I decided as I was doing some lesson planning last night that it needed to be a “fun” sightreading week in my studio. Part of our weekly private lesson routine is to start each lesson with sightreading and/or technique. Many students will be arriving at lessons a little stressed this week. At school, they’re working on state assessments, plus in our studio we’re down to our last week of prep before a big solo festival on Saturday. We need to start with something fun!
Doesn’t this corner of the studio look “fun” now?? Earlier this semester, I created a set of giant sightreading cards my students could use on the floor with Boomwhackers (and whatever other pitched percussion I could find on the shelf). They were a BIG hit with my students. We’ve pulled them out several times since then, and since the kids always ask to do several cards at a time, we’ve quickly run through the initial set of 8 melody excerpts I made. It was time to make more!
Sets 2 and 3 of the Giant Sightreading cards are now available on my website. Set 2 includes 8 4-measure melody cards that use quarter, half and whole notes (very similar to Set 1 that’s already on the site). Since my older students always ask to do this activity when they see the boomwhackers out, I also created Set 3 that includes eighth notes and harder melodies. All of the cards use only a diatonic, one-octave C scale so they can be used with Boomwhackers.
One thing that I particularly love about this activity is that since it doesn’t use finger numbers, I really know if the little ones are learning to sightread by note or interval instead of by finger. They’ve GOT to figure out those notes!