Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mr. Picky and Mr. Pleased

I'm cutting out paper dolls over the next few days. There is a great pattern for this activity at Students will get to choose female and male dolls to color and put on sticks. One will go on each end of the music stand as they practice this fall. I'm going to avoid using real faces because of the roles that the dolls will play. I have crayons, markers and clothes for them; I'm sure you'll see the results of their work posted here as the season continues.

Many students can only hear one side of their playing. Many are pleased to have "gotten all the notes right" and are ready to move on to another piece. Some are extremely self punishing, and can only hear their mistakes. I hope to encourage them to hear both voices.

So imagine them playing their piece with their stick friends listening. I will have made a pair of paper dolls for the studio too, so they will not need to bring their "people" back for their lesson.

The children will "ask" Mr. Picky what could be improved, and then hopefully be able to answer their own question. The students will also ask Mr. Pleased what aspect of their piece improved.

Last year, one of the students actually brought Mr. Pleased along to a recital and laid him on the bench. I was thrilled of course and asked her about it afterward. She replied that he always likes how she plays, and that she left Mr. Picky at home on purpose. An excellent idea!
I'll let you know how it works out this year.


  1. Thanks for sharing one great activity that our students will surely love. Your efforts of enahncing your music teaching resources and strategies are really unique, innovative and effective. Just in case you like to further develop your piano teaching resources and integrate more interactive classroom activities in music classes, please visit my page for some good links to a reliable piano teachers website. Thanks again and more power!

  2. Hi there musicteacherhub! I've checked out your website. Nice job! I wish you much success using the internet. I use a program written by a friend of mine called Time Signature. It is a combination of your website, billing, and email. It is a treasure to a busy music teacher, and can do one teacher or a whole school of teachers' students. Mary Lou Iverson's program is used nationally-have you seen it?
    So glad you stopped by!


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