Fireside Music and Motion is a fun way to learn to read, sing and play music using note and rhythm games, jumping mats, ukuleles and keyboards as tools. Games include tossing/ catching balls and bean bags, bowling, musical versions of Twister, Musical Chairs, Concentration and Simon Says. Many of the games are based on a story called The Carrot the Dog the Egg and the Frog (... and the Bunny) which helps students learn notes in the Treble Clef through pictures rather than rote memorization.
The class is called “Fireside” Music and Motion because the goal is for students - both children and adults - to ultimately be able to sit in front of a fire, take out a book of songs and play and sing with family and friends.
Classes for students 5 and older include basic ukulele skills so students can play an instrument while reading music and singing. The ukulele is a wonderful starter instrument because it is relatively easy to play basic chords on its 4 strings and its small size is perfect for little hands.
Benefits of Reading Music: Although people can play chords in a music book without knowing how to read music, if they can't read music they won’t know how to sing the melody line that goes along with the chords. And while tablature allows someone to play the correct notes in a piece of music, it does not convey the rhythm, so it is not the best way to learn a song you haven't already heard.
Knowing how to read music also makes it much easier to learn any instrument or to participate in local, school or church choirs. Through years of teaching private music lessons, I’ve observed that learning to read music can be difficult and is often the least fun part of learning an instrument. Fireside Music and Motion makes this fun through games with other students, which doesn't occur in the context of an individual lesson.