It’s been a super hot week here in Kansas City, so I’ve been hanging out inside in the air conditioning catching up on lesson planning for the upcoming school year! I’m attempting to get everything ready for fall before I take a few weeks vacation at the beginning of August. That way everything is ready and waiting for the new year when I get back (just ONE year, I’d like it to work that way!!). If everything on my to-do list gets checked off, I should have lots to post over the next couple of weeks! Here are a couple of new things that are up on the website now:
Blues Scale Improv “Starters”
I introduced a few of my late elementary and junior high students to the blues scale this summer, and found that many of them absolutely LOVED improvising their own melodies. A couple of those same students were struggling with some rhythms, so it dawned on me one day mid-lesson that we could sneak the hard rhythms from their repertoire into a blues improv and get some extra practice! I created a couple of worksheets they could take home with them and use as improv “starters”:
Each week, we’ve been adding a little bit more to their blues patterns, working our way into 2-handed patterns and walking bass. I ended up making 5 improv sheets in total. By the time they’ve worked through all 5, students can play some basic 12-bar blues! The worksheets are available as a single 5-page file on the curriculum page of my studio site.
New Harmonization Worksheets
I also created several more harmonization worksheets. Students are given a melody, then have to add I, IV and V7 chords to create an accompaniment (this one even uses a ii chord):
I’ve been using these to help students explore different patterns they can use in their left hand when improvising or reading from a lead sheet (i.e. block, broken, oom-pah chords, walking bass, etc.). Once they’re familiar with different left hand styles, they’re able to pick out a melody by ear and add an accompaniment on their own.
The harmonization worksheets are also available on my website. If you scroll down, you’ll also find a couple of new harmonizations for beginners using simple tonic and dominant notes in the left hand.