Put those plastic eggs to work in your studio
It's post Easter and plastic eggs are on sale and priceless when you put them to work for you at piano lessons. Grab yours now and make sure you have a good stash for these activities that you can use any time of year.
Place a random object inside an eggshell.
Hide eggs around the studio and tell students to find one egg.
Ask students to shake and move the egg to determine what's inside. Guide their listening with these questions:
Does it feel light?
Does it slide quickly or slowly as your turn the egg?
Does it have a high or low pitch when it hits the side of the egg?
Why? Here's an excellent way to heighten listening skills and encourage students to feel and describe how things sound. To learn more about where this idea came from, watch this video with Music Learning Specialist Thomas Hoops, our guest presenter at 88 Creative Keys Summer Workshop this year.
Write pitch names on one half of the egg with a Sharpie marker.
Spell chords (root, 3rd and 5th and optional 7th) on the other half of the shell.
Snap the shells together and rotate the egg shells and stop when a chord includes that pitch. If the egg is hard to turn, add a little household oil and it will rotate like a charm.
Why? This is useful when harmonizing a melody and when looking for some fresh options besides the obvious I, IV and V chords.
Place candy or object in eggs.
Ask students to choose an egg and open it.
Use the rhythm of the candy name as a basis for improvisation: "Original Starburst."
Create a melody within the rhythm of the words above a backing track.
Follow this link for more details and for cool apps to use with this activity.
Why? Improvising within rhythms of common words is a non-threatening way to open creativity at the keys.
Place jelly beans, uncooked pasta or anything you desire in an egg to create a shaker.
Ask students to shake a steady beat or a rhythm pattern extracted from a piecce to be assigned.
Why? Let students experience a steady beat away from the bench. Also, let them hear a preview of a piece while feeling the steady beat or a particular rhythm pattern before they begin learning it at home.
Write a term on one half of the eggshell and the definition of the term on the other half. Do this with as many terms as you like.
Crack all the eggs and ask students to snap shells together with the correct matching definitions.
Follow this link for more ideas and see how I store these matching egg shells.
Why? Use a tactile method to review terms.
Fill an egg with jelly beans or any other small item.
Ask students to crack open the egg and count the items and write that number of quarter notes on a piece of paper or dry erase board.
Spin for a time signature using the Decide Now app and ask students to group quarter notes accordingly with bar lines in the correct place . If an incomplete measure is left, ask students to complete it with the correct amount of rests.
Variation: Change quarter notes to 8th notes or 16th notes or half notes or...
Variation: Assign all red jelly beans as quarter notes, all green beans to 8th notes, etc.
Why? Reinforce note values, bar lines, rests and time signatures.
Write chord symbols on one side of the shell and spell the chord on the other half of the shell.
Break up the eggs and hand half of a shell to each student as they walk in the door.
Ask the student to find the student who has the matching half of their egg shell.
Why? Here's a great way to break the ice in a new group setting or to create random partners for an activity.
I stopped at seven. Do you have more to contribute?
Write them below in the comment section!
PS I'll slip in an invitation to our 88 Creative Keys FREE online Clinic on April 23. Even if you can't make it live, make sure to register and we'll send you a link to the replay.
You'll gain some great activities for summer lessons. Some of the ideas are sure to please those who are fans of the The Greatest Showman soundtrack. If you're not a fan, you'll like the apps that I'll be highlighting.
Plus you'll great tips from Bradley Sowash and special guest, Samantha Coates.