We started Piano Olympics in the studio this past week, and the students seem to be really excited about it! Although when I introduced it to them, a few students blankly stared at me and said “What’s the Olympics?” Whaaaatttt? I have loved the Olympics ever since I can remember. So it seemed natural to capitalize on the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics and have a little Olympic fun.
This fall I purchased an iPad for use in the piano studio. Since then the students have been playing musical games on it during lessons – learning note names, sight reading, ear training, identifying music intervals, etc. It has been a big bonus in lessons. So I wanted to extend the use of those apps into our Piano Olympics.
I decided to have nine events. Four of these are apps on the iPad, which we will complete in the lesson. These include:
1.Blob Chorus – students must play the game twice, correctly identifying at least 9 out of 10 pitches
2. Flashnote Derby – students must complete two rounds, and correctly identifyat least 18 out of 20 notes on the staff
3. Music Intervals – students must identify twenty intervals correctly
4. Sight Reader – students must pass ten sight reading challenges
The remaining five events are as follows:
5. Cool Composer – students compose a song based on one of the winter Olympic events. (Does not need to be written down).
6. Finger Power – students play their specific list of pentascales, scales, chords, and/or arpeggios in the lesson
7. Practice – students must complete ten practice sessions of fifteen minutes each
8. Rhythm Pro – students must correctly tap five rhythm passages (I might use a rhythm app for this as well, or just have students tap passages from their pieces).
9. Soundtrack – students learn to play the Olympic Fanfare (I have an easy version I wrote on Finale, and a slightly harder version I purchased on Online Sheet Music, arranged by Dan Coates).
All the events need to be completed by March 15. If the student completes 7-9 events, they will win a gold medal. Completing 4-6 events will earn the student a silver medal, completed 2-3 events will earn the student a bronze medal.
I fully expect all my students to earn gold medals, since I plan on completing most of the events together in the lesson. By the way – I am only having my students in sixth grade and below participate, although some of the older kids will be learning the Olympic Fanfare for fun.
I am looking forward to giving out the gold medals come March!