Monday, November 29, 2010

Practice Trick

Students get bored quickly when they have to repeat a passage over and over.  Making a game out of repeating patterns helps students become engaged and motivated to repeat with purpose.

One thing I like to do is have a object that climbs up the piano as the student repeats the pattern correctly. The item then climbs down the piano for more repeats.

The item can be a eraser, a little toy or anything fun!  I like to use things that relate to the season or song we are studying.  So the "Easter Bunny" may hop up the piano, or for the "The Bear"by Rebikoff you could have a bear climb the piano.  

Some kids love certain sports team, so I could use a little token that represents the sport team.  It could be a magnet, or something you printed out and adhered it to a block or piece of foam.  Imagine the mascot moving up the piano.  It starts on the bench, then on the keys, then moves up to the music rack, then finally is on the the top of the piano.  If more repeats are needed, the item can move down again.  It really helps make practice fun!  See pictures below for how I used this to pracitce for our Christmas Recital.




Monday, November 22, 2010

Jenga

     Recently I used the game Jenga for a group lesson.  It is a really fun game that the kids love to play.  I got the idea from a post on the Piano Club page.  I bought a Jenga off brand game ($4.99) and decided to go with the colored blocks.  My Jenga game has yellow, blue and red blocks.  I took a sharpie and used all the yellow blocks for rhythms.  I wrote an easy rhythm on one side and a more challenging rhythm on the other side.  the red blocks were use for notes on one side and chords on the other.  The blue blocks were used for symbols.  The blue blocks made it hard to see the symbol, but not impossible.

Another idea for levels is to buy the plain wooden blocks and use different colored sharpies for each level.  This could still work for multi level play. For example, if the player who is at level one picks a level three than the closet player to them that is level three must complete the task.

The directions are below.

Jenga Directions

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Alphabet Cards

Here are some alphabet cards to print out on card stock.  You can print them out on some different colored card stock and have multiple sets.  I use my cards for many, many games.  I included some blank ones in case you want to add sharps or flats.

Alphabet Cards Google Docs
Alphabet Cards

Friday, November 19, 2010

Group Lesson Thanksgiving Style

We had a great time at group lessons this past week.  I decided to review the games we had played recently which included Jenga, Uno, Tough Turkey and Eight is Enough in a Station format.  I have included the directions to these games below.  I go over the rules of the game and at each station there are directions for the students if they need help.  I plan on posting more about Jenga later so stay tuned.

I had a multi level group, so I had to modify some of the games to accommodate the different levels.  I have some students in the "My First Piano Adventure" by Faber and Faber so they haven't learned any notes on the staff so here are the modification I made.

For Eight is Enough, I had them make stacks of Alphabet Cards.
For Uno, we matched the bass and treble clefs using line and space notes.

We had a lot of fun as you can see in the pictures below.

Some other fun Thanksgiving games you can play are

Pilgrim, Pilgrim, Turkey:  Played just like "Duck, Duck, Goose"  I have my students keep a rhythm pattern going as the player goes around the circle saying "Pilgrim, Pilgrim, Turkey"  Whoever is touched on the head when the player says "Turkey" chases that player around the circle trying to tag them.  If the player gets back to his/her seat in before being tagged, they win.

Turkey Rhythm: You can use Thanksgiving words to say simple rhythm cards.


Pass the Turkey: If you have a stuffed turkey or a foam turkey (found at most craft stores) you can play pass the turkey.  Students pass the turkey saying the alphabet, intervals and or chords.  You pick a alphabet letter to start on and the students pass around the turkey going through the chord, alphabet or interval.  Try going backwards.  You could also recite the lines of the bass clef, the flat order, etc . .





Tough Turkey Directions

UNO Directions

Eight is Enough Directions

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tough Turkey Scales

This is a fun activity where student write the name of the scale on the turkey's feathers.  I laminated my cards and students wrote on them.  You could also stick them in a sheet protector and have students write on them with a dry erase marker.  Another option is to use Bingo Chips with the letters on them and have the students arrange the chips in the correct order.

I also have a Tough Turkey Worksheet that has students write the alphabet and intervals.

Tough Turkey Scales
Example of how to complete a Turkey Scale:


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tricky Turkey

These worksheets have students fixing Mr. Tricky Turkey's mistakes.  I find students love correcting things and pretending to be the teacher.

  Tricky Turkey Level 1

Tricky Turkey Level 2

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Songs

Celebrate  Sung to: The Ants go marching one by one 
The pilgrims are coming to celebrate  Hurrah Hurrah
The pilgrims are coming to celebrate Hurrah Hurrah
The pilgrims are coming so don't be late
They'll sing and dance to celebrate
And we'll all have fun so hurry and don't be late! 
The Natives are coming to share their food Hurrah Hurrah
The Native are coming to share their food Hurrah Hurrah
The natives are coming so don't be late
They'll sing and dance and celebrate
And we'll all have fun so hurry and don't be late.

Other Verses:
The children are coming to play some games
The mothers are coming to cook the food
The fathers are coming to trade their goods


Idea # 1: Choose children to represent the different people in the song and act out the story.

Idea #2: Talk about the games children might play in those times, what the fathers might trade, how the mothers cook the food.
Sail The Mayflower Sung to:  Row Row Your Boat
Sail, Sail ,Sail the Mayflower 
Gently across the sea Merrily , Merrily , Merrily 
Pilgrims now are free. 
Chop Chop Chop the wood
Put in a pile
Build a little log cabin
That will make you smile
Children find a partner and sit facing each other.  They stretch arms and hold hands with their partner as they rock back and forth to “Sail Sail”  
During “Chop Chop” they pat each others hands and then make a house by reaching their hands up and putting them together with their partners.
Another Ten little Natives
1 little, 2 little 3 little Natives,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little Natives,
7 little, 8 little 9 little Natives,
10 little Native boys and girls.

They jumped in a boat and the boat flipped over,
They jumped in a boat and the boat flipped over,
They jumped in a boat and the boat flipped over,
10 little Native boys and girls.

They swam and they swam and they swam to their mother,
They swam and they swam and they swam to their mother,
They swam and they swam and they swam to their mother,
10 little Native boys and girls.

She hugged them, kissed them, and sent them to bed,
She hugged them, kissed them, and sent them to bed,
She hugged them, kissed them, and sent them to bed,
10 little Native boys and girls. 
Idea #1: Have the children pop up while you count the Natives.  
Idea #2: Act out the songs motions.
Idea #3: Count backwards 10 little, 9 little, 8 little Natives
Turkey in the brown straw (Sung To: Skip To My Lou My Darling)
Turkey in the brown straw, Ha, ha, ha, ha
Turkey in the brown straw Ha, ha, ha, ha
Turkey in the brown straw, ha, ha, ha, ha
Turkey in the brown straw
Turkey in the white sleigh, hey, hey, hey
Turkey in the blue sky, hi, hi, hi
Turkey in the red barn, harn, harn, harn
Turkey in the yellow corn, horn, horn, horn
Turkey in the green tree, hee, hee, hee
Turkey in the purple plum, hum, hum, hum, hum
Turkey in the pink bow, ho, ho, ho
Turkey in the black show, hoo, hoo, hoo

I have the children guess what 'H' word will rhyme. 

Driver Driver
  This old road is hard and bumpy (Alternate pat on legs)
  Five fat turkeys wild and jumpy (Hold us fingers, wiggle on 'wild', hands up on       
            'jumpy')
   Driver driver not so jerky (Pretend to drive)
   Or you'll make us loose a turkey (Wag finger)
           Driver! Driver! Stop I say! (Pretend to drive, hold up hand on 'stop')
   One fat turkey got away! (Hold up number of turkey)
   Repeat each verse until just one turkey is left and say:
             Driver! Driver! stop I say!
   Let's save this turkey for Thanksgiving Day!
Idea #1: Count down from 10, taking two away each time for skip counting
Idea #2: Count down form 12 taking different amounts away each time for subtraction


Ten Days of Thanksgiving
On the first day of Thanksgiving the natives gave to me.
A pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the second day of Thanksgiving the natives gave to me
Two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.
On the third day of Thanksgiving the natives gave to me

Three Chief headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the fourth day of Thanksgiving, the natives gave to me
Four cornucopias, three Chief headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.
On the fifth day of Thanksgiving, the natives gave to me
Five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Chief headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the sixth day of Thanksgiving, the natives gave to me
Six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Chief headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the seventh day of Thanksgiving, the natives gave to me
Seven Native teepees, six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Chief headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the eighth day of Thanksgiving, the natives gave to me
Eight woven blankets, seven Native teepees, six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Chief headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the ninth day of Thanksgiving, the natives gave to me
Nine ears of corn, eight woven blankets, seven Native teepees, six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Chief headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the tenth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me.
Ten loud tom-toms,nine ears of corn, eight woven blankets, seven Native teepees, six pairs of moccasins, five bows and arrows, four cornucopias, three Chief headdresses, two turkey gobblers, and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch. 

I make up motions for each one of the days and talk about how the Native Americans used these items.


Use these pictures for "Turkey in the Brown Straw" and "Ten Days of Thanksgiving"
Turkey in the Brown Straw
Ten Days of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 8, 2010

Musical Mayflower Level Three

Here is another Thanksgiving worksheet that includes the intervals 6th, 7th and Octave.  Follow the directions to successful get the mayflower around the high seas.

Musical Mayflower Level Three

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Calendar Songs

Today is Monday (To the tune of "Frere Jacques)
Today is Monday (Today is Monday)
April 12th (April 12th)
1998 (1998)
That's the date (That's the date).
Tuesday, Tuesday(to the tune of Frere Jacques)
Tuesday, Tuesday,
Tuesday, Tuesday,
All day long, all day long,
Yesterday was Monday, tomorrow will be Wednesday,
Oh, what fun! Oh, what fun!
Sunday, Monday , Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Sunday, Monday (to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star")
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday too.
Wednesday, Thursday just for you.
Friday, Saturday that's the end .
Now let's say those days again!
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday!

Every Week has 7 days Sung to "If you're happy and you know it"
Every week has 7 days, yes it does.
Every week has 7 days, yes it does.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Every week has 7 days, yes it does. (clap, clap)
And today is (name of the day 2x), yes it is.
And today is (name of the day 2x), yes it is.
And today is (name of the day 2x)
Yes today is (name of the day 2x)
And today is (name of the day 2x) yes it is.
The Months of the Year (To the Tune of "Three Blind Mice")
January, February, March,  April, May, June.
July, August, September, October, November, December.
These are the twelve months of the year.
Now sing them together so we can all hear.
How many months are there in a year?
Twelve months in a year.
Calendar Song (To the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle")
When we do the calendar
We learn the month the date the year.
Every week day has a name
There are lots of numbers that look the same.
So let's begin to show you how
We do the calendar right now.

Today is Sunday
Today is Sunday, today is Sunday, Sunday swimming,
All you happy children we wish the best to you.
Today is Monday, today is Monday, Monday marching,
All you happy children we wish the best to you.
Today is Tuesday, today is Tuesday, Tuesday tip toe,
All you happy children we wish the best to you.
Today is Wednesday, today is Wednesday, Wednesday walking
All you happy children we wish the best to you.
Today is Thursday, today is Thursday, Thursday throwing,
All you happy children we wish the best to you.
Today is Friday, today is Friday, Friday flying,
All you happy children we wish the best to you.
Today is Saturday, today is Saturday, Saturday Sit down!
Days of the week (to the tune of "The Addams Family")
Days of the week, (snap snap)
Days of the week, (snap snap)
Days of the week,
Days of the week,
Days of the week. (snap snap)
There's Sunday and there's Monday,
There's Tuesday and there's Wednesday,
There's Thursday and there's Friday,
And then there's Saturday.
Days of the week, (snap snap)
Days of the week, (snap snap)
Days of the week,
Days of the week,
Days of the week. (snap snap)
Months of the Year (to the tune of "Ten Little Indians")
January, February, March, and April,
May, June, July, August, and September,
October, November, and December,
These are the months of the year.
Days of the Week (to the tune of "Oh My Darling Clementine")
There are seven days, there are seven days,
There are seven days in the week.
There are seven days, there are seven days,
There are seven days in the week.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Today is Song (To the tune of "Frere Jacques")
Today is _______.
Today is _______.
All day long, all day long.
Yesterday was ______.
Tomorrow will be _______.
Oh what fun!
Oh what fun!
Days of the Week Sung to: Yankee Doodle
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Don’t ask me not to sing it again
Because I’ll do it anyways
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Oh, if you know the month Sung to: If you’re happy and you know it
Oh if you know the month, shout it out
Oh if you know the day, whisper it now
Oh if you know the date clap it now
Books about the Days of the week
  1. Cookie's Week by Cindy Ward 
  2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 
  3. Today Is Monday by Eric Carle
Check out these Great Resources!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Musical Mayflower

Here is a music worksheet just in time for Thanksgiving, that helps reinforce the concept of steps, skips and intervals.  Just fill in the right letter on the ship and work your way to the end.  If you get all the correct notes, you should match up with the last letter.

Google Docs Version: Musical Mayflower
Musical Mayflower Level One

Musical Mayflower Level Two

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