Thank you for a fantastic Station Day wrap up to our Green Turtle Shells semester! The Yellow Arrows schedule can be found on the website: Calendar. Lesson 1 starts on Tuesday, January 17 — with parents again!.
The goal for students now is to be able to recognize and play all chords (red, blue, and yellow) in RH with fairly quick and smooth transitions.
This week, focus solely on celebrating all your child has learned and accomplished these last three semesters.
Fun ways to incorporate the entire family with a Holiday Sing & Play-a-Long!
Here is one more Christmas Carol to add variety to daily practice and spread Holiday Cheer!
Next class is Station Day!!! Parents do attend.
I am sooooo excited for Station Day! I have been preparing for the last couple weeks and spent several hours this weekend prepping so everyone will have so many fun activities to enjoy!
Station Day is always a favorite for the students. You and your child have the opportunity to come and review the many musical concepts and skills we have learned during GTS. This review will help prepare us for Yellow Arrows. Please come with your child during their regular class time. I will have several learning stations set up, and you can move through those stations at your own pace in any order. Plan to spend 6–7 minutes at each station.
One of the learning stations will be with me. We will discuss your child's many accomplishments, I will give you their progress report, and I will give you their YA materials. We are going to have so much fun celebrating everything we've accomplished in GTS! Be sure to bring your phone/camera into class for the Photo Booth!
To help class run smoother, I will give instructions right at the beginning of class and hand out your Celebration Cards (used to keep track of completed stations). We will wrap up with “Let’s Say Goodbye!"
A few ideas to bring playfulness to practice time!
Mom, did you know I can play my chords with my eyes shut? The goal is to have their eyes on the music while they are playing as much as possible, with only quick glances at their fingers. With their favorite song, invite them to memorize it and "see" the chords in their minds while they play with their eyes closed.
The holiday songs in the back of the songbook are great practice to reinforce chord transitions while being entertaining for your student and family. These songs will add cheer to the holidays and festivities and they will help solidify the transition between ALL of the chords in the right hand before we begin Yellow Arrows. Jingle away!
With the holidays approaching here is a Gift Buying Guide for your budding musician!
I am looking forward to Station Day for our last Green Turtle Shells lesson! Station Day provides a fun time to review and celebrate all of the musical concepts and skills that students have been taught during Green Turtle Shells! Also, Yellow Arrows materials and a printed schedule will be handed out at Lesson 15 during Stations Day.
Here is a sneak peek of some of those concepts and skills learned during Green Turtle Shells that will be reviewed/assessed during Station Day:
1. Keyboard posture, hand & finger placement
2. Clapping & counting 4 count rhythms using rhythm cards
3. Playing steps and skips from notation
4. Playing primary chords with RH without looking at hand
5. Playing intervals of a 2nd, 3rd, & 4th
6. Playing individual fingers (SFMRD)
1. Identifying middle C
2. Identifying C & F by playing on keyboard
3. Demonstrates knowledge of finger numbers
4. Identifying bug rhythms
5. Distinguishing steps & skips on staff
6. Identifying primary chords by notation
7. Identifying intervals by notation
8. Identifying melodic patterns by notation
A few ideas to bring playfulness to practice time!
Homework: p. 42-43 Students color each chord the correct color.
Every time the word BLUE is said in this song we play a Blue Chord. Can you make up your own song with the Red, Blue, and Yellow Chords? Every time you or your child sings the color, play the corresponding chord. Be sure to check for correct fingerings!
Primary Chord Transitions
Transitioning between the primary chords should now be somewhat mastered by the RH. Enjoy playing “The Fabulous 5”: a fun game to help your student reinforce chord transitions! Invite your student to play the red and blue chord 5 times back and forth, back and forth (or the red to yellow whatever they need the most to work on.) The only catch is it has to be perfect! No mistakes whatsoever. If they mess up they get to start over. Once they can do this 5 times in a row perfectly, they get a HIGH 5 from you with oodles of fabulous praise!
Can't Bug Me: Rhythm Ensemble
The games we play with our percussion instruments help us practice sight reading rhythms, but just as importantly, they help us practice ensemble skills. It takes practice to come in all together, to keep a steady beat internally to stay together, to keep up with the group even when we make mistakes, and to listen to each other to sound like one. WOW!
Our journey to learn harmony started last year singing a repeating pattern alongside a melody (Ding dong in Hear How the Bells). Then we sang in a round (3 Blind Mice). This year we’ve worked on a counter melody or two melodies sung on top of each other (Horsey Horsey). Then we introduced a 4-part counter melody (Solfege Seafriends). This week we sang Solfege Seafriends in a true canon, which is like singing 4 different melodies in a round (or just two parts at the same time if the canon was too challenging). It's pretty tricky, but such a good exercise! Enjoy these arrangements of the famous Pachelbel’s Canon on piano and with a string ensemble.
For my convenience, I have preloaded content for the whole semester. I will update each future post with specific time-sensitive info before I send the link each week. If you choose to read ahead you might see details that don’t apply to your child’s class. For this reason I do not recommend reading ahead. Thank you!
As a music educator of 25 years, my passion is infusing others with music!