Author Archives: Susan Paradis

Easter Egg Hunt – a Favorite Game

Easter Egg Rhythm  Hunt

Rhythm Egg Hunt

I just returned from the MTNA convention in Las Vegas, and I have a lot of ideas I hope that I can share with you! I was so excited to meet many teachers who are using my material and who are looking for alternate ways to learn piano.  Thank you so much for introducing yourself and chatting with me. It is wonderful to see so many musicians who work hard to share our love of music.

I have not been able to blog or post anything for a while, but I can “rerun” this fun Easter season game that I made a few years ago.

There is not much planning, the rules are simple, and all you need is a few minutes to cut out the cards. If you are a parent, this a fun game to play with your children to introduce rhythm names.

Click on the link under the picture above and download the free printable. Print the pages on sturdy card stock and cut them out. Do not laminate the cards. Fold in the middle so the egg is on one side and the notes on the other. (Cardstock is easier to fold if you score it lightly using a ruler and a dull point, such as a dull butter knife. Leave a comment if you need more directions.) After folding, the cards sit up like a tent. Hide them around the room with the egg facing out.

DIRECTIONS

Tell your student that you have hidden eggs cards all over the room. The cards have different rhythm values on the back. The student’s job is to find and collect the ones with half notes (or whatever note you want to work on) as fast as possible.  Depending on how much time you have, you can play again, collecting different rhythms. It is so much fun watching the student run around the room collecting cards!

This is also an excellent activity to introduce a new rhythm note to beginning students.

OBJECTIVE

  • To quickly learn to recognize rhythm note names
  • To learn that stems can go up or down
  • To introduce rhythm names to beginners
  • To play a fast (under 3 minutes) game

AGES

  • Early childhood to grade 2 or 3

This is a variation of a game idea from Cecilly called Quarter Note Hunt, and it has been a long time favorite in my studio.

 

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Higgledy Piggledy Jazz and My Piano Trip to London: Reviews

Art Used With Permission of Elena Cobb

Art Used With Permission of Elena Cobb

Sometimes I see music that looks so appealing I just have to review it. This is the case with Higgledy Piggledy Jazz and the beginner book My Piano Trip to London, both by Elena Cobb.

Who is Elena v. Cobb? She is a classically trained and highly experienced pianist, educator, composer and publisher from England.
Elena believes that if a child doesn’t enjoy the music assigned by the teacher, the child is an unhappy student. So she decided to compose jazzy, child-orientated tunes for her piano students to motivate them and inspire them to practice  – and they loved them!
Higgledy Piggledy Jazz for piano is at the late elementary to intermediate level. Besides the adorable title and cover of the book, the pieces have cute names such as Super Duck and I Ate All the Chocolate. If you want background tracks for the music, it’s there on her web store, recorded by a live jazz band. These background tracks make the music come alive for students, and helps them learn to play with a steady beat and not stop and start. The tracks are recorded at different tempos, to assist with learning to play along.  Also on her website you will notice different versions of the book, including versions for alto sax, clarinet ensemble, guitar, and ukulele. 
Art Used by Permission of Elena Cobb

Art Used by Permission of Elena Cobb

 I also want to mention the book My Piano Trip to London. This is a method book for average age beginners that starts with learning the keyboard and progresses to hands together. There are teacher duets for the music and cute illustrations that are not babyish for the older elementary child. As the child progresses through the book, different sites and attractions in London are explored, with music for each one. Is that a cute idea, or what! I especially think this is a good book for teachers in England and the UK. This is an interesting book for teachers in any country who are looking for something different.
Some interesting things about this book is that there are no finger numbers so that the teacher can use whatever works best for the student. Positions vary, so this is not a middle C position book. I’ve noticed in my own compositions that I sometimes have to mark out the fingering that I originally added in the music and change it for a particular student. Maybe I should start leaving off fingering. Teachers are smart enough to add their own!
Two other things I would like to mention about this book is that it uses both UK and North American terms for rhythm, so students will see both quarter note and crochet, for example. For counting, there are both Kodaly syllables and alternate words, and of course, teachers can always use numbers.
The bottom line is that you have probably never seen a book like this! It can be used as a method book as well as a supplemental book to any method. I have a lot of followers in England, and I want to encourage you to check this out for your students!

Elena’s books are available as a traditional music book from Amazon and SheetMusicPlus.  They are also available as digital downloads from her website www.elenacobb.com.  If you buy the digital books, there is an unlimited digital download license available, which means you can print out just what you wish to use. 

Every Friday, Elena offers free resources to the members of her Facebook group ElenaCobb.com Publishing Discussion Group. It includes original scores and exercises published by her company.

Disclosure: This review was my idea and not solicited by the author. I received digital copies of the books for review. Regardless, I only review music and books I believe will be of interest to my readers. The opinions are my own. 

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Made for the iPad: Drawing Rests

Made_For_iPad_Rests

Lets Draw Rests Bundle

As part of my Made for the iPad series, here are rests to draw on a mobile device. To open and write on them in a tablet, see my previous tutorial on an app that can be used for all tablets, including an Android and Kindle.

For best results when writing on a tablet, you will need a stylus, but an inexpensive one will work.

Included in this bundle are whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth rests.

If you have a tablet, go ahead and try this! It will save you a lot of paper and ink.

Please let me know if you find these useful!

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One Minute Club 2015

One Minute Club Pack2015

One Minute Club 2015

It’s time to post the 2015 One Minute Club Cards! This year’s set also includes two certificates, including one for the Junior One Minute Club. the junior cards are yellow.  There is also a handy chart where you can keep a record of their scores. Just remember to keep it lighthearted and fun!

Below is a video I made several years ago showing students of all ages giving it a try!

One Minute Club from Susan Paradis on Vimeo.

These cards are formatted for 2 x 3.5  perforated blank business cards. The borders in the cards extend past the cutting lines to aid in printer alignment problems. Make sure your PDF printer window is set to “actual size,” and you are using the latest version of Adobe Reader.

In case you don’t have any blank business cards,  I added short cutting lines for you to connect and then cut using regular card stock.

After students earn the cards,  I put them in clear plastic ID holders and attach them to their  book bag with a small chain. The next year all I have to do is insert the new card.

The last several years, I’ve increased the way I use this card with students who can identify note names, but are slow playing them.

  1. I use mini flash cards printed in different colors for the treble and bass clef.
  2.  First, I show the student the card and I identify it for the student, saying Bass C, Middle C, etc. and the student plays the key.
  3. Then the student has to identify the card the same way but this time he doesn’t play.
  4. Then we do just the space notes the regular way. When those are mastered we go on to line notes.
  5. I review steps 1 to 3 at every lesson.
  6. I have individual goals for each student who will be given the Junior Club Cards. But I want every child to be able to do at least the cards around middle C.

If you’re reading this and have no idea what the One Minute Club is, well, I’ve written about it extensively. For more information, use the search tab on the right, and type in One Minute Club or follow this link for last year’s post.

 

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Filed under Certificates, Intermediate Students, Note Identification, Teaching Aids