Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Teaching Theme for 2011-12

Ahoy Mateys!  For the first time I am going to attempt a piano theme for the year.  Many other teachers center their teaching around a theme for the year to promote excitement and incentives for the year.  After working this year in a Music Camp where I used a pirate theme, I decided to take that theme and run with it.  So the theme for my studio for 2011-12 is


                                       Hidden Treasures!

I am already thinking of games and activities around the theme, but the first thing I wanted to do was make an incentive chart for the students using none other than a Treasure Map!  The students are going to collect jewels (inexpensive beads) to spend in the Treasure Chest and they can chart their progress on the map.

The map could be used in a variety of ways:
1. Mark off a dot for each goal reached
2. Mark off a dot for each piece (measures) memorized
3. Mark off a dot for each new technique mastered
4. Combination of any or all
5. Other incentives for the year

Each time the student meets a special symbol on the map (ship, pirate or treasure chest) they are promoted to a new position on the ship.

I am throwing around the idea of collecting a different pirate goodie each time they reach a symbol on the map.  I am either going with pirate silly bands or rubber duckies that look like pirates.  This would be in addition to the jewels they get to spend in the treasure chest.

I haven't worked out all the details, but I think they will need 5 jewels to cross off each dot on the map. Any ideas you guys have are more than appreciated!

Here is a look at the treasure map if you are interested in sailing the high seas with me:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rhythm Blocks: Level Two

Rhythm Blocks have been a big hit in my studio!  I have added level two for some more complex rhythms.



We have been building rhythms with blocks based on the time signature.  One added benefit in using the blocks is they transfer well from the floor to the keyboard.  My students can make a rhythm on the floor and then take there blocks to the keyboard to play them using notes or chords.  This has been a great hands on activity.

For more ideas see Rhythm Blocks Level One

Google Docs: Rhythm Blocks: Level Two

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