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.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Learning to Differentiate between Differing Musical Ideas.

Idea # 1 - March of the Toys (Babes in Toyland) - Victor Herbert. Boston Pops Orchestra / Arthur Fiedler  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFj4u-NJVYw

This piece is great fun because it is composed of lively marching music interspersed with fanfares.  Here is what I did with my kindergarten and first grade age kids.  I made several posters of villages - all story book type villages that belong in a make-believe world.  All the kids had to do was march around the villages but whenever a fanfare played they had to hurry and get to a village.  You could make it a game of sorts and if you're not at a village, you're out but I never did that.  The kids thought it was fun to just listen for the fanfare and run over to a village.  It's a simple exercise but helps to tune their musical ear.

Idea #2 - Yankee Doodle  - This is a song with a simple verse/refrain pattern.  (AB)  I chose it because it is so familiar.  There are a number of ways you might demonstrate form with this song.  A simple idea would be to march on the verse and then play a drum on the refrain - a drum being anything you can find that you can play in a drumming fashion if you don't own drums.  Or you can make up different actions for each section.  You might choose to march in a line (follow the leaders style) for the A section and then each person marches anywhere they want on the refrain.  Kids like to choose their own actions and be creative.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H85-udAkFa0     Instrumental Fife and Drum skips refrain in the middle so you have to really listen to hear A and B.

Idea #3 - Jingle Bells - Another song with a simple verse/refrain pattern.  (AB)   I used to set up chairs around the room with jingle bells on them.  During the verse the kids were allowed to skip around the room but when the refrain began they had to sit on a chair and play their bells.  Again there is no right or wrong when it comes to the actions.  But there can only be two different movements - 1 for the A (verse) and the other for the B (refrain).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-2MoS_YSAk    Lyrics on refrain sometimes -   sometimes only instrumental even on refrain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2MFducncsg   Only uses the 2 most common verses – short intro that repeats between verses

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeNJmOsBS94     Karaoke style – short into that repeats between verses as in version above

Idea # 4 - Folk Dancing is all about form.  Simple folk dances for children have a pattern of repeated musical ideas.  There is a different movement for each musical idea.  Here are two familiar and popular dances for kids.  Each is in the simple AB form.  The ear is being trained to listen for the changes in the music.

Chicken Dance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UV3kRV46Zs  Instructions for the chicken dance in case you don’t know how to do this dance - boring but instructive if you don't know the dance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeXOBCBxl10  instrumental – the visual is just an excuse to play the music but that's okay because we just want the music. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWjeITmDmmo  Good version of the music but the silly chicken in the video doesn’t even match the music and he doesn’t do anything different on the B section.  But here is another good resource for the music.

La Raspa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq5c09ExG3o  Video that shows how to do the dance if you don't know this one or somehow missed out on it during your elementary school days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWPDw0gd1_o  Mariachi versions repeats 5 times with variations of the B

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