St Patrick’s Day Composing
In my never-ending quest to change everything on my website to portrait orientation, I have updated these two St. Patrick’s Day composing pages and put them together into one PDF file. It’s time-consuming, which is why it is taking me so long!
The first page is for composing on the staff. I wrote a little poem and put the rhythm above the staff. The student can write a melody with bass notes, or just the melody.
The pre-reading page has the rhythm written above shamrocks, and they write the finger numbers of their melody on the shamrocks.
I always suggest to my students to start and end on the same note if they want a singable melody and I suggest D using only white keys for an Irish sounding melody. It is always amazing to me that some students have an innate ability to come up with a good melody! Other students write notes willy-nilly here and there and it sounds rather like me composing 12-tone music for a theory class. 🙂
Some students want to compose melody and accompaniment, so I suggest they start with fifths in the left hand and use D minor and C parallel fifths. If they get carried away and want to expand their composition, check out the staff paper I’ve posted that has a braced grand staff, measures, and bar lines. It’s one of the pages in this bundle. Staff Paper Variety Pack
If you don’t know how to print only one page in a PDF bundle, there is a tutorial in my FAQ.
Shamrock Keyboard Race
This is a game I made up to learn piano keys. I got the idea from my friend Cecilly who told me about her similar game to learn sharps and flats. I changed it around for learning piano keys, made some cards, and it kind of took on a life of its own! It has become a staple for piano teachers all around the world.
Keyboard Race is played on the piano keys. It’s fast and it works! As a matter of fact, I like it so much that I’ve made a lot of different variations for each season and even baseball cards! I’ve even made cards with an H instead of a B for German teachers. Check out the links at the bottom of this page.
Since these cards are not particularly cutesy, they are good for older beginners.
- To quickly identify piano keys
- To identify middle C
- Optional: To identify B flat and F sharp
- Piano keyboard
- Keyboard Race Cards, one color for each player
- Two tokens • Collectable erasers will not damage your keyboard and I have an extensive collection of cute erasers.
- This is a two-player game, 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.
- Each player has one set of cards and one token, and places the their cards on the piano book rack. Shuffle the cards well.
- 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.
Here are links to the game using different cards:
Baseball Keyboard Race
Pumpkin or Leaves Keyboard Race
Snowflake Keyboard Race
Reindeer and Elves Keyboard Race
German Shamrock Keyboard Race
If any of these links don’t work in the future, use the search engine on the right. A Google search will produce results, also.
Clover Full Of Notes
I have been trying to update my old material and move it over to the “Newer Free Resources” section of my website. I’m working on St. Patrick’s Day material this week.
I’ve updated the text on this rhythm worksheet to make it more iPad friendly. Included is a black and white version for teachers who don’t want to print in color.
Students complete the worksheet by drawing half notes in the first ring around the whole note in the center, then quarter notes in the middle leaves, and eighth notes on the outside leaves.
A few years ago I wrote a tutorial about how open a worksheet on your iPad or Android. MetaMoji (also known as Note Anytime) can also be used on other tablets as well as an iPad. http://www.susanparadis.com/metamoji-note-an-app-for-writing-on-the-ipad-and-other-tablets/
Notability is a good app for the iPad, and it works almost the same as MetaMoji.
Pot of Gold
I’ve been testing out my new elementary level St. Patrick’s Day game, Pot of Gold, and it is fast and fun! It is a board game, where students answer a music question, roll a die, and move their pawn.
This is a big file so it might take some time to download. There are 8 pages, including 6 pages of elementary level cards: keyboards, notes, vocabulary, intervals, and key signatures. If you like to print a colorful back to your game cards so they look more professional, I included that, too. Scroll through all the pages included in this file and only print what you want. If you don’t know how to print the back to the cards, check out the FAQ at the top of my blog.
However, there is a little secret to this game. It is very much like my Thanksgiving game, Chasing the Turkey. So if you have already printed the cards to that game and you are in a hurry or want to save ink, you can use the Chasing the Turkey cards. I made this set of cards because I like to keep the game boards and cards together so I can find them quickly.
I printed the game board on card stock and laminated it, but I did not laminate the cards. I separate the cards by level before we play. I store board games in folders with pockets that I buy on sale at the beginning of the school year. On the inside of the folder, I glue the rules of the game because I forget the rules!
One of my older students was watching his brother as we played. “Hey, you’re giving him the answers,” he said. Then he quickly said, “But I guess if you don’t, he won’t learn anything.”
“You’re exactly right,” I said. The purpose of this game is to learn, and if he doesn’t know the answer, I help him out so he will!”
- To review previously learned musical symbols, intervals, key signatures, the notes of middle C position, and some music vocabulary words.
- To enjoy a seasonal game.
- Grades 1-4, using the appropriate cards for the concepts students have learned.
- Game board.
- Cards printed with various musical symbols and terms.
- One die.
- On pawn for each player.
- The game can be played with two or more players.
- Print the game board and cut out the cards.
- Each player puts his token on the game board. The first player draws a card and answers the question. If he doesn’t know the answer, give him hints until he gets it correct.
- Then he rolls the die and moves the number of spaces on the die. If he lands on a circle with instructions, he follows the instructions, such as taking a short cut, or moving back to Start.
- The game continues in the same way with the other players.
- When playing with a pre-school child, let him win most of the games so he will want to play again.
- The first player to reach the Pot of Gold is the winner.