Wow, what a heat wave we have going on here!! It’s almost impossible to cool down without air conditioning. Our kids having been begging for a pool for years, but Ken has been reluctant to commit to the upkeep so they finally took matters into their own hands and saved up their money and bought a pool for our yard…one that is 18 feet wide and 4 feet deep!! I have to admit, I’m really enjoying reaping the benefits!
Last week we had our second installment of summer lessons and it was a camping theme! We had three fun camping-themed games that we used and I thought I’d share them with you, they are a lot of fun whether you are actually headed out camping or doing a little stay-cation. If you are on the go, two can be used without a piano and one could be used if you had an iPad (or just play some major or minor music from your phone or iPod).)
The three games were discovered on the Teach Piano Today website and then slightly adapted to fit our camping theme! Here they are:
- Sly As A Fox: Print the board and the game cards!
This is the story the students and I adapted into a camping theme! 😉 Along with their instructions!
One sunny morning a chicken accidentally wandered too close to a campground. Quick as a whip a sly fox who had been contemplating what to make for dinner on his crackling campfire cornered her outside his campsite. “Please!” she begged… “Don’t eat me! I have barnyards to scratch! I have eggs to warm! I have worms to chase!” The fox (whose stomach was larger than his heart) was just about to toss her into his cooking pot when he remembered something. You see, this fox played the piano and he had some theory homework to hand in the next day. Naming bass clef notes had always been his weakness and this week’s assignment had been a bass clef doozy. “Do you read music?” He asked the bewildered chicken. “Of course!” She clucked, “I used to sing in the Barnyard Chorus!” “I’ll make you a deal” said the fox. “If you can correct my theory homework, I’ll let you go.” The chicken stared wide-eyed at the fox, “Okay! I’ll do anything!” The fox licked his lips as he put his paw around the chicken’s quivering back. “But if my theory homework comes back too many mistakes… you’ll be tomorrow’s soup!”
Game Play: Put the cards face down in a stack. Put the game board in front of both of you. Your child is the chicken. Have her flip over cards one at a time and decide whether the named note on the card is “true” or “false” as fast as she can. The teacher keeps track of her correct incorrect answers by placing the card on the “correct” or the “uh oh!” game board. Tally her results once the card pack is finished. Do the correct cards outnumber the “uh oh’s?”…Is she free… or is she soup?
2. Serving Up Steps and Skips
Pretend you are camping and it’s breakfast time!! Let’s flip some eggs!
Instructions from Teach Piano Today: “This activity is a simple sorting game that reinforces your child’s ability to identify notes that step, notes that skip, and notes that repeat.To begin, give your child a flipper and have him sit in front of the frying pan. Instruct your piano student to use the flipper to turn over any two eggs. When the notes on the two eggs have been revealed, ask your student to compare the two notes and determine if they represent repeating notes, stepping notes or skipping notes (they can use a keyboard, tinsheet or iPad keyboard to help them if they like. Once identified, have your student place the two eggs onto the corresponding plate.
Your child can continue playing until all 6 eggs are removed from the frying pan and placed onto an appropriate plate (note: some plates may be left empty). When all eggs have been served, mix them up, place them in the frying pan and play again!”
3. Smore’s Chords (another great idea that I am sure I found on Teach Piano Today but for the life of me can’t recall so here is how I used it)
This is an ear training game. Give you child the ingredient to a smore: 2 graham crackers, a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow. THen play major or minor chords or melodies or youtube snippets and if they hear major they will build a smore with only the marshmallow, if they hear a minor they will add the chocolate for that dark delicious sound! 😉
We actually did just get back from camping the week before this lesson! One of my favorite things to do while camping after a long day of hiking is sit by the fire and read. I like a variety of summer reading…from Dean Koontz mysteries to inspirational books that help me learn and grow as a teacher or parent. I have a couple of great suggestions for you as piano parents if you’d like to get some refreshing ideas for the fall…or to use this summer. One is written as a story and is such an easy ready and the other is helpful tips….but again a quick and easy read!!
The first one is called Coffee With Ray by Nick Ambrosino, an inspirational novel about a teacher who inspires his students to be independent learners.
The second one is 101 Piano Practice Tips by Tracy Selle. It’s a goldmine of upbeat and creative ways to get your student to the piano!! Use the ideas for the summer or lock them away for the best year of practicing yet starting this fall!!
I hope you enjoy the free games as well as the books! If you think your student would love a fun and motivating summer lesson (and enjoy some time out of the heat in a nice cool studio), our third and final installment of summer lessons is next week and the theme is “Roadtrip”. Email for more details!
In the meantime, enjoy the weather!!
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