Monday, October 6, 2014

September Group Lessons

Last month was our first official group lesson for the quarter. Because our theme is Reach Beyond the Stars I wanted to do some activities that were "Star Wars" based. Doesn't that sound fun?

First I wanted to prep our main rhythm activity so we reviewed quarters and eighth notes by rapping, clapping and music matching.

After we were pro's with our quarters and eighth the battle began! We played Rhythm Wars with boomwackers. Students entered the "ring" and were to hit the rhythm pattern correctly or they were out and the next person was to take over. (You can see a little of this activity "live" in the new studio video below...)

Then we concluded our group lessons by playing Music Jeopardy- The Staff Strikes Back and reviewed our notes on the staff.

We had a very fun time reviewing our rhythm and notes with a Star Wars theme. I finally was able to put together our 2014-2015 studio video together, which used these resources in addition to the resources I used at our Fall kickoff in August. (You can see Rhythm Wars in action!) Be sure to check it out below.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fall Kickoff 2014

Kicking off the new school year, our new theme this year was introduced...

Students will advance ranks with their practicing, earning badges and complete mission assignments. 
This year will be OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Upon arrival, students filled out their new Getting to Know You sheets for the year.

Keeping with tradition at fall kickoff students shared their practice prop projects! Practice projects represent practicing over the summer. Students can apply the time spent, goal accomplished or number of pieces learned to their project. 

(In no particular order...)


#1- Hailey was out of the country for most of the summer so just had a little time to practice before lessons started again. She drew a musical themed picture.

#2- Strider built a clay fort for his project, adding to it as he practiced over the summer. 

#3- Emma made a little dog stuffed animal.

#4- Thomas made a keychain 

#5- Rachel made a crayon art project. Each crayon represents her hard work learning pieces over the summer. 

#6- Alissa added soccer balls for the world cup representing the 18 pieces she learned this summer. 

#7- Kyra made a fish pond, adding rocks around it that represented her practicing.

#8- For each week/practice goal Zoe was able to accomplish, she earned a part of a princess outfit. (Dress, crown, necklace, shoes...) 

#9- Daniella created a homemade computer, adding to the keyboard with her practicing. 

#10- Mia built a lego type project building upon it when she practiced. 

#11- Kendell made a yummy treat for his project. The M&M designs on the cakes represented the songs he learned this summer. 

#12- Ireland collected "pet rocks" for each piece that she learned over the summer. 
(She named them all too!)

#13- Keely likes taking pictures so for every song she learned, she took a picture and shared those with us. Here is one with her dog...

#14- Rebecca made what ended up being a jump rope or a chinese jump rope when you connect it, adding rubber bands to it as she practiced. 

#15- Jason enjoys computer graphic design. This is a piano keyboard that he created. It was super close to being finished by fall kickoff! 

You will notice that several of these projects weren't quite finished and that is okay because learning to play the piano is never finished. It is a process we continue to work on and improve on each day!

After practice prop projects were shared, students decorated their music binders and if we had time played a space themed "joke" game that had them laughing and groaning.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fall Kickoff Coming!

Fall Studio Kickoff is coming soon, are your practice prop projects almost ready to showcase? Can't wait to see them!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Road Trip USA! Piano Summer Camp 2014

This summer students took an 8-hour "road trip" in the studio. We "visited" Washington D.C., New York City and Hawaii. Each day campers discovered various styles of music, learn about gifted composers, learned and reviewed music fundamentals.

First Day- Washington DC- Patriotic Theme
Starting with our nation's capital, students chose a patriotic necklace to wear upon arrival. We started out watching a YouTube video of the story behind the national anthem. I really think it’s important for children to know this. They enjoyed it, a few knew the story already (yay for school teachers!) but many had not. We also talked about why we put our hand over our heart when the national anthem is sung.
Afterwards we used reviewed music symbol names to prep them for the Laws of Music Game played later. 
Moving onto rhythm, students played Rhythm Riot, a game where they recognize rhythm and clap it in a particular tempo using the metronome.
Laws of Music was next, students needed to give the definition to all those symbols and notes that are found in their music.
We played a couple patriotic rhythm themed games and then we saved the best for last and played Rhythm Cup Explorations. A fun rhythm activity using cups. We did this activity with patriotic music such as Stars and Stripes Forever, This land is Your Land, etc.

2nd Day- I Love New York Day- NYC/Star/Broadway Theme
On the 2nd day students were STARS and received a pair of star shaped shutter glasses. We began camp by watching the Rhapsody in Blue clip from Fantasia 2000 composed by George Gershwin. We talked about what they learned in the clip and learned more about George Gershwin.
Then we played a game called Taxi Cab Races where students clapped, found the missing beat and found the correct rhythm.
We played Where Everyone is a Star, a terminology game. Reviewing our music symbols again, students were given a symbol and guess what they had.
We had a craft break and made picture frames. While they were making this craft I had my NYC slideshow showing of when I toured the Steinway Factory, Steinway Hall and Carnegie Hall.
Then it was time to review our notes and intervals!
Our NYC day wouldn't be complete without learning about the history of broadway musicals. We finished off by doing Boomwhackers on Broadway. They played Lion Sleeps Tonight from Lion King, Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof and George Gershwin’s, I Got Rhythm. Then students created their own Boomwhacker composition.
3rd Day- Luau Day- Hawaiin Theme
As students walked in on the last day of camp, they received a Hawaiian name and a lei. We began by watching a Hawaiin montage with IZ Kamakawiwo’ole’s, (well known Hawaiian ukulele player) popular version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow”.
Our first game was a lighter game, Musical Truth or Dare game passing around a plastic coconut in hot potato style. Inside were musical truth or dares. An example of a truth would be things like- “Do you sing in the shower?”, Did you practice this week?”, “Is your piano tuned?” Dares were things like “Pick a partner and dance the hula”, “Do some air guitar”, “Sing the Mickey Mouse song in a Mickey voice,” etc…
IMG_6413Keeping with the more relaxed destination we made a couple crafts. We first made hawaiin themed wind chimes. These turned out really cute. And then for our 2nd craft we made Pu’ili sticks. Before making the Pu’ili sticks we watched a video of a Hawaiin dance using the Pu’ili sticks. Pu'ili sticks are rhythm sticks used in Hawaii made out of bamboo.
Then we played a gameFlip Flops and Leis a note matching relay game.

After winning a game at ASMTA conference, my last camp group was able to try a game called Musical Words. This is one that I plan on using again soon. It has them create music based on adjectives.
And if we had time we did some Limbo! 

I posted several video’s from this camp on the Foxx Piano Studio YouTube channel. Check them out! (Pu’ili Rhythm SticksRhythm Cup PatrioticLion Sleeps Tonight Boomwhackers, Boomwhacker Composition 1 and 2).