Mothers Day Composing Activity

[UPDATED: Both versions are included in the file.]

I wanted a Mother’s Day activity for my students in Level 1,  so I modified the my pre-reading  Mother’s Day activity.  While it may look similar to the one I posted a few days ago,  because I reused  my flowers and graphics,  I wrote a new tune especially for this activity. This time I used steps and skips and two measures of hands together playing that is often a challenge at this level.

I call these measures the “tricky bits” and we learn them first,  hands separate. Then we play measure 3 and 4 hands together, but not on the keys. We play them in  the air, on the fall board, on our arm or leg, and any other way that strikes our fancy. By the time we finally get around to playing it on the piano, it is so firmly in the student’s muscle memory that the tricky bits become the “easy bits”. If they need a little more practice hands together, we start at the bottom of the keyboard and play going up or down in all the octaves. This takes a while, but it pays off when they get home. Students are more likely to practice if they have already worked out the “tricky bits.”

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8 thoughts to “Mother’s Day on staff

  • Emily

    I too am having my students learn it as a secret. I changed the title to the song for the copies I’m giving my students to practice to “A Very Boring Song.” I tell them if their mom asks them what they are working on they should say “Oh, nothing, it’s just a very boring song!” They are all so excited to surprise their moms on Mother’s Day with what it really is! Thanks so much for all your wonderful resources. I have a bunch of beginners right now and I’ve been using your compositions and not only does it help reinforce the concepts they’re learning but I see a big difference in enthusiasm with all of these young ones from students I have started in the past that I have not done any composing with. They really take ownership in what they are doing. Thanks again!!!

    • susanparadis

      That’s such a cute idea! I wish I had thought of it!

  • LaDona

    Love the Mother’s Day activity. One of my students asked what the Father’s Day song is going to look like???????

  • Laura

    My students are really enjoying this, too! We’ve been working on it as a “Secret Assignment.” Several have plans to design their own covers for presenting it to their mothers on Mothers’ Day. This is a great idea! Thanks!

  • Joanne

    Susan, I am very excited about your Mother’s Day songs. I plan to have each of my students finish the song for a Mother’s Day gift. We have been working on composing, so I’ll use the two different pieces, according to their experience. Thanks so much.

    • susanparadis

      Thanks so much for your comments. I almost didn’t post this one because I haven’t received a lot of feedback and didn’t know if other teachers were interested. I’m so glad you’re finding it useful. I hope you like the art!

  • celia

    I’ve been wanting to do these composing exercises, but I always run out of time in my lesson. So, I gave a few students I thought were up to the challenge an Easter Song sheet with instructions. I fully expected everyone to use the key of C. Only one came back with it completed, but she had created a song in the key of B (though she’d written it in the key of A with some flats as accidentals)! She’s only been taking lessons for a year and a half so I was extremely impressed by her creativity. Thanks for all the fun ideas.

    • susanparadis

      Celia, that’s great!
      It IS hard to fit in using these composing sheets. But I’ve found that the more I use them, the more quickly the students are able to do them. And it has been very interesting watching their composing skills grow. Next year I’m going to have to make up some more “grown up” composing activities. Suggestions are welcome!

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