Monday, August 29, 2011

You're Not Too Late!

The August newsletter is coming out tomorrow!

I'm squeaking it in just under that calendar wire.  Yikes.

This month the newsletter group receives 
  • a relaxation technique from "Barnyard Bodies"
  • a listening game 
  • two percussion games
  • an autumn speech piece
  • monthly book recommendation
If you haven't signed up yet, you're not too late.
Just head on over to the sidebar and fill in the info.

I'm pressing "send" tomorrow morning!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Do your students use music bags?

When the children at Musicalia begin their full-year programs I prepare sturdy long-lasting carry bags for them. 

Most of the children receiving their new blue bags this year are age 4 or 5 have already been with me 2 or 3 years and now will be with me for another 3-6 years.   Some even longer!  Making each bag personal, interesting and beautiful is a joy for me.

They start out as a plain blue bag with "Musicalia" printed on the front and then I add each child's name like this...

...and then I go crazy with the fabric paints like this...

...and this...

...and this...

When the bags are hanging in the room during our classes they look like this...

Decorating these bags is a classroom management tool for me!
Some of the children can not read when they begin their programs so the illustrations provide a beautiful way for each child to recognize which bag is theirs in a sea of 8 or 9 other bags. 

It does take many hours to complete all the bags, especially in those years where there is more than one class for 4 and 5 year olds.  This year I have 17 little guys graduating to year long programs. 

Branding benefits of the blue bag!
The other unforeseen benefit to having my own studio bags is that they have become a kind of branding item.  Parents (and kids) can be heard saying..."Where's your Musicalia bag?"  And each child in the family has their own.  Some families continue to use their Musicalia bag for music lessons even when they leave Musicalia for new horizons.

I don't charge for the bag.  It's just part of being a Musicalia student.  I've even had my older, adult students after initially saying they didn't really need a bag...several lessons in ask for their own Musicalia bag!   

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Musical Chairs...for real...

Moka sitting on one of the old chairs at Musicalia before it was rejuvenated!  You can't tell how rickety it is from the picture...but the parents at Musicalia were beginning to make comments this spring...:)

I'm back!
I'm back at my studio after a few weeks away.  I have enjoyed three weeks in Salzburg, Austria and three weeks just relaxing.  It's been a restorative summer for me...

...and also for two of the chairs at Musicalia!

One of the projects I had initiated before I left for Salzburg, was to have the two chairs in my waiting room/entrance repaired.   My mom had them in storage and a couple of years ago she gave them to me to use at the studio.  They were in pretty rough shape though, ready to fall apart this year...and while they had a funky, antique, old brown look...they didn't really match the decor in my studio entrance.

Musicalia entrance...with the old chairs.  Love the carved lyre-backs...

So, I called Doug Zarry at Heirloom Restoration in Victoria, BC, who picked them up and worked his magic. 

Here is what they look like NOW!

Doug made the chairs sturdy enough for little guys to climb on (they definitely needed some reinforcement) and then painted and sealed them for easy cleaning...and now they match the decor!

A match made in garage sale table painted green lookin'  sweet with the refinished chairs.

Originally, I planned to cover the seat cushions in something more adult-like but then I found this very sweet fabric.  Who could resist...musical ladybugs and butterflies reading musical notebooks?!

It's always something...
When you have your own studio there's always something non-musical to take care of as I mentioned in this post last spring.  I think I'm done my studio upkeep until Christmas's time to start planning my classes and preparing fun musical games for the children!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

R U Stylish?

I accidentally downloaded this free app to my iPhone the other night, just before dinner.  It's called Songify.

Songify turns your speech into songs...rhythmic, techie songs...the kind that made us laugh and dance at our house.

While making dinner, you can make some music
My husband sometimes plays with speech as he's making dinner and we laugh at that...but with this app...honestly, the more we recorded and experimented, the harder we laughed at the playbacks.

When I first downloaded it, my husband was not so interested in participating.  I recorded him speaking just the three words he was playing with while making dinner that night
..."R U Stylish?"  (imagine saying it with a British accent).  

The playback with soundtrack stopped him.  He became the musical director after that...

"Okay, you just echo what I'm saying..."  
"Now let's hear it" 
"Can you email it to my friend?"
"Let's do another one"  
"Can you put your iPhone in the speaker so we can really hear it?" 

...yup, that's when the dancing part kicked in...:)

We have a playlist now of silly tunes we made ourselves in seconds...and we can dance to them...truly so much fun!

If you have an iPhone, just go get this app (it's free right now), and have some fun this weekend.  If you don't have an iPhone, go find someone who does and convince them to play with it with you. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...