Christ the Lord Is Risen Today – an Easy Version

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

I’m posting an  arrangement of Christ the Lord Is Risen Today for students who want to play easy arrangements of Easter Hymns. This arrangement requires students to shift hands and play some patterns that are not exactly in 5-finger patterns. You will notice this is not as easy as it looks and sounds. The left hand accompaniment in the second measure of the “Alleluia” pattern (the end of each line) can be omitted if it proves to be too difficult. Help your student with the first measure of the last line. That is a tricky passage, as well as the left hand of the last measure. If it is too difficult, try omitting the left hand when it doesn’t have the melody.

This is one of my favorite Easter hymns. The lyrics were written by Charles Wesley (the Anglican Church pastor and the founder of the Methodist movement in the U.S.) and the music is attributed to Lyra Davidica, which is obviously not a person’s name. I am a history buff and I was curious about that, so in my usual way, I did some research.

It turns out that Lyra Davidica ( David’s Harp) was hymn book published in 1708. The full title is Lyra Davidica, or a Collection of Divine Songs and Hymns, partly newly composed, partly translated from the High German and Latin Hymns; and set to easy and pleasant tunes). It seems the English were rather envious of the German’s “pleasant and tuneful melodies,” so this book was a way to bring some of those tunes to England. What musician wouldn’t be jealous of the Germans, who produced some of the greatest musicians who ever lived! Fortunately for English speakers, we were able to nab Handel! 😉

Thanks to the IMSLP Music Library, which has a huge data base of public domain classical music, I was able to look through every page of this old hymn book and see the original melody, which is evidently an anonymous tune. It was slightly more flourisher, but basically the same. Was the composer German? We will never know. The words, of course, are different, since Charles Wesley was born in 1703, but the original tune has Easter lyrics.

Hymn books of that time were very different from hymn books we use now. The old hymn books would alternate between hymns with music notation and other hymns with the verses only and no notation. It is interesting that nowadays in some churches the same thing is done, with the lyrics being projected on a screen or written in a church bulletin with no accompanying music notation.

This is a very old hymn, and the fact that it is still around says something about both the music and the lyrics. I hope by encouraging our students to learn some of these hymns, we can pass along our music legacy.

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Some St. Patrick’s Day Activities

Here are some ideas for St. Patrick’s Day that I have posted over the years. There are activities for notes, rhythm, piano keys, composing, and a game that covers intervals, notes, and vocabulary. I hope you find something useful!

St. Patrick’s Day Composing Activity

There are two composition pages, one for pre-reading students (or just very young children) and  a grand staff version.

Shamrock Keyboard Race Game

I’ve found the above game to be the best game to reinforce the names of keys. Plus, I’ve made this game with lots of different graphics so if you want to play it at different times of the year, there are other versions as well.

Pot of Gold Board Game

The link above will take you to the instructions on how to play this versatile game. The game includes cards for intervals, vocabulary, notes, and keyboards. That makes this a general, all-purpose game. If you like all-purpose games like this, check out RoboRama, which is a really fun year-round game, and a little different.

The above rhythm game is the one I’ve remade several years ago to look colorful, but not use too much ink. This game is good for older students. There are cards for 6|8 also!

The above worksheet includes 3 different versions for students to label notes that look that shamrocks. The ones in color work great on an iPad! There is a black and white version, also.

Clover full of notes is one of my old worksheets that I also remade to use less color ink. I should have kept the old one because this is a great worksheet for your iPad. And you don’t have to limit it to St. Patrick’s Day, because clover grows year round, after all! There is also a black and white version.

That about rounds up my St. Patrick’s Day material.  Adding all these links can be confusing for me. If you find any broken links, let me know. I hope you have you have a great week!

 

 

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Filed under Games, Group lesson ideas, St. Patrick's Day

2017 One Minute Club Cards

One Minute Club 2017

One_Minute_Club_2017

I’ve finished the 2017 One Minute Club cards. In the file there is also a chart to keep track of your students’ times, and a certificate that a lot of teachers request.

If you are not sure how to use this activity works, the idea is you show students flash cards and they “say and play” the notes on the grand staff in one minute or less.

Playing the correct key on the piano is important, because as you know, students can learn notes on flash cards and remain clueless when it comes to knowing the correct placement on the piano. This solves that problem.

However, we have to prepare students to learn how to do this. We can’t just present the cards one day and hope for the best. My students have been studying notes all year, and this is the culmination of all that work.

Also, you have to keep it light-hearted and fun. That is why this activity is better with older students who have developed fine motor skills and already have a good grasp of note names.

For students who struggle to learn note names, it’s better to wait until they are older, and then to gradually work up to this. I usually start with 2 flash cards. After they can do that, I start gradually adding more, but never so many that they are overwhelmed. They may need to wait a few years before they actually do the entire grand staff. However, I also included “Junior One Minute Club” cards if you want to reward your students who can’t manage to say and play them in a minute.

Here is a link to a video I made to show you how it works.

The cards, chart, and certificate are in the same PDF file. You will need to know how to print individual pages in a PDF. I print only the chart first to keep a record of students’ times. Later, you can print the number of cards and certificates you need.

There are 10 cards on the first page. It is formatted for “business card” perforated cardstock, but you can also cut them out. I put them in plastic business card holders and attach them to their music bags.

You might notice the design is the same orange-colored theme I used for the calendar at the beginning of the year. My students look forward to new art each year.

You can read more about how to run this activity on my blog at this link. One Minute Club

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Filed under Certificates, Intermediate Students, Note Identification

Rhythm Blocks

Rhythm Blocks

Rhythm Blocks

Using these rhythm cut-outs is a great hands-on way to teach rhythm. If students are confused about rhythm values, it could be that verbal explanations didn’t work. How many times have we thought students understood a concept only to discover later that they were really confused but didn’t want to tell you? I remember when I was a young piano student just nodding my head in agreement when I really had no idea what my teacher was talking about. I started parroting back her definition of time signatures because I was a good at memorizing. But I didn’t understand what I was saying and I didn’t want to admit I didn’t get it. I liked her and I wanted to make her happy!

One of the first and most important rhythm concepts students have understand is that a note with a dot is equal to three of the of the next shorter note. That is the key to understanding dotted half notes and dotted quarters.  Theses rhythm shapes are great for that because they are proportional in size; so two eighths are the same size as one quarter.

Print this page on card stock and glue it to a sheet of thin craft foam before you cut them out. If you are crafty, even better is to glue the page to foam board (also called tag board), which will make them easier for students to move around but a lot hard to cut out!

I made this printable years ago, but today’s post is updated to make the notes easier to read. Plus, I fixed a note that was orientated wrong. So if you have the old file, you can replace it with this one.

Another way to explain fractions is to use my Rhythm Pizza printable. It is a very helpful first step to teaching rhythm values. Then to teach counting dotted notes, use this helpful visual, Rhythm in the Grid.

I know you can come up with many ideas for students to learn with these!

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Filed under Rhythm, Teaching Aids, Texas State Theory Test, Theory