Twice every term we have group lessons, which are always so much fun! I love having a theme so our recent Theory Blast Group Lesson was all about space. The focus of the lesson was rhythm, and we managed to fit a lot of fun activities into the two hours! Here are some of the highlights:
After a quick ice breaker and group game we spent some time reviewing different rhythm concepts. Watching theory videos is a great way to give students a quick reminder of the basics (the Thinking Theory videos are perfect for this) and provides a good starting point for discussion.
Before we moved on to the main activities I had a mini-quiz to check everyone had understood the material. Answering questions in front of a group can be pretty intimidating, so instead of asking students to call out the answers I gave them a set of Yes & No Paddles (which you can download from the Free Resource Library) and phrased each question so it had a yes or no answer.
Musical Activity Stations
Activity stations work so well in group lessons. It can take a bit of planning to find the perfect mix of activities (don’t worry, I can help with that) but it’s a great way to keep students engaged as they rotate through the different tasks. Our Theory Blast Group Lesson included four activity stations (or in this case space stations!) with students spending between five and ten minutes at each one.
Two stations had musical games (Piano Game Club is one of my favourite places for games that students love), one had iPad activities, and one had reusable theory worksheets.
Two hours is a long time to spend on music theory, even when it is fun! Having a short break halfway through is important, and equally important in my book is having some kind of treat. Of course I can’t resist finding something that fits in with the theme (which is probably a carryover from my days as an event planner!) and these Galaxy Cookies were pretty amazing:
After the break the group comes back together for a few different activities. A game which the whole group can play together is a must, and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. This time my students loved playing Rhythm on a Roll, and Rhythm Cup Explorations is always popular.
Composing during a group lesson can work really well, and if there’s time I like to have a composing activity all ready to go. Sometimes students will work on their own individual compositions, but even more fun is working together on a group composition.
Usually I also like to include a listening activity at the end. It’s a calm way to finish a group lesson, which is just what everyone needs after a couple of hours of games, music theory, and sugar!