This morning Halle (our youngest daughter) raced into our bedroom, peaked through the slats in the blind and woke us with a very loud “It’s sunny!”
Normally, I would have bribed her for a precious few more minutes of sleep, but given that it has been raining for so long in our neck of the woods I sprang from the bed to soak in those glorious rays of sun.
But there were none. It was still raining.
Our early riser was either dreaming of summer, or simply engaged in wishful thinking. It got me to thinking of warmer times… in the sun… on the beach.
And out of my summer dreams rose a wonderful piano teaching activity that will bring you and your piano students one step closer to the summer sun.
Staff In The Sand Piano Activity
Little kids are tactile learners. That’s why they probably drive you crazy on the bench as they fiddle, touch, tap, and smash various parts of your piano. They need to FEEL the music… literally!
Staff in the Sand is the perfect piano activity for getting these little learners off the bench while keeping their minds engaged with music. It requires a tiny bit of preparation, but once you’ve set it up once, you’re good to go for a long time.
The first thing you’re going to need to do is hit the beach (what can I say, life as a piano teacher is rough!) While there, collect sand enough sand to fill an 8.5 x 11 baking tray, as well as an assortment of rocks and shells. If you’re miles away from the closest beach, then hit up your local craft store. You can still wear your sunglasses and SPF 60. No one will judge you.
When you return home, sporting your new tan, fill the baking tray with the sand, place your beach treasures in a ziplock bag, and fill a spray bottle with water. You’re ready to begin.
Playing Staff in the Sand
Place the tray of sand on the floor in front of your piano student. Using the spray bottle, make sure the sand is slightly damp so that your student’s fingers can easily mark the sand.
Ask your piano student to draw a staff in the sand (the perfect time to discuss the number of lines and spaces). Then, have her add a treble clef. From her on out, the activity is as useful as your imagination. Ask your piano student to:
Place a shell on G.
Place a rock on A.
Place a shell, a third above E.
Place 2 rocks an octave apart.
Use 2 shells to demonstrate a step, a skip, a repeat etc. etc.
And Don’t Forget…
After all of your students have left for the evening, pull a chair up beside your new mini-beach, put on your shades, call your cabana boy or girl… and get them to bring you an ice cold martini. What? A gal can dream can’t she 🙂
More Ideas For Teaching Steps, Skips, Repeats
One of the 4 games we delivered to PianoGameClub’ers this month, Pizza With Keys, focuses specifically on reinforcing steps, skips, repeats, and leaps. It’s an absolute blast, as are the other games, Pitch-It, Quest For Rest, and ZooFood. Click here to sign up for PianoGameClub today.