Our Spring Carnival Recital was great fun! The kids enjoyed earning tickets as an incentive through music practice and performance. We let the guests and students earn more tickets before the recital by playing fun music games. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and brought nerves down quite a bit. After the concert, the kids could use their tickets to play carnival games and to buy fabulous prizes! Although the performing was the best piece, the other fun aspects made this recital one of our best!
Games to earn tickets:
One-minute challenge - They just had to improve their score to earn a ticket. They had to go through a stack of 20 flashcards and name them correctly in one minute. We counted up how many they went through for their score. I generally do this at the piano for them to find the notes as well at the keyboard.
Sing my melody - Player one would sing a melody and player two would repeat it. This was a great one for the younger siblings.
Clap my rhythm - This was similar to "sing my melody" with clapping rhythms.
Sing the interval - Player one would sing an interval. I had a list of songs that would help them figure out what the interval sounded like. Player two would indicate which interval it was.
Step or Skip? - I had a white board with a staff on it. Player one would write a series of steps and skips and player two would name if they were skips or steps
Line or Space note? - I had another pack of flashcards that the kids would go through and name if they were space or line notes. This was also a great one for the non-musical younger siblings.
Penny Toss - I made a target on the floor that the kids could toss pennies at. I gave them about 10 pennies to try to get a bullseye.
Ball Toss - I had a piece of cardboard that I painted and hot glued cups to. I bought some plastic golf balls to have the kids toss into the cups.
Sock Toss - This was just some rolled up socks that the kids tossed into a laundry hamper.
Ring Toss - This was just a simple ring toss over a cone. I made the rings out of paper plates that I cut a circle out of the middle
Fishing - I made a fishing rod from a pvc pipe and yarn and a clothespin. I had someone at the bottom of our atrium hooking pieces of candy to play this game.
The prizes were divided by number of tickets needed. I had a drawer full of little prizes like pencils, balls and plastic rings for 10 tickets, then there were bigger prizes like plastic balls that lit up, a whoopee cushion that was highly sought after, notebooks, candy bars and other little toys. They went up in price to 50 tickets. The kids loved shopping at the store and exchanging their prizes.
I'm afraid I don't have many photos from the carnival portion of our concert. I didn't have a designated photographer and was caught up in chatting with parents.
If I were to do it again, I would have less games or more helpers. This would be a great group activity if you have enough musical helpers to play the games. I have a very small studio. I wouldn't try this with more than 10 students at a time unless you have a huge space and lots of help. I also wanted to provide cotton candy, but it was a little expensive, so we opted for popcorn. I think cotton candy would be a great addition as well as a clown or someone to make balloon creations. The prizes got a little carried away too. I would probably put someone in charge and have a policy of no returns or exchanges! :)
I love having themed parties. I got a degree in Recreation Management and love planning these events and making them fun for the kids. The best reward is when a child tells me. "I love this! Piano is fun!"
I love having adventures with my sweetheart of 25 years! My musical journey has been an adventure and continues to inspire me as much as climbing mountains! Proud mother of 6 children who all play the piano and grandmother to one amazing grandson who will certainly play the piano some day!
I am an avid music student at Brigham Young University. I love writing my own music and creating stories. With many more exciting years in teaching to come, I am ready to learn and grow with my students while helping them on their way!