Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bass Clef Lines: Hear See and Feel the Fun


A myriad of mnemonic devices are used to help music students learn their note names.  As a child I learned my bass lines with "Good Boys Deserve Fudge Always" but the "Every Good Boy Does Fine" was a little too close and I sometimes mixed them up.
As a teacher I prefer methods that "cut out the middleman" of mnemonics and actually use music to teach music just like I learned me ABCs :)! For that reason, I love the My First Piano Adventures repetitious song lyrics about the Grand Staff "G, B, D, F top line A" that actually uses the pitches of GBD and F ascending upwards just like the notes on the staff.  For younger students the associations of beginning letter sounds may not be as solid and the time it takes for them to think of beginning sound of each mnemonic word is just too time consuming for efficient note reading.
To add to the fun and the learning we add a topsy turvy version of Head Shoulders Knees and Toes and have the students move up their body to match the letter names of the staff.
G-Toes, B-Knees, D-Waist, F-Shoulders, A- Head.
Even older beginners can benefit from the mental connections that this movement activity creates.  I have them use Susan Paradis's GBDFA song.  As they follow the written notes on the staff and sing the words the connection between ascending pitches, upward body movement and the letter name chant really solidifies the concept for them.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tempo Piano Theory Poster

At a recent group lesson we revisited making theory posters and it was a favorite activity for several of the girls. I loved these animal tempo representations drawn by one of my students!  I cut them up for future use at lessons.  Instead of mood cards, they can also pick tempo cards and see how well they have really mastered their pieces! Its surprising how for some playing Largo can seem a real challenge. Other students made posters to represent dynamics, articulations, pitches (treble/bass) and you view some other ideas on my previous post about theory posters.