I love Fall!!

I’m so excited fall is here.  I love fall for a variety of reasons.  I experienced this when I taught school as well but its that fun anticipation that we are going to start learning again!  I’ve been able to attend some music workshops this year and have some great ideas for my students this year.  Because last year’s Mission Impossible incentive program was such a hit I decided to go with a similar theme and tweak it to get rid of problem areas.  Our theme is Indiana Jones:  Music Adventure!  We will continue to use our map and travel around the globe looking for adventure.  We will begin in the United States and students can complete musical tasks there and then choose a flight path to a different country.  We will criss-cross the globe and learn about composers from different countries and acquire musical skills they can use throughout their life.  The can collect virtuoso visas depending on exceptional practice skills, attentiveness to detail and outstanding musicianship.  So here’s to a fun year of music adventure!

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If you’re looking for more info about the Music in Motion just click the menu tab and go down to that selection. Also under policies it shows what I charge for piano and the preschool group class.  Thanks for checking us out!

Recitals and Group Lessons!

My new favorite this year is the group lesson!  I have been able to work with the students on the circle of fifths, rhythm and a variety of activities that is so much more fun with others.  Our Christmas recital featured a lot of duets this year.  This is a great concept for students to learn–playing along with someone else (on any instrument) and still focus on their own part.  So here’s some of our activities.  Unfortunately shoulder surgery and rehab has kept me from typing or posting too much!  The students are doing fantastic about accomplishing their world cities!  They are all working on a piece from another country that may be played at the spring recital.  We have some big plans for that one…including some other instruments.  The concepts I teach in group lessons (based off Orff Schulwerk has done wonders to fortify their foundations in music.group lesson fall (2)duetduet2group games

Full Swing Piano

bbkingI do mean literally full swing.  The students and I have had a really fun time learning some 12 bar blues. Its a super fun set of lessons based off lesson plans by Tim Topham. (Check him out he’s super fun!) We work on basic chords, broken chords then the C blues scale and improvisation. We will start using backing tracks so the kids feel like their playing with a real band. It fun to see their enjoyment of music.   If they are learning to love what they do, then they’ll keep at it and want to practice!

The younger kids began with some exploration of the piano on those first weeks as well as working on rhythm building blocks.  The purpose of the building blocks was to fortify their recognition of the beat!  They were seeing notes on paper and paying attention to words and syllables and how many beats they would have.  Sometimes students are ready to sit down and play immediately regardless of counting. So we’ve stepped back and clapped out rhythms and tried to feel how the music will sound.  We use my hand drum to help them feel it.

Remind your kids to keep working on their goals.  I’ve written their goals in their notebook to remind them what they are!  We’ve made some great progress.  Most of them are working on at least one city that requires practicing a certain number of times.  When they complete that goal their name goes on the map for all to see.  We will be handing out fun certificates at the Fall Recital.  So parents we need you!!!  Keep encouraging them at home and as always if you have any questions about lesson notes….please let me know!1017170953


New Theme, New Students

first group class

What do these things have in common for today?  Well I am kicking myself for not getting the group photo of our activities but these are things we had fun with.  Our new theme is the Amazing Race.  Ask your kids to show you their map.  It needs to be in a (preferably) 3 ring notebook in the front cover sleeve or a sleeve insert inside the book to protect it.  Look at the challenges.  Sit down and help them decide which ones to tackle first.  We played 3 different rhythm games so I could assess where they were.  Everyone needs help with rhythm!  One student (who happens to be a drummer) gave the kids some tips on how important the beat is!  So we used a racquetball and hand drum for some counting exercises.  Learned a song from Ghana where they had to keep up a rhythm while passing a rock and plastic cup!  It was a fun way to start our year!