Balloons In The Piano Room

Music Balloons

Quick and fun theory review!

At our practice achievement celebrations this week, I drew music theory concepts on balloons and had students randomly pick 2-3 balloons. I told them that if they could correctly identify what was on the balloon, they could pop the balloon. If they correctly identified all 3 of them then they also got the joy of taking a purple balloon home with them.

I got the idea for this activity while reading Ron Clark’s book, The End of Molasses Classes. It is an AWESOME read!

I used different variations of the activity also.

Sight Reading Balloon

Sight Reading

Note Identification

Note Identification

Finally, my favorite variation – In Family Feud Style I gave 2 students each a blank balloon. I sat them in chairs back to back and told them they had 20 seconds to draw as many music symbols as they could think of on the balloon. Whoever had the most would get to pop the balloons.

They had a blast with it!

symbols

8 thoughts on “Balloons In The Piano Room

  1. Oh my gosh this looks like such a fun activity!
    I have a “newbie” question to ask you … in so many blogs, I’ve seen that music teachers often have multiple pianos/keyboards. They generally have a grand and an upright/full-size keyboard. I have a grand at the moment (really I bought it for myself before I thought I would teach, and now I’m not really loving the fact that there are sticky fingers on it all the time! Ha!). I noticed two instruments in your post so I wanted to ask: how do you use them both in your classes? Do you ask the younger ones to use the electric keyboard? When I can save up enough I’m hoping to invest in a good-quality keyboard or basic upright, and keep the grand for advanced students/myself/recitals… what do you think?

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    • Leia, I have a digital piano and the baby grand in the studio. Actually I taught on the digital upright for years before I could afford the baby grand. Now that I have both, I mostly use the digital for beats students can play along with on the baby grand. I also use it to accompany them or for duets with other students. Sometimes while one student is with me on the baby grand, another practices at the digital with headphones. EVERYBODY uses the baby grand though, and they love it! It is good for the little ones to gain finger strength. I am meticulous about clean hands at the piano. With the younger ones this means stopping often to sanitize – whenever fingers go in the mouth, etc. Digitals are actually much more affordable these days, so if you are thinking about getting one don’t be afraid of the prices.

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      • Thank you for always replying to my comments 🙂
        Yes, I have a lot of issues with fingers-in-the-mouth, nose-picking occasionally, and other things! Good-quality digitals here start at about $1000 (we have a high import tax on instruments) so it might be some time before I invest in one. It’s something to think about, though! 🙂

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  2. I teach on two acoustic upright pianos, and I give the better piano to my students in lessons because I want them to experience its tone and touch. I solve the sticky fingers problem by asking that hands be washed before we begin….a good habit for them to have for their home instrument too. A requirement to wash hands can be written into teaching policies given to the parent. I also keep the hand sanitizer handy – especially in winter!

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