It’s finally summer in my studio. Not that you could tell by looking at a calendar – the “official” June 21st start to the season is still a week away, and I’ve already been on summer teaching schedule for 2 weeks. Nope… It’s finally summer because my to-do list has been cleared to the point I can work on some creative projects I’ve been putting off for months!!!
I’ve spent the few weeks finishing up all of the requirements for MTNA Certification and working on a big grant proposal for our local association. Both worthwhile endeavors, but both pretty heavy on the left-brained thinking! Once everything was mailed off, I was antsy to tackle a “fun” project for the studio:
Up until now, I’ve been using painter’s tape lines on the floor to create a giant floor staff for note-reading practice and theory games. That worked great… except for the fact that I had to remove the tape each time I vacuumed the studio (between 2 big dogs and 50 students, I vacuum a LOT). Those rolls of painter’s tape start to add up!!
The rug in the picture is a 5 x 7 carpet remnant that’s been edged. I picked it and a can of black paint up for just under $40. For the same cost as 8 rolls of painter’s tape, I now have a permanent addition to the studio that doesn’t have to be re-taped each time I clean, and doesn’t send rolls of tape to the trash each month.
All I had to do was tape off lines and paint (I did find it a little ironic that it took MORE painter’s tape to do the project). The carpet does soak up quite a bit of paint – it took a full 32 oz. to evenly cover all 10 staff lines.
The rug was already a hit at lessons today. I’ve got several students who are working on mastering their grand staff note names. We mapped out lines and spaces with plastic plates (seen in the top picture), then took turns tossing a beanbag and naming the note where it landed.
If you haven’t ever used a floor staff, there are lots of great ideas for games and drills in this post from last summer and also this follow-up post. Be sure to read through the comments – several wonderfully creative teachers shared ideas on how to construct and use this great tool. Stay tuned… I’m working on a couple of new floor staff games. I’ll share as soon as they’ve been student-tested and approved. As always, if you have any ideas to share, please leave a comment!!