I need help to stay organized. I need inspiration to stay creative. To that end, I keep three binders near. My Command Central binder (studio administration) and Student Files binder (information) help with efficiency. But this one is pure fun. Educational, of course. But fun! My Games/Activities binder.
When a student needs help with rhythm or note identification, there it is. When I want group games, it’s there. A wiggly youngster in need of off-seat time? There.
I tend to live in the moment. If an item is out of sight, it can cease to exist. The binder nudges my memory.
The Games/Activities binder has a 3-ring pouch of colorful dry-erase markers. Plastic sheet protectors make activity sheets reusable. Write on and wipe off. Pages can be swapped quarterly.
Activities may include:
- Search-and-Find (like Where’s Waldo?)
- Flash card games
- Card games
- Note-identification word games
- Word searches
- Crossword and other puzzles
- Trace the symbols
- Match the ______________
- Find the patterns (snatches of music)
- Ear Training
- Assignment Sheet masters for piano, voice and guitar
- Scales & arpeggios
- Key identification
- Famous composers & their creative friends (authors, artists…)
- Music history
- Ideas (for future group classes/games)
- Snacks (for group classes/recitals)
- Resources and wish list
I use an Excel spreadsheet as an index. At a glance, I have the title, supplies needed and location of each, skills/areas covered, age and level, season, and number of players.
Bulky games might be on a shelf or in a drawer.
Certain game pieces are stored separately. Then they can be used for several games. Some games are on iPad.
A number of music teacher bloggers include games and activities on their sites. My resource page includes their links. I highlight games I’d like for my studio.
Here are just a few:
Wendy Stevens www.ComposeCreate.com
Three Cranky Women http://tcwresources.com/about.php
Joy Morin—Color in my Piano http://ow.ly/TvUbW
Office Playground (desk toys, etc) http://ow.ly/Twnfy
Teach Piano Today (Piano Game Club) http://pianogameclub.com/
Diane Hidy’s Toolbox http://dianehidy.com/my-toolbox/
What methods help you manage your studio? How do you keep the creativity in your teaching? Leave a comment!