Get Inspired! Episode 8

Another season of Get Inspired! has begun.

If you wish to skip the chatter and go directly to Episode 8, here's the link.


In case you are unfamiliar with why I began to create these episodes, I'll rewind and give an explanation:

We all know that stickers, charts, music money, trophies, perhaps even competitions(?) can motivate students to progress but these "tactics" are just that, extrinsic motivators to get your students to do what YOU want.

However, why not find more ways to trigger intrinsic motivation so that your students achieve and move forward just because THEY want to.

Nothing inspires me more than seeing someone do something that I want to do. With the availability of videos at our finger tips thanks to YouTube, we can see others excel and having fun making music.

Each week, my students have a 30-min lesson with me and a 30-min lab session. This series Get Inspired! was developed for a twist from the typical lab task. In order to make this "inspiring" assignment easily accessible to students, I designed a page or episode featuring three artists of various styles at A brief bio and at least one video of each artist is provided. Included on the page is a Pdf  of guided listening questions that you can print off for your students. So far there are two episodes available, with more to come.

Most biographical information is taken from Wikipedia. Links to the artists' websites or recent interviews are included if available.

If you have a YouTube artist that you think should be featured in an upcoming episode, please let me know below.

I can't wait to begin this series with my pianists as I hope it inspires them to "get going" in their own efforts at the keys.

Here's the 2012 Get Inspired Directory.


mza_8264341108091909439.175x175-75The first three episodes in 2013, are based around  the My First Classical Music App. It has been around for a while, been installed on my iPad and has been waiting for my attention for quite some time. I always like my students to brush up on their music history and decided this app would do the trick. Click here for my recent One App at a Time review. Don't worry, if you are not interested in the app, you'll still learn ways to supplement the episode, read on...

I was notified by some faithful readers that time was past due for a new Get Inspired! Episode.  A light bulb flashed--why not combine this app, with my desire to offer a music history review and an episode? It turns out that I had enough material to create three episodes around the app. Check the schedule below.


Prior to watching an episode, my students were given the following assignments (dependent upon their reading capabilities) to complete during lab time:

1) Read a Piano Explorer Magazine article about each time period (as the app is geared towards ages 5 and up, assignments for older students were supplemented with issues of Piano Explorer Magazines, and/or various composer resources on hand.) If you don't have back issues on which to rely, here's the schedule for upcoming articles:

  • Baroque: September 2013
  • Classical: October and November 2013
  • Romantic:  January and February  2014
  • 20th Century:  April and May/June 2014

2) Read/listen to the app and find the answers to the Scavenger Hunt Worksheets: Episode 8

3) One more favorite composer resource for older students used with this unit: Fandex Composerscomposer-flass-cards_968_general

Final Notes:

  • Students were assigned to learn about one style period at a time and then watch the correlating videos chosen for that period.
  • As many musical excerpts were heard on the app I wanted to add a twist to the Get Inspired! episodes to fully capture the viewer's attention. You may find the eclectic collection somewhat surprising.


iPad Revolution-Book-Comp-4 2Interested in learning more about using the iPad for your studio? I'm excited to announce that my new book will be released soon:

The iPad Piano Studio: Keys to Unlocking the Power of Apps (click on the title to pre-order)

The good news: once you purchase the book you will be part of a larger environment offering updated information and timely and friendly support for all things iPad/app related.

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