Saturday, June 30, 2012

Learning to Waltz at the Ball

Today wasn't about ballet and tap.  
Today we went ballroom.  
Because when the prince ask's, they will need to know how to waltz...
and how to graciously accept his invitation with a curtsey. 

It's all about the step, ball, change.
So we began by looking at our feet.
We pointed to the different parts of our foot,  
the ankle, heel, in-step, toes and the BALL of our foot.
A ball change looks a lot like a limp.
so we started with step 1:
 faking an injury
Instead of putting the band-aid on our heel, we put it on the top of our foot so we could remember what foot was "injured".
Then while playing the soundtrack to Cinderella the musical, our theme for the week,
we held onto our hula hoop and limped in a circle.
Then onto 
Step 2:
There is 3 parts to a step, ball, change, we counting the steps as we performed the rocking motion.
We used a blue X for our full foot step
and a small yellow spot for where we transfered our weight onto the ball of the "injured" foot.

Step 3:
next we performed the step going side to side.  I didn't get a picture of our side to side tape spot but it had the same blue X and yellow spot.
photo by Estee
photo by Estee
Once we had this side to side motion, Mommy was able to hold their hands  and "waltz" with them.

and for some extra practice we used the step to travel.
Even though we didn't focus on any tap today I wanted them to hear that this step has it's own sound
 So Estee and I tapped it out 
Coppelia watched,
 she has a big owie on her heel from her water shoes at Schlitterbahn.

Our last lesson was how to give a curtsey
 so we could break a leg before the king.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cinderella music

Playing catch up

Daddy surprised the girls with a trip to Schlitterbahn (the best waterpark ever) so we are 2 days behind.  I'm sure I'm being a bit crazy but I planned a 12 week program and darn-it, we are going to do every lesson!

We might be rag muffins who don't brush our hair, but it's summer.
This has to be one of the perks to homeschool.

We started as we always do and then moved on to a new activity that I put together late last night.

I made sets of these cards for the girls, enough keys to make the size of a real piano.  I asked them to point out the difference between the sets of cards.  Then I had them lay them out in the same pattern as they see on their keyboard.  Once they were all laid out I told them this was the size of a real piano.

Then I asked them if they remembered where the C key was.
Look for the 2 black keys and then walk down the stairs.
I had them lay paper clips on every C they could find.

After we put this activity away we warmed up our fingers by doing the finger song.
Then we listened to our CD to hear what our friends Beethoven and Mozart were up too.  Each one had composed a song.  Beethoven Bear loves the low notes so his song was played on our left hand with the low notes and Mozart Mouse loves the high notes so his song was played with our right hand.

Estee got hold of the camera while I helped Coppelia first.

and she got a blurry picture of both of us... of course I'll treasure it.

After the keyboard part of our lesson we moved on to a Cinderella music activity.

What was the fairy Godmothers one request of Cinderella?
To be home by midnight, because at midnight everything would turn back to the way it was.

Here is a picture of a grandfather clock.  The pendulum on the clock has to keep a study beat
tick, tock, tick, tock...
What happens if that beat slows down?  The clock wont have the right time.
It was very important to Cinderella that the clock had the right time so the magic wouldn't disappear.

I made each of the girls clocks (minus the hands)

We played our rhythm sticks along with the song Hickory Dickory Dock.
In the first 3 measures of the song we have the 12 beats.
Hickory Dickory Dock, (1, 2, 3, 4)
The mouse ran up the clock, (5, 6, 7, 8)
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down... (9, 10, 11, 12)
(we held our rhythm sticks up for the next 4 counts and nervously said "Did she make it")
Hickory Dickory Dock ("she did!" so we celebrate with 4 more taps)

This is were we concluded our lesson but we did spend another 20 or so minutes working on our singing. We used Easy Disney favorites.  

It's a book of music for the viola with a play-along CD with complete rhythm section accompaniment.  We aren't teaching ourselves how to play the viola but the accompaniment CD is working great with the girls as they use their ears for musical cues and learn to sing these framilar songs with accompaniment.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ballerina Math

Although today is music day we just didn't get to it.  But I couldn't let a whole day go by without some mommy school lesson so today we did ballerina math with Miss. Lina.  

I've been wanting to do this with the girls for awhile and today I finally got my chance.  The girls were hot and over tired all day and I suppose I could have tried music class but I knew they wouldn't get as much out of it.  But they begged for mommy school and I knew this activity would be fun, quick and perfect for a before bedtime treat.

In a cozy white house, in the town of Messina
eight little girls studied dance with Miss. Lina.

Christina, Edwina, Sabrina, Justina,
Katrina, Bettina, Marina and Nina

They danced at the market where they did their shopping.
In four lines of two, they danced without stopping.

Then one sunny morning, a girl named Regina 
arrived at the cozy white house in Messina.

Miss. Lina announced, in her elegant way,
"A new ballerina will join us today.  
This is Regina.  Her dancing is fine."

Miss. Lina is the one in pink

Miss. Lina's eight dancers had turned into nine.

Then eight ballerinas cried, "what shall we do?"
With nine, we no longer make four lines of two"

Annoyed and irate, distraught and distressed, 
the girls started dancing, and oh, what a mess!

Christina bumped into Regina and Nina,
who stepped on Edwina, who fell on Sabrina.  
Then down came Justina, and down came 
Katrina, Bettina, Marina, and even Miss Lina!

The girls were abashed, baffled, befuddled,
flummoxed and flustered, mixed-up and muddled.

"There, there," said Miss Lina.  "you will soon see
how delightful it is to be three rows of three."

In three rows of three,
they practiced all day -
plié, relevé, pirouette, and jeté.

So, everything's perfect now there are nine,
because dancing in three rows of three is divine.

The End
(to my summarized version)

The girls had fun using the dancers to form different formations.  How many ways can we make four rows or two or three rows of three?  We talked about forming windows on stage so every dancer could be seen and how in a corps de ballet the dancers will form different formations.  But most importantly we played with our numbers and maybe using these ballerina's will be a way to get Coppelia excited about math.

I also gave the girls a piece of paper and marker to make pictures of the formations, taking note how many dancers where being used.

I know this story is very girly and I used my girly army men

But you could change it up and use little green army men and re-write the story to read
"in four rows of two they marched without stopping."
ahhh the possibilites....

So that was our quick lesson for today but I do have to share with you what came in the mail today.

I'm so excited to begin this.  It's a program geared for Kinesthetic learners and I've heard only great things about it.  It's also used by occupational therapists.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cinderella the musical

I love so many things about this classic fairy tale but Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is my favorite.  I remember many times renting the version filmed in 1965 and adoring it!  When the girls had just turned 3 my mother came to town and she discovered that one of our local high schools was going to be putting it on.   We dressed the girls up and took them to their first theatrical production, life has never been the same.

You can read all about that adventure here

Cinderella is one of those fairy tales that should be a part of every little girls childhood.  Rogers and Hammerstein's version is perfect for our Mommy performing art school because it's lyrics are genius and remind us of the power of dreams and imagination and to believe in the impossible.

Today we opened up our bags to discover our theme for the week and our art project for the day.

They found  the Whitney Houston and Brandy Version.

and blank masquerade masks with all the trimmings

We snuggled on the couch, watched our movie and sang along to all the songs.

Then worked on our masks to get us ready for the ball.

Then we set them out to dry while we took a swimming break in the 102 degree weather.

Then we made a ginormous mess while adding pazazz

and ate popcorn.

Estee believes as mommy does...
Glitter makes everything better!

Feathers are a must!  She used her's to make eyebrows.

The finished product.

Can I just say I love making masks!  For this project I didn't really have any look or thought to what to make it was more of just fun with the girls.  This project can be a great alternative to the heavy make up required for some costumes or as an extra piece of flair to add to your child's dress up box.

here is a few I made for the annual parade the girls and their cousin's enter.

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned as we continue to explore the impossible with Cinderella.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A is for Audition

I hope they will appreciate this gift I am giving them.
  I hope they can look back on this summer and remember all the fun we had. 
I hope they will know that with all my time and preparations they were on my mind.  
but most of all
I hope they know how much I love them. 

Estee was extra excited for class today she asked if she could wear her church dress and wanted to wear a clip in her hair.  She said she wanted to look nice for Broadway.

Coppelia wanted to look fancy too so she put in a clip

...and danced with a hula hoop.

I asked them to give me a dramatic pose before we started class

Coppelia burst into tears as Estee yelled at her.

Then we started class...
first up the copy cat game from last week, it's their new favorite game.

We then did some vocal exercises

we laid on our mat, placed our hands on our tummy and worked on projecting our words and sounds.

Then we played Pop the Popcorn

we started off as little kernels of popcorn,

we then began jumping saying pop, pop, pop.

Then I would shout out an inanimate object that they had to become
chair, TV, teddy bear, tree, ect.

For a tree, Coppelia let the wind rock her trunk as her branches swayed from side to side.

 Estee's tree was from Hawaii and did the hula.

We then talked about how some actors get nervous before shows or auditions but before they go on stage they take a deep breath and relax.  So we practiced big deep breaths.

Then we had a mock audition.  They practiced their big deep breath then came out on stage and said, "Hi, I'm (insert name) and I'm 4 years old."
They had to project so that everyone could hear them.

Estee did the best using pronunciation and projection!

Coppelia on the other hand burst into song and dance.

I then gave them a callback.

a callback after an acting audition is an invitation to be seen again by the casting director for a particular project

For their callback I gave them some improvisation,
they had to act out as if they were explorer girls and they entered a mysterious dark cave.

Here they are getting their costumes on

entering the cave


She found the treasure, one red high heel, then she had to battle the dragon for it.

Then again, before bed we practiced our auditions.

 A couple months ago on one of our many trips to the Library the girls checked out this book

we got to A is for Audition and they freaked out and said, "Let's do it!"  Thirty minutes later we were all in costume and they were auditioning Mommy and Daddy in their production of Peter Pan. They were giving us lines and making us do improv.  Estee was the casting director and Tinkerbell and Coppelia was a grip and a lost boy.  There enthusiasm for this book is what triggered my idea for Mommy's performing art school.

Here is them taking a picture for the

P is for Playbill