Friday, September 30, 2011

MYC Conference in BC

Last week, I attended the Music For Young Children teachers' conference for the BC region in Princeton, BC.  I have to say it was one of the most rewarding experiences as a teacher and I really appreciated the friendships I have made and learning about all the amazing things that are happening at the studios of my wonderful colleagues!
We shared ideas and participated in many activities that were centred on making music and the learning process fun! It was like being a student once again and it just felt so magical coming together to make music. We sang, danced, played Boom Whackers, games and each group presented their own little song with choreographed movements, such fun!! There were also presentations by area representatives from all over BC to discuss various topics like planning recitals, studio organization, managing classes to help teachers become more efficient with all the various tasks we are challenged with on a daily basis. 
We also had the opportunity to learn about "The Musical Brain", an extremely interesting and enlightening topic presented by our very own MYC teacher, Tara Gaertner from Vancouver who holds a P.HD in Neuroscience. Tara discussed the Neuroscience of practicing and shared some insights on memory formation and retention as well as the optimum conditions for facilitating this when practicing. 
Last but not least, the highlight was definitely the "Excuses Concert" at the end. The teachers who performed had to simply provide an excuse to "why it doesn't sound better"! There was such amazing talent in the group and I am left feeling inspired and rejuvenated once again!
If there was anything that could have made this experience better, it would have to be the Zipline that I missed as a result of chickening out at the very end! The gorgeous weather didn't help pluck up my courage to go for it....next time Princeton!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Doodle Fun

Here's a fun activity that will guarantee loads of giggles and reenergize a sleepy child :) Check out Face Doodle on the app store. It's 99 cents but worth the small fee to spice up your lessons, particularly when teaching in a group environment. I'm sure your students will have a lot of fun and encouraged to get their answers right (AND FAST!!) for a turn to select a nose, ear, hair style even teeth for the face. Best part is you can adapt the game and work on any concepts.

It was rhythm dictation time yesterday and normally, the kids would lay out their rhythm pieces on the floor after I clap the rhythm twice. I decided to add a twist with face doodling on the iPad. The children took turns to dictate a 4 beat rhythm verbally for a chance to "draw" the face. Curious what we came up with?
I saved the photo and emailed it off to the parents after class, something they would be able to archive digitally as a keepsake? I don't think the students will forget this photo in their adulthood :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wonky Street Background


I created this Wonky Street background for the iPad at the request of my son who loves anything with wheels. This background can be used to practice steps, skips and intervals using a stylus (which is very handy) or even virtual stamps you might find in a free app like Doodle Buddy. Students simply move along Wonky Street drawing notes/adding stamps on the path that intersects with the lines and spaces. Continue until you reach "Fine". Have fun with "Journey on Wonky Street"!

Monday, September 5, 2011

All Ready For Tomorrow..

WOW! Where did the summer go? I've been doing some last minute projects and decorations around the studio the last few days in preparation for the big day tomorrow. It's my first day welcoming all the students back to the studio! This year, I'll also be joined by 13 new students that I'm excited to begin a new musical journey with.

A few small projects over the last few days: 


Here's a newly decorated cork board with the leftover fabric that I had from my studio project a month ago. Last year, I had my recital pictures on a piece of poster board and I certainly prefer how it looks on a fabric cork board. I was surprised that mounting the fabric and ribbon lining on the cork board was actually quite easy..All I needed was simply a pair of scissors and glue gun.

And some name tags that I have had the pleasure of making for the students each year. These actually fit nicely in the plastic sleeve on the front of the bag
And lastly, here's my favourite. I found these pretty little treble clef hooks that were on sale for $5.99 each from HomeSense. What a perfect addition to the studio and I really like how it gives a nice accent to the wall...
I'm ready to begin tomorrow and here's wishing everyone a happy teaching year! Look forward to continuing this friendly support and learning from your experiences.
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