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.
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!
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:
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:
- 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”).
- 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.
- 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.
- Next, reveal to your students the original rhythm. Did they pass it along correctly or did the rhythm get morphed somewhere down the line?
- 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).
- Continue the activity with increasingly difficult rhythms.
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