Author Archives: Kirsten

2017/12 Prep Tests and Teaching by Rote

Rote is how I learned to play piano – I had a “knuckle-rapper” teacher to start with. “It goes like this, dear” she would say, playing the first phrase. If I copied it right, all was well and good. If … Continue reading

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2017/11 The New ABRSM Prep Test

I’m a fan! I can’t remember how long the old prep test book had been out, but if I never teach “Boating Lake” or “Jogalong” again I won’t mind a bit. Not to mention “Walking”, “Rocking” and “Hopping”. The new … Continue reading

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2017/9 When they stop practicing

Here’s an insightful blogpost from for dealing with those times when a student is unable to practice. Not so much for when they’ve lost the motivation or interest as when, through circumstances at home or at school, they are … Continue reading

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2017/10 Ocarina problems

I’m teaching a year 3 /4 class the ocarina this coming term. What could go wrong? Here’s the excellent tutor book that came with the ocarinas; which I have used with great success all last year. Ah, now you may … Continue reading

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2017/8 More Music for Ensembles

I teach a couple of mixed-age, mixed ability keyboard ensembles. Finding suitable mixed-age, mixed-ability ensemble music is a perennial challenge. The BBC Ten Pieces resources includes several arrangements of classical music for ocarinas, and I have selected the Mozart Horn … Continue reading

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2017/7 Beethoven’s Fifth for Ocarinas

Last term I achieved a long-held ambition. When I stumbled across an arrangement of the themes from the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for ocarinas I simply burst into laughter. Then I decided that it was something that HAD … Continue reading

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2017/6 Group exercise – Key stage 2

Following on from the last post about the beanbag/percussion game, I tried the same thing with the next class who were Year 3 and 3 (aged 7 and 8). I moved through the preliminary steps more swiftly, and added an extra … Continue reading

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2017/5 Classroom Percussion – Group exercise for Early Years

Here’s a lesson that went rather well today. I remembered one of the games I tripped across while looking at Drum circle activities, on youtube, posted by a drummer called Kalani. (I was so impressed by him, that I bought … Continue reading

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