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.

decide now

 

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!

IMG_0677

 

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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September Piano News and Important Dates ~ 2017 Edition

Hello Everyone!

Well the weather as well as the dates seem to be telling us that fall is here!  We had a whirlwind of first lessons last week but we are settling in well this week and it’s been so exciting and encouraging to see that practice that has already begun and the piano pieces that are already starting to take shape!

In this newsletter I want to share a little bit about some important dates coming up as well as a resource or two you might find helpful as we head into this year and some other info!

POLICIES SHEET

I’ll start with saying that I did try to send home a policies sheets with each student but in case I missed you, I have just emailed a copy (or you can pick one up off of the music stand by the practice tree).  For those of you that have been taking lessons here a year or more, there’s really no change to the policies but I did add a little bit of helpful information to you as well as some suggested practice guidelines so it’s worth the read through.  I also added a place to sign and am asking that signed copies be turned in so I know you are familiar with everything on the sheet.  You will have the document attached to the email as your copy. 😊

CHRISTMAS RECITAL (New location!!)

I’ll put this next on the list as many of you have been asking about this already as you plan vacations, get-togethers and juggle other holiday events.  I had a tentative date on the website calendar and that has all been updated now.  The date remains the same but the LOCATION HAS CHANGED!  We have a new location for our recital this year just up the road from my studio.  This will be a big change for some of you who have been with me for a while but I think it will provide a nice central location for those coming from either east or west.  The recital will take place at Bethel Community Church, 14204 25 street on Friday, December 15th at 6:30pm.  Our theme is Cookies and Carols and we will enjoy a time of sharing refreshments after our program.  More details will come as we get closer to the date, but for now you can mark your calendars with the date, time and location!

THANKSGIVING MASTER CLASSES

We will have our first all studio master class the week following Thanksgiving, October 10-13.  Many of you are old hats at master class week, but some of you are new and I’ve had a chance to tell you a bit about it and look forward to sharing it with our new students.  Just to re-iterate, during master class week, there are NO regular classes or lessons.  Instead we have all-studio master classes for all ages and levels.  It’s a chance for the students to build community, learn about composers, and have a small scale performance opportunity making recital time much more comfortable.  It’s also unparented and give the MYC parents a week off of helping in class.  More information including the exact master class times including a link to a sign up sheet will come out by the end of the month.  If you’re new and would like to see what a master class looks like in my studio of enthusiastic musicians, check out this link and scroll on down.  I’ve not been organized enough to post them all but there are several there to take a little peek at:  https://mmmusicstudio.com/category/master-classes-2/page/2/

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES

The best thing we can possibly do for our students is to support their practicing in any and every way we can!  Practice is the key to making progress and progress is the key to feel successful and joyful about piano.  I’ve shared both on my website and facebook page some ideas for creating a “practice nest”.  If you missed it, you can find it here:

Creating a Practice Nest

Another great resource is this book by Tracey Selle:  http://amzn.to/2yqsLwe   It’s called 101 Piano Practice Tips and is full of refreshing ideas whether you are new or you’ve been at this a while.

Another recommended (and easy as well as entertaining) read, especially for those with teens or pre-teens, is Coffee With Ray:  http://amzn.to/2jLkcsL

That should give you enough for now!  You can always the newsletters on this website where you can even subscribe to email updates every time something is added to the website.  You can find the studio Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mmmusicstudio

Enjoy a warm and cozy rest of the week!  Looking forward to a fantastic year!

 

 

 

*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.

Back to School, Back to Lessons!

Happy Back to School for those of you who sent your kids off today (this is week two for us!).  We are less than a week away from our own Back to Lessons! Just a couple things to let you know this week!

Invoices/receipts were sent out last week on the 29th.  If you did not receive one by email, please check your junk mail.  I am using a new accounting system this year that automates and customizes invoices and receipts and your email may have not recognized the address origin (mailer@waveapps.com).  It will show Michelle Miller Music Studio as the sender.

Schedule and Calendar is up on this, the main website:  mmmusicstudio.com     You can bookmark this address OR I usually include it in my email signature to make it easy to find.   I am currently working on booking the Christmas recital so just know that is TENTATIVELY scheduled right now and will be confirmed hopefully very soon!  You will also find newsletters, announcements and practice tips posted there as well, so if you can’t find it by email, check out the site and it is usually posted there too!

I am off to get a little more last minute organization and re-decorating done in the studio now!  Looking forward to a wonderful new year of music making with all of you!!  See you next week!

An Apple-icious Practice Incentive!

The days feel just a bit cooler and I’m seeing apples on trees everywhere!  I think this means that our September kickoff is just around the corner and piano lessons are almost back in session!

In preparation for this, I have been working away in the studio and one of the projects I’m super excited about is a practice challenge for my entire student body.  I wanted a challenge that would work for every student, from beginner to advanced.  One that would introduce the beginners to a daily practice routine and one that would help the experienced students return to that daily practice routine.  As it’s the start of the year, I also wanted something simple so as not to be overwhelming.

Several years ago Teach Piano Today put out a fun apple-themed practice challenge, but though all the work was done for me, I wanted something a little less involved for our kickoff…and the chance to have a little fun with Canva  and some simple graphic design was an added bonus.

applechallenge

I’m really excited with how it turned out and if you’re a parent who would like a copy for your child at home or a teacher who would like to try it in your studio you can get it right here.

In keeping with the apple theme, I dug out my old “practice tree” and placed little apple name tags all over the tree with my student’s names.  Each week they complete one of the challenges, they will be able to place a sparkle apple sticker on their name.  This challenge will wrap up just in time for our Thanksgiving master classes and we will celebrate completing the challenges with an apple-y treat!

I can’t wait to show my students!

appletree