Author Archives: Susan Paradis

Father’s Day Beginning Composing Activity

FathersDay

Fathers Day Composing Activity

Were you a Daddy’s girl? I was. I remember my Dad sitting at his desk working while I played the piano next to him for hours. He was a wonderful audience and always so supportive, never suggesting I take a break. Since I was usually making up stuff, that is pretty amazing! Back then, my parents were told that my hands were too “small” for piano lessons. Fortunately after several years of playing by ear, they tried again and found a teacher for me!

With Father’s Day in the summer, Dads are often left out when it comes to student-made gifts. So if you are teaching in June, here is a composing activity for a Father’s Day gift.

This music is actually a remake of the one I posted about 8 years ago. I updated the entire page and even changed the hand position.

As you can see, the left hand is not in Middle C position. I have found that if students get used to putting their hands in different positions from the beginning, they learn to read by intervals easier. However, every teacher is different so feel free to “white out” finger numbers.

If you’re new to beginning composing pages, here is how to use the pre-reading page – the one without a staff.

  • The student plays the part of the page that has words using finger numbers.
  • The student makes up a tune to fit the rhythm in the part with stars, using the rhythm above the stars. The last note should be C.
  • Students write the finger numbers of their melody in the yellow stars.
  • Some students also like to write words.

I use this as a way to introduce how to write a melody, so I instruct students to end on the key note, which in this piece is C. Encourage him/her to move down or up an octave. It is fun to discuss how Dads have low voices, so my students like to move down to the bass notes for the last four measures.

Writing music on a staff is difficult for children.That is why we break it down into small steps. Since the rhythm is given to them, they can concentrate on the melody.

Of course, students also love to doodle around and make up their own pieces, like I used to do for my Dad. I encourage my beginners to memorize these “compositions” because the music is usually beyond their abilities to write down.

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Filed under Composing Activities, Group lesson ideas, Preschool Music Resources

Templates for ready-made Certificate Paper

Traditional Certificates

Traditional Certificate With Lines – Write by hand on the lines.

Traditional Certificate Fillable – Type your text in Adobe Reader and print.

I found a really good sale on certificate paper, the kind with a traditional border where you write or type your own wording. You can buy it on Amazon or any office supply store.

I made 2 versions of a template for you. One has lines for writing by hand, and the other uses Adobe Reader to type in your preferred words.

These are very traditional looking certificates, so you can use them with older students and even adults. They are great for teachers who don’t have a color printer.

The “fillable” certificate has blue fields in Adobe Reader that appear if you click your cursor in the correct area. After selecting the field, your cursor will show you where to type your information. Adobe Reader doesn’t allow you to use your own fonts or to resize the fonts  at the time of this post.

I certainly hope I haven’t made any mistakes this time! If you find any, please let me know right away! Thanks!

 

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Filed under Certificates

Music Certificates-Fillable and Blank Versions

 

Animal Alphabet Certificate2

Animal Alphabet Certificate Fillable

Animal Alphabet Certificate

CertificateCongrats1

Congratulation Certificate Fillable

Congratulation Certificate

Today I am posting four certificates with two different designs. Each design has two versions, “fillable” or “editable”, whatever you call them,  and blank with lines so that you can use them the old-fashioned way, with a pen! 🙂   [I fixed the missing “I” in the Animal Alphabet Certificate. Thank you for letting me know. I have bad eyes!]

The certificates that are fillable have blue “fields: in Adobe Reader that appear if you click your cursor in the correct area. After selecting the field, your cursor will show you where to type your information. Adobe Reader doesn’t allow you to use your own fonts and colors to fill out these forms at the time of this post. Do not save the form if you plan to use it with several students. Save it blank so you can use it again in the future. If you have any trouble, leave a comment here and I will try to help you.

If you can’t open these, be sure to save the PDF files to your desktop and print them from there. See my FAQ for more printing help. I receive hundreds of emails asking for printing help, so I wrote everything I know in the FAQ.

You might notice that the second set with the blue border and colored circles match the calendar and assignment pages I posted at the beginning of this school year. They also match the One Minute Club cards.

I made the Animal Alphabet set for students who use the piano songs I wrote to teach the notes on the staff. Here is the link to those songs: Animal Alphabet Songs

But since they are blank certificates, you can use them for anything: First Recital, Student of the Year, Music Achievement, etc.

Tomorrow or the next day, I am going to post a black and white certificate with no border. If you don’t have a color printer, you can buy some cute border paper and print a professional looking certificate easily.

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Filed under Certificates, Preschool Music Resources

Rhythm Dominoes – Two Levels

RhythmDominoes

Rhythm Dominoes

I almost didn’t print this new game, not because it is embarrassingly simple since that has never stopped me before. No, the problem is that in the easy version, the player who goes first always wins. But then I remembered that the reason we play these games is to reinforce music theory in a hands-on way, not to learn a life lesson. 🙂

Besides, as I played it with my younger students, I didn’t tell them and they didn’t notice. If they did, it didn’t bother them because I always let them go first anyway.

When I played the harder version with my older students,  we usually tied, and that is fine, too.

I also want to share how I made the printed dominoes strong and sturdy so they will last a long time.

So here is my version of Rhythm Dominoes, a simple way to reinforce or even teach, rhythmic values in 4/4 meter.

Levels

  • Page one is for early elementary and the second page is for late elementary.

Materials

  • White  card stock
  • Two different colors of colored card stock
  • Glue Stick (I used Elmer’s Xtreme®)
  • Strong scissors
  • Optional: Laminating film

Construction

  • Use sturdy card stock to print the page you plan to use.
  • Spread glue on the entire back of the printable. I used a liberal amount of glue stick. Do not leave any spots glue-free.
  • Carefully glue the printed page to a blank sheet of colored card stock.
  • Laminate the pages that are glued together and cut out the dominoes.
  • Repeat with the second level of the printed page, using a different color of card stock to help you keep the levels separate.
  • If you want to use this in group lessons, consider printing 2 pages of each level.

Directions

  • Mix up the dominoes and divide them between the players.
  • The youngest player goes first and places a double domino on the table.
  • The second player places a matching domino next to the domino on the table, connecting the two. Players may match with a note, number, or rhythm pattern.
  • Two numbers (inside the colored circles) cannot be matched together.
  • If a player doesn’t have a match, he/she skips a turn.
  • Continue taking turns placing dominoes on the table, snaking them around the table.
  • The first player to run out of dominoes is the winner. If neither player has a match, the player with the fewest remaining dominoes is the winner.
  • You can certainly make up your own rules to this game. Variations include passing out 5 dominoes to each player and putting the remainder in a pile to draw if the player does not have a match.

Objective

  • Students will learn to quickly identify rhythm patterns and notes of equal value in 4/4 meter.
  • Students will match rhythmic note values in 4/4 meter.

 

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Filed under Games, Group lesson ideas, Rhythm