Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lesson 11

I hope you all had a great break, and are ready to "play music" tomorrow!

We sure had fun last class on our giant staff! One idea you can do at home is to draw lines on the sidewalk with chalk, and play a game with your students. You can instruct your child to jump to the “First Line” or “Fourth Space” to help her remember ordinal counting, or you could play "mother may I" with those directions. I bet the kids would love it if you let THEM be "Mother" and instruct YOU where to go.

A couple of announcements:

-Dec. tuition will be due tomorrow (for those paying monthly).

-Parents will come to class on the 10th for lesson 13.

-The evening class will be meeting on Tuesday the 15th (instead of the 17th) for our final class, this semester.

-For both groups: I am wondering if our final class can be 1 hr. long, instead of 45mins., since we will be combining two lessons. That would mean starting our morning class at 9:00, and the evening class at 6:00. Please let me know if this will work for you. I'm going to say that parental attendance at that class is optional, since you will have just come the previous week. Morning class: if you do plan to come, let me know, so I know whether we will need Mikayla that day, or not.

Looking forward to a fun (and musical) December!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lesson 10

In class we have fun with some variations on the classical music puppets, and you can try them at home, too:

-Quickly turn down the volume, and have your child sing (or bum or doot) the missing part.

-Play a bit of music (or sing it) and have him guess which puppet it was. Even harder: hold up a puppet and have him sing the part!

-Do the show with costumes, or dolls and toys as characters. Dance them around when their part comes. Get physical and silly! Move your bodies to match the music.

When doing the homework assignment this week, if your child always draws baby steps going up on the theory assignment, guide him to notice that steps could optionally go down.

Tomorrow's class is going to be fun! Look forward to seeing you all there!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lesson 8

Your theory assignment 8 that you’ll be working on this week is not too tricky, but is tricky for me to READ. If it isn't too late, please have your child use a crayon to draw circles, and a different color to make squares (that way, it won’t matter too much if the square looks a bit circle-ish.) It’s great that the students are working hard on homework, and doing their own writing! I love to see them grow and improve.

Some kids are getting to be pros at finding the hidden sol-sol-do's, or mi-re-do's in songs. You can reinforce this by listening for these patterns in everyday songs, and seeing if they can hear them too.

I saw some really great harp playing this week, too - reading and interpreting the map, translating it to an action for one hand, and simultaneously using the other hand to strum with rhythm.... that's a LOT to process all at once! We're training the students to think like musicians and get all those mental and physical skills going at the same time.

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lesson 7 notes

We're doing great in class with TWO melodic patterns now (mi re do, and sol sol do). Both are important examples of cadence melodies that pull us back to DO. That's why these patterns make great endings to songs! Songs sound “right” when they end on DO!

We didn't use the bells much in class this week, but there are some fun things you can do at home:

1. Play sol-do on the BOOM-BOOM (ain't it great to be crazy). Sing in the key of bells RED-GREEN (lower case sol do).

2. Play sol-sol-do-do as you say hell-o your-name in the hickety pickety bumblebee song. (Do is on F…we’re singing in F). If you want to play the WHOLE song, play hickety-pickety using the high sol (RED BELL) and mi (dark blue) to be in the key of F.

3. YOU can play the song Scotland's Burning for your child on the bells! Soon she will play it too... the hand signs will give you clues as to what notes to play... just remember to play using the lowercase letters, in the key of F. The high SOL! SOL! SOL! SOL! of FIRE! is on the highest red bell.

Thought for the day from another "Let's Play Music" teacher:

" I noticed the other day that my daughter hadn't played with her doll house for a long time. Gosh, doesn't she like those toys anymore? I decided to get down on the floor with her and pull them out, and started having doll people talk to each other. Not surprisingly, once she saw I was having fun and being silly, she was happy to join in and wanted to play, too. If it turns out that your child is not so inclined to play on the bells or sing the songs from class, maybe a similar approach will be helpful. Play the bells yourself, sing along to the CD in the car, or instigate a game from class with ALL the family members. Hopefully as she sees YOU modeling having fun with music, she'll gravitate to you and decide to give it a try. Be sure to applaud every effort and allow some time for creative exploration, too!"

As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I'll see your students on Thursday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lesson 6 - Homework Help!


For the theory assignment this week, you’ll need to know some songs that we haven’t used in class! Don’t worry if you don’t know these songs, you can check out these websites that have tunes and lyrics to these and additional songs.

I enjoy playing with any of the above sites to listen to random songs and ask, "Does it end with a Mi Re Do? Does it have a Sol-Sol-Do?" As we learn more and more patterns, you're child will start to recognize and catch on to more and more of the common melodies used in music. Listening to kids’ music while driving in the car will never be boring again!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lesson 5

***Please check your email for an updated schedule, as I had to make some changes***

The primary chords song and the chords in pieces that we worked on will be an important part of our curriculum from now on. These 3 chords make up 90% of the music we listen to. Developing an ear for the chords will enable your child to understand and compose accompaniments…you’ll see them do so next year! Let me know if you have any questions about how the children can use the chord map to practice pointing to the chord color as they listen to the music on the CD. Help them point on the beat, as if they were strumming the autoharp.

The practice of singing “Do is home” to match a Middle C will also be practiced from now on, so the students can develop relative pitch (the ability to pull a correct pitch from think air!). Parents…YOU can improve your relative pitch, too, with practice. Don’t feel bad if your child learns it more quickly! This is the only exercise in which DO is always assigned Middle C. You know by now that we can build a major scale starting with DO on a C, or F….or any note! Eventually your child will use this knowledge to transpose between keys effortlessly.

The kids had a great time with Ooooo Halloween. This song isn't just for fun, and the ghost sounds we made weren't just nonsense. What we were doing is called "vocal channeling." We are extending their ranges (which is helpful with matching pitch) and using a pure head tone. The "oo" vowel is the best vowel for placing the tone up in the head and forward in the nose and "mask" of the face. Basically, it is a good beginning "voice lesson." It works for adults, too! :-)

Lesson 4 Notes


In class, everyone did such a great job with mi-re-do, that we've modified the song "Hickety Pickety Bumblebee" to end with mi-re-do-do to say hel-lo Tren-ton. It's fun to find out who has a name with more syllables, so you play the red DO bell more times. Why not play with everyone in your family and use first and middle names?

The barnyard song continues to be a big hit. If your child still has trouble getting her HANDS to match to her VOICE (this is common in the beginning), try holding onto her hands and guiding her to clap as she says the rhythm of the animals. If you have some barnyard animal toys at home (or maybe real animals!?), have them talk to each other in these great rhythms!

We practiced again singing the ostinato (repeating part: ding dong) against the melody (the words) in "Hear how the bells". Learn both parts well, and one day when you and your child are waiting in line, you can suggest, "Hey! Why don't YOU sing the ostinato and I'll sing the melody!" and you will sound great together. We'll do it in class next week so you can see just what I mean.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Class Updates

A lot of people took advantage of the discount pricing, and got registered today, so here are the classes as they currently stand:

Wednesday 2:15-3:00pm (4 spots available)
Thursday 9:15-10:00am (3 spots available)

*Thursday 6:15-7:00pm (6 spots available)

* We need two more students (preferably school-aged) to make the Thursday night class happen. This is the class I am putting my 8 year old daughter in, instead of private piano lessons. I am confident that after 3 years in this program her keyboarding/music skills will exceed what they would in private piano lessons.

Classes are capped at 8 students, so if you know of anyone who is interested, have them contact me while there are still spots open in their preferred class! I will be emailing the semester schedules out by Monday.

Thanks to everyone who has registered! Seeing the enthusiasm of the kids who attended my sample class, makes me so excited to start teaching!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Updates, Deals, and around my house today...

We had a really fun sample class last night. I know my kids had a blast, because they had a half day, today, and this is what I found them doing.
Entirely on their own, they put on the "Let's Play Music" CD. And besides singing and dancing to all of the songs (and pulling out the bells for the appropriate songs), They put on the puppet show for eachother.
My son was correctly identifying which characters came in at each part of the song, in the car on the way to school this morning.

And my not-yet-2-year-old sings along with the whole CD!

Here are some updates for those of you still interested in enrolling your child(ren). It looks like the Wed. class is a no-go, so at this point I am planning two classes:
Thursday morning class (10:30-11:15am) and
Thursday evening class (6:15-7:00pm).
There are spaces available in both classes, but I have to cap the classes at 8 students each, so if you are interested, don't delay!

The other reason to hurry (besides the fact that classes start next week) is to save money. I recently learned that the tuition rate for this area is set at $45/month ($180/semester). I wanted to make this more affordable, so I am offering a discounted tuition rate (for the entire year!), but only for those who turn in their registration form, materials fee, and registration fee by this Friday (Aug. 28).

Also, we might be able to squeeze in one more sample class before classes start, if there is enough interest. I need at least 4 students to do a sample class, so let me know asap if you missed the sample class and would like to attend another!

Email me (kendrascreations{at}gmail{dot}com) with any and all questions! Thanks!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Testimonial--from an LPM parent, and my friend...

Hello to all my Lovely Laveen Friends!
Last year I started my son in a Let's Play Music class. After the first class I was on the phone to Kendra begging her to take a look at it so she could teach. I knew she'd be amazing with her teaching background and insane knowledge of music (seriously, insane...ever played a game of "Name that Tune" with the woman?!?!). And I knew that it would interest many of the Moms I came to know and love back at our previous residence. It's a 3 year program that teaches music in a completely different way...through play ~ and the kids LOVE it!!! Not only do they love it but he's actually getting music in a way I never could've imagined. Another benefit is that I get to go to class every other week so my musical light bulbs are going off like crazy too. Each semester he gets a different CD to listen to at home...and the songs are really fun so I don't mind playing them a lot:) The bells were a lot of fun and both my boys have benefited from them and continue to use them. This year he's started on the piano and I'm already loving the year he'll be reading music and playing songs:) Some fun things they do in class are puppet shows to classical music, dancing and roll out a huge "staff" mat and the kids are the notes.

Check out the website if you want to learn more...and give Kendra a call. Good luck and have fun ~ even though our teacher is amazing I'm completely jealous that I can't be over there to use Kendra so take advantage for me!!!

Miss you all and hope you're all doing well,

Kim Rowley

*If you'd like more info about my classes, fill out the form here or email me at kendrascreations{at}gmail{dot}com.*

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Let's Play Music" comes to Laveen

With more than 5 years of public school teaching experience, 3 years as a private voice teacher, and a broad music background, Kendra Halterman brings the fun of the "Let's Play Music" program to the Laveen area!

To understand what the program is all about, please go to the main site and view this video.

For more information, or to sign-up for a class, please fill out the form below.

You can also reach me a kendrascreations {at} gmail {dot} com