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, March 12, 2012

Musical Form

I love to teach young children about form in music.  To me discovering the form of a piece of music is like putting a puzzle together.

If we label our musical materials, ideas or sections with the letters of the alphabet we can show how musical forms are created.

Any single musical idea is called A. This musical section can be repeated to create an AA form.

If we instead chose to add a new section, B, we would have the musical form AB. This would be two contrasting musical ideas.

If we chose to add another A  at the end of an AB form we now would have ABA.  You could vary the repeat of the A section and then with the variation it would be ABA'. (The ' is used to indicate variation).

With the processes of repetition, contrast and variation there can be many musical forms.

Children have to be able to hear the difference in musical selections before they can hear form.  So the earliest musical experiences focus on movement to different musical ideas.

I have already posted some activities that teach this.  When you play "I See It" with music from Peter and the Wolf the ear is being trained.  When you do flashlights with Norwegian Dance the children are developing that musical ear.    I'll add a couple more posts that will help you as you try to instill that ability to listen and differentiate between differing musical ideas.

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