Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Music Month for Activity Days

Ready to learn basic conducting, make a craft, and dance it out? Our Music Month had it all -- and turned out to be some of our best Activity Days ever.

Learn Music Conducting
Print the basic conducting patterns onto half sheets of paper. To make a piano pocket folder for the instructions, fold a piece of construction paper in half. Unfold and on one side of the fold, cut a curved shape like the overhead view of a grand piano. With the paper folded again, staple the loose edges together on the side and bottom for form a pocket. Cut a 1-1/2" x 6" strip of white paper. Draw a series of parallel lines across the short side of the paper, all the way down. These will become the white keys of the "piano." To make the black keys, color in rectangles that are half the length of the keys and overlap the lines. Show the girls how black keys are grouped in 2's and 3's -- they make up a pattern all the way down the keyboard.

Choose various songs from the Primary music book to try your hand at leading 4/4, 3/4, 6/8, and 2/2 time.

Make Music Batons
This music baton craft was easy, cheap and useful. Each baton is made from a plastic balloon stick (purchase from party stores like Zurchers; they come in 24" lengths, cut in half to make two 12" sticks) and two small wooden spools (you can buy a package of 20 from Michaels for just a few dollars).

Before the activity, use a hot glue gun to glue the two spools on the end of a stick as a handle. Thread the two spools onto the stick. While holding one spool at the bottom of the stick, squeeze glue in the center of the spool and at its base; let glue cool to affix the bottom spool. Add a few drops of glue on the top of that spool and press the other spool on top of it. Your handle is the two spools glued together.

During the activity, let the girls decorate their handles using permanent markers, stickers, rhinestones, etc.

I chose to keep the batons afterwards and apply a coat of sealant to the handles. We gave the batons back to the girls at the next activity to take home.

Play Music Match
Choose about a dozen songs to play "memory." Write each song on the back of a recipe card, then make a duplicate card of each song. We used about 10 popular songs from the radio (which are all in 4/4 time) plus a few songs everyone knows in 3/4 time. (Happy Birthday, Away in a Manger, etc.)

Mix up the cards and put them face down on a table (or tape them to a board or wall). The girls turn over two cards at a time, hoping to find matching song titles.

When a match is found, we played the song from an MP3 playlist we'd prepared with all the songs from the game. The girls used their batons to lead along with the music, but more than anything LOVED dancing, singing and conducting along with their favorite music. Bravo to this activity!

Faith In God Goal: Preparing for YW
(learning how to conduct music is a way you can serve others; it is a talent you'll be able to use in YW and beyond)

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