The Crocodile In The Studio

"Crocodile"

“Crocky Loves Music”

Besides the piano, this is probably the most used thing in my studio. Years ago when my children were preschool age someone gave them this toy crocodile game. To play, you push down his teeth one at a time. Apparently one of his teeth is bad and it hurts him when you push that tooth. So, he slams his mouth shut. The cool thing is that the bad tooth changes every time you play! All the kids in my studio love the shock of finding the bad tooth!
So, how does Crocky help us play piano? Well whenever we run into a tricky passage or something that needs to be played several times, we ask Crocky for help. The student plays the part we are working on and gets to push a tooth each time they play it. Once Crocky closes his mouth we know we’re finished working on that part for now.
The anticipated shock of Crocky closing his mouth and of guessing which one is the bad tooth keep the kids wanting to play their tricky piano parts over and over again! Sometimes they even ask “Where is Crocky” as soon as they enter the studio!
As I said, I’ve had Crocky for a long time, but you can probably find one at a toy store or maybe even online.
Do you have any especially fun props or characters that you use with your students to get them to do repetitions? I’d love to hear about them!