Monday, May 7, 2012

Cat and Mouse Game

In preparation for Spring Festival (National Federation of Music Clubs), I held a Performance Class at my home so each student could perform for each other before the actual event.  We had some extra time at the end, so we played one of my student's favorite games - Cat and Mouse.  Here's how to play:
Materials needed
  • Little Mice - I grabbed these little 'fuzz balls' (that's what my students call them) from Micheal's and then I hot glued a piece of yarn in the center.  You can get more creative and actually make little mice with cute ears and eyes.  I went for the simple approach. 
  • Big Flash Cards - These make it easy for each student to see.  I use Teacher Flashcards put out by TCW Resources, but I'm sure you could make your own.  
  • Mouse Catcher - I use a food strainer, but I wish it was bigger.  I used to have a really big lid with a nice handle that would catch the mice easily.  Unfortunately, I left all my pan lids in the bottom oven drawer after my last move.  Sad face ...
How to play

Each student places their mice close together in the center.  Make sure that their strings/yarn (tails) aren't crossed with the person sitting next to them.  Choose someone to be the Cat to hold the Mouse catcher (lid or strainer).  Choose a specific note for students to identify as you flip through the flash cards.  Once they see the chosen note they pull their mouse as quickly as they can as to avoid being trapped by the Cat.  Whoever is left in the center wins.  Sometimes the Cat wins!  You can use this game for practically anything (notes, chords, intervals, etc). 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Studio Newsletter 2012

After reading a wonderful blog post by Wendi at Piano Escapades a while back about Parent Newsletters, I have wanted to create a seasonal Newsletter for my studio (at my pace, monthly is too much of a commitment!).  I was reminded again about this idea when I read a more recent blog post by Joy at Color in my Piano where she shared sample Newsletters and many tips on what to include, especially for marketing purposes.  

As I was starting to draft a really long e-mail to my parents, I realized that all the information that I was trying to communicate would look a lot more crisp in a Newsletter format.  So, here's my Studio Spring Newsletter.  I created it with Pages from the iWork suite (Apple product).  I'm not really familiar with Pages and got frustrated a few times, but I finally settled on this design. 

Spring Newsletter 2012 - Leavitt Piano Studio