Saturday, May 29, 2010

Meet the Orchestra, Step 1

Pick a book from the list below and read it, pointing out the different instruments and asking questions like these:

-- Is that instrument high or low? (many kids get pitch and volume mixed up)
-- Is that playing quickly or slowly? We even use musical terms presto (quickly), andante (slowly).
-- Is that loud or soft? (forte or piano)
-- Have we heard that melody before? (Teach them that the melody is the part they sing-- the "way the song goes," what you'd whistle if you were trying to tell someone what song you meant. Harmony is the other "stuff" that sounds along behind it and goes nicely.)
-- Do you think that instrument will sound up high or down low? (Drill into their heads the relationship between pitch and instrument size: big instruments play low, small instruments play high)

Aim to do music twice a week for 1/2 hour each time. For example, start with the books The Remarkable Farkle McBride and I Know a Shy Fellow. Read them over and over again for a period of 2-3 weeks. Fill in the remaining class time with musical games or experimentation with musical instruments. Ask the questions above and others like them. The children should be able to identify the instruments and likely will enjoy filling in the blanks if you leave words out. Kids do NOT get bored with repetition when it is done well! Next step coming tomorrow!

(This post introduces a series of posts on the orchestra.)

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