Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Farewell February!

It's been a busy, busy February so not much blogging seemed to get done the past few weeks. 

It was birthday season in our family (including mine) so there were many celebrations and I even closed my studio for a few days to enjoy all the festivities.  If you're reading this on my actual site...check over in the sidebar...there are some photo tweets with links to pix.

I've attended two Music Therapy Pro-D events
  • the online Online Music Therapy Conference OMTC 2012)  
  • and the Music Therapy Continuing Education Day at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in the town where I live.

Both conferences were fantastic and completely different!  The online conference was held over a 24-hour period with presentations at all hours of the day.  It was so convenient to attend from the comfort of home and it was recorded so I've been able to take the time to listen to the presentations that occurred while I was sleeping.

The local music therapy day was incredibly fun and I had an opportunity to play with the amazing Soundbeam equipment (the highlight for me).

I've been taking part in Kat Fulton's Online Zennn website building course, working on my new studio website.  I LOVE KAT'S COURSE!  I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to build their confidence while building their own site.

That's it for me for now and I am promising to post some useful goodies throughout March:)

Hoping your once-every-4-years Feb.29 is wonderful!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Practise Pillow

click on image to enlarge
We all need a little motivation sometimes.  This is something I recently made for a young fiddle student.  It's a practise pillow.

How to make the practise pillow

1.  Find a pillow that will be adored. 
Notice the glittering flower center!  ooh-la-la...!

2.  Collect several buttons that will be adored.  
3.  String the buttons onto a skinny ribbon.

We were going to use beads but then I found adorable doggie buttons and fancy flower buttons.  Perfect for an 8-year old girl who just happens to have a new puppy she is completely in love with. 

If the button hole is too tiny for the ribbon to slide through, use tiny safety pins and attach to the buttonhole.   Then string the closed pin onto the ribbon and slide with the pin.

4.  Pin the ribbons lengthwise across the back of the pillow.  
There's even a "Susan-head" button.  That's to remind this little girl that her teacher (that's me...Susan) thinks she's wonderful and has faith in her and that she CAN DO IT.

5.  Use this practise pillow as an abacus to keep track of boring repetitions in technique work (some kids do find playing a scale or finger exercise to be dead boring) or tricky bits in a song that need to be memorized.  

Every time she plays that tricky passage she's focussing on, she gets to move one of the cute buttons over to the other end of the ribbon.  

We know children feel great once they've mastered something but sometimes they just need a little help getting there. 

This was the perfect solution for this little girl.  She can display her cushion on the pretty side when she's not practising and then flip it over and manipulate those fancy buttons on days she needs a little boost.

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