This week we played broken chords with the LH. It is imperative that we play all chords with correct fingerings as this transfers over to every chord in all 15 major and 15 minor keys!
P.S. I have openings in Sound Beginnings (ages 0–4) and my 1st year Let’s Play Music classes for the Fall. If you know of anyone who is interested, please send them my contact information or direct them to the studio website: http://www.infusingmusicstudios.com/group-classes.html.
A few ideas to bring playfulness to practice time!
Homework pp. 24–25: Students identify the bugs used and the solfege patterns. They are reading challenging music notation now!
The Wheels on the Bus sing Melodic Patterns
Melodic patterns are found in every song. How many Sol-Mi-Do’s and Sol-Sol-Do’s can you hear in this version of a favorite childhood song?
I Gotta Shake
Get ready to play the rests in this silly song! Our fingers must rest from playing or holding down the note when we see a quarter rest sign. First say ‘sh’ or ‘rest’ while playing. Then play again hearing the rest inside while hearing the silence in the song.
How to Skip
Keep skipping with fingers 1-3-5 in the RH saying the middle anchor notes. Play the LH separate while singing the chord color and then the melody with this favorite song. We will put hands together soon!
Duet time with shakers! Invite your child to play the chords on the piano while you or a sibling play shoot-the-bug-bug rhythm with a shaker. Switch! Make your own shaker with rice, beans, pennies, small beads, etc. in a plastic egg, empty spice container, or baby food jar. Shake away!
Our current puppet show, March of the Gnomes (actually called Funeral March for a Marionette, was written by Charles Gounod. He was born in 1818 in Paris, France. His mom was a piano teacher and his father was an artist, so he started receiving music instruction very early in his life. He attended excellent musical schools. By the time he was 21, he was receiving awards and prizes for his compositions. He also taught other musicians, most notably, Georges Bizet. Can you hear the kings heavy down beat in this recording?
Thank you for attending class! I love seeing students’ faces light up when they get to show off to Mom or Dad!
Recital information will be coming out soon. Please be on the lookout for an email with recital details.
Here are more alphabet pieces games!
1. Parking Lot Cars:
Draw a letter from the lot and park your car on the white key "parking space" that matches. Works great with cars like these from the learning shop. Keep going until you run out of cars (or whatever counters you have).
2. Cowboys and Indians:
Start one tiny plastic character (ANY tiny plastic figures you have will do: Pokemon, animals, cowboys, princesses, etc.) at one end of the keyboard on a white key, and another at the other end. Draw a tile out and move the low guy up to that key. Draw another tile and move the high guy down to that key. Keep going until they meet (and battle, or shake hands, or whatever you pretend!)
Homework pp. 22–23: Students write in the letter names of the notes. Page 56 in the Reference Section can be used if needed.
Make the technique drills so fun that your child won't even notice they are getting practice! Choose your favorite BUG to practice playing UP the C Major Scale with your RH and reminding your child when to POP their bubble by saying "Butterfly, Butterfly, Butterfly, POPPERfly, Butterfly, etc." Place the RH in C position and play with fingers 1-2-3 (C-D-E) then POP UNDER with the thumb ("Popperfly") to make a new bubble and continue playing with fingers 1-2-3-4-5 (F-G-A-B-C).
How to Skip
We will master all of our middle anchor notes, Middle B, Middle C, Middle D, with this song. Use fingers 1-3-5 for the entire song, hopping your hand to the correct starting note while singing "C-skip-skip-skip, D-skip-skip" etc. to emphasize each anchor note. This is where the practice of seeing and playing those middle anchor notes connect!
I am Robin Hood
After playing Hands Separately (HS) comfortably, use this tip to play Hands Together (HT)! Play 1 or 2 measures at a time, then continue to add 1-2 measures until they can play the entire song with confidence. You can guide your child's eyes by pointing with V fingers. Hooray for HT!
Do you want more fun ideas to work on Keyboard Geography? Your student will treasure this craft and game idea as they continue to solidify all of the notes on the keyboard!
What a fun new puppet show we learned today! Download the Gnomes Coloring Book for your child to color while listening to the March of the Gnomes.
Parents attend next week!
Here are some more alphabet pieces games!
Pretend each alphabet foam piece is a tiny frog. Have your child choose an alphabet frog, then hop it across the keyboard helping froggie find all keys of that letter. These frogs don't croak—each time the "frog" lands on one of her special lily pads, sing the letter (on pitch!).
2. Silly Songs:
Have your child draw out 5-10 alphabet notes and line them up along the music stand. With her right hand in C position, play each note with the finger touching that key. If the note is a B, slide the thumb down to yellow position to reach it; if the note is an A, slide the hand into blue position to reach it. This might be a wacky song, or it might be something cool. If you like the tune, play it again.
Homework pp. 18–21: Students cut out the glue-on pieces for "The Pirate Ship" puppet show and glue them onto p. 21.
Oh, When the Saints & Lullaby and Goodnight
The downbeat is the strong beat that tells us when to begin playing a song. Sometimes the downbeat is on the first word of a song, sometimes it is not. Ask your child what word the DOWNBEAT is on in both of these songs! ("Oh, when the SAINTS ..." and "Lul-la-BY ...")
Our toe-tapping donkey dances a shaky, stylized rhythm called CALYPSO. See if you can hear this fun rhythm while singing along!
I am Robin Hood
It’s duet time! While your child plays the melody, you or a sibling can clap or pat drumbeats on your lap in a repeated slug pattern. Then switch! Once your child is confident playing the melody by themselves, invite them to pat their own leg while playing. Impressive harmony!
Ask your child to teach you the actions to Don't Put Your Trash. Then change up the lyrics when encouraging chores: Don't put your SOCKS (insert any noun) in my BEDROOM (insert any place) my bedroom's full!
As a music educator of 25 years, my passion is infusing others with music!