As children come to learn more and more about how music is put together, they will begin to have new ears to hear any music. They add critical thinking skills to their musical experiences and will enjoy many kinds of music. They also come to understand and love music as they have hands on experiences creating their own music. They can have that experience through private lessons or by just doing some of the fun lessons that I will share.

The lessons will center on the Elements of Music: Beat, Rhythm, Style, Melody, Expression, Form, Timbre, Harmony, and Texture. You can watch as children become confidant at discussing these elements and hearing them in the music they listen to each day. They will enjoy using these elements to create their own music.

Monday, February 28, 2011

In the Hall of the Mountain King - Lesson 3

This activity is an early elementary activity for grades K-2, possibly 3. The whole purpose of this lesson is to develop the ability to hear music as a series of musical phrases.  This activity also develops an awareness of time and space.  You need two things in order to do this activity: troll dolls and a castle.  At school I had a collection of troll dolls that we used for this.  But when I was volunteering in a second grade class in Santa Rosa, California in 2007, we used the patterns below and in some ways it was more fun because the kids got to make and keep their own troll dolls.  In California I used a simple castle picture and duplicated it 4 times, pasted on the four sides of a cardboard box and made a castle.  At school I actually used a box and cut it out to look like a castle, painted and decorated.  It lasted for many years.

The object of the activity is to have each troll doll move into the castle - one troll per phrase of the music.  The troll begins with the first note of the phrase and ends by jumping into the castle on the last note of the phrase.  He cannot get there early and just wait by the castle.  Neither can he jump in if he is not all the way there.  So you have to really learn to time yourself and think about the phrase.  Halfway through the phrase you have to be halfway there, etc.

There are a total of 21 phrases in this piece.  You can count them on the charts from lesson 2.  I had that many kids in my classes at school so each child did this once.  You'll have to come up with your own plan for doing it.  Will you make 21 trolls?  Will you just use a few trolls and have them repeat?  There is no right or wrong but you for sure will want to do the whole piece of music because the fun begins as the music gets going.

Here are some patterns that you might consider: 

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