What follows are the notes I took from a session with Martha Hilley at the 2010 Michigan Music Teachers Association conference.
FUNCTIONAL SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT TO EVERYONE ~ by Martha Hilley
“Functional skills” include skills such as harmonization, improvisation, transposition, rhythm, and theory. There are many fun ways to incorporate functional skills into group/private settings. Today we are going to try out some examples:
Activity #1. Make up a series of patterns such as:Tap Clap Tap Clap Tap Clap |___| Clap Tap |___| Tap Clap Tap |___| |___| Clap
Put them on a transparency or write them on a whiteboard. (The box is the quarter rest.) Most students don’t have time for rests! They want to keep going. So give them something to do during the rests (e.g., saying “rest” aloud; or making some kind of movement during the rest). This is a great activity for class piano or monthly group lessons. Continue reading “2010 MMTA Conference (4): Functional Skills are Important by Martha Hilley”