Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas Lights

Musical Christmas Lights Musical Christmas Lights

Musical Christmas Lights is an update of my old Christmas game. This is a bingo-type game for students who can identify notes up to sixteenth notes. The remainder of the symbols are from beginning to about level 2.

I remade it using a lot less ink. I also remade all the graphics so they looked fresher, and added a fermata to the game! For teachers who have to use black ink only printers, I made a black and white version.

Before you print, be aware that you don’t need to print both the color and black and white versions. If you don’t know how to select individual pages to print, please check out my FAQ.

Materials

  • Musical Christmas Lights printable
  • Calling cards for the teacher
  • 20 bingo chips for each Christmas tree printable used (I use the Magnetic Wand and Bingo Chips from Amazon).
  • Crayons or colored pencils for the black and white version

Directions for color version

  • Print only the colored Christmas trees. Use as many individual cards as you need. If you have more than 6 students, group some on the same card.
  • Print and cut out the teacher calling cards.
  • Optional: Do not cut out the calling cards. Simply print and call out the symbols and put a check by the ones you have called.
  • To help children find the symbols quickly, call the color and the symbol, such as “Red, quarter note.”
  • The student covers the symbol on his card.
  • The first student who covers all the symbols wins.

Directions for black and white version

  • Print the black and white cards and the teacher calling card page.
  • With the printable open on your computer monitor to the teacher calling card page, use it as a guide to label the color of each symbol on your black and white version of the teacher calling cards.
  • Color the lights on the cards using the teacher calling cards as the guide to the colors.
  • For a classroom, make a copy for each student. Tell the students or write on your whiteboard the color each symbol should be colored.
  • Play the game using the directions for the color version, or create your own rules.

Objective

To review basic music vocabulary and symbols.

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Filed under Christmas, Games, Group lesson ideas, Holiday Activities and Worksheets

Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas

 The Twelve Days of Christmas

Whenever I update my music or graphics for my own students, I like to share them with you. This has been on my website a long time, but when I was just about to print it out for a student, I decided I wanted to update the picture of the partridge. While I was at it, I spaced out the measures so it would be easier to read.

I tried to make this music look appropriate for all ages, so you can use this with beginning adults as well as children.

It is very easy  to improvise a duet with this song, since you can harmonize it with 4 chords while the student plays an octave higher.

Click on the link  or the  picture to download.

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Filed under Christmas, Elementary Music

Snowflake Bingo Game and Borderless Printing

SnowflakeBingo

Snowflake Bingo Game

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and you are ready to teach again. In my studio, we will be playing some fun theory games!

Today I am posting a winter season bingo game. If you have already printed out my previous Christmas bingo game, you probably don’t want to print this one. The art is different, but the bingo game is the same. This game can still be played in January, and it uses less ink. I am gradually remaking many of my printables to use less ink, which should make teachers happy!

Speaking of printing, if you have a color printer that will print “borderless”, that is, printing with no margins, this is a good printable for that because I made it with no margins. However, most of my other printables have a 1/2 inch border, and you cannot use them with borderless printing. Only use the borderless setting on PDF’s that are made without a border around the edges.

Some printers will not let you select borderless unless you also select the “photo paper” setting in your printer dialog box. Go ahead and choose the photo paper setting even if you use card stock. Also, most printers do not print borderless if they are also printing duplex (printing both sides), so remember that for other projects.  

Material

  • Bingo Cards
  • One or more pages of calling cards, printed and cut out.
  • Bingo chips
  • Container to hold calling cards

 Directions

  • Players take turns drawing cards and covering the correct note, closing their eyes as they draw.
  • Return the calling card to the container after each turn.
  • If a wild card is drawn, it can be placed on any note.
  • The first player to cover all the notes on the board is the winner.
  • Alternately, with a group, the teacher can draw and call the notes.

Objective

  • To review notes on the grand staff.
  • To improve speed in identifying notes.

3 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Group lesson ideas

Reindeer and Elves Keyboard Race Game

Reindeer and Elves Keyboard RaceReindeer and Elves Keyboard Race Game

When I made my first Keyboard Race game, I really had no idea that it was going to be the first in a series of games for every season. I’ve always used the snowflake version for this time of year, but my students wanted a Christmas version, so I drew one for them. The elves are students in my studio and each one is special to me! I hope you enjoy the diversity of elves from around the globe!

For Hanukkah or with older students, use the Snowflake Keyboard Race.

Notice I have cards for F# and Bb. That has proved to be a bonus for my average age beginners, because they learn the terms and how to use them early on. However, I remove those cards for my youngest students. I like to teach new concepts informally like this, rather than waiting for it in the method book. There is no reason students can’t learn something before they actually play it in their music.

Objective

  • To quickly identify piano keys.
  • To enjoy a seasonal game.
  • To identify middle C.
  • Optional: to identify B flat and F sharp.

Ages

  • Beginners of all ages enjoy the keyboard race games, but with your older beginners, I suggest the Snowflake Keyboard Race.

Materials

  • Piano or a music keyboard
  • Keyboard Race Cards
  • Two tokens (Inexpensive erasers will not damage your keyboard.)

Directions

  • The game is played with two players, usually the teacher and student.
  • The teacher sits on the right side and the students sits on the left side of the piano bench, at each end of the piano. The students chooses if he/she wants to play with the “Elves” or “Reindeer” cards.
  • Each player has one set of cards and one token, and places the cards on the piano book rack. The cards should be well shuffled.
  • The first player turns a card and moves his token to that piano key, the closest to his end of the piano.  The second player does the same.
  • Play continues with each player drawing a card and moving his token toward the middle of the keyboard.
  • The game is over when one player passes the middle of the keyboard. I like to use middle C with my young students.
  • Note: The player on the right side (treble end) usually loses, so that’s where I sit. Games are more fun for students if they win.

Why I like this game

  • My students love it and want to play it over and over.
  • It is the fastest and most fun way to learn keyboard names.

5 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Holiday Activities and Worksheets, Note Identification, Preschool Music Resources

Jingle Bells with Rhythm Instruments at a Group Lesson

Jingle Bells with instruments

I bought the electronic version of the new book by Philip Johnston called The Dynamic Studio: How to keep students, dazzle parents, and build the music studio everyone wants to get into. (Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate because I get questions about where to buy the things I write about. Amazon sends me a few cents if a reader buys something from clicking  the book link.) Philip Johnston writes inspiring books that get me enthused to teach in different ways. One of his main ideas is to be different; don’t always do the same thing. Maybe that was on my mind when I decided to use rhythm instruments in my group lessons.

After an unsuccessful search for an easy piano/rhythm band ensemble I could use in a group lesson without a lot of preparation, I wrote my own.  I arranged this specifically to be easy enough that they could be successful without having to practice, so please keep that in mind.

I  wrote the second piano part for an electric bass, which some students can play. This part can also be played on the piano, so I call it Piano 2 in the score. You can also use bells or any other tuned instrument, and it sounds fine to omit it.

The first group was my youngest students. They absolutely loved the instruments. But if you have ever used rhythm instruments with young children, you know what a challenge they are.  I didn’t mind that some of them could not play the written part and just played the steady beat.  I was surprised that a few of them actually followed the score. I let the little beginner on the bells shake them through the entire song rather than the way I wrote it in the score. No one in that group reads well enough for the piano part. I had to play by ear because I could not find the piano score! That seemed to amuse the young group.

The second group of 9 and 10-year-old students was absolutely the right age for this activity. Without any practice, (except for the Piano 1 part, which I gave to a 5th grader the week before) they were able to read the score and play the correct rhythm. We traded instruments and repeated it a few times. I am only sorry that I didn’t record it, because they did really well. The student playing the piano part was thrilled to be part of an ensemble.

After that, we changed directions and performed on the piano for each other using good performance skills. Everyone had learned a Christmas song or a favorite piece. That did not take too long and we went on to the next activity.

They had all been looking at the electric bass and wondering why it was there. We discussed the history of the electric bass and how it was like the double bass. I also got in some theory with the older groups, as we discussed the root of chords and how that is an easy way to play the bass. This is where taking our state theory exam really helped. I demonstrated with my meager guitar skills (Me on the electric bass, how funny was that!) and then let them all try it.

Our last activity was playing a Thanksgiving board game, with different level cards for each age group. I was relieved my students enjoyed the game because I had not tried it out with a group. Even my older students had fun and reviewed some theory at the same time. Finally, we just had enough time to pass out cookies and candy canes, and they all left happy.

Later I asked what was their favorite activity. Can you guess what it was? The rhythm instruments! So with that in mind, I am sharing my simple score with you. Feel free to change the instruments to whatever you have on hand, even homemade instruments.

Obviously you don’t need a score for this simple rhythm section, but my students found it interesting, and it helped me focus. If one of your students has a family member who can play the Piano 2 part on the electric bass or any other instrument, that would be really fun, especially for a Christmas recital! Please alert me if you find any mistakes in my score, as I don’t have an editor. Have fun and if you have a successful performance, let me know!

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Filed under Christmas, Group lesson ideas, Holiday Music, Rhythm