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

Composing Sheets

One of my goals for this summer’s lessons is to have my students do more composing.     There was a really interesting article on the ComposeCreate blog last month that inspired me to incorporate more writing into my lessons.   In a nutshell, the author suggested that writing music is great training for reading music – especially for students who struggle with notereading.   … Continue reading

Clothesline Rhythms – New Counting Cards

My elementary students have been enjoying the “rhythm of the week” challenge we started this semester.  I’ve been hanging a 4-measure pattern using my Clothesline Rhythm cards before students arrive each day.   At some point during their lessons, we take a break from the piano and work on counting and performing the rhythm (by clapping, jumping, stomping, etc.). This week, I decided to create … Continue reading

Christmas Rhythm Dictation Sheets

As I was working on planning rhythm and movement activities for group lessons this month, I had the idea to tweak my usual (rather ho-hum) rhythmic dictation sheets and add a holiday theme:    Both of these songs use half, quarter and pairs of eighth notes.   In We Wish You a Merry Christmas, students only choose between quarter and eighth notes.  In Up on the … Continue reading