Learn to Play the PianoWritten by Peter Cullen
Rocket Piano is a very professionally done piano lesson package. It includes a number of ebooks, audio tracks, and video tracks to support instructional material. In addition, there's a ton of extras, all extremely well-done, and described below. The product is simple to download, and is perfectly paced for introductory piano student. It runs on Windows and Macs, so it doesn't matter what kind of computer you have. In a word, if you want to learn to play, you'd be nuts to pass on this. I highly recommend it. Read on for details.
Chapter One - Piano Facts and History
Don't skip this chapter. It's full of really interesting facts about piano and includes a bit of history, a lot of physical facts about instrument that beginning piano lesson student should know, and some great diagrams that show mechanics of how a piano produces sound. There's also a nice section about pedals, which you don't find in most courses, that actually explains what pedals are for and how they work. All in all, a great introduction.
Chapter Two - The Basics
Chapter Two provides all basic information you'll need to get started in right direction. It has most complete description of how to sit at piano that I've come across so far. You get idea very easily from included diagram that shows proper position for your head, back, arms, and legs. Pay attention students There's nothing worse than seeing a beginning player struggling because of a slouch or being too high or too low in relation to keyboard. Chapter Two continues with an explanation of proper hand position, and dispels popular myth that you need very long fingers to play well. The author correctly points out that finger strength and agility are far more important characteristics than finger length. The standard and necessary assignment of numbers to each finger is included too, accompanied by a very good diagram. No confusion possible here. The layout of keyboard is explained next, again with very clear graphics, and then connection between finger numbering system and keyboard is introduced with some very simple exercises - so after only sixteen pages of background, new student is actually using keyboard. Note reading is introduced next with a very clear and simple approach that starts with definition of a note, and then introduces concept of rhythm. The notation for whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes is illustrated, and standard duration of each is explained. What follows is a series of easy exercises to reinforce basic concepts of note type and duration. Audio clips are available for each exercise to assure student that they are proceeding correctly.
Chapter Three - The Musical Alphabet
Chapter Three starts with a graphic of keyboard with all notes labeled and then shows you middle C hand position, followed by a short exercise that gets both hands going to familiarize student with middle C and surrounding notes. Chapter Three also introduces time signatures, other component of rhythm. Good examples follow explanation, and there are a few practice exercises, again with sample audio tracks. The rest of chapters in book are just as good and cover such topics as:
* musical staff * intervals * sharps and flats * playing scales * rhythm * arpeggios, and more.
Okay...if I review any more Chapters, you won't need package, But I do want to tell you about extras that come with Rocket Piano. First of all, there's a Music Theory Game called Jayde Musica that is really wonderful. When you start up game, notes move past you on screen from right to left and your job is to identify them before they scroll off left-hand side of display. You can click on name of note with your mouse, hit letter on your keyboard that corresponds to note(s) displayed, or type number that you'll see associated with each note. The game has an Options menu that lets you control level of difficulty (basically speed at which notes move), and there's even a high score screen that records your name once you start to excel. Kids love this stuff. This kind of game makes learning to read notes so painless, that there just isn't any excuse anymore
School Bullying: Hit 'Em Where It Hurts!Written by Paula McCoach
School Bullies: Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts! by Paula McCoach http://www.bullyzapper.com
School bullies never seem to stop! Sometimes you have to "hit ‘em where it hurts" as we say!
So you have made a dent in bullying at your school! Congrats.
But, you still have a hard core of 5-10% of bullies that you are trying to reach.
Most schools have special events. One effective way to subdue bullies for a short time at least is to bar them from special events if their bullying behavior does not improve.
Field trips are a common event. Bullies love field trips because there is unstructured time where they can do their thing. Bullies can be easily eliminated from field trips or, worse yet, their parents can be required to attend trip with them.
And, oftentimes their parents bully them!
Bullies should be removed from special assemblies, especially end-of-the year assemblies that are fun and rewarding for students. I feel that in this situation, students who have earned awards and behaved well all year, deserve a nice assembly where bullies are not harassing them.
Bullies should not be allowed to attend Field Day where students are celebrating end of year and having fun. Again, this is an unstructured situation where they can do some damage, and other kids deserve to have some fun and celebrate.