Here's a fun activity to help with music literacy, fine motor skills, and color identification. If this is something you'd like to try with your students, pick up your own printable Treble Clef Play Dough Worksheets from the Fischarper Teachers Pay Teachers store. There's a stop-motion video toward the end of this post, too!
Once you've purchased the activity sheets, just download them, print, and slip into page protectors or laminate. One thing nice about the page protectors is you can easily keep them in a 3-ring binder.
I made red, blue, & white play dough based on this recipe. Store bought play dough would certainly work too (I used Play-Doh brand in the video)! It looks like we'd already experimented with mixing the colors (that was another learning activity!) when the E worksheet picture below was taken.
You can use this activity for part of a lesson (make sure students wash their hands before touching the instrument again), as homework, or for a music camp activity.
Before your students start this activity, make sure to set some rules. I asked the students questions to go over expectations. Here were some of mine:
Do you mix the play dough colors? (No. Later we did mix some, but that was a directed activity.)
Does the play dough go off your box/lid? (No.)
Use rules & guidelines that you see fit, and phrase them in your own way. It might be more effective to use positive phrasing, such as "the colors stay separate" & "the play dough stays on the box/lid." Then you don't risk the student(s) just hearing/processing "mix the play dough" & "off your box/lid."
You can use a box/lid, or a place mat to keep the surface clean and to give visual boundaries for the students.
This activity is great for a variety of ages. I worked with for a small group of preschool through about mid-elementary school age for this project. But I think it could be fun for about any age! You can also make it more or less difficult for different age groups and/or music levels.
How would you use these printable worksheets?
Make sure to check my YouTube channel (& subscribe!), because I'm aiming to schedule a YouTube video to be available each "YouTubesDay" (Tuesday). Stay tuned for music, DIYs, & who knows what else. :)
A few videos are embedded below.
Let me know your requests in the comments below!
Need some musical art to spruce up your studio space? Try out this upcycled DIY cassette wall art inspired by HGTV Handmade. It's a great way to use those old cassettes you no longer listen to!
Watch the video and/or follow the written instructions below to make your own!
board (I used the front of an old drawer)
picture hanging hardware/supplies
sheet music (you can look for some at your local thrift store, or print some from the Petrucci Music Library)
glue (I used school glue and hot glue)
old cassette tapes
Step 1: Measure & attach the picture hanger.
Step 2: Sand front of board.
Step 3: Add the sheet music to the board in a decoupage-like manner. You can mix water with the glue if you wish.
Step 4: Allow to dry.
Step 1: Remove the tape from the cassettes (optional). You might want to use this for another project.
Step 2: Remove any labels and sand.
Step 3: Paint with the necessary number of coats. Make sure to cover the front and sides.
Arrange cassette tapes on board and glue down with hot glue.
After your art has dried, hang it up in your studio to enjoy!
What do you think of the video? Was it helpful?
Be sure to use #Fischarper and/or tag me if you post your version of this project to social media (I'd love to see it)!
Candle in glass jar
Flame safe paint (I used Liquid Leaf before realizing you shouldn't use it near flame...oops. Learn from my mistake.)
Tape (scissors if necessary)
First, tape off a triangle, resembling an abstract-ish harp shape.
Paint the triangle with your flame safe paint. You might want to use a paint brush that you don't mind throwing away, in case the paint doesn't want to wash out.
Allow to dry and remove tape.
Touch up the paint if necessary (especially if you tried to scrape strings onto it and it didn't work #oops) and enjoy!
Take pictures and edit them to try to make everything show up ok. :) Alright, that part's optional.
Remember to never leave candles unattended and to be careful around flame. As with all posts, try this at your own risk and if you're a kid, get a responsible adult to help you! Again, make sure to use flame safe paint and/or use a battery operated candle.
Let me know in the comments and on social media if you try this!
Fidget spinners are/were quite the craze, although they do seem to have calmed down a bit. Love 'em or hate 'em, they were all over the place for awhile! Just take a look at YouTube for hauls, DIYs, and even tricks. So, of course I decided to put a musical spin (see what I did there?) on the idea.
Assign this as a homework project for your students, or have one in your pre-/post-lesson activity area or lending area. Use this as an opportunity to review quarter note duration, or even to introduce quarter note duration in different meters.
One important note: make sure your students know to be responsible and respectful with how/when they play with it!
Watch the video below, or read the written instructions below to see how you can make one!
printable pattern (you might want to make it a little smaller)
oven bake clay (something like Sculpey) & oven
knife (be careful!)
clay glaze (or glue or Mod Podge)
1) Roll out clay & cut around template (you might want to make the template a little smaller), then smooth edges.
2) Bake according to package instructions, making sure clay is in shape before baking.
3) Allow clay to cool, then coat a section at a time with glaze or glue & cover with sand and/or glitter. Repeat as needed, with a final coat of glaze or glue to seal. Let dry between coats.
4) Trim the skewer so that some sticks out on each side. You might have to trim it down again (mine is a little too long in the video). Glue a gem to one end & allow to dry.
5) Glue a gem to each note head to add weight.
6) Once the glue has dried, place the skewer through the middle of the clay & glue the other stone on the other side of the skewer.
7) Allow it to dry, then spin!
There you have it! What are your thoughts on fidget spinners? Be sure to show me your musical version with #Fischarper!
Fischer Studio of Music recently had our 2017 Spring Recital at an assisted living facility. We had a small group of performers again this time, but they did a great job! We even had a guest performer! A former student played saxophone, and it was a nice touch for both the residents and the students. A wonderful friend kindly took pictures at the recital and my mom made cute shell musicians to give the performers.
Did you have a studio recital? Do you have guest performers?
Check out more recital posts in the archives.
Barbara Fischer runs Fischarper, LLC and loves her job as a harpist and private music educator. She enjoys blogging about various aspects of the music field on fischarper.com/blog. For more music resources, check out her free ecourse, “Breezing Through Bass Clef,” the Fischarper Teachers Pay Teachers Store and Making Harp Lessons Exciting For Young Children, written by Bambi Fischer (Barbara’s mom!) and revised and edited by Barbara. You can connect with Barbara all over the interwebs on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. And you can sign up to receive Fischarper updates by joining the email list.
DIY music gifts, DIY harp gift wrap, and now DIY harp string gift bows?! You are so ready for your favorite harp player's birthday! This is a fairly easy project, but is so personalized. It's also another way to upcycle those used strings.
Used harp strings - not all of them hold the twisty shape; gut seemed to work best, but you might have to have a little trial and error
Paper for the base (I used excess from this wrapping)
Small pliers and wire cutters
Small hole punch (or pin)
Cut a piece from your base about 3x longer and 2x wider than you want the finished base. Fold in half longways and in thirds the other way.
Unfold and punch holes for your desired number of strings. I originally made 12, but changed to 9. Use the tiny hole punch for this, not the pliers. If you don't have a tiny hole punch, you can try using a pin.
Start twisting the string with the pliers, making a corkscrew.
Keep twisting. Curl the entire piece of string, and repeat for the remaining.
Insert a string into one of the holes.
Make sure a little is sticking out on the back.
Do this for all the holes you made.
The back should look like this. It might be a little tricky, especially if your strings are quite a bit smaller than the holes. Just keep working at it, and take a break if it gets too frustrating. :)
Blob some glue on the string ends...on the back.
Tape and trim the sides and bottom of the bow base.
Admire your work and attach it to a gift! You could use this harp wrapping paper, this music gift tag, and/or this music gift box. While you're at it, think about adding one of these diy gifts!
Did you make this? Be sure to show me on social media! Tag me and/or use #Fischarper.
1. Cut about 27" of wire
2. Thread your pearl (or other anchor/bottom bead) onto the wire. Fold the wire in half with the pearl at the bottom.
3. Thread 25 beads onto the doubled wire (the pearl should be at the bottom, anchoring the wire).
4. Fold the beads over, skip 13 beads, and thread the wire into the 14th bead (the yellow bead).
5. Thread 14 beads onto the wire.
6. Thread the wire upward into the 3rd bead from the bottom, not counting your anchor/pearl bead (green). You might need to thread one wire at a time.
7. Add 7 beads.
8. Thread the wire down into the 5th bead above the last join (pink).
9. Add 2 more beads.
10. Fold wire over the last bead. Then thread through the second bead.
11. Wrap wire around last join (under pink bead).
12. Thread the wire tail through the beads and trim off excess. You might need to thread the two wires in two different directions.
13. Attach 2 jump rings through the top loop of the treble clef and attach to earring hooks.
Are you planning to try these out? Be sure to tag me on social media and/or use #Fischarper! Not on social media? Leave a picture in the comments or send me a message!
Welcome to Music Monday, where I share a little music with you. It could be any type of music from art (classical) to up-and-coming musicians and colleagues, to mainstream pop. After all, it is part of music appreciation and musical growth! Enjoy!
I've been slacking off a bit on the Music Monday side of things, so I might just start posting Music Mondays from time to time. What do you think? If you'd like me to keep posting (or attempting to) Music Monday posts twice per month, let me know in the comments below!
This week, it's part of Morton Gould's Tap Dance Concerto, performed by Max Pollak and Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. So cool, right?
Need a little harp art to spruce up your practice area? Or just need an excuse to buy some chocolate? Either way, I've got you covered with this easy textured foil harp art.
foil (mine is from Ferrero Rocher from a student)
cardboard (for the stand)
small piece of wood (cardboard would probably also work)
3d paint (hot glue would probably also work)
Permanent black marker (optional)
Draw a simple harp with puffy paint. Make sure the strings aren't too close together.
Let this dry really well.
Once the paint is totally dry, cover the piece of wood with glue.
Spread the glue all around the front of the wood, adding more glue if necessary.
Trim the foil flush with the edge of the wood and add extra glue if needed.
I colored the edges with a black permanent marker, but that part is optional. If you do this, I'd suggest doing it before gluing the foil down. Using paint instead of a marker would also probably give better coverage.
Cut out a stand shape and bend it so that it will hold up your art. Then, glue it to the back.
Once dry, display your lovely work of art!
Are you going to try this? Please be sure to tag me on social media or let me know in the comments!
Welcome to the blog! I'm Barbara, and I work as a freelance harpist and private music educator. You can read my bio here. On the blog, you can find posts about various aspects of this career path, especially teaching and crafty stuff. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on social media. And don't forget to subscribe to the email list for updates!
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