March 11, 2011

Ways to Use Resources

In my last post, I talked about how to keep all the very helpful information we get of the internet straight, and how to decide what is best for your own students and studio.

Today I am sharing an example of how to make all of the games, activities, worksheets, etc. work for you in accomplishing your goals. This is just a suggestion, this may not work for you, but it may get some wheels rolling in your mind to help you along your way. At least, I hope it helps you along your way!

Note names and recognition is probably one of the most important things a student learns in their first months of lessons. So because most of my students fall into that category, I decided to take this semester of lessons as "Note Recognition Emphasis Semester." Ok, so I don't really call it that, blech, but we do have this as our emphasis.

My goal is to get all my students in the "One Minute Club", an idea and resource from Susan Paradis. This encourages them to be able to play and say all the notes on the staff in a minute or less. They already were using flashcards, so this just gives them an extra motivation to learn them! All of them have accepted the challenge and are making rapid progress.

So with this as our goal, I plan many note-related games, activities and worksheets to help drill those notes. Let me just tell you, the possibilities are ENDLESS!!! I have had so much fun brainstorming ideas and coming up with activities, or adapting activities to fit what I need. Here are a few resources I have used:

I used this sheet and the Shamrock cards in a variety of ways! Students can draw a card, and then put a small gem on the appropriate note until they fill in all the spots. I also used the cards to have a race against the student down the keyboard. (I believe I read about that activity somewhere, but I don't remember where! If you know, please remind me!) Susan has some suggestions of her own at the bottom of the post, some of those may work for you as well.

I have a large treble staff and a large bass staff that I made when I was in college. I use them again and again! For one activity, I gave the student the bass staff and I took the treble staff. We then rolled one of these dice from Joy that has the music alphabet, and we each tried to fill in our staff first. Bass clef always seems to be harder for the students to learn, so by giving them the bass staff they were able to concentrate on those notes.

Susan Paradis also has these cards with the musical alphabet on them, and these can be used in a variety of ways, as well as the way shown on this post. I have a large grand staff that I drew on a poster board, and these cards work great on that. Here they are again, only bigger!

I also use some timed drills every so often to give the students a bit of a challenge. Here are the drills I use most frequently, (scroll down to "Ready Set Go!" Speed Tests) but I also use these. Some students really like the challenge of getting them all right, and then trying to beat their time on the next line.

Oh, and in case you were wondering what flashcards I use....these ones can not be beat! They are my all time favorite and include many things for the student to drill, not just notes.

Well, there are oodles of possibilities out there! Did you get that picture yet?? :) And this is just in one area of piano! Hopefully this gives you an idea, though, of how to put everything together and make it fit your needs.

What other ways do you incorporate these things into your teaching??

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nicole! Thank you for this I love reading about what other teachers do in lessons. I would be very interested in learning how you made your large treble and bass staffs if you have a moment and wouldn't mind sharing :)