Monday, August 27, 2012

Practice Chains

This year's Practice ChAins look great already, and its only the first day of lessons! We made "dog tags" to hang on the end of the chains this year.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back-To-School Party Highlights

Now, THIS is what I call FUN!

My New Logo!

Well, here it is. It was on my summer project list and I finished it just in time for my back to school party tomorrow. Everyone is getting t-shirts to take home! Yea! 

Baroque Class- Vocab Game

This game uses Jeana Beasley's Rhythm Addition Cards as dice.

I made up Baroque vocabulary cards based on the glossary of the Succeeding with the Masters Baroque Vol. 1 Performance book and the foam blocks I found at Michael's. Each student picked three cards from the deck (vocabulary terms) and took turns picking the letters and numbers from the center pile. They could pick as many items as the rhythm addition card dictated. The first person to spell all three words/dates won a prize!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Baroque Class- Scarlatti

This week's Baroque Class activity was a Baroque fan featuring the autograph of Scarlatti himself (this week's composer). A lady would make her own fan and bring it with her everywhere- including concerts and the opera.

In class this week everyone had a great time creating their fan! Not to mention this week's technical skill: grace notes, our duet: Autumn from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi, and our Rep: Minuetto by Scarlatti.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Key of D# Major

I ran across these foam blocks at Michael's crafts and the red flags started waving! They are light, slightly bigger than dice, and cheap cheap cheap cheap cheap. I decided to write the names of the music alphabet on them and use them to demonstrate scale building, intervals triads, and oh....lots of things. Sometimes when we are reviewing keys and key signatures, I get the old question- "Why isn't there a key of D# major?" These little blocks are a handy answer.
When placed on the keys of the piano (by the student, of course), in alpha order, following the whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole half pattern of the major scale, the answer becomes instantly clear. We don't have an Fx or Cx in our major/minor system. It just doesn't allow for double sharps (or flats) in a major key. Besides....we already have the enharmonic of E-flat major, so why not just use that? Its a lot easier juggling an F and G, than an E# and Fx.
You can also have the student set the blocks of E-flat major right next to the yucky D# major so they can see for themselves. I've got lots of visual learners, and sometimes this is exactly what they need to "see" and understand it.