This summer as I sat down to plan, I thought about how Halloween usually is at the studio. The excitement for trick or treating, the sugar rush (& crashes) from all the candy, & all the accompanied redirecting that goes into a lesson. “Yes, I think you did get a lot of candy. Congratulations! Now, let’s see if we can burn off more energy playing keys on the piano … in the semblance of a song. Any song … made up or written.” It can be exhausting for everyone.
This year, I decided to go with it & embrace these challenges! If you can’t fight ’em, join ’em.
When I saw that I would be driving to my students’ homes on Halloween, I had visions of driving 30 km/hr while avoiding hyped up kids trick or treating. No, thank you. I’ll pass.
This week, students are coming to MY home for group lesson. Not only does it give students a chance to come together for a lesson, but it also avoids the whole “IjusthadabunchofsugarsinceIatealmostallmycandyinonesitting! I’MSOEXCITED!!!!!” Sigh.
The first group lesson is the day before Halloween & the next is on the weekend, hopefully, far enough away that the kids have had a chance to burn off some of that sugar. (If that isn’t the case … I will officially be going on strike for the rest of the day to recover.)
Overall though, the kids are in the mood to socialize so I’ll be embracing that rather than fighting it.
5 Ways To Use …
This year, I have focused on a different object in my students’ practice pouches each month. Each week, I give them a new way to use the object with a specific song or activity. By guiding them through different ways of using each object, they develop a whole arsenal of tools to help them as they practiced.
We are doing things slightly differently this month.
In November, what do most kids have lots of, but parents dread having in the house? Candy.
So, in keeping with the “join ’em” attitude, students will be given different ways to practice throughout November using … that’s right, their Halloween candy. What student won’t want to practice if they get candy at every-single-practice-session? I have a feeling my students will be clocking in more time at the piano over November to take advantage of this.
Group Lesson activities
The first group lesson of the year is always about setting expectations AND making sure the kids have so much fun they get on their parents to schedule them as quick as possible for all remaining group lessons.
- Arriving: My students always have a theory worksheet waiting for them when they arrive for group lesson. It allows me to greet students as they arrive, give points on their points cards, & get students settled into the lesson.
- Rhythm Warmup: We have been doing rhythm warm-ups in lessons, so I was very excited to find a “Rockin’ Around the Rhythm Clock” activity. I like that it is a fun way to review what we have been learning, but also easily adapted for multiple age levels & piano levels. I can see my students having a lot of fun with this one!
- Games: I’m embracing the fact that my students will want time to socialize. Even though I will have students of different levels for each session, it will be easy enough to choose a game or two for each level of students. Students will be divided into mini groups based on their level/ability for this section.
- Listening Glyph: I have several Halloween & Autumn listening glyphs, as well as SQUILT worksheets for older students. Students will listen to a season appropriate song & practice their active listening skills.
- Snack Time: This is another great way for kids’ to socialize & get settled down before their parents arrive. And, for snacks it will be autumn-appropriate with things that we tend to eat during this season! (Like the apple chips my mom made using the apples from our tree.)
Your Halloween Plans
What will you be doing in your studio to embrace the Halloween fever?
I would love to hear from you below.
Have a great weekend!