Dizzy Fifths Spinner Game

Just enough time today for a quick post before students start to arrive for the evening… I mentioned last week that I had raided my studio closet to come up with enough games and activities to review a year’s worth of theory in group classes.  In doing so, I pulled out some of my favorite “old” games that hadn’t been off the shelf in a … Continue reading

Gemstone Triad Cards

Oops… between taking a week off for spring break, then returning to busily prepare for a couple of upcoming events, I’ve been a neglectful blogger as of late! One of those upcoming events is a festival that requires students to complete a written theory exam in addition to their performance.  I LOVE to have students participate in this event in the spring, because it really … Continue reading

Interval Towers… Part 2

In planning for group lessons this month, I found myself looking for a fun way to introduce/drill interval qualities in my intermediate level groups.   The interval tower game was such a hit last month with my elementary students last month, I decided to adapt it and use it again. I used the same deck of interval cards (they can be downloaded here), but for … Continue reading

Interval Tower Game

This new game was a BIG hit with my elementary students at group lessons last week.    We’re working on instant recognition of intervals (without having to count lines and spaces), which takes a LOT of drill.    With this game, though, the kids wanted to keep playing the whole lesson!  Here’s how we played: I divided the students into partners and gave each pair … Continue reading

Whole & Half Step Game

We’ve been on a heavy theory kick in my studio this month.  I have several students who will be participating in theory testing as part of a festival in April, so ALL of my students have been getting the benefit of a little extra lesson planning on my part.  As a part of that, I’ve been working on a couple of new games.  Here’s the … Continue reading

Clothesline Rhythms

Break is over!  A new semester has begun!  One of my goals as I start each new semester is to return to a “balanced” curriculum.  I find that the END of a typical semester is full of performance-oriented teaching.   Lesson time is consumed with fine-tuning repertoire and preparing for recitals, concerts and recording projects.    For most students, the BEGINNING of a new semester does not bring with it those same … Continue reading

3-in-a-Row Matching Game

Sometimes the best ideas come from students!  This new twist on a couple of old games was born last week during an elementary student’s lesson.  We were ready to take a mid-lesson break from the piano and I had materials for Boomwhacker flashcards handy (see previous post).   My student had other ideas!  She ran over to a bowl of alphabet cards I had on a … Continue reading

Boomwhacker Flashcards

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 … Continue reading

Major & Minor Dash & B-I-N-G-O

Since many of my elementary students are working on Halloween sheet music for a recital this weekend, we’ve been talking quite a bit about the difference betwen major and minor this month. For this week’s group lessons, I printed 2 signs with a picture of a house on each.  One was a haunted house (I simply printed a copy of this coloring page on orange paper), … Continue reading