Throwback Thursday Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Composing Activities

Mothers Day Composing Activity

Today’s Throwback Thursday includes two old favorites, Mother and Father’s Day composing activities on and off the staff, and of course they are free! They were originally posted about nine years ago, and I’ve revised them over the years, putting both the pre-reading and on-the-staff versions in one handy file!

Every year I plan to remind teachers about these Mother’s Day composing activities on my website, but I always wait until it’s too late. This year I remembered in time for students to compose an ending and even memorize it before Mother’s Day. Even if students have learned to read notes on the staff, they enjoy these simple composing activities. They can be found on the composing page, along with ones with other holidays, and one for “anytime.”

Fathers Day Composing Activity

There is an  “on the staff” version for older students. Notice there are skipping notes and hands together. Students can write a melody divided between the hands, or write a melody in one hand and an accompaniment in the other. Clever students can write words to their melody. By having the rhythm already written for them, it makes it easy to compose a melody.  On the pre-reading version, students can write finger numbers.

Of course, students also love to make up their own pieces and play them for you. I encourage my beginners to memorize these “compositions” because the music is usually beyond their abilities to write the notes!

 

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Filed under Composing Activities, Preschool Music Resources

Circle Intervals Worksheet

In this worksheet, students identify intervals from unison to octaves.

Intervals Circles

Today’s post is Interval Circles, a worksheet for older students to identify intervals from unison to octaves. I mentioned last week that I needed more interval worksheets, so I am following through!

This worksheet gives students practice in how musicians see and read intervals in a score. Not all students are born good music readers and some struggle with it for years, despite our best efforts. However, most poor readers can improve with a lot of practice in reading intervals.

I teach reading by intervals, yet in the last several months I’ve noticed a student struggle with reading. I realized that he was trying to identify individual notes as he played. In hindsight, I believe it came from worksheets, of all things! He made a gold medal on the state theory test because he had very diligently done all his theory homework. He would very carefully double-check all his work by counting up from guide notes on every single example. But somehow that transferred over to sight-reading and I saw him counting lines and spaces of each note he played to make sure it was correct!

We had a little talk and I told him that while it is very important to know all the notes, when he is reading music at the piano he doesn’t have time to think of the names of all the notes as he plays. It is much faster to read by intervals. He tested it out while I pointed with my nifty telescope pointer and it was amazing how well he was able to read.

Sometimes we don’t know what causes students to have a set back, so it was very rewarding to realize the most likely cause of this.

Getting back to today’s Interval Circles worksheet, it covers unison and 8va intervals going up and down. It will also help students who sometimes get confused over the direction the intervals move, thinking when the stem goes down, the note goes down. Yes, I’ve seen that, too!

If you have a student having trouble with reading, try Notey Noteheads, free cards from my website. I left the stems off so students with learning difficulties can focus on the note head. There is even a parent’s guide to help students practice at home.

Sight reading flash cards

Notey Noteheads Sight Reading Flash Cards

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Filed under Intermediate Students, Note Identification, Worksheets

New Recital Certificate

Certificate for Recital Performance

Recital Certificate

A couple of teachers asked me if I had a recital certificate to match the recital programs I posted a while back. My first thought was to find it on my site and send them the link, because I knew I made one. Alas, it wasn’t on my site! But it is today! So if you haven’t had your recital yet, feel free to use this one.

I think I know what happened. I was planning on making this certificate so that you could personalize it and not have to write in all your students’ names. Then I got busy with a lot of other things and never came back to it. So there it set in my computer files, alone and neglected, along with all my other projects, finished and unfinished.

I hope those of you who like my editable material aren’t disappointed, but I just don’t have time right now! Here are some certificates you might find useful at the end of the year. For those of you who have really big studios, there are several below that are editable when you open them in Adobe Reader.

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Prickly Intervals – a New Worksheet

Identify Music Intervals

Prickly Intervals

A few months ago when we were studying for the theory test, I went looking for some interval worksheets on my site, and I couldn’t find very many that didn’t have a holiday theme. I have no clue what happened to all the ones I thought I had posted, so I’m going to make a few and add them to my site.

The new one I’m posting today is called Prickly Intervals. I was inspired by all the blooming cacti I recently saw in a friend’s house, and decided it would be fun to make a worksheet with some flowering cacti as a theme. I’ve always thought they are amazing plants. For one thing, according to an online dictionary, there are three acceptable plurals for the word cactus: cacti, cactuses, and cactus. Is English a great language or what? (Answer: Yes, if you’re a native speaker!) When you come to my website, you are going to get bits of trivia whether you want it or not!

The Prickly Intervals worksheet is a little more difficult than Interval Stars below, which I  posted a few years ago for beginners. Feel free to use this one for your first interval worksheet. Interval Stars explains how to count intervals in a very easy way.

This is a worksheet for beginning intervals.

Interval Stars

Today’s worksheet, Prickly Intervals, will be easier if they can do Interval Stars. Not only does it include octaves, but it has unisons. A few years ago, for the first time I can remember, unisons were included on the theory test my students take. It’s in the syllabus, so it was fair game to be included on the test, and there it was, in black and white: UNISON. I’ve always mentioned it, saying something like, “Don’t forget, if the interval is the same note, we call it unison, not a first!” But of course you can’t just mention things to students and assume they are going to remember. It just whooshes right over their heads. So I decided to include it on my worksheet, to give them some practice for when the prickly unison word is on the test again!

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Filed under Note Identification, Theory, Worksheets