Music Lesson Fun: October Piano Party!

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It’s always exciting to begin a new school year with my young piano students.  Every week I get to spend 30- 45 minutes with each child, precious one-on-one time when we explore music together,  playing a wide variety of  songs, learning to read the notes on the page, improvising in different styles, building a solid knowledge of music theory, and most importantly, allowing them to grow with music…a treasure to last a lifetime!   The children rarely have a chance to see each other,  hear what others are working on, or build friendships with their fellow piano students.

Last week I invited all my  piano students to an October  piano party.  Not a recital with a formal program, this was  a time to share their favorite songs, do some  activities we don’t have time for during regular private lessons, and a chance for the children to have some fun with each other.

Each child chose three pieces they love to play that have been included in their assignments during the last month.   Small groups of students of similar ages and playing levels visited  activity stations I had set up around the room.

NatalieAs each student played their pieces,  the other students worked on short, fall-themed music  activities.  We had a note-reading game,  a rhythm matching activity,  a paper craft,  a composing activity and an easy  Halloween sight-reading  experience using spooky sounds on the electronic piano.

composing   The younger children wrote letter names under a set rhythm pattern to create an October song,  and the more advanced students wrote notes on lines and spaces to create their songs.

CharlieEach child decided which  notes to write on their papers,  choosing steps, skips, and repeated notes.  Then they played their own song.   This young composer wanted to hear each pitch before he decided what to write down on his paper.

 

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At the end of the party, each chose their best song to present in a final performance for all the students and parents.  Everyone had two opportunities to play:   once  without any pressure as the others worked on activities, as well as their selected “best piece” when  everyone gave them undivided attention. Some even played duets with me or with their mom.

refreshments  Parents contributed  homemade  healthy treats like pumpkin bread and oatmeal cookies for the refreshment table.  One of the moms took photos of the festivities and shared with the other parents, including this beautiful collage card for me.  Our  piano party lasted just over an hour…but we packed the time with music fun!

“Mrs. Holtz, can we have another piano party soon?”

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6 Comments

  1. That looks like so much fun! Thank you for sharing the details. I was interested to see your young composer using the “It’s October!” worksheet from Susan Paradis. I just had a couple of new students complete one this week.

    Are you planning a Christmas piano party?

    • Hi Brenda! Thanks for stopping by. I love Susan Paradis’s materials, especially for seasonal fun. Christmas time is always such a busy time for families. I usually help each student make a video of their holiday pieces that their parents can send to friends and relatives via YouTube. I’m not sure whether we’ll do a party for Christmas or wait until after the busy time.

  2. I will bet you are a wonderful teacher. I know that your students will always remember you through the years, as I do mine.
    lizthechef recently posted..Under ConstructionMy Profile

    • Thanks, Liz. You’re so right about the special bond and memories that come from private music lessons. As a music teacher I’m privileged to spend many years with my students sometimes…from kindergarten through high school or beyond.

  3. Music therapy. Piano lessons may be one of those things that could regenerate your emotion back on tracks.

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