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, October 26, 2014

Melodic Contour

Melodies move up and down.  The pattern made by the upward/downward movement of those notes is called melodic contour.

Contour is fun to teach to children.  I first made it a puzzle for us to put together.  However, before you can put a song puzzle together, you have to know the song.  So for the sake of this lesson, the children will have to know well the following songs so that they can sing them independently:
A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea

Are You Sleeping?

Happy Birthday

London Bridge

Skip  to My Lou

The Farmer in the Dell

This Old Man

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

You can learn the actions for the following songs if you don't already know them:

A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIISqlIWZEQ

London Bridge  http://www.ehow.com/how_2085902_play-london-bridge-falling-down.html

The Farmer in the Dell  http://www.dltk-teach.com/rhymes/farmer/song.htm

This Old Man  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGpmbuxiYrM

The song sheets below are used for all of these activities - but in different ways.

ACTIVITY #1 -  Print out the song pages for the children.  Then sing the songs while touching each "note" of the melody while you sing it.  This activity helps the children "feel" the upward/downward movement of the melody while they sing.  It also introduces them to long and short notes.

ACTIVITY #2 - Match the songs with their titles.  For this activity I cut off the top of each sheet and the children had to figure out which song went with each title.

ACTIVITY #3 -  Put the song puzzles together.

For the song puzzles, I printed out the pages and cut them into pieces.  Most of the songs have 4 pieces to the song plus the title of the song. Twinkle Twinkle has 6 pieces plus the title.  I put those pieces in envelopes and labeled each envelope with the name of the song.  My kids worked with a partner to do this.  I did this activity last so that they have had plenty of experience with the contour sheets and the songs before they did it. The children laid the pieces on the floor in order they thought the song would go.  I color coded the phrases so that I could easily give the children the answers.  For example, A Sailor Went to Sea answer would be: Green, Orange, Purple, Blue.

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