Monday Mailbag – Carnival of the Animals Summer Piano Camp

I have been thinking about doing a summer music camp theme, but haven’t done it yet…could you give me more of an idea of what other type of activities you did with your Carnival of the Animals piano camp?

Here’s what my daily outline looked like for the camp.

Daily Outline:
20 minutes – welcome, play game
20 minutes – Carnival of the Animals #1
20 minutes – ensemble work
20 minutes – Carnival of the Animals #2
10 minutes – choir
10 minutes – ensemble work or game
20 minutes – Carnival of the Animals #3

Each of the Carnival of the Animals sessions included the following:
1. Listen to CD recording
2. Color the corresponding page in the coloring book
3. Discuss sound, create sound by playing instruments and learning the rhythm and melody – For this I let the students use any combination of piano, keyboard sounds, rhythm instruments, etc. to come up with a way to play the piece. (For the aquarium, they even ended up rubbing glasses with water in them!) I gave them the printed music and either let them read the melody or taught it to them by rote. Then we experimented with different people doing different things on the instruments to try to capture the essence of the piece. We just played the pieces for fun – not for an audience – and didn’t do it for every piece, just the favorite one from each day.

I chose different ensemble pieces for each piano camp group and let them work both on their own and with me coaching them during the ensemble times.

For the game times, I just used various music games I have in the studio that I know the students like to play. For the choir time, I used a song I wrote and helped them learn the parts and polish it throughout the week.

It was pretty laid back and I couldn’t believe how much the students loved the coloring books! We would listen to the corresponding CD track over and over while they colored and when the time ran out they would beg me to please let them have a little more time. If I had known how much they would get into the coloring, I could have just held a coloring camp! 🙂

Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!

Share and enjoy!

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