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  • Writer's pictureThe Freckled Flutist

The Music Cheat Sheet: Help Out Your Struggling Students!

As musicians, we not only learn how to improve our performance skills for the stage, but we also learn how to teach others. Teaching is one of those core components of our music career, whether we are teaching at a local music store, school system, in our student’s home, or our own. Each lesson provides a student with a different age, personality, skill level and goals in music making…so let’s just say things never get dull.

When I first prospected into teaching 6 years ago, I didn’t have a clue where it would take me. I started out in my comfort zone as a private teacher in one-on-one lessons because I knew it wouldn’t be only beneficial for my student to improve their flute playing on a personal level, but I too learned HOW to become a teacher myself.

As time went on and my studio grew, I accepted a position as a flute clinician at a middle school program. I was more nervous because I was handling MORE than one student at a time, and I had never taken a music education course on how to handle a classroom…yet I took the challenge. With that one opportunity I took back then, it led me to creating my own career in becoming a flute teacher today, both privately at home and publicly in schools.

Currently, I clinician at 5 schools within 3 separate school districts that are close to each other in distance, yet VERY different in:


-Skill level/knowledge


(Unfortunately, that is the reality of our education system.)

I noticed the difference between students who WANTED to be there, learn & improve on their instruments, VS. the students who felt REQUIRED to be there yet were struggling on their performance skills and musical knowledge. Part of it, was because they couldn’t afford the fee of renting an instrument & bringing it home for personal practice.

For me, this was frustrating, and it SUCKED see these kids struggle by not knowing where a “B” was on the staff, or what the value of a quarter note was, not to mention what it looked like. This also just wasn’t a trend at the beginning of the year, when these students were first introduced to their instruments, this was 4 months into the school year.

That is when I decided to come up with some type of resource that students could put on their stand as a GUIDE to identify notes on the staff (instead of writing it down all the time & getting it wrong), or understanding the “bones of music” a little bit better (aka. rhythm).

Both sides are straight-forward in information: one side identifies musical concepts and the other side focus on rhythmic components.

After testing it out with some of my students at schools with positive feedback, I thought WHY NOT share this to anyone else who is encountering a similar situation. I know every student is different when it comes to learning, but if this sheet could help one student in class, where they can bring it home or keep in their music book, it can assist others too!

So friends, click this link HERE to access this musical cheat sheet, and I hope this not only eases your students stress, but also yours!

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