Rhythm Building Blocks

Rhythm Building Blocks

 

Most of the kids love building things. Here’s a way to practice rhythms and build at the same time.

What You Need:

  • Blocks, Keva planks, Legos, or something similar
  • 1 die
  • Paper
  • Writing Utensil

Setup:

  • Write out the numbers 1-6. Assign a note value to each number. I do this on the fly because it varies depending on how advanced the student is.

How to Play:

  • The student rolls the die. She then composes a one measure rhythm in 4/4 time and writes it on the paper. The rhythm must use the note value corresponding with whatever number she rolled. Other than that one note, she can use whatever note values she wants.
  • She counts and claps her measure. If she gets it right, she earns one block and begins a structure.
  • She rolls again and composes a second measure based on her roll. She can earn one block for counting and clapping just that rhythm. Then she can earn two more blocks by counting and clapping both of her measures in sequence.
  • Continue on. The student will earn progressively higher numbers of blocks each time.

 

 

Easter Egg Performance Preparation

Easter Egg Performance Preparation

It’s recital time here. On the week before a performance, I always record the students so we can play it back and evaluate. The trick is to make this fun instead of intimidating, so we added in a bit of art.

What You Need:

  • Several Easter egg coloring pages, such as these, these, or these.
    • I used the ones with 9 eggs to a page, but anything will work.
    • I also specifically got some of the ones with blank eggs because some kids prefer to color, some prefer to draw.
  • Colored pencils or crayons
  • Recording device (I just use my phone)

Setup:

  • Label the top of each coloring page with Take 1, Take 2, or Take 3. I did one coloring page and one blank egg page for each of the three takes.

What to Do:

  • Record the student playing their piece two or three times.
  • Play back the first take. Discuss what went well and what could use improvement. You could use the Pre-Recital Self Assessment for this, but it’s optional.
  • Repeat for the second and third takes.
  • Determine which recording was the best. The student can then decorate one of the eggs on the page labeled for that take.

Easter Egg Performance Prep

Target Practice (How to Drill Anything)

Target Practice (How to Drill Anything)

This activity requires a giant target. This may come with an archery set, but mine is a homemade job made out of an old curtain otherwise destined for the trash, a sharpie marker, and some spray fabric paint, which I didn’t even bother to try to keep in the lines. Regardless of how professional (or not) yours looks, the kids will have a good time with this.

What You Need:

  • Giant Target
  • Beanbag
  • Flashcards for whatever you want to drill

Setup:

  • Lay the target out on the floor.
  • Place a flashcard on each color of the target.

How to Play:

  • The student tosses the beanbag onto the target. I vary the starting position based on the throwing ability of the kid.
  • Pick up the card for the color the beanbag landed on and have the student answer it. Replace the card and go again.
  • Some kids will like to keep score. If so, give them 1 point for a bull’s eye, 2 points for the next color, etc. The goal is to keep the score as low as possible. If they are motivated by competition, the teacher can play too. In that case, miss some of the answers and offer them a point off their score tally if they catch you making a mistake.