Summer Piano Camp 2014

Camps and Workshops

I recently finished up with my summer piano camp sessions. I had 5 sessions this year. This year I decided I wanted to simplify my life a little and use a camp that was already done for me. I decided to use Sheryl Welles with the Notable Music Studio, Road Trip USA Camp.

It is a fantastic camp, but in my typical “Jennifer” style I ended up using it more as a resource of ideas and did my own thing with it. What ever happened to simplify? I’m not sure if I understand that word very well. Saying all that, I do want to mention that Road Trip USA on it’s own (without any of my changes) is a fantastic camp and well worth purchasing.

Okay, now for what we did at camp. My camps are 8 hours divided into 2 or 3 days. My 2 day option is 4 hours each day and for those who need to hurry out of town, it is held the end of May. My 3 day option is 2 hours 40 min. each day. Because of this, we only “toured” 3 places of the 5 that Sheryl includes. I figured I could use the ideas from the other 2 in a future camp.

First Day- Washington DC- Patriotic Theme

As students walked in they chose a patriotic necklace to wear. We started out watching a YouTube video of the story behind the national anthem. I really think it’s important for children to know this. They enjoyed it, a few knew the story already (yay for school teachers!) but many had not. We talked about why we put our hand over our heart when the national anthem is sung.


Afterwards we used the Eggspert (they love using the Eggspert!) and went through symbol flashcards to prep them for the Laws of Music Game.



Then we played a game which I will be posting a review for this summer called Rhythm Riot by Whirligig.




After Rhythm Riot, we played Laws of Music (game idea by Sheryl). Now when we used the Eggspert at the beginning I wanted names of symbols. For the Laws of Music, I wanted the definition.

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We played a couple patriotic rhythm themed games and then we saved the best for last and played with Wendy Steven’s, Rhythm Cup Explorations. (Review post coming soon) We did the cup rhythms to patriotic music like Stars and Stripes Forever, This land is Your Land, etc.




2nd Day- I Love New York Day- NYC/Star/Broadway Theme

On the 2nd day I gave students star shaped shutter glasses and watched the Rhapsody in Blue clip from Fantasia 2000. I used the Rhapsody in Blue section of this worksheet for them to discuss later after they watched it.





Then we played a game called Taxi Cab Races (game idea by Sheryl).




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We played Where Everyone is a Star, a terminology game (game idea by Sheryl). I did something similar to this game last year but we used “hats” similar to the “headbands” game if you have heard of that.


We had a craft break and made these picture frames. While they were making this craft I had my NYC slideshow running of when I toured the Steinway Factory, Steinway Hall and Carnegie Hall.


Then I got out the Eggspert again and we reviewed with intervals and note flashcards.


Afterwards I showed this free Broadway Powerpoint and they were able to get a sampling of musicals in each decade. We finished off by doing Boomwhackers on Broadway. They played Lion Sleeps Tonight from Lion King, Matchmaker from Fiddler on the Roof and George Gershwin’s, I Got Rhythm. Then I had them make a Boomwhacker composition using these worksheets.







3rd Day- Luau Day- Hawaiin Theme

In her camp, Sheryl shared a link to a website where you can find students Hawaiian names. So I wrote those on name labels and gave those along with leis to students as they walked in.

Then we watched a video montage of IZ Kamakawiwo’ole’s popular version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow”.

Our first game was a Musical Truth or Dare game passing around a plastic coconut in hot potato style. Inside were musical truth or dares. An example of a truth would be things like- “Do you sing in the shower?”, Did you practice this week?”, “Is your piano tuned?” Dares were things like “Pick a partner and dance the hula”, “Do some air guitar”, “Sing the Mickey Mouse song in a Mickey voice,” etc…





IMG_6413The 3rd day had 2 crafts. For the first craft we made hawaiin themed wind chimes. These turned out really cute. And then for our 2nd craft we made Pu’ili sticks. Before making the Pu’ili sticks we watched a video of a Hawaiin dance using the Pu’ili sticks.







Then we played a game by Sheryl called Flip Flops and Leis.





Another game one of my groups was able to try was Musical Words, created by Gail Fischler. I won this game at our ASMTA state conference. (a review coming soon).




And if we had time we did some Limbo! (One of the dares in the musical truth or dare game was to Limbo so if that was chosen, we just did it then).






I posted several video’s from this camp on the Foxx Piano Studio YouTube channel. Check them out! (Pu’ili Rhythm Sticks, Rhythm Cup Patriotic, Lion Sleeps Tonight Boomwhackers, Boomwhacker Composition 1 and 2).

As you can see we had lots of fun and I have a bunch of reviews ahead of me this summer! Stay tuned!







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