Great site for Halloween Resources

As I was working on putting together lesson plans over the weekend, I ran across this fantastic site that has a TON of Halloween-themed songs, games and activities: In addition to Halloween, there are several resources for upcoming months:  colored leaves cards I’m planning to use next month, and also some Christmas activities. There are also a number of “anytime” games to play with your … Continue reading

Pumpkin Patch Steps & Skips

Here’s another simple elementary theory game for Halloween week.   My elementary groups are reviewing steps and skips this month, and I came up with the idea to turn my entire studio floor into a gameboard… with a holiday twist. I picked up a package of black paper plates from the party aisle at my local store, and taped a pumpkin graphic on each one … Continue reading

Halloween Rhythm Dictation

I really like to use the words of familiar songs or catchy phrases to reinforce rhythm concepts.  Students naturally speak in rhythm, whether they’re aware of it or not, so it’s a great way to relate a “new” rhythm concept to something they already know.  Interestingly, I also find that choosing the right rhythm to go with lyrics is one of the hardest challenges for … Continue reading

Build-A-Skeleton Interval Challenge

It’s group week again in my studio!  I’ve got some new Halloween-themed games and activities planned, and thought I’d try to get them all posted toward the beginning of this week in case anyone else was looking for some last-minute ideas for holiday-themed activities to use in lessons. To review intervals this week, my students will have a spooky task: put together a skeleton puzzle! … Continue reading

New Over the Edge Interval Cards

A reader wrote to me a couple of weeks ago and suggested that the Over the Edge gameboard I recently posted could be used to drill interval recognition in addition to note and rest values.   She was right!  I re-worked a file of interval playing cards and added the “Over the Edge” backs to match the original cards: So… if you’ve already printed a … Continue reading

Key Signature Worksheets

Rehearsals and recitals and auditions, oh my!  Between a full calendar of student activities this month (and another exciting project I’m looking forward to sharing soon), blogging has taken a backseat the last couple of weeks.   My plan is to play catch-up this week and post some odds and ends from last month’s group lessons… before this months groups roll around! I’ve added two … Continue reading

Writing by Hand Makes You Smarter…

Many of my elementary students are bringing in first drafts of their Halloween compositions to their lessons this week, which has been a breath of fresh air for me!  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how competent many are becoming at writing on the staff, and also at how creative they’ve been about adding “sound effects” like pedal and 8va markings, dynamics and articulations to make … Continue reading

Mystery Bag Improv Activity

This improv activity was a BIG hit with my students at group classes last week – we had so much fun that even my students who are timid about improvisation didn’t mind playing!   For our “Mystery Bag” challenge, students were asked to use their senses to discover one of 9 foods inside their assigned bag, then improvise a song about it on the piano as … Continue reading