Create successful practice, explore a composer's historical lifestyle, learn about modern composers, experience local performances - Musical Notes will enhance your music education and capture your imagination. Be Inspired!
Homemade Instruments: Button Castanets
These colorful little castanets are perfect for little fingers to explore. Not only will your child experiment with rhythm, but he'll also work on developing his fine motor skills!
Sturdy Paper like poster board or a manila folder
Pairs of Buttons
Hot Glue Gun or Elmer's School Glue
Cut the paper into rectangles that measure anywhere from 4 to 6 inches long and 1/2 to 1 inch wide. Fold each rectangle in half so there's a crease in the middle. Next, choose two buttons and glue one on each end of the rectangle. The buttons will need to be the same size, and if your child is like my son, they'll have to be the same color too! Allow the glue to dry.
Let the fun begin! What types of rhythms can you create with your new instrument? Can you click the buttons together fast and slow? Can you make a steady beat? How about tapping the rhythm of your favorite song with your castanets? Turn on some music and experiment with all different types of rhythm!
***If doing this craft with young children or with young children present, do be careful to keep an eye on the buttons. Don't let young children put them in their mouths!***
I've had lots of fun researching different musically educational theory games over the summer, and beginning to implement some of them in my studio. This evening, I introduced Over The Edge during a couple lessons...
Tonight, one of my students was having some trouble remembering the names of different notes (quarter notes, half notes, whole notes) and rests (quarter rests, half rests, and whole rests), so we pulled out Over The Edge, a game designed by Jennifer Fink and posted on her wonderful blog: www.pianimation.com!
Over The Edge uses the image of a river filled with rocks to introduce and reinforce common notes and rests - quarter notes/rests, half notes/rests, dotted half notes, and whole notes/rests. You draw a card, and get a gem for each count. I always ask my students for the name of each type of note/rest and how many counts it gets.
Tonight's student quickly began to be able to identify notes and rests by their full name rather than just, "that gets one count...", "that gets two counts...", etc. Plus, she had lots of fun filling her board before I filled mine - and she won the game! :)
I've also had success using this game at the first piano lesson that we discuss quarter notes and half notes. Typically, quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes are introduced within a week or two of each other, so this is the perfect review game (just use the notes that your student already knows). At the end of the game, my students and I use the Over The Edge cards to create some extra rhythms or perform some quick ear training exercises.
It's been so much fun to watch my Little Mozarts - my 4-year-old and 5-year-old students - learn all the notes on the keyboard. Now, we're moving on to finding notes on the treble and bass clefs.
As I was looking for extra activities to help reinforce this new way of reading notes, I found these Search and Find worksheets created by Susan Paradis. I can't wait to try them out this week!
If you're little musician is getting bored of simply playing these new notes and doing flashcards (two great ways to learn notes, but the repetition can get a little tedious), these worksheets would be a great option to use. I will probably laminate my copies so I can use them over and over again!
And parents, if you choose to print a worksheet for your child, you can definitely count it toward their practice time!
GiggleBellies Music Videos
One of my student's parents introduced me to The GiggleBellies, and I can't wait to get some of these familiar songs for my boys. My boys absolutely love the colorful characters and the entertaining songs! This YouTube video features one of our favorite songs, we love to do the Finger Play while we sing:
Music provides so many benefits for youngsters. The calming lullabies on these digital downloads or DVDs may calm your child and lull them into sleep, while the upbeat songs will provide a great opportunity for dancing, singing and using their boundless amounts of energy - all in the safety of your playroom! Music has also been found to increase children's brain development in many areas, including Cognitive Development, Emotional/Social Interaction, Physical Development, and Language Acquisition.
Will your child begin band this year? Or is it just time to buy a band instrument since they're loving band and you don't want to keep renting an instrument year after year?
In addition to band instruments, the Guitar Center is celebrating it's 49th Anniversary with a huge sale on guitars. Click on the image above to see what they have to offer!
If your kids are like mine, they love the educational programming provided on local PBS stations. Educator Stephanie Anderson works with KBYU TV Eleven in Provo, Utah to provide a variety of educational resources for parents and teachers. In this particular workshop, she highlights the effects of music on your child's developing brain and provides a variety of activities to incorporate music into a child's daily routine. Download the Music is a Must packet here, and view the video below:
At Jessica's Piano Studio, our goal is to provide you and your child with a rich variety of music-filled activities. From Kindermusik classes to individualized music instruction, we offer a plethora of tools to help you incorporate music into your child's world!
Jessica's Piano Studio
Teacher at Jessica's Piano Studio to many talented students! Here's some helpful tips and interesting information to create a wonderfully educational musical experience!