It's the Little Things

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Today starts a 5 day break before we kick off our fall term next Tuesday, and I thought I’d post about some of the little things that I’m doing for my students this year.

These “little things” started as a big project…

One of the biggest things on my to-do list is to finish prepping my student binders for next week. This year I decided to give every student a fresh new binder. Here are some of the things I’m including:

  • Dividers with Sections for Assignments, Scales/Warm-Ups, Completed Repertoire, Works in Progress, etc.
  • Studio Calendar for the back “window” of the binder. (I’m using the “View” Binder style.)
  • Music Themed Coloring Pages for the front of the binder. I’ll have several design so students can pick what they’d like to use.
  • Studio Policy – Because it’s always
  • Video Lesson Info – Sometimes I make short video lessons in lieu of makeups. This info sheet will help students know how to use them. (Future blog post!)
  • … and finally the little things.

Ohhhhh…. the little things!

Over the past couple of months I’ve been gathering some little extras to put in each student’s binder.

I went for things that were generally inexpensive, because when you’ve got 35 students… well, you know how it goes! Here’s a peak at some of the little things I’m using this year:

Students will each get a couple of “little things” to take home in their binders.

These little things are my way of saying “Hey… Welcome back! I’ve been thinking about you! Here’s something cool/useful for you to use at home while you practice.”

  • Composition Notebooks from The Full Voice – They’re on sale this week, $9 for a pack of 4. My students think these are super cool!
  • Monster Clips from a local kitchen store, but they were actually cheaper on Amazon. (Ah well, live and learn! I do like to buy local when I can.)
  • Bendy Straws for my vocalists. Found them in the sale aisle at the grocery store! If you haven’t heard about the straw technique, Google “Ingo Titze straw technique” and check it out! The bendy straws make this kinda fun 😉
  • Small Stickers that my students can use at home to mark their music… I’ll encourage them to mark their favorite part of a song or use the stickers as reminder for “sticky area ahead!”

Speaking of stickers…

Anyone else here have a Sticker Problem?


I had SO many sticker books in the studio that were half-used or forgotten about entirely. Rather than buying new stickers to put in the folders, I went through each book and cut out sections that I could use as “little things.”

(And now I can buy new stickers to use to mark songs that students “pass”… ’cause you know, I have a serious sticker problem. There’s a Pat Catans in my area and they have sticker books for $1!!)

What kind of little things do you give to your students? Share in the comments below!

I’d love to create a “Little Things List” for teachers and include YOUR ideas. 

(P.S. Does anyone else notice that your to-do list has a tendency to be muuuuuuuuch longer than normal during “breaks”? I’m so happy to have a few days to get caught up with life!)

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