Music Camps, Music History

Highlight: Great Composers & Their Music lapbooks and Eras of Music History kit

In this article, I want to share the story behind my Great Composers & Their Music music history curriculum, which you might be interested in for your group classes or summer music camps. There’s also some freebies linked to below…keep reading!

The Great Composers & Their Music series is designed to be an easy and effective way for teachers to incorporate music history in their students’ musical education. Here’s the story of how this curriculum came to be.

In the summer of 2012, I decided I wanted to offer a music history camp for my students. It’s not easy to cover music history thoroughly during the private lesson setting, but I wanted my students to know the major composers and the style periods. Knowing these things helps students understand the pieces they are learning, appreciate music more, and make better decisions regarding interpretation and artistry. Music camps are a perfect opportunity for getting submerged in music history and learning a lot in just a few days!

When I took music history classes during college, my professor told us that one of her main goals was for us, by the end of the course, to be able to give a reasonable guess as to which time period a piece of music was composed — even when hearing a piece for the first time. I decided to adopt this very same goal for my students.

Continue reading “Highlight: Great Composers & Their Music lapbooks and Eras of Music History kit”
Music Camps

2013 Music of the World Camp Details

Good news!  The Music of the World Camp curriculum is ALMOST ready to be listed in the Shop.  🙂  I’ll keep you updated.  Update: The Music of the World camp curriculum is now available for purchase in the Shop!  View the description page here.

As I alluded in my previous post, I used lapbooking as the method of study for the countries we visited each day.


I took my students’ photos on the first day of camp for their passports.  I also made sure to “stamp” their passports before and after each flight.

passport collage Continue reading “2013 Music of the World Camp Details”

General, Music Camps, Music History

2013 Music History Camp

As I mentioned in a post last week, I held a Music History Camp last week with five of my private students.  Each day, we studied an era of music history (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern) and also focused on a composer from that period.

To study the eras, I decided to write a printable booklet for each era.  Below is a sneak peek at how they turned out.  I think they could be very useful both for music camps as well as for private students.   These booklets are going to make their way to the Shop very soon, accompanied by a set of corresponding worksheets and a timeline showing other events occurring in history during these eras. Photo - collage

Continue reading “2013 Music History Camp”

Music Camps, Rhythm

2013 “I Got Rhythm” Summer Camp – Sneak Peek

This week, my students and I are in the middle of rhythm camp!


My blogging might be a bit sporadic for the rest of the week as I continue preparing and teaching this camp.  We’ve been busy working in our workbook…


…and playing games and making crafts, too!


I will be blogging more details about our “I Got Rhythm” camp pretty soon.  Stay tuned!

Music Camps

2013 Summer Music Camps

I haven’t shared much about my summer music camps yet — and they are coming up soon!

Like last year, I’m holding one camp each month.  They run Monday through Thursday from 10am-12pm.  I chose a different topic for each month:

I’ve Got Rhythm!” – (June)

During this camp, students will benefit from focusing on arguably the most essential element of music: rhythm!  There will be lots of opportunities for group music-making, using body percussion (clapping, snapping, tongue clucking, etc.) and hand-held percussion instruments.  Throughout the week, we will also complete workbook about various aspects of rhythm (pulse, time signatures, rhythm values, etc).  For students ages 6-14.

Music History Blast From The Past” – (July)

Back by popular demand, this camp will give students a glimpse into the lives of the four different great classical composers.  As we study the composers we will be not only listening to the music of each time period, but also looking at the instruments, clothes, and art of each time period in order to make the past come alive.  Each day, we will focus on a time period from music history and create a scrapbook page of pictures/notes to take home.  It will be similar to last year’s music history camp, but we will cover four different composers this year.  Campers will be sure experience the thrill of a blast from the past during this music history camp!  For students ages 6-14.

Music of the World” – (August)

Join us for a journey around to world to study the music of different cultures!  Campers will travel to four different countries to learn about each culture, music style, and musical instruments.  Students will complete a workbook and craft their own musical instrument each day.  Join us for this adventure!  For students ages 6-14.

Are you planning any summer music camps this year?  If so, please share about your camp plans in the comments below!  

Composition, Music Camps, Music History

“So, You Want To Be A Composer?” Camp – Now Available!

Hooray, the “So, You Want To Be A Composer?” camp has just been added to the Color In My Piano Shop!

Now, it’s time for me to focus on my next camp: “Music History Blast From The Past.”  Want a sneak peak?  Okay, if you insist:  🙂

Composition, Music Camps

Music Camp Freebie from “So, You Want To Be A Composer?”

Good morning!  The “So, You Want To Be A Composer?” camp is ready to be listed in the Color In My Piano shop……but I’m just waiting to hear back from one more student to get permission to share their composition in the lesson plan as an example.  I will post it as soon as I hear from them!  UPDATE: The lessons plans are posted now!  

For today though, I thought I would share a peek at a composition by one of my other students, and also share a FREEBIE from the camp lessons plans!  Read on.

During camp, we spent a lot of time discussing how composers make music SOUND like the title or the subject they are describing.  This student appropriately chose a minor key for his dragon piece.  I helped him very little, other than approving his first few measures and then encouraging him to add a B section.  Not bad for a first composition, is it?!  🙂  Once he had it worked out on the piano, we together figured out how to notate the piece.  Later, I transcribed his piece into Finale, printed it out, and then asked him to add an illustration.

As promised, I’d like to share a freebie from “So, You Want To Be A Composer?” camp….. a pdf containing TEN different sizes of staff paper!  I hope you can put it to good use.  🙂  Visit the Printables > Other Resources page and scroll down to the S’s for “Sheet Music A-J.”

  Staff Paper - A-J (180.5 KiB, 22,242 hits)

Music Camps, Reviews

Review: Road Trip USA! Camp by Sheryl Welles

My friend Sheryl Welles has just put her RoadTrip USA! camp lesson plans up for sale on her website!  She very kindly sent me a copy to review, and so I’m going to tell you all about it.  🙂

RoadTrip USA! is a 159-page pdf that contains detailed descriptions with photos of the games and activities Sheryl does for her camp.  Sheryl also includes detailed lists for the supplies you will need each day, as well as some advice about registration forms and setting tuition.

So, what is the camp like?  Each day, campers travel to a different part of the United States to listen to different styles of music, learn about composers, and reinforce basic musical concepts, like rhythm and note reading.  The five destinations are Washington D.C., New Orleans, the Wild West, New York City, and Hawaii.  The activities throughout the day are themed around that day’s destination.  I love the great variety of activities (indoors, outdoors, movement, listening, etc!) Sheryl uses for this camp, and your students will love it too!  If you haven’t seen Sheryl’s blog before, I highly recommend you check out some of her posts about her music camps. Continue reading “Review: Road Trip USA! Camp by Sheryl Welles”

Announcements, improving as a teacher, Music Camps, Studio Business

My Summer Camp Plans for 2012!

I recently started to do some in-depth planning for the summer camps I plan to offer this summer!  My studio policies provide students with two options for the summer months (June-August):

  1. Students ages 6-12 may participate in a camp each month plus take 5 lessons scheduled approximately every other week around family vacations, or…
  2. Students may continue weekly lessons (10 total) as normal.  Students who choose to continue lessons as normal are welcome to sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 summer camps on top of their lessons if desired, at a special rate.

Because I have such a range of ages/levels in my studio, I decided to make my camps very flexible so that students of a wide range of musical backgrounds (even those with no music background) can attend camp.  When my studio is larger, I will probably design camps for certain ages/levels.  For this year, I think it’s best to be flexible.  I’m encouraging my students to invite their friends to attend camp and I’ll put posters around town too.  I’m hoping for a turnout of about 4-8 students attending each camp.

Below are the descriptions I came up with for each camp.  What do you think — do they sound like fun?!  🙂   Continue reading “My Summer Camp Plans for 2012!”