Free Resource. Matching Worksheet for Music Vocabulary (Basic)

I’ll keep this short.  Today, I’m sharing a quickly-made matching worksheet that contains most of the very basic music vocabulary that a student would learn in the first few weeks of studying piano (assuming they are not a very early beginner).

The terms include:

  • quarter note
  • half note
  • whole note
  • piano
  • forte
  • quarter rest
  • half rest
  • time signature
  • measure
  • bar lines
  • whole rest

Please enjoy and feel free to share.  Follow this link to get the worksheet and have a great week!


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DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Do Not Disturb sign for your studio.

I teach out of a home-based studio.  It’s in the very first room in my shotgun style first floor home, and sometimes, just often enough to be annoying, my lessons are interrupted by door-to-door fundraisers, salespeople, people campaigning, and deliveries from my local postal carriers.  So I finally decided to dust of my DIY skills to make a sign to politely deter such would-be interruptions.  I was so proud of the result that I posted it to instagram and only after that did it occur to me to make a tutorial!

Before we begin, you’ll obviously want to see what it looks like…voila!


And now, for the tutorial.

Total Project Hours Estimate:  1 hour active

Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need:

1.  An unfinished piece of wood, like this plaque I found on Amazon (all links are affiliate links…girl’s gotta make a living….¯\_(ツ)_/¯):

Obviously, I rotated mine sideways.

2.  Surface prep such as matte medium – not entirely sure it is necessary but I used it, so if you want to be sure yours comes out like mine did, I suggest using it.  If you know more about painting wooden surfaces than me and realize it’s unnecessary, please comment below and let us know!

3.  White acrylic paint such as Liquitex Basic Acrylic Paint.

4.  Music-print tissue paper or old sheet music – for a background.  I used old sheet music I’d acquired from an estate sale, and you can probably print some vintage looking sheet music online.  (You could also use this tissue paper if you don’t like those other options.

5.  Plastic lettering stencils in your choice of font.  I went the “classy” route with calligraphy script because I figured it might make people think it was a more polite “GO AWAY” sign than it actually is.  You could use a stencil such as this one if you want to go that route, or pick any old font that makes your heart sing!  (Helvetica is also classy, in case you were wondering and haven’t seen that documentary).  

6.  A simple pencil.  (I figure you already have those).

7.  Paint or paint pen/marker – I used a black paint pen, for ease with stencils.

8.  The DIY classic Modge Podge

9.  Twine, rope, wire, or other sturdy string of your choosing – for hanging.

10. Masking tape.


  1. Prep surface of wood with matte medium and allow to dry.
  2. Once surface dries, design your template for the sign.  Measure how large the letters will be and what space they will require on the sign surface.  I recommend using a sheet of paper and the stencil and trying out a few different ways to phrase the sign and/or how you want to space and arrange the words.  Once you know how much of your sign’s surface area that will take up you can then, decide how much of the leftover space you’d like to cover with music.
  3. Very carefully layout sheet music over plaque and align it exactly as you want it to be as final product.  Use an exacto knife to cut any complicated edges or just cut a little too big and fold any edges over.
  4. Apply mod podge to plaque with a sponge brush.  Immediately place your sheet music on plaque as you intend it to ultimately be.  Be careful to smooth out any wrinkles.
  5. Allow to dry.
  6. Cover edges of sheet music that you don’t want painted with masking tape.  Then paint non-covered surfaces with acrylic paint.  Depending upon your desired effect, this may require multiple coats.  Allow time to dry.   Here’s what mine looked like at this stage:

[ED. note:  Wordpress would not let me continue numbering, so I apologize that step 7 is now labelled one).

  1. Step 7. Take your pencil and lightly stencil in your words as you planned to arrange them on the plaque.  If you are satisfied with how they are centered and otherwise look, go back with the stencil and the paint marker and fill in the letters.  You can paint over any mistakes with white paint, but it will be a pain in the butt, so try to avoid.
  2. Step 8. Once everything is dry, you’ll want to probably coat the music parts again in mod podge and/or matte medium.  You may also want to finish it off with a light gloss or varnish.  Allow this to dry.
  3. Step 9. Last, but not least, attach your twine or other method of hanging.  Full disclosure, my plaque came pre-twined, so I didn’t have to worry about whether my method would support the sign’s weight.  So, make sure you really use strong glue and lots of twine to be sure it will hold.
  4. Step 10. Hang out your sign (and don’t forget to take down when you aren’t teaching!)

Of course, this could be applied for any business that is home-based or service-oriented. But I’m guessing you might want to replace the sheet music with something more apropros to your particular niche . . .

Anyway, thanks for reading.  Let me know if you try it out and share how your version turns out!

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Free Beginner Rhythm Worksheet

IMG_4847 (2)

Happy Monday, my fellow music-makers.  I hope you are all doing great.  Today, I have just a minor token to share – a handwritten worksheet of very beginning rhythm exercises.   Hopefully some of you might find this humble offering useful.

It’s a rhythm drill worksheet with 4 different drills followed by some music math questions.

Notes and rests included are:

  • Half note
  • Half rest
  • Quarter note
  • Quarter rest
  • Whole note
  • Whole rest

Click on the image to get link to actual worksheet on my site.  Look for the worksheet titled

Beginning Rhythm Drills and Music Math Worksheet.

  • rhythm snippet.JPG

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Announcement! More free resources now available.

I’ve been slowly working on my website the past few weeks and decided that I no longer needed a password protected page just for my students.

So now, if you follow this link, you will find online exercises, recommended supplies, worksheets, and more for your leisurely perusal.




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Free Rhythm Drill Worksheet

Happy Tuesday!


I’ll make this short, but sweet.  I’ve created a new rhythm drill worksheet.  It uses only the following notes:

  • quarter notes and rests
  • half notes and rests
  • whole notes
  • dotted half notes
  • eighth notes
  • 4/4 time signature
  • 3/4 time signature

The first 5 exercises don’t include 8th notes and the last 3 are intended to slowly introduce them.

The exercise is available for download here.


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My Piano Studio Is Raising Money for a sexual violence aid and advocacy organization for #ADayWithoutAWoman. Join us!

My piano studio is raising money to donate to a local organization called S.T.A.R. or Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response.  It’s this great organization that provides no cost counseling, support, and legal aid to survivors of sexual violence and also raises awareness of the unique challenges and issues facing survivors.

I decided to do this after realizing that on March 8, 2017, when the feminists and allies of this country are organizing a strike called A Day Without A Woman, which is officially described as:

On International Women’s Day, March 8th, women and our allies will act together for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.

Putting aside whatever issues there may be with the planned strike (only accessible to privileged, etc), I thought about it and realized it was impractical for me to refuse to teach lessons on Wednesday because all but one of my students that day are women!  Rather than punishing a bunch of women for women’s rights, I decided instead to fundraise for an organization devoted to women’s issues.  Thus, I chose S.T.A.R.

To incentivize donations, I’m offering free or discounted piano lessons to donors at certain levels.

I realize that I’m in a traditionally gendered career (teacher of music), but I want to show that even those who do work not considered exceptionally valuable by society can make an economic impact through her actions.  Ladies, we have more tools available to us than we may think, so, to quote Queen Bey, “get in formation.”

To donate, follow this link.

To learn more about S.T.A.R., please follow this link.



To contact me about starting a similar campaign or give your thoughts, follow this link or fill out this form:







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Happy Mardi Gras, y’all.

It’s been really hectic around here lately because I’ve been doing some major business upgrades.  Plus, it’s Carnival time so it’s just a busy time of year.  Anyway, in honor of one of my favorite holidays, I made quick, free Mardi Gras themed practice chart for students.

From past posts, I also have easy piano versions of Iko Iko and Mardi Gras Mambo available for free download on my site.  They are great for teaching more advanced rhythm such as syncopation (although I tried to simplify the rhythms as much as possible.)

Mardi Gras piano Practice

Mardi Gras Practice Chart

As always, you can find the practice chart and sheet music here.

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