You know that feeling you get when you walk out of a movie theatre into a still-sunny day? Well, despite a sunny studio, I still get that “emerging from a chrysalis feeling” after a long day spent teaching.
To prevent this experience, every now and again I try to work a little outside activity, like the one described below, into piano lessons.
Chalkin’ Up and Washin’ Down
Grab some sidewak chalk, a bucket full of water, a sponge, and a current piece of piano music and head to the sidewalk in front of your studio. Instruct your piano student to draw all of the notes values she finds in the first 4 measures of her current piano piece onto the sidewalk. The notes do NOT have to be drawn out in any order… disperse them randomly around the playing area.
Somewhere on the sidewalk, make sure your student also writes the time signature so that she is very aware of how many beats each note on the sidewalk receives.
Armed with a sponge, instruct your piano student to remove notes from the sidewalk according to the number of beats you shout out. For example (in 4/4 time) if you shout out 3 beats, your piano student may choose to “erase” a half note and a quarter note… or maybe two eighth notes and two quarters.
Continue shouting out beats until the entire sidewalk is back to its tidy old self. Be forewarned… this actiivty will cause excessive giggles and giddiness. Do it at the end of the lesson to avoid a wet student traipsing back into your studio…. send them off to Mom’s min-van instead 😉
So simple, so fun… have a blast!