An Italian Intrigue: Musical Adventures in Heart, Mind, and Strength
Last month I had the amazing experience of spending three weeks in Italy! I decided to do double duty and use the trip to do reconnaissance work for this year’s theme. It was a ton of fun and now I’m excited to take my students along with me for a journey through the country! Along the way they’ll be racking up Complication Coins, trying to identify the hideout of the Mystery Musician, traveling covertly at times to get double earnings, completing Italian language lessons, and learning to play the piano beautifully, excellently, and naturally.
I made the official announcement at the September Surprise! last Thursday. To start off the event I gave each student a strip of paper with several measures from a familiar tune. They had to try to find all the other students who had excerpts from the same tune. Once they all found each other they laid out the measures in order and then did something to get my attention. After all the groups were formed each one took a turn humming, whistling, or otherwise vocalizing their tune for the rest of us and then telling us what the name of it was.
After a round of students played their prepared “surprise” selections, I had the groups from the introductory activity re-form and spend time working together to come up with a musical way of playing their pieces. Every member of the group had to be involved in some musical capacity in the performance. I had a box of rhythm instruments and a xylophone available for them to use in addition to the piano. This group did a lovely job with their rendition of “Ode to Joy.”
“Jesus Loves Me” was the perfect selection for this group that included quite a few young and/or beginning students. I was really impressed at how well they all kept the beat together on their instruments!
Whistling, playing piano, and a few rhythm instruments made “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons sound great!
This group ended up being all girls. They had the tune “Greensleeves” and did a beautiful job playing and singing it together – harmony and all!
The evening was a great reunion after our month off and we’re all super excited about the year ahead!