A lot of skills in a simple piece: playing from a lead sheet (from Forrest Kinney's Chord Play), playing legato in the right hand with non-legato chords in the left hand, shaping long phrases, playing dotted rhythms, bringing out the melody...
I made these rhythm dominoes yesterday from blank wooden tiles. Kids loves games and I love their excitement when they hear we're going to play a game! But sometimes games are rather abstract. For example, a traditional dominoes game will help them review equivalencies, but doesn't involve any music making. So, a variation is to lay the tiles out on the music stand. Have the student sort the rhythms into groups (four beats, three beats, two beats, one beat). Then play (or speak or clap) the complete rhythm created for each group (all in a line). Do they like the rhythm? Do they want to rearrange or remove tiles? How about putting the long note at the end to make it sound final?
This activity still reviews equivalencies but also engages the student musically and creatively.
Unfortunately, the blank wooden tiles I originally purchased have been out of stock for quite a while, however, I have seen a similar product on Etsy.
Check out this cool video from TED-Ed that uses a circle to visually represent rhythms:
Thoughts on Piano Teaching
Lauren Sonder is a piano teacher in Norman, OK.
She loves to apply creative teaching techniques to help students get the most out of their lessons.