I received the Interval Playing Cards in the mail a few weeks ago and am very happy with the quality. I used the them in my last lesson and they worked very well. The only negative is that the colors are more muted than what they were in my original document. Because of this I started looking into other printers. Previously I had always been thinking in the paradigm of photo printing, but since I was looking for playing cards, I broke out of that paradigm into the gaming world.
To my amazement and delight I found a website with excellent prices and tons of printing options. You can print pretty much anything that you would want for a board game. So, now I am working on new drafts for all of my materials so that they fit into their templates. The positive side to this development is that the printed materials will be very high quality- color printing on two sided card stock. Because of this I am working on the Guide Cards for the Ni Pa Vou Cards, the Greek Letter Cards, and the Interval playing cards. My goal is to get these done in the next few weeks.
I realized recently that it would be good to list all of my goals for the materials and provide quarterly updates as to how development is progressing. That way, if anyone is following the progress they can get a sense of where I am and what to expect for the future.
Also, I get the sense that many people don't get the scope and depth of what I hope to create. God willing, I will create a suite of materials and games that are systematic and comprehensive in teaching Byzantine notation. I would also like to work with other chanters to create a leveled repertoire in English. If there could be a CD accompanying this as there is in the Suzuki method, that would be even better. I understand that theory is just one side of the coin and that it must be paired with good oral instruction, modeling and praxis in the liturgical setting. At this point I have the resources (barely) to focus on the theory side so that is what I am doing.
In addition, I don't want anything to be "dumbed down" or left to chance. Michiko Yurko, the creator of MMG has been working on MMG games and materials since her master's degree 30 years ago and it shows in the high quality of her work. Her materials and games teach very advanced musical concepts in addition to the very basic ones.
Listed below are specific materials that are in development (the first six things). After that I list concepts because I have not started working on the specific materials that will teach those concepts yet.
Greek Letter Cards (50% Done)
We spent the last two lessons focusing on interval symbol recognition. After we quickly reviewed the Greek letters we played war with the Interval cards (old version). The girls really improved at how quickly they recognized the symbol values and we even included symbols that they hadn't learned in the Parallage Phrases.
I got the first draft of the Magnetic Puzzle in the mail before our second lesson so we spent some time working on some new concepts. First, I taught them about the diatonic scale and we focused on the indicators (the Greek letter and the symbol below it) for the first time. I had each of the girls put the Greek letter on the scale and then I showed them the bottom symbol. I explained the historical significance of the bottom symbols and the importance of the perfect fourth and fifths. I showed them the scale chart (seen on the right in the picture) and pointed out how most of the scales have perfect fourths and fifths in them and a whole step in the middle separating the lower and upper tetrachords (three smaller intervals within the larger interval of a perfect fourth). We focused on the lower tetrachord and I see now that I didn't finish the scale or the upper tetrachord (it should end on pa'). In our next lesson we will finish the scale and I will explain how there are a perfect fourth and fifth coming down from the top note in the scale just like there is from the bottom note going up.
I ordered one deck of Interval Playing Cards to check out the quality and colors. The green is much different on their website than in my files. I'll have to see how they look once printed. They should arrive in a week or two. These are cards and their corresponding games are going to be so helpful!
I may start using this printer for some of my other materials if I like them. Especially since it may not be that much more expensive than what I currently do.
We started this lesson by playing Fine* with up 2 jumps again. It came back very quickly to them. Then we played Oligon/Apostrophos. They really liked this game and it was great practice for going up and down the scale quickly. Next, I got out the interval cards as I realized that we had been under utilizing them. I noticed the week before during Parallage practice that they were going pretty slow because they had to think about what the symbols meant.
I gave them a few new interval cards so that they had a card for all of the symbols that they have learned. We each put our set in order and then we combined them with an extra set so that there were four sets mixed up together. Then I showed them how to play war (I am searching for a new name for this game). Symbols whose intervals are farthest away from ison are high and intervals at the same level tie (up 2 and down 2). This game really aided their memories. We will probably play it again next week.
SAHM by day; ByzB curriculum developer by night. My career was in teaching: kindergarten, first grade, bilingual reading, Suzuki piano, and Music Mind Games. Now I paint icons and spend lots of time making materials on the computer. My greatest joy is directing my students in their learning. This blog documents the process and provides a space for my other ramblings as well.