Posts Tagged ‘Reading Music’

My Funny Valentine

It’s that time of year!  Every isle of every store seems to be dripping in pink and red!  With Valentine’s day a couple of weeks away I thought I would remind you that this is the PERFECT time to buy lots of these…


So that you can make these…


Rhythm hearts are great for rhythmic dictation and composition activities!

You can even pair them with a cute little song like this…

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But how would you pair the two activities you ask?  It dawned on me during my extremely lengthy commute this morning that you could use the song and the rhythm compositions to make a larger piece–great opportunity to talk about form!  First teach the song.  Once the students are familiar with the song have all of the students compose their own 8 beats of rhythm using the foam hearts.  Pick one student to walk around with a “valentine” (special decorated heart, note in an envelope, whatever you like) while the class sings the first verse of the song.  By the end of the first verse the student with the “valentine” should place it in front of another student who will then perform their rhythm composition (hands, rhythm sticks, orff instruments set in the C major pentatonic scale, your choice!).  Once the student finishes playing their composition they pick up the “valentine” to pass off to another student while the class sings verse two.  Rinse and repeat!

Download the ValentineCircleSong here

If you do this activity let me know how it goes!

Practicing Your Instrument Can Be Fun!

My Note Games

Here’s one for the beginning band teacher or private instrumental studio teacher, meet My Note Games.  The My Note Games app is available as a free download on itunes for both the iphone and ipad.  It’s an interactive app that utilizes the microphone in the ipad or iphone so that students can use their instruments to play video games that revolve around reading and notating music!  The app is set up for piano, guitar, recorder, trumpet, soprano/alto/tenor/baritone saxophone, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, soprano/contralto/tenor/baritone voice, whistling, violin, viola, cello, and fingers.  The games of My Note Games are:

Hear It, Note It!– Listen to the music and notate what you hear.


Tap That Note– Tap the buttons to name the note.  Great for learning to read the notes on the various music staves.


Play That Note– Recognizes the notes you play on your instrument.


Play-A-Day– Interactive lessons for your instrument where you learn to play simple tunes that get progressively more difficult as you master them.


Play-A-Carol– Play, sing and whistle carols.  Get a score for accuracy.


Toonr the Tuner– See the note you are playing displayed on the screen and watch what happens as you play.


One thing I do want to note is that the app is free to download but there comes a point where you have to buy the games if you want to keep advancing.  You can buy each game individually, which costs anywhere from 99 cents to $2.99 depending on the game, or you can buy all of the games for $6.99.  Not a bad deal for all that you get!