place them underneath the rhythm we created. 

I’ll be showing you another way we used these erasers in another post.  They have proven to be incredibly useful!