It’s looking a little dull around here these days, so I thought it was about time for a picture post! Here are a couple things that have been going on in my studio recently…
Do you use the penny practice game? I have a jar of pennies sitting on my desk and my students frequently ask if they can play the penny game when we are spot practicing a difficult section in one of their pieces. The student just decides how many pennies they’d like to use. All the pennies they select are placed on the left side of the piano music rack. If they play the difficult spot perfectly, they get to move a penny to the other side. If they mess up, all the pennies on the right have to be moved back to the left. The goal is to get all of the pennies moved over to the right side. If they are successful, I let them keep the pennies. You wouldn’t believe how excited some of them get about taking home 8 cents! 🙂 James, above, especially loves this game – and it’s perfect for him because he’s one of those start-at-the-beginning-and-play-the-whole-thing-again-if-he-makes-a-mistake students.
Earlier this month twelve of my students participated in one of our favorite activities of the year – The Clavinova Festival (nine of the ones pictured above are my students – the other three were in a different recital)! As a part of the festival, all the students get their name entered in a drawing for their own Clavinova. I practically squealed into the phone when Johnny called me to tell me that he won the Clavinova this year! Amazingly, that makes four students from my studio who have won a Clavinova over the years. (And one of them is sitting in my studio, because the student who won it gave it to me as a birthday present that year!)
For his mastery challenge last week, Andrew was working on memorizing the Major Sharp key signatures. Since he’s still a little young to fully grasp the concept, I tried this approach with him. I mixed up all the key signature flashcards and then had him arrange them in order from the least sharps to the most sharps. He knew that the key signature with none was C-Major, so we put the C scale block in front of that flashcard. Then I had him hold up his right hand and figure out the fifth note above C by saying the notes followin C in the alphabet to see which note corresponded to his pinky finger. It was G, so the G scale block got placed in front of the G-Major key signature. And so on. He loved doing this and was ecstatic when he conquered the challenge by getting everything unscrambled and lined up in the correct order in less than 30 seconds! What a diligent little student!