November 2017 Plans

Here’s what we did last month:

Week 1: We pulled out the drums for Drumming in Eight.

Week 2:  We practiced notes with Pluck the Turkey (Note Review).

Week 3: We learned to play “For Health and Strength” by rote memory. Once they had it down, we used Pumpkin Bowling to play “For Health and Strength” as a duet. Based on which pin they bowled down, my accompaniment was either country-western, block chords, oom-pa-pa, etc. For those students who were sufficiently advanced, I sometimes played the  melody while they played the accompaniment.

Week 4: We chose Christmas songs for the season, which took a lot of the time. Once that was determined, we played the Musicality Activity, using my nutcracker as the game piece. For some of the older students, I just held the signs and they chose one. I wasn’t sure they would go for the game version, and it went fine.



Musicality Activity

Most of my kids pick up on the concept of things like diminuendo and ritardando pretty quickly. Getting them to actually play a diminuendo or a ritardando is something else again. A lot of them just can’t do it, so here’s a very simple activity to review it.

What You Need:

  • A set of cards or signs with various musicality terms. I used the following: adagio, andante, allegro, presto, accelerando, ritardando, forte, piano, crescendo, diminuendo, and fermata.
  • Two blank cards or signs to use as wilds (optional)
  • Some kind of game piece to move along the cards. I’m doing this shortly before Christmas, so I used a nutcracker.
  • Dice


  • Lay out your cards face down in a path of any shape

How to Play:

  • The student should first choose a review song or phrase. They should be totally confident of the notes in the section chosen.
  • Roll the dice and move the game piece along that many spaces.
  • Flip the card and play the review song using that musicality term. If they get a wild card, they can choose whatever musicality term they would like to use.
  • Go again.
  • If you get to the end and there is still time, turn around and make your way back again.

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