Thursday, March 17, 2011

Post-vacay playing and mashmallows

This is a magical, magical bag.  You know how a child will eat all the marshmallows out of their Lucky Charms before they get to any of that "healthy" cereal?  This solves the problem for the kid in you!  A bag of nothing but cereal marshmallows!  I found these in Iowa at a wee Mennonite grocery store that separates bulk items.  Oh, the possibilities for rewards/bribery!!!

Take a few weeks ago.  One of my students had just come back from a very well-documented vacation to Disney World (at one point I had to stop checking their family's blog - it was torture!) and his mom was thinking we should skip the lesson because he hadn't had a chance to practice during the trip.  I completely agree with the no practicing part - by the way - I'm no Tiger Mother - and a vacation should be exactly that!

Anywho, instead of skipping, I thought it would be good to have a bit of a lesson anyway to slip him back into the piano by making sure we warmed up his good technique.  A week or so off the piano, and it's all about sagging wrists and flapping fingers.  We started at the beginning of the Alfred Technic book and played through all the old warm-ups and etudes.  It was good practice, but made even better because I grabbed my sack of these dehydrated marshmallows and put one of the back of each of his hands at the beginning of each song.  If he could make it through the whole piece without a marshmallow slipping, into his mouth it went.  I've never seen a 7 year old so alert and attentive in a lesson...

At the end, he was slightly keyed up (the marshmallows are small, and though they're mostly sugar, I'm pretty sure he didn't ingest close to the lethal amount) and ran downstairs to his mom to declare he'd just had the Best Lesson Ever.   And I agreed.  It was simple, it was all review, but it was also very productive and a great way to remind him of all those pesky technique things I'm always hounding him about.  I'm totally filing this away for my kid's post-vacation practice and lesson sessions.  Of course... this means I need to start planning some vacations...

P.S.  You don't have to find a Mennonite grocery to get some of these.  Search for "dehydrated marshmallows" and the internet won't let you down.  I found some for you here


Jane said...

Can't one just buy the cereal and eat the healthy stuff for breakfast?

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