This Week in Photos

Okay, I admit this is actually last week in photos, but at this point I’m just proud of myself for actually getting these posted… 🙂

On Monday morning, shortly before my first lesson of the day, I decided to try a new game for the week – Chord Spelling Bee Challenge. I grabbed several plain wood blocks, painted them orange, and then used a black marker to write different types of chords on the sides of the blocks. I did one with just Major/Minor, one with Major/Minor/Augmented/Diminished, and one with Major 7th/Minor 7th/Diminished 7th/Dominant 7th.

I chose the chord block based on the student’s level and had them roll it to determine what type of chord they were required to build and spell. Then they closed their eyes and drew a scale block from the jar to determine the identity of the chord. They had to play the correct keys on the piano and spell them out loud as they went. I kept track on a white board of how many they got correct and how many they got incorrect. Just like a spelling bee, if they played one incorrectly, it was counted wrong (even if they corrected it).

At the end of the lesson, the student got to write his or her name on the door, along with their score. This proved to be a fun way to reinforce an understanding of how to build different types of chords. Plus, it was funny to watch their reactions when they were spelling chords and I would tell them that what they were playing was not a G, but an A-double-flat. 🙂  (By the way, is there such a thing as a triplet flat? For example…how would you spell a C-flat Diminished 7th chord? C-flat, E-double-flat, G-double-flat, B-triplet-flat? That one stumped me! Theory geeks, please chime in and help me out on this…)

In other studio pictures…Melodie and Grant are playing a duet version of We Wish You a Merry Christmas for the recital next week and they have done a superb job learning it!

Finally, I just had to take a picture of Gus when he came in and asked if he could play Old McDonald for me. He is Grant and Melodie’s younger brother, and Grant taught him how to play this song. I told Grant he better not be trying to put me out of business by taking my upcoming students and teaching them himself – that’s my job security right there, you know! 🙂

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