Piano Camp Lesson Plan
Here is a sample of a summer piano camp lesson plan that you can use as “spine” for your planning. It is the same format that I suggested in my Group Piano Summer Piano in 30 Days post. However here you will find a little more detail for each section. This is just to get you started!
Level: beginners in school grades 3 and 4
Length: 2 hours, 5 days
Savanna Stalk by Wendy Stevens (purchase the studio license for $8.99)
Let the Music Games Begin: Summer Games for Elementary Students by Melody Payne ($3.00)
Rhythm Menagerie: rhythm explorations by Wendy Stevens ($34.99)
I suggest you prepare a binder or spiral book with everything the student will need during piano camp. You will probably make a lot of copies and do a lot of laminating, but keep in mind that you do not have to give all this to the students. Prepare it in a way that you may use this materials over and over again at your studio.
Pianos/keyboards for each student
iPod or CD player
Die and game pieces
5 laminated game boards from summer games and one set of cards for event 5 (this is enough for 10 students)
Warm-up (15 m) Introduce yourself and to each other if this is a new class. Allow students to explore the keyboards with the headphones on. During these 15 minutes if everyone is already at their keyboard give instructions on how to use different buttons to change the rhythms, voices and listen to demo songs.
If you are using acoustic pianos or only one piano then plan to have an “ice breaker” to get your music camp energy going!
Music Conference (5 m) Everyone meets at a designated area (floor,table, grand piano, etc.) where the teacher shares with the students the activities/schedule for the day and camp rules. Based on the page 5 of Unit 1 of Rhythm Menagerie (RM) introduce quarter and half notes and the awesome looking animal for unit 1!
Piano Time (20 m) Piano Time is where you teach the new piece or piano skill, everyone gathered around the Teacher piano. If you are only using one piano then have a plan for everyone to get a chance to try out the new song together. If you have individual pianos give them a chance to practice and play out loud together as a group.
While students are standing or sitting around the “teacher piano” play Savanna Stalk for the students. After your performance talk about the title and the interpretation of the piece. This is the piece they will be performing by the end of the week! Play it once again and have a student follow along with a pointing finger or pencil for everyone to follow. Or play a recording of this piece and you do the pointing. Either way it is important for students to understand that the pictures they see on the page have meaning for making sounds at the piano.
Introduce the piano keyboard, groups of black keys, high/low, take a look inside the grand piano, pedals, etc. you know how to do this! Make sure you include all the terms on the cards of event 5 of music summer games.
Now each student goes to their piano and review you may call out the different keyboard aspects you demonstrated previously, but now each student can explore or his/her own piano. Headphones should not be plugged in.
Table Time (10 m) as a group work together on page 5 of RM. Point out the dynamic markings. If all students can sit facing you then you can all pretend to play high notes, low notes, loud and quiet. Cover all 5 days staying in tune with how the students are understanding how to follow the reading of the quarter and half notes.
BREAK (10 min) snack restroom, water, or an outdoor activity if possible.
Piano Time (15 m) Time to apply everything we just learned as we play the piano. Follow this same page 5 from unit 1 and go over it the same way you did at the table.
Game Time (10 min) Students sit on floor in pairs with a game board, die and 2 game pieces. Teacher will ask the whole class to identify the cards. Use this time as a review. After each card students roll the die and move the amount of spaces listed. Continue the same procedure until someone wins. Game may be repeated a few times.
Music Conference or Piano Time (10 min) end the session with playing RM page 6 together and completing the sidebar. If there is not enough time to complete the page students can complete it first thing tomorrow when they arrive for piano camp.
Follow the same plan as Day 1. However today after reviewing the piano keyboard teach the first 4 measures of Savanna Stalk, by rote. Once they have mastered does 4 measures add measures 17-23. Use the music score so students can remember the patterns!
Also continue with RM unit 1. Some students should now be able to work on these pages on their own.
Choose how you wish to use the summer games.
Your goal for today is to learn measures 5-16 of Savanna Stalk. Always separate the parts that are the same and show the students how to identify it on the music score.
Savanna Stalk is ready to be played as a whole composition. Keep polishing it and helping students individually.
If you are not having a performance for the parents have a mini party today and record the students either individually or performing as a group.
Now you are ready to repeat this piano camp next week with a new set of kids!