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Friday, August 29, 2014

Mason Jar Melodies

 One of the biggest hits at our piano camp was the Mason Jar Melodies, a fun idea I found on pinterest.  Before camp I "tuned" the jars to match the pitches of the first six notes of a major scale by adding the perfect amount of water.

1.  Discovering Pitch - I set the jars randomly on the counter, removed the lids and had students "test" two jars  with a plastic spoon to determine which was higher or lower.  They gradually sorted all of the jars until they formed a pentascale +1.  The girls thought it was neat that I had colored them in rainbow order.


2.  Next we played a game of Name that Tune" as students took turns playing the beginning measures of familiar pieces I had written using color coded notes.  Since my campers had varying levels of experience, it was nice that even beginners had the chance to make music and apply their understanding of rhythm values we had reviewed earlier.

For some odd reason, one of the jars was dysfunctional on the day of camp, but it worked fine the day before and the day after???  But, things still worked out as some of the more experienced students just sang the tone of the "bad jar" so they could still decipher the melodies.

Friday, August 8, 2014

DIY Piano Pencil Bag Tutorial

My daughter and I are prepping for Music Camp next week.  She helped me make these easy pouches for our campers to store their take home games and activities.

 I love how simple and inexpensive this was to make. It could also be a great addition to students piano binders where they can store flashcards, take home games, or maybe even serve as an erasable white board.
What you need:
Zippered Pencil Pouch
Electrical Tape
Sharpie
Scissors
Ruler
3x5 card
Because the actual size of the window of my pouch was about the size of an octave on my piano, I just used the cardboard insert to "make a pattern" for my keys, instead of actually measuring.  I placed the cardstock over my piano keys and made small snips with scissors in between each key. Then I centered the "pattern" in the pouch and lined up the 3x5 card along the "snips" to draw straight lines across the window.   I love how forgiving the electrical tape is, but I thought some of the fun colors and patterns of duct tape could also make a fun variation for the piano keys.