This year Valentines Day falls on a Friday (and the last day of half term at local schools)- so all my pupils get to have fun with Valentines-themed activities! I’m really excited to see their reactions and hope they have a special time this week 🙂
The home studio is bedecked in pink and loveliness for the week:
I ran free Valentine’s Fuzzy-Making lunchtime sessions for my pupils at West Didsbury CE Primary:
And you can’t have Valentine’s without candy, so I sorted (and censored!) loads of Love Hearts to use as games counters:
A much-needed clear out of our groaning craft cupboard revealed some teeny metallic hearts like these (probably from an Asda craft kit)
I strung some up on my piano as a garland and used the rest as markers (with either blu-tack on the back or magnetic tape hot glued on).
Here are the games and activities we’ll enjoy:
From left to right
1. Puppy Love game from TeachPianoToday
Great fun game for treble and bass clef note reading. It takes only 5 minutes to play and it even sneaks in intervals. This was a big hit with my 6 year old whose job is to road test all my beginner games for me!
2. Squeezy Hearts
I often use these to help pupils feel a good hand shape, as they are just the perfect shape to hold and get nicely curved fingers and a strong bridge of the hand. So they will have a special outing this week.
I also use them for ‘passing the beat’- since they are a heart beat, right? So we might simply pass it back and forth in time to the music, to experience different tempos. A further step is to walk on the spot in, say, crotchets, whilst passing the heart at a minim speed. (This particular one is a great activity to prepare the ‘Robots’ rote piece in Piano Safari book 1).
3. Heart markers (on sight-reading card)
For this activity, it will be a ‘spot the teacher mistake’ aural/eye training exercise– where they just put the heart on the note that was ‘wrong’. Notice red heart for right hand and blue heart for left hand- I do love my colour coding consistency!
4. Valentines Tic-Tac-Toe (noughts and crosses)
My pupils just love a quick game of noughts and crosses! With this Valentines themed board we will use different coloured Love Heart sweets for each players counters, and they have to answer a flashcard correctly (think rhythm values, grand staff note names, keyboard keys, dynamics, tempo terms etc) before placing their sweetie down. Winner is first to 3 in a row.
5. Another use for the heart markers, as a visual for a ‘poison rhythm’ game.
The blue heart is on the poison rhythm, which they mustn’t clap back at any point during the lesson!
6. Notes bouquet
2nd great idea from TeachPianoToday. These cute heart flowers are a nice decoration, but will also be used for matching to notes on their music, on the keyboard and for drilling scales/transpositions.
7. Steal a Heart game
By the legendary Susan Paradis. What a great game to drill all the notes on the grand staff, so good for later elementary pupils too. It has a huge range of notes that you can preselect from. We love the extra ‘steal a heart’ and ‘give a heart’ trick cards! This could also be modified to use with keyboard letters, intervals, note values etc if I modified the front of the cards)
8. Valentines Delivery ear-training game for steps and skips
3rd outing from TeachPianoToday! I am so thankful for their brilliant games- really cleverly thought out, low printing requirements and so much fun! This game makes player listen out for steps and skips. It’s very important to hear the difference, not just see or feel it! Played with a Love Heart sweetie of course!