Rhythm and Dynamic Fun! October 2017 Master Classes

This week we are taking a break from our regularly scheduled private lessons and MYC classes (we do this about 5 times a year) and enjoying our first Master Class group sessions of the year!  And what fun we are having!

1. Icebreaker:  each student introduces themselves and say their favorite Thanksgiving treat

2. Piano Charades:  I used the Decide Now App to create our own little Wheel of Fortune of Musical Terms to review/introduce and then we played the game like this:

A) First I called out the words such as: piano, forte, fermata, ritardando, presto, largo, etc. and asked students to act them out physically.  For example: piano could be walking on tip toes while ritardando could be jogging in place and gradually slowing down the pace–like a train approaching a station.

B) After all terms were physically re-enacted I had each student come up to the piano one at a time to play their solo piece OR to play one phrase of a well-prepared piece as the composer intended.

C) Then after that the performer had to spin the wheel featuring all the terms just reviewed without letting the others see where the Wheel-of-Fortune-like spinner stops.

D) The pianist at the bench then played the same phrase but this time changed the performance to “portray” the term.

E) The audience had to guess the word and if they did, everyone got a treat as the performer was successful in communicating the music term through a performance and the audience demonstrated excellent listening skills.

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3. Rhythm Cups and Bucket Drumming:  I chose a rhythm to put to Cups or Buckets.  One they had mastered the rhythm and where to put it on the Cups and Buckets we added in some suspenseful music….In the Hall of the Mountain King!

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4. Notespeed Game:  This is a super fun new card game I found by Tara Cunningham that is very reminiscent of Dutch Blitz.  Tara has her students play it as a 2 player games but I divided the students into groups of 4 kids more like Dutch Blitz.  It was a HUGE hit among all the students and if you are looking for a fun and educational Christms gift or stocking stuffer that would help to foster great note reading skills you can find the game here: http://amzn.to/2xR9t6p

 

I had a bonus activity from Teach Piano Today up my sleeve just in these activities didn’t fill the time but I didn’t need it at all for classes this week but I’ll be saving it for the next class for sure:

Rhythm Telephone:

Instruct piano students to sit in a row, one behind the other, with their eyes closed. The oldest student should be at the back of the line. Your row can have as few as 5 students or as many as 20!

How To Play:

  1. To begin, show a two-measure rhythm to the oldest piano student (who is allowed to open her eyes) at the back of the line. (For example “quarter, quarter, half, half, quarter, quarter”).
  2. Next, instruct the oldest student who was shown the rhythm to tap this rhythm onto the back of the student sitting in front of her. This student then taps the rhythm onto the back of the next student.
  3. The chain of tapping continues until it reaches the final student, who then leaps up and writes the rhythm on a white board or poster paper.
  4. Next, reveal to your students the original rhythm. Did they pass it along correctly or did the rhythm get morphed somewhere down the line?
  5. Each time the group is correct, score one point for the kids. Each time the group is wrong, score one point for yourself (the teacher).
  6. Continue the activity with increasingly difficult rhythms.

 

 

 

 

***This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that by clicking on a link and making a purchase I may receive a small commission. You will never be charged extra for this.

 

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Seeking enthusiastic, energetic and adventurous children…do you know one?

Each year, I open up registration for 6 beginner piano students (ages 4-7) and parents looking for piano lessons that are creative, inspiring and fun AND 6 preschoolers (ages 2-4) who want to explore music and rhythm instruments with expression and energy while learning all about the foundations of music.  If you have a child between the ages of 2 and 7, then you will find the perfect fit in one of these programs.  The Sunbeams 1 beginner piano class will take place on Mondays from 4:30-5:30pm and the preschool music class will take place on Thursdays at 12:45pm.  Contact mmmusicstudio@hotmail.com and join the excitement! Space is limited and classes fill quickly.

Our Epic Olympic Master Class Wrap Up

Every four years it gets pretty loud and rowdy in our house. Okay, it’s like that everyday…but even more so every fourth February. We just LOVE the Winter Olympics!! Well, we love the Summer Olympics, too…but nothing seems to help winter pass by quite so quickly as spending the dark, cold evenings cuddled up on the sofa eating popcorn and watch amazing athletes battle it out in the snow and on the ice!

It’s also been a pretty exciting past few weeks in our music studio as we’ve been having our own version of the Olympics: our first ever Piano Olympics! Over the last few weeks, students have been completing certain piano related events and going for the gold as well. This week we wrapped up our Olympics with a “Closing Ceremony Master Class”. And just what did we do at our master classes this week? Well, allow us to show you!

1. We began our master class with a game. I didn’t really have a name for this game. Some students called it “Headbandz” (sans the headband) and others called it “Who Am I?”. Basically, students partnered up and each one had a music rhythm on their post-it which was stuck to their head and they had to get using yes or no questions. IE “Does my note get 1 beat?” etc. This was a nice way to re-connect and war up to each other since some of the students had seen each other since the Christmas Recital.
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2. Then I had students share their favorite event from the Winter Olympics and their favorite event from our Piano Olympics.
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3. We listened to Olympic Fanfare by John Williams and answered a few questions. Then we discussed who John Williams is, what the piece was composed for (uh, the Olympics, of course!) and the form of the piece.
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4. Then we had “solotime”. Each student played a piece they had prepared over the last couple of weeks. For some it was a composition of their very own, some it was the Chariots of Fire leadsheet they’d worked on and for others it was our national anthem, O Canada. We enjoyed each and every piece together and the students gained more valuable performing experience!
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5. We played a rousing game of Wintervals (interval naming) and Rhythmic Hopscotch
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6. And finally the moment, everyone had been waiting for: The Medal Presentation (and a treat!)
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This created a LOT of excitement:
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Others were a little more laid back about it all, like our Bronze medalist, Grace:
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And Kiara and Mytchal:
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Jack had to check and see if his was real gold! 😉
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All in all the last few weeks have been a rousing success! Looking forward to doing it all again in 2018!

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Master Classes and Merry Christmas

Christmas break is here! We’ve had so much fun this week in our master classes and are now officially finished until January 6th!

We started each master class with a short Christmas carol sing (this was the students’ idea!)

Then we spent part of our class composing. The older students were able to review what a motive was (a musical idea) while the new students got their first taste of composing…a great jump-start to our January composition spree!

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The students were also given a Christmas fun handout I received as a gift from Teach Piano Today, designed to keep them playing the piano over the break–not practicing–just playing! 😉 If you missed the master class due to illness or otherwise but would still like the handouts to try out over the break, please let me know! You are welcome to come by and pick them up.

We had solo time, of course, and then played a rousing game of Stinky Stocking with a musical theme that involved sight reading, ear training and musical charades! The students just loved this game and I was so glad I purchased it from composecreate.com. We also chose gifts from the Food for the Hungry catalogue. Thanks to 10,000 minutes of practice and extra pledges, the students raised $295 in just three weeks!

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The students practiced over 10,000 minutes during the three weeks prior to recital. They were practicing for pennies in order to raise funds for Food for the Hungry. I sponsored each child at one penny per minute but thanks to extra pledges from Brennan, Rowan, Hope, Patience and Caleb, we raised $295!!! So, each master class got to spend a few minutes choosing and voting on gifts to send from the Food for the Hungry gift magazine. What fun we had choosing chickens, fruit trees, school supplies, sports equipment, art supplies and clothing to send!

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We also had a peek at the final installments of the December Videos of the Month! And we took our practice snowflakes off the tree to take home…hopefully they will be a reminder of all the hard work that has been accomplished over the last several weeks!
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I was overwhelmed with love and gifts and thank you all for the beautiful treasures and delicious treats! I hope you all enjoy a well-deserved Christmas break filled with love and family! I am looking forward to it myself but I also look forward to seeing you all back here again in 2014!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas with Mr. Bach ~ December Master Classes

Just a quick reminder:
The last week of school this year is December 17-21 and full of school Christmas concerts and so traditionally we have special themed group lessons (master classes) that week with many flexible times to choose from and sign up for. During that week of December, regular lessons and classes will be cancelled and instead I will have special group lessons offered on various days at various times so that you can choose which hour works best in your schedule for that particular week. These special Master Classes are for ALL the piano students whether they are in Sunshine, Sunbeams, Moonbeams or Private Lessons. They are UN-PARENTED and mixed ages and levels and give the students an fun opportunity to get to know other students as well as giving our faithful parents an hour or so to themselves during the busy Christmas season to grab a coffee or do some last minute shopping. Classes usually last about 60-75 minutes and can accommodate roughly 10 students per class. I will be sending out the exact days and times to choose from in another week.
The theme of this year’s December group lesson will be: “Christmas at Mr. Bach’s House”. The students will be getting a fun dose of music history while learning about the life and music of Johann Sebastian Bach, listening to some of his creations and finding out what Christmas might have looked like at his house. A little fact sheet about Mr. Bach will be sent home to read over with your child to prepare them for some of the activities and since Mr. Bach loved having music played at his house, I will be asking them to prepare a SOLO piece to play for their group…it can be different from their recital piece or the same, whatever they would prefer.