Note: The printable in the post below is meant to be used with our latest music release, Tinker: An Exploration In Music Creation. If you’re not already a PianoBookClub member you can learn more here, or keep reading to see an awesome preview of this month’s book.
So here’s the thing… normally in the summer months Andrea and I tear ourselves away from the computers each day an hour or two earlier than normal so we can take our girls swimming in the lake, the river, or the ocean.
But for the last few days, smoke from forest fires (don’t worry, the fires are still a long way away!) have almost entirely choked out the sun, leaving us with a sepia-toned world… not conducive to a summertime swim.
So, with my extra time this past week, I created an expansion pack for our newest release from PianoBookClub, Tinker: An Exploration In Music Creation. As if the book wasn’t already jam-packed with goodness… now you’ll have an extra couple of activities at your fingertips!
Before we get to the activities, here’s a brief overview of Tinker (with a preview at the end of this section).
Tinker: An Exploration In Music Creation
As a child, I was always intrigued by the magic of music… a bunch of notes on a page somehow came together to create an exciting tune. But it wasn’t until I started to become interested in music creation that I realized composers have a few little tools at their disposal to help them make magic.
In TINKER we’re using whimsical machines and “fantastical” music to introduce your piano students to the tools, or more specifically the techniques, that composers use to transform simple musical ideas (called motives) into masterpieces. Click on the image below for a preview.
The Tinker Expansion Pack
When you click here to download the expansion pack, you’ll have access to a deck of 24 cards. Print these cards out, laminate them, and use them for the two activities described below:
Activity 1 – Motive’ating Ear Training
1. Before the game begins, the teacher should sit at the piano with the six “Motive” cards removed from the deck. The student should sit on the floor with the remaining playing cards (face up and spread out) and a die.
2. The teacher begins by playing any one of the six motives. The student then rolls a die until it displays either a one, two, or three. If it displays a one, the student must find only one variation of the motive played by the teacher. If the die displays a two, the student must find two of the motive variations. If the die displays a three, the student must find all three motive variations. After each motive has been played by the the teacher once, it is removed from the piano.
3. When all six “Motive” cards have been played by the teacher the game is over.
Activity 2 – Motive Memory
1. Before the game begins, remove all six “Motive” cards from the deck. Place all remaining cards face down on the floor. Without peeking, the teacher and the student begin by each selecting one “Motive” card.
2. The first player begins by flipping over two of the cards that are face down on the floor. The player examines each of these cards to see if it is a variation of the motive she is holding (ie. a motive in a sequence, a motive in retrograde, or a motive in repetition). If the player finds a match (or two), the player keeps the match and flips back over any cards that do not match.
3. The second player repeats Step 2.
4. The first player to find all three variations of her motive wins the game.
Don’t Worry… You Can’t Break A Thing!
I can’t stress enough the importance of teaching piano students beginning composing skills. We designed this month’s PianoBookClub book to encourage young students to have fun exploring the music making process and we hope it leads to a lifetime of music creation!