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!

Games

New in the Shop: Ice Cream Intervals Extension Pack

I know it’s been quiet around the blog lately!  Last summer was one of those summers where I said “yes” to too many commitments and over-extended myself.  I’m actually quite relieved to be in a “normal” Fall teaching schedule.  Recently, I’ve been wrapping up a few projects which I hope will allow me to blog on a somewhat more regular basis!

This weekend, I found a little bit of time for a little project suggested by a reader.  She requested that I create an “extension pack” for the Ice Cream Intervals game that would provide harmonic (blocked) intervals to add to the original melodic (broken) intervals.  Why didn’t I think of that?!  What a great idea!  (Thanks, Morgan!)

So, here is a peek:

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It’s important for students to become fluent at recognizing relationships between notes whether the intervals are harmonic or melodic, because that is what happens in the music they are learning.  With the addition of the new harmonic cards, my students’ favorite game just became even more beneficial for them.  ;)

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For $4, you can purchase the extension pack which nearly doubles the amount of ice cream scoops by providing 48 harmonic (blocked) intervals to add the original melodic (broken) intervals.  The intervals in the Extension Pack range from “2nd” to “octave.”  (Please note that no cones are provided in the Extension Pack, so you won’t want to purchase it unless you also have the original Ice Cream Intervals game. )  Remember, all the items in my shop are digital products — meaning, you are buying the PDF so that you can print and assemble it yourself.

For more info, visit the Ice Cream Intervals Game page in the Shop.

Music Theory, Worksheets

Freebie: Identifying Intervals worksheets

Identifying Intervals - iPadBefore I talk about the interval worksheets, I’d like to announce the five winners of the NoteWorks app for iPhone giveaway:

  1. Jane
  2. Lisa
  3. MaryBeth
  4. Laura
  5. Kristina Bowman

Congrats!  Winners, please check your inbox for an email from me.

I have a couple of freebies to share today.

Remember my article about intervalic reading?  As mentioned in that article, my DIY music whiteboard is an oft-used tool when I am working with students to learn to recognize intervals.   Continue reading “Freebie: Identifying Intervals worksheets”

Games

Ice Cream Interval Inspiration

My friend Susan Hong from Texas recently sent me a few photos, showing how she is using the Intervals Ice cream game in her studio.

Susan affixed adhesive magnets to the back of each card, so they can be used on a dry erase magnet board.  She also punched holes on the side of each card, so she can organize the intervals on binder rings.  For example, younger students can use the ring holding the Unison through 3rd scoops.

When students arrive early for their lessons, Susan’s students practice matching the intervals to the correct ice cream cone.

Ice Cream Interval game collage

What a fun learning station, perfect for the waiting room area!  Thanks for your inspiration today, Susan!

Games, Group Classes, Music Theory, Printables

Ice Cream Interval game

Check out the newest item added to the ColorInMyPiano Shop!

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Being able to read notes on the staff intervallically is crucial for sight-reading.  I like to tell my students that reading music is at least 80% interval reading, and only 20% note identification.  To help my students learn to identify intervals quickly upon sight, I created the Ice Cream Interval game.   Continue reading “Ice Cream Interval game”

Music Theory, Resources, Technology

Resources @ makingmusicfun.net

Have you seen makingmusicfun.net yet?  This site is full of free resources for both teachers and students.  All the materials available at Making Music Fun have super-cute graphics in an “under the sea” theme.

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For teachers:

  • Sheet music (both arranged and unarranged, organized by level)
  • Composer worksheets
  • Music achievement certificates
  • Practice charts
  • Manuscript paper
  • Intervals worksheets
  • and more!

For kids:

  • Music theory arcade games
  • “Meet the composer” section
  • “Meet the orchestra” section
  • Children’s songs

There’s plenty to explore at the Making Music Fun website.  Let me know what you find!

Group Classes, Music Theory, Printables, Worksheets

Music Theory Review Tests A-J plus a Guide

If you navigate over to the Printables > Worksheets area, you will find some new worksheets listed.  This set of Review Tests was originally created for group keyboard classes of various age groups, but they may easily be adapted for other uses.  The set is basically a set of progressive worksheets testing in the areas of basic piano skills and music theory.  They may work well for group lessons, or just for single students to brush up on their theory skills.

  • Review Test *GUIDE* — This chart provides the teacher an easy guide for what concepts must be introduced to the student in order for them to successfully complete each Review Test on their own.

Concepts covered in each worksheet:

  • Review Test A — finding the keys A – G on the piano; finger numbers; quarter and half notes.
  • Review Test B — naming notes on the staff (treble clef: middle C to G; bass clef: F to middle C); whole and dotted half notes;  terms & symbols: treble clef, bass clef, staff, barline, double barline, repeat sign, forte, piano.
  • Review Test C — C, G major 5FPs (five-finger patterns);  terms: slur, staccato, accents;  drawing barlines in rhythms in 3/4 and 4/4 time;  intervals: unison, 2nd, and 3rd.   Continue reading “Music Theory Review Tests A-J plus a Guide”
Music Theory, Printables, Resources, Worksheets

New Worksheet: Intervals (unison-5th)

Do you find yourself telling students how much easier it would be if they learned to recognize intervals on sight when they are sight-reading?  Here are two new free, printable worksheets, designed to help students who have difficulty distinguishing between different intervals on the staff.  The first one is for younger students who have just begun reading staff notation.  It teaches and quizzes the difference between unisons, 2nds, and 3rds.  The second worksheet is a little bit harder, adding 4ths and 5ths into the mix.  Enjoy!

  • Worksheet: Intervals Unison through 5th

This worksheet is designed to teach/quiz the student in identifying the intervals unison through 5th, in both treble and bass clefs.  The top line gives an example of each type of interval, and the rest of the page is dedicated to quizzing the student on identifying the interval.

To download, visit the Printables > Worksheets page and scroll down to the I’s for “Intervals Unison through 5th worksheet.”

See also:  New Worksheet: Intervals Unison-3rd

Music Theory, Printables, Resources, Worksheets

New Worksheet: Intervals (unison-3rd)

Do you find yourself telling students how much easier it would be if they learned to recognize intervals on sight when they are sight-reading?  Here are two new free, printable worksheets, designed to help students who have difficulty distinguishing between different intervals on the staff.  The first one is for younger students who have just begun reading staff notation.  It teaches and quizzes the difference between unisons, 2nds, and 3rds.  The second worksheet is a little bit harder, adding 4ths and 5ths into the mix.  Enjoy!

  • Worksheet: Intervals Unison through 3rd

This worksheet is designed to teach/quiz the student in identifying the intervals unison through 3rd, in both treble and bass clefs.  The top line gives an example of each type of interval, and the rest of the page is dedicated to quizzing the student on identifying the interval.

 To download, visit the Printables > Worksheets page and scroll down to the I’s for “Intervals Unison-5th.”

See also: New Worksheet: Intervals unison-5th