I love a good challenge… which is probably why I love teaching piano lessons in June.
I know my kids are going to be distracted, overbooked, and tired. I know my piano parents are expecting their kids to drag their heals on the way to the studio.
I also know that these generally low expectations mean that my piano parents are going to stand up and take notice when their kids emerge from lessons with smiles a mile wide.
If you want to WOW people this June too, check out the Surf’s Up Improv Activity that we’re sharing in today’s post.
A Surf’s Up Improv Activity
Improv activities are great any time of year, but they really shine in June. They require little effort for tired kids (and tired teachers) and little prep for overbooked kids (and overbooked teachers). Plus, they are a ton of fun! If you’ve never taught an improv activity before, follow along with the instructions below:
Print, laminate and cut out our Surf’s Up Improv Card Pack.
With your student, clap the rhythm of each “Surf’s Up” sentence. If your student would rather make up her own sentences, we’ve included three blank cards.
Have your student select any two cards. Place all of the other cards to the side.
Using a modified version of the C Major pentascale (include just C, E, F and G) ask your student to experiment with creating melodies to match his two selected rhythms (from Step 3).
Begin playing the teacher part of the Surf’s Up Improv Duet. When your student is ready, she can join in playing a melody (from Step 4) that matches either one or both rhythm cards (in an octave that doesn’t interfere with your part).
Encourage your student to switch back and forth between the two melody/rhythm combinations, to repeat one card over and over and to experiment with new melodies that match the rhythms. As your student becomes comfortable with adding her part to yours, she can then add harmonic intervals, change octaves and create her own rhythmic additions.
Looking For More Improv Activities
Teachers and students have been having fun with our improv activities for close to three years! If you’re looking for more improv fun, check out some of our past posts below.