Friday, June 14, 2013

Into the Woods - Music

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”
                                                             ~Albert Einstein

We began our "Into the Woods" themed week last summer while the girls African cousins came for a visit.  The girls along with their cousins were able to create art together that is proudly displayed on the playroom wall.  I was very eager to get back into this themed week because I adore this musical and have for the past 22 years.  The girls and I have watched this DVD of the production many times this year and it's soundtrack may have found a permanent home in my cars CD player.  The songs are so brilliant and the tunes so catchy.  I love listening to my girls re-write the lyrics as we run our errands and stand it lines.  They haven't quite figured out that the rest of the world is not singing around them.

When creating this lesson plan I felt like I could have gotten carried away, there is just so many wonderful songs and characters to pull from but I decided to focus on just two songs.

We began this lesson by introducing a new note.

The eighth note gets 1/2 a count

We used our metronome to play the steady beat
1, 2, 3, 4

and then we were able to use our rhythm sticks to tap out the 1/2 count beat.

1 and 2 and 3 and 4

When 2 eighth notes are next to each other they look like this 

We then used a rhythm pattern that you hear throughout the musical 

and practiced playing it along with the music

After learning about 8th notes we practiced our word rhythms, tapping out some of the characters names.

For a fun challenge we have also played match the rhythm were they have to take rhythm cards and match them to their coordinating picture.

We then took a few of the girls favorite lines from the first song and practiced singing them and tapping out their rhythms.

There were a few triplets involved that were hard for them to tap quickly but after learning double eighth note they had no problem understanding the concept.

We finished our lesson by working on a new song in our Music for Little Mozart series using both hands.  I feel that this is a big step and with enough work they could master it but I'm choosing to take it a little slower and pull from my other piano books and give them more time to feel comfortable with using just one hand at a time.


  1. Into the Woods... memories of playing the Granny, the Giant and the Baby in 1993 ... of how difficult the music was ... of my dad passing away the week before opening and the director telling me to get my a** back to Portland as the show "must go on" ... and he was right - because my life had to go on ... Happy Father's Day memories ... Oh Hannah, I wish I had you to teach me the "why's" of Sondheim's music!

  2. Hannah, you continue to amaze me! Hanging with my old school buddy Heather Allison the other night, she talked of how much she LOVES following you on fb and I think possibly your blog too. So proud of you little sister! You have a gift! I have a feeling that when the girls are older that some out of the box art school for kids is going to snatch you up and never regret that they did!


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