One of my favorite parts of being a piano teacher is having my students come together for group lessons to play games and have the chance to perform regularly for each other. Rather than reinventing the wheel each month I have found a galore of fun free activities online and usually add a few of my own to the mix. This month's main focus was on rhythm and note reading with some key signatures for more advanced students.
To start out the Christmas group lesson, as students arrived they completed a note-naming worksheet found on Susan Paradis that was suitable for their level. The Name the Ornaments is perfect for a very early beginner. Even if they haven't learned all the note names on the staff they can still add letter names by starting with Low Bass G (the ground) and then write the music alphabet going up the staff. Mixed Up Ornaments is a just a bit harder because the ornaments aren't in stepping order but it was perfect for my students who are just learning staff notes but understand the concept of stepping letters on the staff well. I used the Draw the Ornaments worksheet for students who have learned all of the notes on the grand staff.
Once they finished their worksheet they chose a song from my Christmas Rhythm Unscramble from Layton Music with some students choosing a partner to work with if desired. Then we sang Christmas carols together while clapping the rhythms they had sorted to check their work.
They were eager to perform their songs for each other and drew key signature ornaments (from Layton Music's Swat the Ornaments Game) and counted the # of sharps to determine the order of their performances.
After a quick round of Practice Card Bingo from the Playful Piano we ended with students playing Layton Music's Christmas Tree Folder Game in small groups to review key signatures, piano key names and letter names on the staff in a playful way.