Summertime Fun at the Bench (when you can’t be at the beach)
We are at the halfway point now. July has been enjoyed and August is here ready to offer more summer fun! It is a great time to pay a visit to the lonely ivories and do a little review to ensure a smooth transition into the recommencement of lessons once September hits.
Maybe you have been practicing regularly since classes let out, and if so – WAY TO GO!!! If you have been taking a well deserved break, however, it isn’t too late to do a little summer workout to get those fingers ready to move to the next level. Here are some fun summer suggestions for getting back into the swing of things.
Water balloon rhythm toss. You will need: at least 2 players, sidewalk chalk, some water balloons filled with water, a stretch of pavement where there is no danger of cars. Both players draw 3 or 4 beat rhythms on the sidewalk. The older the players, the more rhythms you can draw. For 3 or 4 year olds, 5 or 6 rhythms are plenty. Now for the fun! Each player takes turns clapping a rhythm. The other player must guess which rhythm has been clapped and throw a water balloon at that rhythm. You can give points for every correct guess and every accurate throw.
Race you up the keyboard! You will need: a deck of letter cards…can be made out of paper or cardboard. Each card has one letter of the music alphabet (A – G). 21 cards would be lots. (3 of each letter). You also need enough markers for each player. You could use little cars, figurines, pom poms, pennies…anything small enough to fit on a piano key. To play – all the markers start on the lowest key of the piano. The cards are face down in a pile. Each player takes a turn to choose a card and move their marker to the nearest key that matches that letter. The player who makes it to the end of the keyboard wins. For older students you can even play with sharps or flats.
Talent show play date – Invite a few music friends over and put on a little concert. Each child is asked to prepare two songs for the concert, bring treats to share and bring a friend. If you have a portable keyboard you could even hold the concert on your deck. You could even print off pictures the group and have the kids sign their autograph on the photos as a keepsake.
Where’s That Note? – You will need your tin sheet, magnets and a deck of letter cards (from the racing game above) Put all the magnets randomly on the tin sheet. Then choose a letter card, find that note on the tin sheet. The fun factor for this activity will climb if you exchange smarties, dried fruit, mini marshmallows or chipits for the magnets. That way you get a treat every time you find the correct note! : )
Scale the fridge – You will need 3 fridge magnets and your piano. This is an activity that can be ongoing over a period of a few days or a couple of weeks. Place the magnets at the bottom of the fridge door, one on top of the other like a snowman. The object of this game is to get to the top of the fridge door by playing leapfrog with the magnets. Every time you play a scale on the piano, the bottom magnet can jump to the top of the snowman, moving you up the door. The only rule is you can’t use the same scale each day. The Sunshine I students have only 3 scales to choose from but you can count each hand as a different scale…voila..now they have 6 to choose from.
Have fun getting reacquainted with your piano while you enjoy the rest of the summer!