Games, Videos

Video: Playing the Ice Cream Interval Game

During a recent lesson, I used my Ice Cream Interval Game — one of my favorite games for piano teaching — to reinforce and improve my student’s visual recognition of the intervals unison, second, third, fourth, and fifth in staff notation. Today, I thought I’d share a three-minute video clip of the activity.

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Here is what you’ll see in the video:

  • 0:00 When playing this game with my students, sometimes I like to hand-pick certain cards from the pile for the student to sort next, in order to build success. First, I made sure Emma could easily distinguish 2nds versus 3rds.
  • 0:10 Then, I gave Emma a card showing a 4th on the keyboard, and then a 5th on the keyboard. After that, I start giving her 4ths and 5ths notated on the staff.
  • 0:12 I like to ask the question: “How many notes are being skipped over?” I have found that this is a more effective strategy leading to being able to quickly recognize intervals on the staff upon sight, as opposed to allowing students to count all of the steps within an interval (for example, counting “1-2-3-4-5” for a 5th).
  • 1:00 I point out to Emma that 5ths look like triads except that the middle note has been removed.
  • 1:18 I encourage Emma to try to recognize the intervals on sight, instead of immediately resorting to counting the steps within the interval.
  • 1:44 Emma enjoys taking note of which cone has the most ice cream scoops so far. Students often comment on this during the game, because it’s fun! Emma does it again at the end of the video.
  • 2:08 Emma is beginning to recognize the various intervals upon sight, as evidenced by the increased amount of ease and decreased amount of time she uses while sorting the cards.

The Ice Cream Interval Game is available in my shop as a digital PDF download here. To read more of my thoughts regarding the important role of interval recognition during sight-reading, check out this post. Thanks for watching!

Conferences

2016 MTNA (5): Wednesday, April 6

Please enjoy my notes from Day 5 of the 2016 MTNA conference in San Antonio, Texas! Click here to go back to Day 4.

On Wednesday, the final day of the conference, Susan Hong and I began our morning at Bakery Lorraine to enjoy coffee and some baked goods. I’m so thankful she invited me to stay with her during the conference!

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We attended two more sessions before MTNA 2016 came to a close.

8:00am Extended Piano Techniques for Children: Reading and Playing the Language of Our Time, by Kevin Richmond

The last day of the conference often offers some of the best sessions. Kevin Richmond gave an engaging and informative session about six types of extended techniques used in music written for children. Accordingly, he also discussed the various forms of non-conventional notation that composers have come up with to indicate each type of extended technique.

20160406_08-16-51 Continue reading “2016 MTNA (5): Wednesday, April 6”

Conferences

MTNA 2016 (4): Tuesday, April 5

Please enjoy my notes from Day 4 of the 2016 MTNA conference in San Antonio, Texas! Click here to go back to Day 3.

8:00am Exhibitor Showcase – The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program: Digital Resources To Support Teachers And Ensure Student Success, by Marvin Blickenstaff and Elaine Rusk. 

In this session, I was excited to learn a bit about the new online resources that RCM offers to accompany the purchase of the latest revision of the “Four Star Sight-Reading and Ear Training” books.

20160405_08-54-25 Continue reading “MTNA 2016 (4): Tuesday, April 5”

Conferences

MTNA 2016 (3): Monday, April 4

Please enjoy my notes from Day 3 of the 2016 MTNA National Conference in San Antonio, Texas! Click here to go back to Day 2.

8:00am Exhibitor Showcase: Piano Safari

The authors of the Piano Safari  method, Katherine Fisher and Julie Knerr, gave a very enjoyable session. Their method features a combination of an Intervallic Reading Apporach plus rote teaching to develop music literacy in the student.

Rote teaching is the systematic teaching of musical and artistic concepts through modeling rather than through music notation. Music is an aural art and thus transcends notation. Rote teaching is NOT training students to copy the teacher without any thought or understanding. And it can be used to increase reading ability.

Piano Safari offers a combination of pieces intended to be learned by rite and then by reading. There are many exciting benefits to learning rote pieces: Rote pieces allow students to play exciting music. They increase concentration and develop musical memory. More attention is free for technique. It is lends itself to more creativity: improvising and composing. The student also develops a strong confidence in their playing and performing ability. Learn more at PianoSafari.com. Book 3 of the series has just been released.  Continue reading “MTNA 2016 (3): Monday, April 4”

Conferences

MTNA 2016 (2): Sunday, April 3

Below are my notes from Day 2 while attending the 2016 MTNA conference in San Antonio! Click here to read Day 1.

8:00am Exhibiter Showcase — The Royal Conservatory: Enriching Every Lesson with Theory And Muscianship by Janet Lopinski.

I was very excited to learn more details about the upcoming Celebrate Theory series that will be available this summer! These will be available at every level (Prep A and B, and then 1-10) and are designed to support the Repertoire and Etudes book.


8:00am Exhibiter Showcase — Faber Piano Adventures: Effective Strategies For Adult Keyboard Learners. Continue reading “MTNA 2016 (2): Sunday, April 3”

Conferences

MTNA 2016 (1): Pedagogy Saturday

Greetings from San Antonio, Texas! I am so excited to be here for the 2016 MTNA National Conference from April 2-6. I will be sharing a few highlights over the next few days.


I’m staying with a couple of friends: Susan Hong and Amy Chapin (check out her brand new blog, Piano Pantry). Here is a photo of us at Fogo de Chao last night for dinner, enjoying Brazillian buffet. Yum!


Saturday of the MTNA conference is always “Pedagogy Saturday” — an optional day (often my favorite day!) with a variety of tracks to choose from: Advanced Pianism, Musician Wellness, Music Learning Theory, Recreational Music Making, and Young Professionals. Below are notes from the sessions I attended.  Continue reading “MTNA 2016 (1): Pedagogy Saturday”