An Edible Ornament that Lasts for a Lifetime?
Turning a candy cane into the shape of a "J" and attaching an appropriately shaped pipe cleaner can magically transform into a treble clef. No, I wasn't clever enough to come up this idea! Credit goes to Mrs Dennis and her article posted at Music with Mrs Dennis. If you have not visited this creative and colorful blog, check it out. Music with Mrs. Dennis has oodles of ideas for the music classroom that can prove useful in the piano studio as well. Mrs Dennis was kind enough to shoot a video of how she made the candy cane treble clefs. My students watched the video to learn how to make these tasty treble clefs in the studio during Music Tech Time.
Unlike Mrs Dennis, who generously crafted them for her students, I made my students make their own as part of a Christmas gift to their parents. After their treble clef ornament was finished, students wrote a holiday sentiment on a tag, and threaded the tag and a silver or gold bell on a colorful string. The string was then tied in a knot which was glued to the bottom portion of the "J."
What you will need to create the candy cane ornament:
1) Candy canes--the vast array of candy cane colors and flavors available at the supermarket is astounding--it's not just peppermint any more!
2) Pipe Cleaners--I purchased my red, white and green chenille stems from Hobby Lobby.
3) A Glue Gun--I did most of the gluing unless students felt comfortable with a glue gun themselves. Careful, it gets hot!
4) Tags--one side is used for a student-written holiday greeting while the other side is reserved for the QR code sticker, see details below.
5) Bells--these add a festive chime to the colorful treble clef.
6) String--cut into 4-inch segments which are used to attach the tab and bell to the candy cane.
These colorful and edible ornaments make adorable gifts. However, if you'd like to make a lasting impression with them, you'll need to put on your tech-savvy Santa hat and follow these next steps:
1) Purchase a Dynamic QR Account to generate dynamic QR (quick response) codes--available here, more details below.
2) Avery Square Labels (22805)--found online and at office supply stores.
What's a Dynamic QR code?
If you've hung around 88pianokeys.me for a while, you know I'm a fan of QR codes! Read all about last year's Christmas gift here. A typical or static QR code can house a link to a website but a dynamic QR code can link to videos. When the video QR code or VQR is scanned with a smart phone or tablet, the video can be viewed.
Read on to learn more about how I added VQR codes to the decked-out candy cane.
Using my iPad camera, I took videos of my students rehearsing for the upcoming recital and a few zany moments. Excerpts were combined into one movie using the incredibly intuitive iMovie app.
This Studio Smash-Up video was uploaded to my YouTube channel. Because I'm a member of the Music Teachers Technology Campus, I have access to a partnered service called a DynamicQRS.com. With it, I generated a VQR or video QR code and assigned to it the URL (uniform resource locater) of the video.
The VQR code was copied to Avery Square labels. A sticker was then placed on the tag of each candy cane.
At the Christmas recital, students were given their hand-crafted candy cane and they delivered them to their parents. The recital program featured instructions on how to access the video via the QR code. Here's the copy I used:
A Gift to You, the Parents
Your pianist will present you with a handmade, treble clef candy cane ornament. It includes a QR code.
You will need to obtain a QR code reader app for your smart phone or tablet.
Once you scan the code you can view a Studio Smash Up video featuring every student in the studio brightening the world in their own musical way.
Mmmm....too much work? Too techie? Too complicated? I do understand that if you are not comfortable with your camera, with iMovie, with YouTube, with generating codes, this may be a little over the top. Stay tuned! In 2015, 88pianokeys.me will feature a series on using your iPad camera in your teaching and the tools to help you create, edit and share videos.
Perhaps your goal could be to create these edible and tech-savvy treble clef candy cane ornaments by next Christmas!
Here's my Studio Smash Up video.