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Blog posts tagged with 'Theory'

What to do with Sleeping Students....

What to do With Sleeping Students….

 

We all know the feeling…. It’s the last couple of weeks of term. The kids are tired, the teachers are tired. If it’s the summer term everyone’s too hot… if it’s the winter term then everyone’s full of cold.

 

So rather than dragging students through the same pieces they’ve been working on, but you know they won’t practice over the summer why not use the time to do something fun and something that works out their musical ear and brain in a different way.

 

You know yourself that if you’re tired you don’t work as well and that things are more of a chore – and it’s exactly the same for your students.

 

So here’s my go to end of term games:

 

  • Improvisation – so much fun, works on their listening skills and gets them working creatively too

  • Don’t Play This One Back – play or clap rhythms that the students have to copy – but they shouldn’t copy if if you clap the rhythm to the words Don’t Play This One Back

  • Beat the Clock – students have to say and play a series of notes against a time limit – usually I give 30 seconds then they have to beat the number of notes they said in the next round

  • Dictation – Can they write a rhythm or melody down that you play

  • Copy Me – Can they play a melody back – I usually start with one note then gradually increase the phrase (a bit like that annoying Bop It game!)

  • Spot the Difference – Play a piece of music and see if they can see what note / phrase was different

  • Speed Scales – how fast and accurately can they play their scales – who’s the fastest – student vs teacher

  • Speed Pieces – who can play a simple piece the fastest – student vs teacher

  • Creative Composition – writing a piece of music using a story – so not focusing on melody or harmony – just using sounds to create a musical landscape

  • Graphic Scores – if you’re doing some creative composition they might like to draw a grahic score to go with it

  • Long Note Competition

  • Musical Maths – Can they add the tied notes together

  • Musical Word Searches etc – There’s lots of theory based written games that you can find online that are great for the hot weather

  • Backwards Playing – Can they play their piece backwards?

  • Musical Hangman – This is my students favourite game – Write down a musical word for them to guess – but in order to be able to guess a letter of the word they have to do something musical – it might be say the name of some notes, say what key it’s in, clap the rhythm etc etc – then normal rules of hangman apply. (Needless to say this game does take the longest but it’s a great lesson filler and gets students thinking about all sorts of aspects of theory etc.) (And when we play this at Christmas I do get accused of cheating – I’m sorry but no – Sprouts is not a cheating word…. I just quite like to win!!)

 

Any fun games I’ve missed – why not add them in the comments!

 

Happy end of term!!!

New Course - Horrible Sight-Reading for Lovely People

Horrible Sight Reading for Lovely People

 

Everyone (except me) hates sight-reading!

Or at least all of my students insist that this *must* be the case.

But sight-reading doesn’t have scary (or difficult) – it really does all boil down to practise. All sight-reading is – is just playing a new piece. And you do that every time you start something new…. Ok you might not do if with only a few seconds to practise and an examiner breathing down you neck… but seriously. Every time you turn the page you’re sight-reading.

So what’s the scary thing?

I guess it’s a quest into the unknown.

But its not unknown realms of weird not knowingness (if there is such a thing as that!).

Sight-reading is just recognition really.

It’s notes you (hopefully) know and rhythms you’ve seen before – but all perhaps mixed in a way you’ve not. But the elements are still all the same!

Our Horrible Sight-Reading for Lovely People course helps you break out of the sight-reading blindness and realise that you do recognise everything and that it’s never as scary as you think it might be.


Who is it for?

This course is for those who want to break away from thinking sight-reading is scary and want to learn to love it! (or just not hate it to pass an exam better)

Teachers this course is great for extra sight-reading sheets and is a good boost to those students who are perhaps lacking in confidence with their sight-reading ability.


How does it work?

Well done for getting this far in your boost to your sight-reading ability all you need to do now is decide how much of a boost you’d like to take on:

One week mini boost: £5 (and you can do this as many times as you feel you need!)

Two weeks big boost: £10

Four weeks super boost: £17


Simply click and order the course you’d like to sign up to!

 

If you enjoy your one week mini boost so much you can simply order another one week boost to follow it at a later date. Feel free to mini, big or super boost as many times as you need!


What will I get?

You will get three boost emails in the week for your sight-reading boost.

Boost 1: There’ll be a sheet of handy hints and tips to break down sight-reading into easier chunks, a rhythm work sheet and a super easy sight-reading sheet to break you in gently.

Boost 2: This sight-reading sheet will be of the level you’re working at.

Boost 3: This sight-reading sheet will definitely be horrible and above the level you need – this is because we truly believe the brain works better when it’s over stretched as it then relaxes back when it thinks it’s easier. (Reverse psychology and all that jazz!)

Each sight reading sheet will come with mp3 answers of how the tests ‘should’ have sounded like.

For grades 6,7 and 8 we will also include a more realistic performance of the sight-reading tests and hints to how to ‘blag it’ in an exam situation.

Rachael Forsyth has been teaching music and music theory for the last 13years and has a 100% pass rate for both practical and theory exams. She is a full time woodwind and piano tutor and teaching both classical and jazz music.


What level is it aimed at?

Currently our Horrible Sight-Reading for Lovely People course is available for grades initial and 1-5 (later grades still being prepared!). If you’re finding the sight-reading a seriously difficult thing to do then why not consider a mini boost (one week course) for the grade below to kick start your sight-reading journey.


Anything else I need to know?

Not really – but if you do have any questions please feel free to email us or get in touch via facebook or twitter!

@roorecordsmusic