Saturday, February 16, 2013

When Baby Steps are Bad - A Practical Practice Analogy

Can I start at the beginning again?  Have you ever heard this from any of your students?  Sometimes getting a fresh start can be a good thing, but too often we fall into the trap of wanting to repeat what's familiar and comfortable instead of really working on the parts that are new or challenging and it wastes so much time.  So when my son was practicing today and just wanted to keep going back to the beginning part of the song which he knows really well instead of working on new material I posed the question,

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hearing Intervals Game

Inspired by the Rhythm Magnet Game by Joy on Color in my piano I planned a fun game at our last group lesson to review identifying intervals by ear.  This is a skill that seems to come quite naturally to some students, but is a real challenge for others.

Game Prep

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Natural Minor Scale Pattern Memory Aid + Game

My students have loved playing the "Whole Step Half Step Game" posted on Susan Paradis's blog to review the major scale pattern. Her suggestion to have them say "We Were Happy When We Were Home" has been super effective in helping them remember the pattern.  So I came up with this sentence to help them remember the natural minor scale pattern as they play the game " When Harry Went West He Wore White."  To begin the game I name the tonic note (1st note of the scale) and we place our 1st markers 2 octaves apart.  

Where is One? Teaching Finger Numbers

Sing this and use the actions for "Where is Thumbkin" to help your child learn finger #s. Finger 1 is the thumb, Finger 2 is pointer, etc. Rather than making a fist and trying to hold up just one finger, have the student tap the finger named on their lap or a tabletop like they would if playing a piano key.

"Where is One, Where is One, (Hide hands behind back)
Here I am ( pull out right hand, set hands on lap in a rounded position and tap your thumb on its side tip)
Here I am (pull out left hand, ...)
How are you today sir? (Tap right thumb)
Very well I thank you (Tap left thumb)
Run away ( Hide right hand behind back)
Run away( Hide left hand behind back)

Repeat with all fingers only play on the fingertip (not the side tip).

Adding a finger puppet or this finger toy I recently found at "Dollar Tree" just adds to the fun.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fun with Hey Diddle Diddle, the D's in the Middle

Who's looking back at you?

 My little 2 yr old found this fun keyboard gameboard (from in my stash of music games and wanted me to "play piano" with her.  After finding the groups of 2 & 3 black keys, we looked for the D's.
It looks like the 2 black keys are looking back at me :)
She had fun adding "noses" on the keys as we chanted "Hey diddle diddle (play 2 black keys), the D's in the middle (play D).

This one is wearing blue eye shadow!