I really like making strong connections to the pieces My First Piano Adventures students learn. For weeks we talked about the piece "Tambourine Party" and how we would have our own party soon. My idea was that one student would play the piece while the others would sound their percussion instrument at just the right time during the song.
It worked very well when we had a "Pumpkin Party" and we sang along while each student took a turn accompanying. I thought we were well prepared but the piece "Tambourine Party" changes hands on the second measure. It takes forward thinking to prepare the brain to change and in an ensemble this must happen on the beat. Everyone stumbled and I learned how important it is to remind my students to use CLAP in their practice. Count, Look Ahead, Attention to notes coming up, and Play; that is what I hope to reinforce in the next weeks.
I am always learning what to focus on in private lessons when I work with the group lessons. It is a good thing!