Finding Focus. That was the title I gave to our first activity each day of last week’s Kick-it-up-a-Notch! piano camp. Prior to the class I selected a piece of music approximately 10 minutes long. I printed the title at the top of a page in the student workbooks, but other than that I left the page blank. The goal was that each student would use the first 10 minutes of our time together to give their mind and body a rest from all the other activities of the day and prepare for the couple of hours we would be spending in intense music study.
During the Finding Focus time, the students could write or draw on the corresponding page in their workbook, finish up homework from the previous day, close their eyes and relax, or just sit and watch the clip on YouTube as the selection played. There was nothing particularly special about the selections (except that they are some of my favorite pieces!), but this proved to be an excellent way to start out each class session. It did seem to help the students focus and prepare for our studies, and it also gave them exposure to some beautiful music that hopefully inspired them as much as it did me to just sit back and listen!