I wanted something new and interactive this year to bring kiddos and their parents to the music room. At the same time I was trying to figure out how and where to order guitar picks for my guitar classes. I teach beginning guitar to two sections of middle school twice a week. We've spent the last few months learning a LOT of chords and songs and for the most part have been strumming with our thumbs. We have classical guitars with nylon strings and those generally aren't supposed to be used with guitar picks BUT I wanted students to at least have a little experience with picks. The trouble is that we don't have any picks at school and they can be expensive if you're buying enough for a class. I know that middle schoolers could easily lose or take the guitar picks and I didn't want to be constantly ordering guitar picks for replacements. What was I to do!?
Make Your Own Guitar Picks for FREE!
On December 27th I emailed out to my whole school and told them about my guitar pick punch. I said that I was making guitar picks for my class and mentioned that if they had any gift cards left over from Christmas that I would take the used cards. I have had dozens of gift cards come in over the last few weeks and don't think that I'll ever run out of things to punch! One teacher works part time for a restaurant and has been collecting all the used gift cards from other servers so that I have a near endless supply of used gift cards to punch. If I ever run low I think that I could put out a request for old gift cards/credit cards in our school's weekly newsletter. With over 750 kids, I can imagine that there are quite a few parents who would be willing to empty out their wallet and get rid of old gift cards or those unused "frequent shopper" cards. The possibilities for free things to punch are endless.
The Pick Punch for Conference Day/Open house
My thought is that after punching a pick for them, I could then bring out a guitar and let the kid strum an easy chord with their brand new pick. It would get kids who are already in my guitar class exited about sharing what they've learned and would encourage younger kids to join my class when they get to middle school.
Pick out a Necklace or Bracelet
There's a second grade teacher in our building who gives out "Brag Tags" to her kids. Basically a brag tag is a little piece of laminated cardstock that says something like "I can count to 100" or "I finished my holiday homework packet." Her kids wear little necklaces all over the school with these fun little tags and are so proud to show off when they've earned a new one. I was thinking that if they did an especially great job in music I could punch them out a pick/musical brag tag to add to their necklace!