Saturday, 29 June 2013

Canada Day Piano Style ♫

It's the long weekend wahoo, and Canada Day on Monday which means red and white all over, fireworks and O Canada so I thought I would jump on the maple leaf boat and do something fun with my piano students this week!

Summer lessons have begun, and I like to make these a little different to our regular weekly ones.  Last year I did Piano Olympics, to tie in with the London 2012 Summer Olympics... see that here I have been trying to think of ways to do some fun musical things these coming weeks!

I have decided to do various themed weeks.  As I am still teaching regular 45 minute lessons in their homes it needed to be something to incorporate within this time frame still giving us time to hear practiced songs, learn a new piece and go over some theory or ear training.  So for each week there would be a fun element or new thing to learn :-)

Coming up this week is Canada Day of course!

Every student will learn O Canada, and I have made a note naming maple leaf worksheet for a theory element of the lesson.  And then the best bit!  GAME TIME!  I have been wanting to make my own musical bingo sheets for a while now, and every time I can (and have time) I love to make new worksheets.

One of my own piano teacher aims this year was to come up with my own worksheets to use with my students in their piano lessons.  This way I can create the colours I want, and things specific to my students needs and levels.  However, I have put them into pdf as well so if anybody else wants them you are SO welcome!  I would love that!  I love having fun worksheets and games to use, and since discovering amazing music teacher sites such as Susan Paradis and Color In My Piano I have used a bunch of their great printables, but also had the inspiration to make my own :-)

I'm learning slowly and discovering new and better ways to do this and Joy from Color in My Piano has REALLY been helpful for my Canada Day worksheet and game!  Thank you Joy!  She has a great template, and set of musical symbols that you can download, resize as you need and then use them for what ever project you're working on!

For me this time first up was a note naming worksheet.  Maple leaf style of course!

Here's how it looks!  And get the PDF here

I created it using the blank treble and bass clef staffs from Joy, and then spent FOREVER looking for the perfect maple leaf that would sit on a line or a space blank to fill in the notes.  I'm pretty happy with the one google finally provided me with!!  I also used my favourite music font for the O Canada title... Search for DTNoted and you'll get this great one :-)  

My first students tried it out on Friday, how nice that her red guitar was sat on the table when it was photo time (actually, honestly!). 

Alright, worksheet done - now to devise a game with a Canada Day twist!  My first thoughts were to make a musical bingo to test my student's musical symbol knowledge!  Something I wanted to work on particularly with a few :-P  I was thinking red counters to place on the maple leaf spaces, and then a Canadian treat as a prize. 

With a lot of moving around symbols, a lot of resizing maple leafs and then the realisation I would need more than 1 bingo sheet I was done!

I came up with 3 different sheets... same symbols but in different positions on the table so that the students playing wouldn't get bingo at the same time!  In the PDF (click here!) I also included a blank sheet just in case.


I printed the bingo sheets on card stock and didn't yet, but would like to laminate these just to keep them as long as possible.  Instead of marking on each square (maple leaf!) when it is called, I got some red counters (from a dollarstore Connect 4 game) so that it could be reused.  This actually worked really well, then when the game was over they could just move away the counters and re-start.

*** Writing this now, I realise that after each game or 2 the students should have also switched cards so that it was a fresh set of musical symbols in different positions on the sheet - probably they got used to where things were after a few games?! ... Ah well, next week! ***

I read out the musical symbols in a random order, and from the list you see below (might have to click to zoom) marked them off as I said them to keep track, and so that when the game was over we could confirm if I had indeed said them!  A couple of the symbols were unknown to the students I played with on Friday, but one sister taught her other sister what something meant, and then we learnt what 'fermata' was as we went along.  I also made them 'reveal' their completed row, just to check they did in fact know what the symbol was and weren't guessing!

I tried this out with 2 girls on Friday and we had SO MUCH fun!!!!!  We played 8 games of it in all, and by the end each girl had won 4 chocolate dollars each!  Check out the final winning game - I went pretty quickly reading them out and she ended up with 3 complete rows before she realised she had won! 

A lot of fun, and I can't wait to play it with all of my students this week ♫

Happy Canada Day everybody, enjoy the long weekend either this weekend or next if you're celebrating in the States :-) 

...PS I'll be doing some 4th July piano things on Thursday too with my Canadian-American students!  It's going to be a fun week!


  1. Happy Canada Day! Awesome creative ideas. Thanks so much for stopping by Project Inspire{d} last week. I hope you'll visit us again this evening! xo

    1. Yey thanks so much!! Great to have you here checking this out :-)

  2. Very Creative! Thank you for linking with Hickory Trail!

  3. Looks so fun! I love BINGO personally. :)

    1. Me too! And we (me and my students) had a GREAT time with it this week! The fun they had may have even outweighed their excitement about the chocolate prize - that was awesome!!

  4. Happy Canada Day - last weekend. I enjoyed reading your post. Great ideas.
    Following you from Family Fun Friday.

    1. Thanks so much Janis - it is great to have you here :-)

  5. What marvelous ideas for your students!!! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Patty! We had a LOT of fun with it last week :-)

  6. Wonderful ideas! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Thanks so much for linking up on Tutorial Thursdays Linky Party this week. Voting has begun, if you have a moment, please do drop by and vote for your favourite link of this week. Thanks :)
    See you again on Thursday.
    Marigolds' Loft

    1. Thanks so much Natalie! I was too late for voting last week so I'll definitely come by now and see if this week's is open :-)

  7. You are such a fun teacher! My boys don't have so much luck with me. I might have to get my act together! Krista @ A Handful of Everything

    1. Thank you Krista!! That's my aim - have a lot of fun with a lot of learning (sometimes subtle so they don't even realise hehe!) ♫


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