Awhile back I wrote a blog called 5 Simple Ways to Create More Time in Your Day!. I was so excited about it that I created a whole session ~ Teaching Music Basics When Time Is Against You!! around it for the Texas Educators Music Conference! So, in this spirit, I give you 5 MORE ways to squeeze more out of your day!!

1. Using the Hello Extended Lesson ~ In this lesson you can add even more elements to reinforce concepts you are covering throughout the year! Instead of having kids only say or sing their names, they can say them using a fortissimo or pianissimo voice, a presto or adagio voice, etc… They can clap their name or beat it on a hand drum that they pass around Etc… The possibilities are endless!!
2. Take a lesson and spread it over many classes ~ For the last 2 newsletters, I gave you lessons that you could easily build on. For both lessons, you could do 1 step per class to spread it out or continue to change it until it becomes its own piece. As you cover more concepts and elements that can be added to music, kids can feel inspired to change it as it goes!
3. Utilize TALA for any and all songs to interject into compositions and other creative activities ~ I learned about TALA from Mary Knysh a few summers ago and have been using it ever since! Essentially it is creating rests within a piece of music. You play or sing a piece and when it is appropriate, you add a count of 8 or however many beats of rests you would like. Use your hand flipping it back and forth to indicate these beats of rest. At first, use it as rests, but then add in improvisation or a written composition within that time. Again, this is perfect for taking a rhythm and changing its dynamics, pitch or timbre. Use it over and over and build on it each time!
4. Use trivia questions whenever possible ~ morning announcements, to gain passage into class or to line up, etc… ~ this is perfect for a quick assessment! What is the time signature or such and such piece? What composer wrote ….?
5. Echo patterns when kids get instruments or clean up! ~ Sing or chant a pattern and have kids echo it back. The busier the kids are, the less time they have to fool around!!