Simplified LDS Primary Songs

Ink Friendly Cover

I have had many requests for the simplified LDS primary songs that were on my website. Unfortunately, that site is down, and I have not yet been able to get it back up and working again. Until then, I’ll post them here.

There is a file for 15 off-staff primary songs, and another for 68 on-the-staff songs. I added some coloring pages so they can be printed front to back without any page turns. Some time ago I also made up a couple of covers. One mimics the actual primary songbook cover, but uses more ink. The other is more ink friendly.

Thank you so much for you patience with me, and enjoy!

Off-Staff Primary Songs

Simplified Primary Songs

Cover – Full Color

Cover – Ink Friendly


Pre-Reading LDS Primary Songs

Have you seen all of Susan’s wonderful pre-reading songs?  I have used these with so many students, and they have all been well-loved.  Following in her example, I have done up some LDS children’s Primary songs into a pre-reading format.  I have versions with finger numbers and letter names.  So far I only done 8 songs, but hopefully that number will continue to grow. 

I have new respect for Susan.  They are sure time consuming, especially when you add all of the wonderful graphics and color that she does.

Jesus Said Love Everyone

LDS Primary Songs – Pre-reading format

“Piano is Fun” Computer Game Chart

Since so many students are naturally competitive, I made a chart to track their progress on the Piano is Fun note naming game.  Students are not competing against anyone, but it sure does motivate them to do the lessons so they can get a sticker on the square.  This chart will print on 2 pages of paper, and I just trimmed and taped them together.

Piano is Fun Chart

Fun Game Ideas

Megan, a piano pedagogy master’s student at Wichita State University, shared some fantastic games. I am excited to try these with my students.

Review Cube:

I made a giant dice by wrapping a styrofoam cube in
paper. For each class I teach, I make 6 cards with the concepts we
worked on in that class or older concepts from past classes. The
cards are held on to the dice with large photo corners (but Velcro
would work too). In the last 10 minutes of class students take turns
rolling the dice and we review the concept that is rolled. Sometimes
I put a different key on each side and students have to play the

Pentascale Spoons:

I was trying to think of a way to teach my class of 8 and 9
year old students how to be more aware of the notes they play in their
pentascales, rather than just playing the 5 notes that sound right. I
found your pentascale flashcards and started brainstorming games. We
ended playing a pentascale version of the card game “Spoons“. I made
a card with each letter name on it and instead of collecting 4 of the
same cards like in the real game, we had to collect all the letters of
a pentascale in any key. Your pentascale flash cards were spread out on the
table to help them know what to look for. When a student won and had
all 5 notes to a pentascale we went to the piano and played it. It
kept all the students thinking about which notes made up the scales
and we had so much fun!


I made keyboard flashcards and staff flashcards. We lay the
cards out on the table and look for pairs of the same note made up of
one keyboard and one staff.

For this one, you can use the note flashcards, and the keyboard cards below.

Keyboard Note Cards

Music Certificates

I had my recital a couple of weeks ago, and wanted to hand out certificates to my students. Unfortunately, the ones I wanted were back-ordered, and would not get to me before the recital date. So, with some help from my trusty computer, I made these up. I printed them on Staples matte finish double-sided photo paper to avoid the logo on the back of the regular photo paper. The end product looked very polished and professional, though I’m sure normal card stock would work well, too.

The first certificate is a full sheet. The second is a half sheet.

Here are some other certificates I have made in past years. The first one looks good printed on colored card stock. They all print 2 to a page.

Recital Program Templates

Since this is a busy time of year for so many music teachers, I thought it might be helpful to post a few of the recital programs I have used in the past. They are done in Microsoft Word, and all you need to do is type your information in over the sample text. Feel free to change and customize this all you want to fit your needs.

If you really want to go all out, you can do like I do and put a photo and short blurb about each student in the program. If you have Microsoft Publisher, I can mail you the template I use for that program. Just drop me an e-mail!

Recital Program 1

Recital Program 2

Recital Program 3

Look What I Did!

On Saturday, Feb. 23 I was at the local high school for a piano rehearsal.  On the way to the car I stepped wrong off a curb, twisted my knee, heard a loud crack, and was down on the pavement.  Seeing as how my leg was at an unnatural angle, and it hurt something fierce when I tried to move, we ended up calling 911 for help.  Three very wonderful firemen splinted my leg, and helped me to my van and a friend drove me to the emergency room.  They gave me some lovely painkillers, took lots of x-rays, told me I broke my leg just above the ankle, and set my leg.  That hurt.  A lot.  Then I went home with a prescription for more pain medication and instructions to see an orthopedic surgeon on Monday.  Here’s a picture of one of the x-rays they took:  I broke the fibula bone (the one pointed weird there in the x-ray), broke a chunk off the bottom of the tibia bone, dislocated the ankle, and who knows what all else. 

broken ankle 1

Monday I went to see the orthopedic surgeon, who took one look at me and sent me to the emergency room.  I kept telling him I was just fine.  Yeah, so I was shivering uncontrollably and showing signs of shock, but really, I just needed to go home and rest.  For some odd reason, he didn’t agree with me, and so off to the ER I went.  After a long 10 hour wait, I was finally taken back and looked at.  They did an ultrasound on the leg to check for blood clots, and lots more x-rays.  I knew I was in trouble when the nurse said that the second set of x-rays were much worse than the first set taken 2 days before.  Somehow in my trips to the bathroom I had managed to dislocate even more bones.  So, they set my leg again.  That was the worst pain I have ever had in my entire life.  I thought they were done, and they started adjusting things again.  Then they stopped and started a couple more times while tellig me to relax.  It was excruciating. 

I was then admitted to the hospital.  I kept telling them I was fine to go home, but again, nobody believed me.  On Wednesday, the swelling had gone down enough that the doctor was able to perform surgery.  It was supposed to last for 90 minutes, but lasted for almost 2 1/2 hours.  I did a lot more damage than the x-rays showed.  I now have a metal plate and 12 pins holding me together.  They aren’t pins, though.  They are screws.  They just say pins to make it sound better.  Here are a couple of pictures of my leg.  My husband says it looks like a hardware shop gone wrong.  

ankle 3ankle 2

Thursday evening I was able to go home.  I was in a soft cast and mostly bed-ridden for 2 weeks, and just graduated to a hard cast that I will have for another 6 weeks.  It feels like forever.  I can’t put any weight on it at all.  Makes being a mom of my children ages 4, 5, 5, and 8 rather difficult.  After that, I get a Darth Vader-looking boot for a month, and get to learn to walk again.  I am looking forward to that physical therapy, painful as they say it will be.  I just want to be able to walk again!  The doctor said it will be 6 months until I am back to normal.

I had all these grand thoughts about all of the things I could do during my convalescence.  I planned on working on things for the website, MTNA certification portfolio, and all sorts of stuff.  Unfortunately, the programs I use to make all of my games and such are on the desktop computer and not my sweet but not-too-powerful laptop, and sitting at the computer hurts because there is no good place to elevate my leg.  I have also discovered that painkillers make it difficult to do much anyway.  I am so grateful I had them when I needed them, though!

I don’t like being so helpless, and not being able to get about.  My parents borrowed a wheelchair from some friends for me since I’m not stable enough on my feet to use crutches.  I have a walker as well, but I am so sore from using that!  I never realized how wonderful it is to walk to the mailbox, or bend down to pick something off the floor.  I miss not being able to sweep, vacuum, and take out the trash. 

I have been greatly blessed, though.  My husband is wonderful.  He has been such a comfort and pillar of strength for me.  He even gives me those awful shots in my stomach every night that I have to have since I just can’t do them myself.  My children have been just wonderful.  Piano parents have been so understanding with the weeks of missed lessons.  People from church and the local music teachers group have been graciously bringing in dinners and coming to help get lunch for my daughter and me in the afternoon.  My mom has come in the evenings to dish up dinner for the children, and get laundry done.  My sister-in-law has been coming in the evenings to do the dishes and sweep the floors for me.  One of my piano moms has come every week to mop the hardwood floors we have throughout our house.  It isn’t easy for me, though.  I have decided it’s much easier to serve others than to be the recipient of service.

So, if there aren’t many updates, or if it takes me awhile to respond to comments or e-mails, you’ll know why.  I suppose God is using this as one of those great learning moments for me.  I am just grateful he is doing it with a broken left leg, so I still have use of my pedal foot!  🙂

More Simplified LDS Primary Songs

The list keeps on growig, and now there are over 30 simplified LDS Primary songs.  You can find them at my Primary Page.  If there is a song that you would like me to do, drop me an e-mail, and I’ll see what I can do. 

Happy Playing!

Favorite Programs and Fonts for Creating Games

A question I get asked a lot is how do I make all of these materials? What programs do I use, and where do I find the notation fonts? Well, I will divulge my secrets. Not that they are anything extraordinary at all. 🙂

My mainstay for everything is Microsoft Publisher. I use it for everything. I have tried using Word, but always end up frustrated. I like the fact the Publisher lets me put things where I want them without the trouble of messing with margins. I have a old version, 2000 I think, and someday I’ll have the money to upgrade. If you don’t have Publisher, don’t worry. Any program such as PrintShop, Photoshop, or program along that vein will work fine. Many people also successfully use Word. I am just not one of those people.

For all of the flashcards and rhythm cards, I use tables. I often do 3 columns and 4 rows, or 1 column and 4 rows, depending on what I need. For the rhythms I will “subdivide” the squares into lots of smaller squares. That makes things neat and straight.

There are some free notation font programs that can be found on-line. John from the Yahoo Piano Teachers forum has kindly put these together into one file. (By the way, John is my inspiration. Without him, most of the stuff here wouldn’t exist. Thanks, John!) You can find these in the Files section of the Yahoo Piano-Teachers list.

The music font program I use now is from They sell a package of two fonts for $41. Staffwriter is a font with the notes, sharps, flats, and such on a staff. Keynotes has notes of various values, signs, and so on without the staff. The fonts also come with a great little keyboard map, showing what key produces what symbol. That little map alone is worth the $40. The program works both on PC and Mac. I love, love, LOVE this program. It is the best money I have ever spent, and would do so again in a heartbeat. Check out their website for lots of examples of worksheets and games made with these fonts.

Now for an important note: when using the notation programs, sometimes the lines of the staff look like they are not straight and even on the computer screen. Don’t worry. It all prints out just fine. Also, you will need to increase the font size, sometimes a great deal, do get the look you want.

I find most of the images on-line. I use Google Images most of the time. Do be careful, though. You can get an eyeful from some very innocent key words. Like the time I wanted a picture of soccer balls, and just typed in balls instead of soccer balls. That wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done!

I have a Photoshop-type program I use if I need to tweak the graphic a bit, or add color to the coloring book images. The only exception is the keyboards. Most of them I drew myself in Publisher using rectangles. When I am happy with the image I will copy and paste it into the document where I want it to go. If I ever took the time to use the Photoshop program sitting on my computer to it’s fullest capabilities, I might even find that I don’t need to use Publisher as my base program.

Primo PDF is a free program I use to convert everything into a PDF format. It is a slick little program. When you go to print the document, you select PrimoPDF as the printer. Push print, and viola, you have a lovely PDF document any computer can read.

So, in a nutshell, I use Microsoft Publisher, MacMusicFonts, Google Images, a Photoshop-type program, and PrimoPDF. Most importantly, though, are the ideas I get from my students and other teachers. Very little of what I do is original – I just tweak things and put on paper the great ideas of others.

Happy Creating!

New Website Format

In an attempt to better organize the games and resources, I’ve decided to go to a blog format. Hopefully it will be easier to get around and find ideas to help you in your music teaching.

Games are now categorized, and there is also a search function to quickly find specific files. You can also subscribe to the RSS feeds so you you will be notified when there is a new post. For a short video on what RSS is and how to use it, click here.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me.