One of my favorite mid-lesson monotony breakers is the bucket of boomwhackers I keep in my studio. Whoever invented those things was truly genius! They’re a fantastic way to work off some energy or “beat” out a little piano-induced frustration. They’re also a great way to make flash card drills a LOT more fun for students.
A while ago, I created some jumbo-sized flashcards to use in games and “moving” flashcard challenges. Each one prints to a full-size 8 1/2 by 11 page. (You can download the cards here) I’ll pick out a set of cards I want a student to work on, and a boomwhacker to match each note. We line up the boomwhackers from lowest to highest, and students “answer” each flashcard I hold up by picking up the matching boomwhacker and “whacking” it once on the floor.
For an extra fun twist (or for a student who REALLY can’t sit still that day), I’ll stand on one end of the room with the boomwhackers in front of me. The student starts on the opposite end of the room, and now has to run down to the lineup of boomwhackers, grab and “whack” an answer to each card I hold up, then run back. (This is where the extra-large flashcards come in handy.)
I’ve also used this activity in group lessons. We’ll divide into two teams with the boomwhackers in the middle of the room and let one student from each team race to grab the correct answer.
(Note: Boomwhackers are available through many music stores and a variety of online retailers if you don’t already have a set. All you’ll need for this activity is a basic diatonic set.)