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April's Music Teacher Interview

Posted on April 5, 2020 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)



Meet Carmen Arrojo!

 

How long have you been teaching music?

Carmen: I have been teaching music, specializing in percussion, for five years. However, there is a long journey ahead.


What inspired you to teach music?

Carmen: When I turned 16, I started working at a place called Camp Liberty in Jersey City. During my ninth year there, the camp staff bought drums for the children. There were several children that loved playing music with me and my coworker , Sam Oliver. I loved seeing the young ones excited and determined to learn something. I loved seeing them focused in a healthy way.


What is your favorite instrument?

Carmen: It's hard to name one favorite instrument. My top five are, bass (electric and upright), acoustic guitar, cello, marimba, and all earthy percussion instruments.

 

Any musical tips for teachers?

Carmen: A good tip for teachers is to really listen and get to know the students for who they are. Learn their likes, their dislikes and pay attention to their personality and how they respond to the materials you offer. It will teach you how to guide them and empower them. They already have music inside of them. We just facilitate an environment in which they can cultivate that gift.


Any advice for parents?

Carmen: Parents should see if their children feel forced into music. If the student loves it, they should be on the same page with the teacher and encourage their child at home.

 

Talk about a memorable teaching experience.

Carmen: My oldest student went through a traumatic experience during a lockdown at her school because of a shooter on the loose in the town. When she arrived home, she wrote a chord progression on the marimba for her own song. The next day, during our lesson, we wrote a melody. This is only one small instance. There are so many more that bring so much joy and gratitude.

 

 What methods or music books do you use to teach?

Carmen: I use different method books. For mallet percussion, I rely heavily on the Morris Goldenberg text. For congas, I use Michael Spiro's method book and an Alfred's edition for the young ones. For cajón, I turn to YouTube and old recordings from lessons with my own teacher. I also use stories and tell my students about the folklore and traditions tied to the instruments. They are ,after all, highly based on oral traditions and spiritual journeys. It is an echo to the rich past of the Earth.


Why is music so important to you?

 Carmen: Music is the most important thing. I am music and music is me. It is what carries me home after days of arduous work. Music is what I carry home to feel home because of the people whom I have found home in. Music is the dance between silence and sound that lives in every single person's heart. It is what connects us to the intangible and shows us that we do not exist alone. It is everything.


Camen Arrojo offers her teaching services remotely. Reach out to her for questions!

Follow Carmen Arrojo on her Instagram: www.instagram.com/carmenarrojo

She also has her education Percussion Discussion Youtube Channel:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzJEG1Yj-L1CQX_hfj5E16w" target="_blank"> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzJEG1Yj-L1CQX_hfj5E16w

How to Make an Ocean Drum

Posted on March 23, 2020 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Ocean Drums are so much fun to make!

 

Materials Needed:

 

 

  • Collect a box - or shoebox!
  • Crayons, markers, stickers
  • Construction paper
  • Ziplock - plastic snack bag
  • Rubberbands
  • Scissors
  • tape
  • 1 cup of rice for inside the ocean drum

 

Directions:

 

 

 

  1. Parents assistance: Cut a rectangle on top of the shoebox opening.
  2. Cut one side of a ziploc or plastic snack bag - making it into a rectangle or square - slightly bigger than the cut-rectangle box opening.
  3. Decorate the construction paper with crayons, markers, or stickers (you can also decorate more at the very end). The construction paper will then be added around the box. Use tape to wrap securely; however leaving the top rectangle open.
  4. Add 1 cup of rice or if you need more into the shoebox.
  5. Tape the ziplock bag on top of the rectangle box opening
  6. Add any decorations around the box.
  7. Making sure every side is secure - gently grab each the sides of the box.
  8. Gently tip the box side to side - creating an ocean sound.
  9. Create more and make music!


Fore more see how it's been used in my music recitals:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/costa-staff-music-recital-2018-gisel-costa/" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/costa-staff-music-recital-2018-gisel-costa/

How to Make a Rainstick

Posted on March 18, 2020 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Rainsticks are so much fun to make!

Materials Needed:

 

  • Collect the Cardboard of a Papertowel Roll! Fun way to reuse!
  • Crayons, markers, stickers
  • Construction paper
  • brown paper grocery bag
  • Yarn
  • Rubberbands
  • Scissors
  • tape
  • Pipe cleaners and/or craft wire, OR Aluminum foil (Parents should assist on this one)
  • Beads, rice, beans, or other material for inside the rainstick

Directions:

 

 

  1. Decorate the construction paper with crayons, markers, or stickers (you can also decorate more at the very end). The construction paper will then be added around the Papertowel Roll. Use tape to wrap securely.
  2. Cut out two circles from a brown paper grocery bag. 
  3. Attach one circle to the end of your cardboard tube using a rubber band.
  4. Grab pipe cleaners, craft wire, or aluminum foil - and create a coil that can fit inside the rainstick!
  5. Add a 1/2 cup of rice, beans, or beads inside the rainstick.
  6. Test the sound of the rainstick, rubberband the other paper circle to the opposite end.
  7. Add yarn on the ends of the rainstick, tying it around and add as many as you like. 
  8. Create more and make music!
Fore more see how it's been used in my music recitals:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/costa-staff-music-recital-2017-gisel-costa/" target="_blank">https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/costa-staff-music-recital-2017-gisel-costa/



 

 

 

 

 

Creating A 2D Piano Keyboard

Posted on March 18, 2020 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Objective:

This fun project for my students or kids learning music is not only to practice but also to create and understand the structure and patterns of the keyboard. This will also enable the beginner student to comprehend different hand positions. If there is enough time I allow my students to be as creative as possible. We are creating a 2D keyboard.

 

There are 88 keys on a given piano but for the young beginner an octave or two octaves will be a great start.

 

What You Will Need: 

Construction Paper

Labels

Crayons/Markers/Glitter Glue

Scissors


What to Do: 

Ask your student or child to look identify the patterns and structure of the keys. Add the long white labels to the construction paper to create the main white keybed.

Using scissors, cut the labels in half to add the black keys patterns. There are 2 black keys and then 3 black keys. Assist and make sure your student or child is adding the black keys in the correct areas. Color the keys either black or any color of their choice.

Add either glitter glue or markers around the keys. This can help distinguish the keys.

Write the musical alphabetical pattern on the keys or any key position.


Music Foundation Level 1 - Lesson 14

Posted on March 17, 2020 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Music Foundation Youtube Video

Level 1 - Lesson 14

Music History of Notes

This Youtube video focuses on introducing viewers with no musical background on music theory for any instruments. Gisel is focusing on discussing music theory through the piano in these videos. This video discusses the music history of notes! Today's musical notation stems from the 14th century! Watch to view more!

 

This is a great intro video lesson for beginner students (kids and adults) brushing up on their lesson or need extra help. Awesome for parents or guardians learning to help their child (and for themselves) with their lesson. Stay tuned for more music foundation information and tips.

 

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Music Foundation Level 1 Lesson 13

Posted on March 17, 2020 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Music Foundation Youtube Video

Level 1 - Lesson 13

What Is Practice?

 

This Youtube video focuses on introducing viewers with no musical background on music theory for any instruments. Gisel is focusing on discussing music theory through the piano in these videos. This video introduces practice. Also includes a downloadable free practice time sheet!

 

This is a great intro video lesson for beginner students (kids and adults) brushing up on their lesson or need extra help. Awesome for parents or guardians learning to help their child (and for themselves) with their lesson. Stay tuned for more music foundation information and tips.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

 

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Music Foundation Level 1 - Lesson 12

Posted on March 17, 2020 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Music Foundation Youtube Video

Level 1 - Lesson 12

Dynamics

This Youtube video focuses on introducing viewers with no musical background on music theory for any instruments. Gisel is focusing on discussing music theory through the piano in these videos. This video introduces music dynamics. How loudly to how softly the note or phrase needs to be played and expressed. 

This is a great intro video lesson for beginner students (kids and adults) brushing up on their lesson or need extra help. Awesome for parents or guardians learning to help their child (and for themselves) with their lesson. Stay tuned for more music foundation information and tips.

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Music Foundation Level 1 - Lesson 11

Posted on March 17, 2020 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Music Foundation Youtube Video

Level 1 - Lesson 11

Tie

This Youtube video focuses on introducing viewers with no musical background on music theory for any instruments. Gisel is focusing on discussing music theory through the piano in these videos. This video introduces music articulation discussing ties.

This is a great intro video lesson for beginner students (kids and adults) brushing up on their lesson or need extra help. Awesome for parents or guardians learning to help their child (and for themselves) with their lesson. Stay tuned for more music foundation information and tips.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

 

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Music Foundation Level 1 - Lesson 10

Posted on March 17, 2020 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Music Foundation Youtube Video

Level 1 - Lesson 10

Legato

This Youtube video focuses on introducing viewers with no musical background on music theory for any instruments. Gisel is focusing on discussing music theory through the piano in these videos. This video introduces music articulation discussing legato.

 

This is a great intro video lesson for beginner students (kids and adults) brushing up on their lesson or need extra help. Awesome for parents or guardians learning to help their child (and for themselves) with their lesson. Stay tuned for more music foundation information and tips.

 

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Please Subscribe! Thanks for Watching!

Music Foundation Level 1 - :Lesson 9

Posted on March 17, 2020 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Music Foundation Youtube Video

Level 1 - Lesson 9

Staccato

This Youtube video focuses on introducing viewers with no musical background on music theory for any instruments. Gisel is focusing on discussing music theory through the piano in these videos. This video introduces music articulation beginning with staccato.

This is a great intro video lesson for beginner students (kids and adults) brushing up on their lesson or need extra help. Awesome for parents or guardians learning to help their child (and for themselves) with their lesson. Stay tuned for more music foundation information and tips.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Please Subscribe! Thanks for Watching!


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