Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training


Ever feel like someone just poured INFO into your head and you hoped it would stay long enough to complete an exam... never mind TEACH IT?
Watch Glory St. Germain and Special Guest Joanne Barker - Master Teacher and Professional UMT Game Designer and learn the "WHY" behind this "must have" teacher training.
"In all of my years of teaching, both private and in group piano, I had never had a chance to learn HOW to teach theory! ... until I discovered the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course!" - Joanne Barker UMTC RMT (affiliate).
BLOG - Joanne Barker with Glory St. Germain


Joanne Barker, UMTC, RMT(affiliate), has been teaching piano and playing games for over 40 years. She now teaches group piano classes out of two locations with over 75 students.

Joanne is a huge fan of never-ending professional development and is always looking for new ways to explain concepts to students. Joanne has been the UMT games creator since 2012.  

“My goal is to give my students the tools they need to explore and play music for their whole life. I highly recommend the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course - it has empowered me with knowledge, confidence and massive success in teaching music theory."


Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course Online Teacher Training includes: 50 Video Sessions, All Materials, Online Support,
Exam Marking & Certificate!

Click HERE to discover what you will learn in the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course.  Your professional development Online Teacher Training starts here.

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Joanne Barker is Glory St. Germain's Special Guest on the Ultimate Music Interview Series.

Glory: Well. Hello.

Glory: Do you ever feel like somebody just poured a bunch of info into your head and you hoped it would stay long enough to complete an exam? Nevermind even teach it, we have so much to learn, right? Well today you're going to get all the goods on how you can go from confused to confident in teaching music theory with NEPD, Never Ending Professional Development. I'm Glory St Germain from Ultimate Music Theory and my very special guest today is Ultimate Music Theory Certified Teacher Joanne Barker. Welcome Joanne.

Joanne: Good morning. So good to be here.

Glory: Joanne Barker is a successful piano teacher and a game designer. In fact, after completing the UMT Certification Course, Joanne became the Ultimate Music Theory game designer and we love playing games. Right? Truth be told, I was confused about teaching music theory many, many, many years ago and that actually led me to develop the Ultimate Music Theory Program and create the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course for teachers because I was confused too. And after doing many years of research and development I thought it's time to share. Joanne, as a professional teacher, and a fan of NEPD, which I know you are, what made you decide to take the UMT Certification Course?

Joanne: Well, I've been teaching for quite a long time, longer than I probably want to share here, since 1978, and I've taken some training before and attended teacher workshops and stuff but nothing had ever really taught me how to teach theory. I'd been told what theory meant and what this means and what that means, but nothing ever taught me how to teach. And then your course came along. I thought this is what I need and boy has it ever worked.

Glory: Yeah. Wow. Well we're super excited. You're a little bit frozen so hopefully we can make sure that you're still there.

Joanne: You froze, too.

Glory: I want to give a shout out to Sara Campbell from Upbeat Piano Teachers and a bizcoach, and also to Roman who is watching today and Keyona Jackson. I hope I pronounced your name right. If you want to go ahead and just share in the chat box with us, What are some of the frustrations that you've had in learning how to teach music theory because it's a whole different ballgame. I think there's a lot of resources, Joanne, for teaching piano and teaching voice, but oftentimes music theory, the language of teaching is often left out. So go ahead and share with us in the chat. What are some of the concerns that you perhaps have and Joanne, maybe you can tell us how did you get started with your music lessons?

Joanne: Well, my whole music career kind of started by accident. I guess so then next step was the person who called my mom and said, "My son needs a piano teacher. Does Joanne want to teach piano?" "I guess so," and here I am 40 years later. My 41st year of lessons end. We're frozen.

Glory: Oh my goodness. Yes. You're just breaking up a little bit -

Joanne: ... through here. Sorry.

Glory: That's okay. I know Joanne's been having some internet issues, they had been doing some construction around her office, so it's a little frustrating when we lose that. I think one of the things that we often find is that in connecting with other teachers, what do you see that's sort of the one thing that's maybe missing from today's teaching techniques in helping students? What is one of the issues that you see coming up?

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Joanne: I think the biggest issue that I'm hearing from people that I follow on Facebook or whatever is just how do we do it? How do you explain these concepts to kids? How do you make it relatable to them? When we come out of it and we understand it, we get it, we're excited about it, but how do we make it exciting for them and how do we put it into their language so that they can get excited as excited as we are about it.

Glory: Yes. It's interesting that you mentioned that Joanne, because I often say if you are not really interested in learning a subject then you just really kind of shut down as far as being open to learning and I think as educators we are such a huge influence on students in how we deliver the information, that's what's motivating them to say this is going to be fun. And I know you are a super fun teacher. I mean your registrations speak for themselves because you obviously are hugely successful not only in teaching your students but in how you developed your teaching business because you're teaching group classes not only in piano but also incorporated Ultimate Music Theory into that. Can you tell us how you got started in your teaching business?

Joanne: Well, when I started off I was doing private lessons for the first 23-24 years and it occurred to me that I was doing the same thing over and over and over. The last year I taught private lessons. I had 13 kids in the same level and I thought I'm wasting my time and their money. And so that's what led me to look for a better way to do it. And I started with a group music program and then I discovered that Belmont, this little community I'm in that's so hockey oriented and so rank oriented, I had to do different for them. So I walked away from what I was doing and I've since created my own program that my students ... Every year I'm tweaking it. Actually last night I spent two hours starting on next fall's material for one level. I know who's going to be in it. I know what they need, so I got on my computer here and started writing music, which is so much fun.

Glory: Yes. One of the great things that, we've got a comment here from Christopher and he said, "Joanne Barker, I excelled in music theory at a college level, but my concern is putting it into a kid-friendly and kid-interesting format. Lord willing, I'm sure I'll learn a lot through Ultimate Music Theory and I welcome any additional input you may have." Christopher is currently enrolled in the Ultimate Music Theory Certification Course and just as you mentioned Joanne, it's a different ballgame when you learn something and then you teach it.

Glory: An interesting comment I remember from one of the teachers that completed the Certification Course then she said to me, "What I needed was the words that you use, because to understand something doesn't mean that you can explain it." Just as if you were going to get up and you speak a lot at various different conferences and events. And if you asked anyone in the audience, "Could you just get up and just repeat exactly what Joanne shared?" They'd say, "uh, no." They understood what you said, but it's another thing to talk it through and to present it. So can you just maybe share, when you were working through the UMT Certification Course, what were maybe some of your biggest takeaways?

Joanne: Oh, there was about a million of them. My head was exploding. It's awesome. Some of the biggest takeaways that I ... Every year I get more and more out of it. One of the biggest things I'm understanding right now is that I'm not teaching me, I'm teaching kids who are new to this. They maybe met two of me in my 41 years of teaching piano lessons. We're teaching people who are doing this for many, many different reasons. The tips that you have in the program? I do play Mozart and Liszt. Oh my goodness. I have my tip sheets here because my girls are doing their exam next week. All of the tips, the tricks you have, the shortcuts, the memory joggers, those things are invaluable. Your F-A-C-E-G-B-D I've kind of taken someplace else.

Joanne: You want to see my latest?

Glory: Yes.

Joanne: Mrs. Trebleclef. Mrs. Trebleclef's a dermatologist.

Glory: Oh.

Joanne: She is, did you know that?

Glory: No.

Joanne: Keep your F-A-C-E inside the lines. Did you know that?

Glory: Okay. Give us your song, Joanne, because ... Wait. Well, I know that you do it with your whiteboard.

Joanne: I don't have mine, mine's at the studio. I can do it with my hands because I do also do with my hands.

Glory: All right, let's hear your F-A-C-E-G-B-D.

Joanne: First we go like this face goes in the space below the bass. F-A- ... oh, do you want me to sing it?

Glory: Yes.

Joanne: F-A-C-E-G-B-D F-A-C-E-G-B-D. See, it keeps going. It's consistent. And that Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge is great, but F-A-C-E-G-B-D-F-A-C- ... It just keeps going.

Glory: It just keeps going. And you know, when you have those tools and those tips, I think one of the things too and it's why we connected actually, I have to show one of your games, I think. Where did I put it here? That you've done so hopefully they can see our little games. This was Joanne Barker's creative and I know she's giving us some tips on what she learned in the Certification Course and talking about going from not feeling confident to feeling super confident in teaching concepts. And I think one of the things too was that as I got to know Joanne and she was a creative game designer, we actually incorporated things like all those concepts of the F-A-C-E-G-B-D and Harmony Hotel.

Joanne: Oh, we love that.

Glory: That one's fun. I have to give credit where credit is due.

Glory: So when I was doing the Certification Course, and of course now you can do the Certification Course online and we've included many more bonuses in there, including coaching and so on. But one of the things, Terry Meyers was one of the teachers that completed the Certification Course. She's also a music for young children teacher as were you Joanne and myself as well. I taught MYC for over 20 years and she shared with me that when you have a melodic interval, it's the side like a Melody Motel and then the harmonic is the Harmony Hotel. So when I hooked up with Joanna, I said, "Can you turn that into a game?" And she's like, "Oh yeah." So these are just, hopefully everybody can see what I'm holding up here. But anyway they're super awesome games. You can obviously check them out on the website at but I think one of the things is that you've really developed confidence not only in yourself but therefore for your students, right?

Joanne: Totally. I felt before like that hole was drilled in my head and the information was poured in and the cork was put in just long enough to get through the exam. I wasn't teaching it often enough because some of my students grew up, went away and I had a lower level of kids for a long time and now I feel confident when I open up that book, I'm doing two advanced rudiments of level eight rudiments next week. No issues teaching them and your lovely, sitting right there, supplemental course. The series. Thank you, thank you, thank you for those because that's been a lifesaver. Just an absolute life saver. And the exams as well. We're having great success there. They're getting lovely high marks on every test exam.

Glory: Yay.

Joanne: Yay.

Glory: One of the things that I thought was interesting too and we've talked about your takeaways from taking the Certification Course and I think one of the things too, you took it as a live event but then you also jumped into the online course and you talked about how having the videos online was something that was convenient for you as well.

Joanne: Completely. And I was just on their last week checking because there was one thing I'm going, "I'm sure I'm right on this but let me go check," and I needed these pages for my students and I know right where to look for them. It's right here on my computer screen beside me. I've got it set up cause I was doing some work before we got started this morning.

Joanne: It's so handy to have it and I can do it at my own pace. Life's busy and I've had a lot of things happen in my world in just this year alone. Little fender bender eight weeks ago and had to go back for more physio therapy. And your brain gets scattered. And this can refocus and recenter us. Having it online, seeing you in person was awesome. It was exhausting, I had like an hour-and-a-half, almost two hour commute every day to get to the course and as intense and wonderful as the in-person course was, this is awesome and just as good. You're there, you're consistent, you're straightforward, you explain things so clearly. Thank you. It's wonderful. Wonderful to have the resource online. I'm so glad I'm doing it again.

Glory: Thank you Joanne, I appreciate that. One of the things I think that I was passionate about too when I created the Certification Course was, and if we have some, if you have a question about the Certification Course, just go ahead and put the word key into the chat box because we are actually doing a live webinar next week and I will be talking about the three master keys that you need to teach music theory more effectively, how to teach, teach less time and make more money teaching, which is a super big one and a whole bunch of other bonuses that we're going to talk about. So just go ahead and put in the word key and we'll send you that information.

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Glory: One of the things that I think we really have talked about a lot too Joanne is that no matter how long we've been teaching, we need to keep on learning. And I think when you hear a comment like, "Oh, I've been teaching for over 30 years and I don't need to learn anything," do you ever say that to your students? "You don't need to learn anything so thank you, Sarah." I think we have to keep learning, right?

Joanne: We definitely do. My students, it was quite comical, I've got a class that comes every Thursday night and after teaching 75 kids, I'm like ready for Thursday night. And every week they begged, "no, we don't want to leave. We don't want to leave." Well one week we came up with the new F-A-C-E-G-B-D in between. 41 years and it's so exciting. I've just learned this and I said, when I stop learning I'm going to retire. And they went, "You can't retire." I said, "No, when I stop learning I'll retire." Every year I'm finding, the more time I teach, the older I get, the more I'm learning about myself. The more I'm learning about my students and the more I'm learning that there's so much more I want to do. This is a work in progress.

Glory: We're never really done. I have a question for you and actually I have a question for our listeners and viewers and even if you're watching the replay, maybe you can share with us what do you implement, and Joanne knows my favorite line is speed of implementation. Those three words, I apply them to myself. Speed of implementation. What did I learn, what did I implement? So I'd love for you to share in our comments. What are the things that you have learned recently that you've implemented into your studio and Joanne, what are some of the things that you've implemented into your studio lately?

Joanne: Lately. Oh my goodness, where to start. I've been using a whole lot of your tricks and shortcuts with different levels of students. I'm introducing concepts to a lower level, before they get the books even. Some of the things like the circle of fifths and how you do that so fast that, that quick trick. They get that so fast. I was doing that with a group of kids that are playing like just barely doing a C major scale and they just got it. So I think what I'm doing is starting to not download it lower, but I'm starting to implement things to kids at a younger age than I would have before because they're getting it and it's not a problem for them to understand the concept.

Glory: I think too, when you have those teachings tools that you can explain things in a simple way, and they do get it and kids can excel and these tools that you're giving them are the foundation for all musicians. If I hear someone saying, "Oh, well no, I don't teach music theory," or "I don't learn it." I'm like, "Well, if you play an instrument or sing, you are learning music theory whether you like it or not, because that's the language," right?

Joanne: One thing I've got written down here is "Without theory, what do our students have?" It doesn't matter if they're going to do exams. Frankly, I don't know how many more students in my lifetime are going to make grade 8. So why bother teaching them theory? Well my goal as a teacher is to give my students the tools that they need so they can play forever and not need me. I told them, when you're 58 and I'm 108 don't call me. Don't, don't call me. I'm going to be busy. So you need to be able to do this for yourself so I can give them those tools. If all they learn from me is ABK, Always Be Kind, and don't put your fingers in your mouth, and F-A-C-E-G-B-D, then they've come away with something, right? Something positive.

Joanne: So I'm thinking we have to give our students that solid core. It's not about learning to play a piece of music. It's not about coaching them and teaching them that piece. It's about them coming to you and saying, look what I learned to play on my own. Yes, they need the tools. Without the tools, what's the point?

Glory: Yeah. And you really are giving them the tools because I think one of the greatest joys is just being able to either compose or improvise or sight read. I had a grade 8 piano student, a level 8 piano student come in yesterday and she came in with that kind of sheepish look on her face because she forgot her book. And so I was like, okay, well think fast. And in my piano bench I actually have a bunch of duet books. And so we pulled out a level 6 duet book and she's doing her level 8 piano exam. And we sat and played for an hour and it was so much fun. And if she wouldn't have been the amazing music theory background that she has because she's a great sight reader, then she wouldn't have been able just to sit there and play. And that's the fun of it. It's about the music. And I think we have to provide them with those tools.

Glory: Christopher has a comment for us it he says, "I think we're sometimes afraid to admit that we still need to learn because we're afraid we won't have time." And I think that's so true. We go through our life, busy, busy, busy, busy and you have to carve out your own professional development time. You know before we went live Joanne was sharing her schedule with me, which is all in color and things like that.

Glory: I too have my calendar of what I'm teaching, which is just a couple of days a week. Because obviously I'm busy with my company but I too have blocked times of professional development where I am studying my courses because if you don't block time it doesn't happen, right?

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Joanne: I'm so anal I sketch in my naps. I get a lot of flack for napping. But when you have a schedule that looks kind of like this you need to nap. I feel that my job is to be fresh and perky for that last lesson and I'm known for being a little perky, so I need that nap in the afternoon. I have not slept well since I went through chemo back six years ago, so I need to prepare for myself. So that's part of my daily work is resting so I can teach these kids. Having a good schedule and carving it in ... And I actually carved in when I'm going to be watching the videos, it gets in the book. Plan your day out.

Joanne: I'm a really big fan of working out since I've had a lot of physical problems. I'm sitting here with a TENS machine on my back right now dealing with back pain because of a little car accident a few weeks ago and without having consistent workouts, my pains come back. So that consistency is key. So the consistency, it's five minutes, it's 10 minutes. You don't have to watch the whole video, you can just watch part of the video at a time but they're right here. So if you can find that 10 minutes, that's the time for you to invest in yourself.

Joanne: I think one of the biggest issues for a teacher, for a small business person, which we all are, is how do I make the best use of my limited resources of time and money. To me this has been just such an awesome help to my business. I don't have to go out and find all the history stuff for these new exams. Glory did it. Thank you. Have to find all these new answers because you get the syllabus and you read it and you go, "What? Where am I going to find this?" And it takes so much time to do that. You provided that.

Glory: Yes. One of the things and what Joanne's referring to, oh by the way, Sarah Campbell says, "I love that reminder Joanne." She's talking about your, "Put it in your schedule, take a nap." Take a nap.

Glory: One of the things that Joanne's talking about is when Shelagh McKibbon and I created the supplemental workbooks series, which covers all of the music history and a melody writing and analysis and all the new concepts that the Royal Conservatory of Music put into their current syllabus. One of the things for myself as an author was the complete overwhelm of, "Well where am I going to find all of these things to help my students engage and have fun?"

Glory: Now the wonderful thing is that when I did my ARCT way back when there was not that free resources that we have now available to study history. I was like, "Oh, how am I going to remember all this stuff," and just make lists. But now what we've created is in the free resources on the site, we actually have all the videos mapped out for you for every single lesson, prep level to level one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight including the complete supplemental workbook that correlates to the complete rudiments workbook. And the fun thing is now you can watch all these history videos and maybe make popcorn with your group, get out your notebook. Not only are you learning, but it's memorable because you're getting the visual, you get the music and you're having fun learning, right?

Joanne: I love that I can just open the book. Here it is. They've got their book. I didn't have to find all of my old history textbooks from the time when I went to university and scoured through them all and collated it all. Like we said earlier, time is such a key thing in our lives. We try to do so much. And to cram it all down and to make it all, to distill it down. If you don't already have a date book, get one. Buy the date book. It's so important to plan our day, and make sure you find time, as a teacher, I think we need time for ourselves. Get away from being a teacher. What is your thing you're going to do? Maybe it is sit and play the piano. Maybe it is compose for yourself, but you need to find, you need balance. And by doing this course, by having these resources, you've taken care of that. So maybe we can actually find 10 minutes for ourselves. Yay.

Glory: I love that, Joanne. What is the ... And I'll ask our viewers today, what is maybe one thing that you do for yourself for that, that relaxation, that time of me time? I'm curious to see what is one thing that you do that is about you? For some it may be going for a mani pedi, for some it might be reading a book. For some it might be going to a masterclass and connecting with other people. For some it might be taking a nap. But I think we all have things that are just for us and it's so important to do that. You know, one of the things that I'm going to share, not today but in an upcoming episode is I'm going to share the personal circle of fifths. So you'll have to keep an eye out for that. It's very, very good. I actually learned it from another course that I was taking and you know when I learned something I want to share so that it'll save you time. But it's really important to rejuvenate and take that one thing. So let's see who wants to engage in something for their selves.

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Glory: I'm going to ask, Sheena, what is it that you do for yourself? Great conversation. Hey Jim. So Christopher has a comment here, he says, "Naps? Even an energizer bunny needs to recharge from time to time. Too busy, as Snoopy said, sleeping is busy." And I think that's pretty cute because sometimes we have to say, "Oh, I'm busy." We don't have to tell anyone. We're just going to go take a nap. So it's a good one.

Glory: So Joanne, we need to take a look back. As teachers, what's the one tip that you can share on how we can move forward with our studio business plans to achieve our goal?

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Joanne: Well for me the biggest movement forward was going to groups. Like I said, I finished last night, I have one hour on Monday for my exam students. Teaching group lessons has enabled me to condense things down. They get group lessons and private lessons in my studio, a combination. So it's a bit of a scheduling nightmare. I think what we have to do is look at who your client is. Remember when Mcdonald's had pizza? That didn't last long, did it? Because they looked at who their clients were. We are business people and we are piano teachers and we are lovers of music. And somehow we have to bring that together.

Joanne: Quite honestly, I've been very worried lately about the future of piano lessons. If so many people are so busy and don't have time, different places have cheer and band and I've heard people in the southern states talk about marching band practices, here it's hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey. So how do we adapt if we're going to stay viable and be able to still spread our love of music? Music's got to stay alive, it's in our world. So how do we adapt our studio to fit the needs of our community and yet still satisfy ... there are going to be those students, right, who rise up and continue on.

Joanne: But if we want to make a living doing this, we have to be realistic about how to bring that all together and look at the people we are serving. And that's worked well for me. I've got like three open spots for the following classes and then I'm going to actually say no. I'm not good at that, to students. I'm not good at turning people down. But this year I'm saying, "No, schedule's full." And that's a nice place to be in. Look at who you're teaching, look at who you want to teach and see how you can marry that together and still make a living at it. Because this is a great job and kids, they give us some challenges some days but they give us a lot of joy too, don't they?

Glory: Absolutely. And I think one of the wonderful things that you do, Joanne, is that obviously you've created your own program for teaching groups. But I think it's the comradery. I sometimes find too, even in my theory club classes, that when you're teaching in a group where you have a get together, that sometimes they're more inclined to actually show up because they're part of a community. They don't want to miss anything, they don't want to get behind. And I think in sharing your scheduling too, I found that sometimes when my students say, "Oh, I didn't get to practice this week." I say, "Well can you show me your schedule?" And I look at it and you're right, it's completely full. So when are you going to practice? Let's put that into your schedule so that every day it's there, it's there, it's there, it's there.

Glory: And I think that when you're providing those tips and tricks for your students, they're going to be more successful too. I wanted to mention too that we are doing a live webinar next week and I don't want you to miss it. So simply put the word key into the chat box here and we will make sure that you get all the information on the upcoming webinar, The Three Master Keys for teaching more effectively, for teaching group classes, how you're going to make more money and just a lot of other bonuses that we have in there.

Joanne: What about this?

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Glory: Oh, oh yeah. Joanne has a present for you today, I almost forgot. Thank you.

Joanne: No problem.

Glory: Oh, Christopher has a little question. Thank you. Sarah says key. Christopher said, "Does every one of your students take both private and group theory classes? Can you elaborate on how you do that with your groups?"

Joanne: What I do is I have the 27 weeks of classes and you see these little spots here. These are rotating private lessons. So each child gets a set number of what I call Solo Lessons. See this? There they are. Spreadsheet, spreadsheet, spreadsheet. Each child gets a set number of private lessons with me. It was about 120 minutes this year broken up depending on how when they could come. So I'm still getting paid for those lessons, so I'm actually making more than 27 weeks. It's between 32 and 36 weeks. I get paid for and it was a bit of a scheduling dance at first to get used to it. But it's the best combination of both things.

Joanne: The other big thing I find with teaching group, if one doesn't show up, you still keep going. You're not sitting there for half an hour waiting. And they get it. I have a lot less people asking for refunds if they miss a lesson. Because it's kind of like every other group activity they're attending. So if you want some tips on that I'd be happy to share. It's not rocket science, it's just something that's worked for me really well for the last several years.

Glory: That would be fantastic. I loved how, and of course I've seen so many of your videos and games and Joanne Barker who is also our Ultimate Music Theory game designer. She's an Ultimate Music Theory teacher. She's a super successful teacher in her own right with her group classes. And I think sometimes we just have to be open to thinking about things differently. So if you're going to be teaching group piano, and of course I've taught that for many years when I was teaching music for young children, but it is a success and it doesn't matter if you're teaching, if you're doing level 3 or you're doing level 4. One of the questions one of the teachers asked here in the chat box was, "Do you incorporate theory into that one hour group lesson or do you have a separate time, like this is theory club time and this is piano time. Can you just elaborate on on how you do that one?"

Joanne: I incorporate it into almost every single lesson and some weeks they beg me just to do the theory. Because they love their theory books. What I find with my families here, to have them come another time, an extra time, they've got to go to hockey that got to go to Taekwondo, they've got power skating, dad's got to play volleyball. I keep it tight and I keep it together. I am doing composition classes in the fall so they're going to have a double class and I'll be scheduling those. They love composing. It's just so much fun. And I use the techniques in your books there. It's fabulous stuff and get some great music made. It's a lot of fun.

Glory: It's interesting, you gave me an idea and now that I'm thinking about what you just said, I'm going to actually use that next year for my recital because I do composing with my students as well. But I think next year in addition to playing their piece for the recital, I think I'll also have them play their own composition because then they get to kind of really ... I think they work a little harder when they know they're going to be performing their own composition. I think they're going to have a lot of fun with that so it'll be great.

Joanne: The recital should be all Halloween music because the composition classes will be around Halloween and that's probably what they'll write.

Glory: Oh yes. Well I'm going to do mine through the whole year so that they don't do Halloween in May.

Joanne: That would be good.

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Glory: I wanted to make sure that everyone has a chance to get this wonderful gift that Joanna's created for us as she's done a game for us. I think it's called the Technique Toss.

Joanne: Technique Toss. This is level one conservatory, you go around the game board. It has a F major scale left hand. It's like. "Ooh, it's a game. Go play." Kids love anything with the dice. And I don't use separate individual players. We use one because we're a team in our classes. So we use one marker and they get to take turns so if there's four kids, each kid would do it once and yeah, whatever, take turns. Yay team.

Glory: Yay. We can also play that with our students when we're teaching private because I teach private. And I think how fun is that when you have a student coming in and you go, "Guess what? We're going to play a game today." And they kind of sit up a little taller and say, "Really?" Especially this time of year when there's a lot of sports activities that are starting and their schedules are getting even busier. So it's an opportunity for them to have some fun.

Joanne: My students laugh, we call it a test. "We're going to do a test." They said, "No, it's a game," I said, "No, it's a test."

Joanne: But this is definitely well suited, any of the games are really well suited to individual lessons as well. The student would just ... It's a nice randomized way of checking your technique on this one.

Glory: Yes. You need to enter the word key in the chat box and we'll come back in after the show and send you that direct link where you can download the game and use it in your class. So stay tuned for that. We didn't have that prepared right at this moment, but it will be in there. So make sure to check your inbox.

Joanne: You've got to love first-world problems when the internet goes out.

Glory: Yes, that's true. Well I want to say a big thank you to Joanne. I really appreciate you being here today. And of course creating the amazing Ultimate Music Theory games and sharing all of your great teaching tips and kind of making us think outside the box as to other ways that we can maybe grow our studio financially by teaching more group classes and of course big time savers there, how we can get started in watching the videos, making sure to set time for our own professional development, but also setting time for the what do I want to do right now, whether it's taking a nap or reading a book or whatever is your way of rejuvenating.

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

Glory: And so I want to say a big thank you for that. Make sure you get registered. It is live. We have six live webinars that we're doing next week, Wednesday, May the 8th and Thursday, May the 9th, I think I'm doing four live webinars, so that'll really be a busy day. So in closing, I just want to say a big thanks to Joanne and I'm so looking forward to playing that game with my students. They're probably going, "Yay, we get to play a game this week," so that'll be super fun and I want to give a shout out to all of our peeps who have been putting in some comments here. Susan says, "Hello," Jenny says "Love your enthusiasm." That's great. In closing, Joanne, do you mind if we share a bit of your journey?

Joanne: Oh, okay. The little thing that happened after the live training course I took with you. I took a Certification Course in 2012 in the end of July and on the Friday before Labor Day I found a lump in my breast when I was going for my mammogram and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Totally lost all this lovely stuff and I was completely bald and it's been a real challenge since then, I'd just had three major knee surgeries a couple of years prior to that. So it's been a real challenge. The wonderful thing about it is having this resource to help me through that. I kept teaching. I got the diagnosis the Friday before I started teaching that year and I plugged through it, thank God for my students, thank God for the families who supported me and for great friends like Glory who from afar was reaching out with hugs all the time and in great support and believing in me.

Joanne: So it's been a challenge and a little fender bender six weeks ago that sets me back and I've got arthritis and braces everywhere and ... We keep on going because life's about life's about challenges and life's about finding the joy in every minute and there's a lot of joy to be found, just some days it's a little buried. So look for that joy in your life and Glory, let me just say as as one of your faithful teachers who's done the course, thank you for investing in us because without you we wouldn't have these resources, without your vision and your love and your passion for theory and for helping other teachers develop themselves, we wouldn't be where we are. So thank you for believing in us too, because it's such a huge help and you've touched my heart so deeply. I hug you from afar, and I hope to get to Manitoba to see you again someday.

Joanne: Yeah, for sure it's happening, Joann, thank you so much. Thank you for sharing your story and all your great tips and the joy that you have brought us today. Thank you for that.

Glory: You're welcome. Thank you.

Joanne: Yeah. See you next time.

Joanne Barker Music Theory Teacher Training

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