Monthly Archives: March 2010

Jazzin’ on the Soccer Field

Jazzin’ on the Soccer Field

I wrote this piece about 4 years ago for a special student and it was up on my website for a while. Recently I revised it for another student, changing some of the rhythm notation to make it easier to read. I also added some more dynamics and articulations that I had my student  play, but were not notated. After I compose a piece, the last thing I want to do is go back and add all the fingerings, articulations, and dynamics. However necessary it is, I find it very tedious and boring. I would rather just add that stuff when the student is learning it, but that certainly doesn’t help others who might want to play it!

To be honest,  I really don’t care how you articulate it as long as it has a jazzy sound. (I am not one of those jazz experts who can tell you exactly how Duke Ellington and all the other real jazz players do it. It’s hard enough to remember the different styles in classical music. )  It would be fine, too, to change things around and improvise a little.  But if  you use it in a  festival or some other judged event, you have to play it like it’s written and you really need all the bells and whistles so the judge has something to write about! ;)

I’ll leave it up for a few months, so print it now if you want it. If you printed it a few years ago, you might try this version and see which one is easier to read. If you see any mistakes or some better way I should notate it, please let me know right away so I can revise it.

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Filed under Early Intermediate

Easter Rhythm Games

I am posting several games to play the week before Easter. Some teacher will be having group lessons and these games might come in handy if you have younger students.

Easter Egg Find the Notes

Here are how the cards look when printed and cut out.

This first game can be played with one student or a small group. After printing the cards in landscape format, cut them out and fold them so the egg is on one side and the note on the other. Hide them around the room. Ask the student to find all the quarter notes, or find all the whole notes. Little ones love to play this. For older children, set your timer and have a timed race. You might need to print out more than one copy. From experience I have found that if they are laminated they do not fold well unless you only laminate one side. These cards are similiar to the  Quarter Note Hunt game that I posted a  while ago. If you don’t want the Easter Eggs on your cards, print out the earlier version, but the rhythms are a little different.

Easter Egg  Hunt

The second  game can be played more than one way, but it was designed for a group. Of course you can modify it for one student.  First, there are 2 pages and they need to be printed front and back on card stock so the rhythms are on the back of the eggs. If my rhythms don’t suit your students, print just the colored page and write in your own rhythms on the back.

After printing the front and back twice, I cut out the eggs and laminated them. The next step was to cut out the eggs after they were laminated.  I used this two step process because I have trouble cutting laminated card stock in circles. Usually I design things with straight lines so I can cut them with my paper cutter.

You have a choice of games with these cards.  You can hide them around the room and let a student or a group of students look for them. When all the cards are found, the student will clap  the rhythm of the card he found.   This is a good hide a seek game for students too old to play the first game. Be sure to print enough cards for your group.

Another way to use these cards  is to sit in a circle and pass the cards to some music. Older students like to play the music while younger ones pass cards. Have one less card than the number of students. When the music stops, everyone has to clap their rhythm card, and the student without a card is out.  Or you can pass one card and whoever has it when the music stops has to clap it. Well, the possibilities are endless and I’m sure you will have a lot better ideas than me! If older students are playing, you really will have to print some blank cards and draw  some harder rhythms.

Last week I posted a staff with little eggs on it for notes. This week, all the younger students are going to use it with jelly beans as notes on the staff. Then when we’re finished I’m going to let them choose a plastic egg that has a little chocolate egg inside and a rhythm note. If they know the name of the rhythm value, they can put all their jelly beans inside the egg and take it home. If they get it wrong (and I don’t think any will, because by now they all know their rhythm note values) I’ll let them keep trying until they get it right.  I want all that candy out of the house and I want them to go home happy!

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Filed under Easter, Group lesson ideas, Preschool Music Resources, Rhythm

MTNC Conference Notes

Natalie, who writes the Music Matters blog, attended the MTNC convention this past weekend and has a great series of posts about it. She wrote detailed notes about the sessions she attended and it is all very interesting. If you have ever wondered what goes on at a music convention, head over to her site and read up. I was not able to make it this year because I had other plans, but Natalie made me feel like I was there. While you are at her site, check out some of her fun games. Thanks, Natalie!

I have a couple of Easter games I hope to get posted before Monday for those of you with group lessons before Easter, so check out my blog this weekend if you are interested.

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Filed under Teaching Business

Easter Egg Notes

Easter Egg Notes

I like to make holiday worksheets for writing note names and I realized I have never posted  one with Easter Egg notes. You can also use this with beginners to write L and S for line and space.

I made one copy on card stock and laminated it. It sits on the table with some dry erase markers and students can do it while they wait for lessons or for parents to pick them up. If a student is just learning the notes (and for younger children), I sit and do it with them because they need some help in saying the alphabet up and down the staff.

If students do enough of these throughout the year, they really do learn note names! Learning note names is a long process and it takes a lot of reinforcement.

Be sure to set your printer to landscape mode.

If you want some Easter composing ideas for young students, go to my website and check out the composing section where there are two levels of Easter composing activities.

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Filed under Note Identification, Preschool Music Resources

Ode to Joy

Ode to Joy

I have a student in My First Piano Adventures who learned the first 8 measures to Ode to Joy and really loved it. Now that he has progressed, he asked to play the rest of the melody, so I wrote it out for him. There are skips in the third line that are sometimes a challenge, but he was up to it. We circled the skips and practiced them in the air and on the piano cover. His Mom played the symphony for him and now he is a  5 year old Beethoven fan!

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Filed under Elementary Music, Preschool Music Resources