Simon Says Symbol Game

During the summer months, my lesson plans tend to be a little lighter on theory than during the year.    But… I like to pull out games every couple of weeks just to make sure that students don’t forget all that they learned during the previous school year!   A couple of weeks ago, I came up with this new game to review symbols: We … Continue reading

Floor Staff Races

I had the privilege of attending the KMTA annual conference over the weekend.    This year’s keynote speakers were Randy and Nancy Faber, so it was not to be missed!!!   Natalie has posted a wonderful summary of many of the weekend’s sessions over on the Music Matters Blog, which is definitely worth a look if you haven’t already checked it out.    I picked up some … Continue reading

Ice Breaker Games

Since a number of teachers have posted about summer camp ideas over the last few weeks, I thought I’d share a couple of activities that I like to use with new groups of students.  I typically use these at our first group lesson in the fall, but they’d be great ice-breakers for camps!   (Note: Both of these activities are based on Dalcroze Eurhythmics.  The basic … Continue reading

Tasty Triads

A visit to one of my favorite ice cream shops over the holiday weekend provided an inspiration for a new studio game!  (Isn’t it funny what sparks teaching ideas?)   In their last group class of spring semester, my intermediate students learned to identify and construct diminished and augmented triads, in addition to major and minor.     To give them a chance to review … Continue reading

Recital “Medicine”

It’s 8 days and counting to recital day in my studio.  I always enjoy this time of year – at lesson after lesson I get to hear polished, or “almost-there” music.  It’s a treat for my ears! For most students the week before the recital means that their piece is ready to go… except for that one measure that’s still hard to play with both … Continue reading

Listening TWISTER!

Several years ago I adapted a Twister game to use in my studio.  Since then, it’s become a yearly tradition to play it at the last group lesson of the year.    This year, we used it to drill interval recognition. To make the game music friendly, I add small strips of painter’s tape to each of the dots on the mat.    For this … Continue reading

Pattern Recognition Activities

In my beginner groups this week, we did a quick activity focused on pattern recognition. I created large-type, one measure signs of the melody to “This Old Man” and scattered them throughout my studio.   To start the activity, I had each student run to stand by a sign and clap it’s rhythm to the group.  Next, we diagrammed the melodic shape of each pattern … Continue reading

Candy Listening B-I-N-G-O

In many of my group lessons this week, students are working on aural interval identification.   For a few lucky students, this skill comes naturally.  For most, it takes a LOT of (sometimes frustrating) practice.   Here’s one of the games we’re doing this month to make that practice a little less tedious: Candy makes everything better, right?!?  This is a “reverse” game of BINGO … Continue reading

Connect-A-Chord Game

It’s almost group week in my studio again!   Next week is the last groups of the semester, which makes me a little sad – group classes are my favorites!   Since our studio recitals are scheduled for next month, we’re going to be devoting  a good portion of most classes to performing, but will still have time for a few games to wrap up … Continue reading

Interval Word Race Game

Here’s another game I used in group lessons last week.   Each of these cards spells out a word using intervals.  Students are given a starting note, then record each “stopping place” as they follow the directions: For example, in the card above they would start on “C”, then find the letters A-G-E-D by mapping intervals to arrive at the word “CAGED.”   It’s helpful … Continue reading