I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving if you are in the USA. I decided not to post anything or email last week, so I could focus on family. My sister, Lauren, was in town from Arizona and it was so much fun to see her and be with her for a few days. She is both a deaf education specialist and a Suzuki teacher, so I am trying to convince her to write a blog post about strategies for teaching music to children with hearing deficits.
Bruce was around for the whole week as well, as the Surgical Intensive Care was slow during the holiday week. We played with the little boys and ate delicious food. It was a wonderful vacation.
One highlight of the week was my students’ first Christmas performance of the season. They all looked so cute in their uniforms (black bottoms, white tops, red sash or bow tie.) Adorable. It’s time to prepare for our Music Studio Holiday party, which is coming up in a couple weeks. Here is what I am planning.
1. Play Christmas songs—of course! We will however do them in fun ways, each child playing only one note at a time. We will also play a hot/cold game by choosing one child to be “it,” having them stand outside the room while we hide a Christmas ornament. Then when they return we will play forte if they are close to the ornament or piano if they are far. Children who don’t know the songs yet can sing the words, or be the “it” child.
2. Compose a song! Each child will add one note, and I will write it down. Then we will all play it together and see how it sounds. We can then add holiday lyrics.
3. Play some games that are just for fun. I am going to wrap up little prizes in a plastic wrap ball, and then every child has thirty seconds (or one line of jingle bells) to try to unwrap one. But they have to wear mittens while they do it!
4. Record a special Christmas message for a loved one. Each child will play a short Christmas song of their choosing. I will record it and email it to them, so that they can share it with someone they love.
5. I will give them a small gift. I love giving a small Christmas ornament to my students each year. Don’t tell anybody, but these are my ornaments for this year. It’s about $10 for a set of 24, so less than fifty cents each. That’s just right for my budget. (Which obviously is pretty small.) I’ll write a little note for each student and attach it to the ornament.
How do you celebrate the holidays with your students? What are your favorite studio traditions? Please share your ideas in the comments.
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