On Saturday, I held a Piano Party for my students. It was basically a group lesson and rehearsal for our Spring Recital which is coming up in a few weeks. Most of my students have never met each other, so this was a good opportunity for them to learn a little about each other and to share their pieces. I’d like to hold group lessons more regularly now that I have enough students to do so…..so this was a good start!
Here’s what we did:
- We started by introducing ourselves to each other. Then I expressed how excited I was for them all to be here. (My philosophy is that if you want your students to be excited about being there, than you’d better show some enthusiasm yourself too!) 🙂
- Together, we completed the Performing at the Piano worksheet which discusses performance etiquette and more.
- Then, each student played their recital piece. I had arranged all the chairs closely in a circle around the piano, to make it seem like more of a group sharing event and less of an formal performance. I placed each performer’s score on a music stand where the rest of the students could watch and follow along if they liked. I made comments between pieces — asking the performer to share something specific about their piece, how much they practice each day, or how long they’ve been playing piano. I wanted it to be interactive and exciting, so I tried to make sure everyone learned something about either each performer or each piece. We also made sure every student bowed properly. 🙂
- To make it easier for the younger students to pay attention as the others play (I have a lot of 5 and 6 years olds), I created a listening sheet for them to complete with a dry erase marker. I’ll be sharing the pdf soon.
- After the recital rehearsal, we had snacktime. A couple of the parents generously offered to bring goodies, so we had a wonderful spread of fruit with yogurt dip, a veggie platter, and some cookies.
- With only about 10 minutes left, we only had time for one music game. Out of the games I had prepared, I chose a Team Rhythm Dictation game. We moved to the carpet squares on the living room floor and I divided the students into two teams. Each team received a set of rhythm value cards (I’ll share the pdf later this week) and a bell. (I got the bells from a couple of games I found for $2 each at Goodwill: Bunco and Pit.) I announced the time signature, clapped a 2-4 measure phrase, and then the teams worked together to notate the rhythm they heard. When they felt they had it correct, they rang their bell, and I checked their work. If they didn’t have it right, both teams continued trying until one of them got it correct. I checked not only for correct rhythms, but also for the barlines, the double barline, and the time signature to be in their proper places. I kept points for each team. It was great to see the older and younger students work together as a team, and my students LOVED this game! (Click here to read about downloading the rhythm value cards.)
- Before they left, my students unanimously agreed that our next Piano Party should be an hour-and-a-half instead of just an hour, so we can have time for more music games!
I am quite pleased with how our Piano Party went! I wish I had photos to share, but although I had my camera ready nearby I didn’t once think to take any pictures! I was too busy having fun and being the teacher. Next time, maybe I’ll ask my husband to come out from hiding and take some photos for me. 🙂