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.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

RHYTHM LESSON 3 - Reading Readiness

Young children are prepared to read the musical icons when they can see and identify like patterns.  So this lesson is a simple matching game that helps them to see subtle differences.  The mother birds each have 4 babies.  The child must put the correct babies with the mothers.

The mother birds are different from each other in subtle ways but the babies are all the same.  The only way the child can discover which babies go with the mothers is to read the musical icons and match the "family songs".

The children will learn how to clap and say these rhythm patterns  so that after each family is together, they can clap the family "songs".

One of the many ways to teach rhythm is to use the words Ta and Ti.  Ta = quarter note or the red square icon.  Ti = an eighth note or the smaller orange icon.  With younger children you would always use 2 ti icons together.  So it becomes Ti-Ti.  We are using 5 rhythm patterns in this game today; each in a set of 4 beats.  They are as follows:

So how would I do this lesson?

Preparation for the game:  Make two copies of the icons in the chart above.  You can cut the words off  for this exercise.  Let the children find the matching rhythm patterns.  After you have found the matches, say and clap the rhythms for each. Make sure that each rhythm is clapped in a pattern of 4 beats.  A ta gets one beat and a ti-ti also gets one beat.  Always remember to do such exercises with the whole group first if you are teaching more than one child.  Then take the time to check each child's understanding individually. 

Mother Bird Rhythm Game:
1.  Cut out the mother birds and the babies. (No need to be fussy about cutting along the lines)
2.  Tape or pin the mother birds, scattering them about the room. (Or lay them on the floor or wherever you choose)
3.  Tell the children that if they look very closely they will be able to find the baby birds with the same music at the mothers.  The children take the baby birds and tape or pin them next to their mothers. (You could choose to give one of each of the five different babies to each child so that each child has to read every one of the patterns and find the mothers)
4.  Check each bird family to make sure the correct babies are there.
5.  Tell the children you are going to learn the "song" for each bird family.  Then help them to clap and say the rhythm patterns for each bird family.
6.  Celebrate success!  ALWAYS celebrate success!

(After my kids knew how to do an exercise like this we would add some challenges to it and repeat on successive days.  Challenge 1:  Time ourselves to see how fast we can do it without losing accuracy.  Challenge 2:  Can the children clap and say the rhythms with no help from the teacher?)

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