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, Music History

2016 Music History Camp

This week, I held the second of two summer music camps for my students. I always hold a music history camp each year, and we call it “Music History Blast From The Past.”

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Here is the description for the camp:

Music History Blast From The Past
July 11-14, M-Th from 10am-noon
Back by popular demand! This camp gives students a glimpse into the lives of four great classical composers. As we study each composer’s childhood and career, students will learn about the music, fashion, art, and architecture of the time. Every year, students are fascinated to find that they can relate to the life stories of composers who lived hundreds of years ago. In the long run, having this broader context of music history enriches later years of piano study, especially when playing classical piano literature. Each day, students will take home a crafted scrapbook page about that day’s composer. For students ages 5-14. Previous musical background preferable, but not necessary.

Seven of my students registered for this camp this year, plus I had a high school student volunteer as my helper.

For this camp, I always use my Great Composers and Their Music lapbooking curriculum. Each day of camp, we study a music style period (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern) as well as a particular composer from that time period. This year, we learned about Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Prokofiev.

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As I informed my students on the first day of our camp, the goal of the week is to be able to listen to an unfamiliar piece of classical music and identify the style period (or, at least, take a good guess). This is the same goal that my college professor had for us during the first semester of music history class. Younger students can do it too!

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Here, my students are cutting and assembling their lapbook about Bach. Meanwhile, they are listening as I tell the story of Bach’s life and music.

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We also discussed the general characteristics of the music from each style period. I used material from my Eras of Music History Kit for this. 

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Each day, we had a listening quiz game where we listen to pieces from a YouTube playlist with the goal of identifying the style period we hear. My students got pretty good at this by the end of the week. 

We had a great week!

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To read more about the general lesson plan I use for this camp, click here

Music Camps, Music History

2013 Music History Camp

My students and I are in the middle of Music History camp this week and having a blast!  This year, I’m teaching 5 girls between the ages of 5 and 8.

Yesterday, we studied Handel (using my lapbook curriculum) and the Baroque Era.  Today was Haydn and the Classical Era.  We have two more days of camp to go, when we’ll be covering the Romantic Era and the Modern Era.  Wish me luck!  It is a lot to cover in just four 2-hour classes, but I am pleased with the information my students are absorbing so far.  This camp will serve as a good first introduction to the stylistic periods of Western music!


Music Camps

2013 Summer Camp T-Shirt

The T-shirts for my summer music camps arrived yesterday!  I’m very excited about this year’s design:

2013 Summer Camp T Shirt

I ordered my shirts from again this year.  I was happy with the quality of the shirts last year, but more importantly — I love that CustomInk has an artist check your design before it gets printed.  My design required slight adjusting to make it work properly for both adult and child T-shirt sizes — so it was a good thing they checked everything over before the shirts were printed.

I chose the piano tie design from among the many music graphic options available on CustomInk’s website.  All I had to do was add the text on the side!  I hope this year’s T-shirt design will be a big hit.  🙂

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!  

Music Camps, Music History

Planning A Music History Camp Using My Lapbook Curriculum

It’s March, and I have already had a couple of my piano students inquire whether I will be doing summer music camps again this year.  The answer is YES, I have started thinking about them.  🙂

One of the camps from last year that I will definitely be repeating this summer is Music History Blast From The Past.  I plan to use the same format as last year, but I will be focusing on different composers.

In case you are considering the possibility of offering a summer music camp or two, I thought I would share more about how I planned my music history camp last year.

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Composition, Music Camps, Printables

So, You Want To Be A Composer? – 2012 Summer Camp Details

Last week, I held my second summer music camp for my piano students!  It was called, “So, You Want To Be A Composer?”  I am so excited to share with you some details about our camp.  We had a really great week!

Here’s where all the magic happened:

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Games, Music Camps

2012 Musical Olympics Camp – Day 4

Here’s some photos to enjoy from our final day of Musical Olympics Camp.  Since it was our last day, I invited the students’ parents to come and watch our last hour of camp.  We re-played a few of our favorite games from the week, and also had an Olympic Awards Ceremony.  More details below.

Our first game was the Ultimate Rhythm Relay, which was a culmination of all the relays we did throughout the week!  First, the student tossed the musical beach ball (from yesterday) in the air and complete the musical task it indicated.  Then, they ran to the buckets and tossed a beanbag until they got it into a bucket.  The buckets were each marked with a note/rest.  Last, students ran over to the ring toss area, where they had to toss a ring until they got it over the flag whose note/rest matched the bucket they had tossed their beanbag into.   Then students ran back to the starting point to tag the next player.  I know it sounds complicated, but these relays are much easier to explain by demonstration than they are to describe in words!  Continue reading “2012 Musical Olympics Camp – Day 4”

Games, Music Camps

2012 Musical Olympics Camp – Day 3

Here’s some photos to enjoy from Day 3 of my Musical Olympics camp:

Our first game was the Build-A-Keyboard Interval Challenge.  To prepare, I drew a large keyboard on the cement for each team using chalk.  I gave each team two spinners: a musical alphabet one, and an interval spinner (unison through 5th).  Each of the four students on each team had a job: two students held the spinners, and the other two students stood on the starting note on the keyboard and the second note of the interval in order to build interval indicated on the spinner.  Teams raced to see how many intervals they could build within 5 minutes.  I didn’t get a very good photo of this game, because my husband and I were too busy tracking each team’s points (it’s a fast-moving game!).  🙂 Continue reading “2012 Musical Olympics Camp – Day 3”

Games, Music Camps

2012 Musical Olympics Camp – Day 2

We had great weather on Day 2 of our camp last week!

Our first game of the day was Sheryl Welles’ fabulous Musical Alphabet Noodle Relay!  For this relay, team members must travel via the noodle to retrieve alphabet flags from the ground and bring them back to the starting point.  For the first round, they had to retrieve the flags in order A-G, and the second round they retrieved them backwards.  Watching them travel via the noodle was pretty hilarious, I must admit!  My students loved this game.  Continue reading “2012 Musical Olympics Camp – Day 2”

Games, Music Camps, Rhythm

2012 Musical Olympics Camp – Day 1

Last week, I held a Musical Olympics camp for my students and it was a great success!  We had such a fun week and I received a lot of positive feedback from the students and parents.  I will definitely continue doing similar camps in future years!

Over the course of this week, I’m going to be sharing lots of details and photos.  At the end of the week, I’ll share a pdf download with more details about the materials and directions for the games.  🙂

Here’s some of the details:

  • We met two hours a day, Monday through Thursday.
  • I set the time for 10am to 12pm, which was perfect because camp was over before the weather got too warm in the afternoon.
  • We were outside for all the games and activities, except for Monday when we encountered rain.  I was able to convert some games into indoor games which we did in my garage.

For Day 1 of camp, my wonderful friend Loretta (who lives a couple of hours away) came for a visit to be my camp helper!  It was great seeing her again.

Continue reading “2012 Musical Olympics Camp – Day 1”