The Winter Blues

The holidays are over, decorations are packed away, and kids are back to school, but here in Kansas, the weather is still frightful!   As I write this the remnants of a week-ago snow storm are melting off my roof and will no doubt turn my front steps into a skating rink just in time for students to arrive for lessons tonight.   I’m ready for spring!!

So… as I sat down recently to write up some new extra-credit challenges for my students, it seemed appropriate to whip up a little blues exercise:  a winter blues exercise.   Perhaps it’s the long anticipated snow-day that didn’t come, or all of the bumps and bruises from sledding on the snow day that did come…. everyone has something to sing the blues about this time of year!

In this activity, students write their own lyrics about things that make them blue in the winter, then use the notes of an E-flat blues scale to improvise a melody.   If you have time in lessons, it’s fun to try this as a call-and-response blues “duet.”  You can improvise a line about why YOU have the blues (anyone else just love to shovel snow???), then have students answer back with their own words and melody.

I’ve found that blues scale activities are always a hit with my students – particularly on gray, dreary days when they need a little extra pizzazz in their lessons! This worksheet file is available for download on my studio site.

The Winter Blues
The Winter Blues
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  1. Pingback: Winter Music Studies Round-up -

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