I was thinking about activities to do with my older kids, as the concert is over and we still have 2 more classes. I thought about doing the standard sing-a-longs or an in-depth look at The Nutcracker, which are both fun and offer great opportunities for learning, but I wanted to do more composing ~ of course!! This is also a lesson I will be able to build on throughout the year!
Kids love to work with their names, as each one is unique to that child. So I began there. Kids reviewed their names and figured out what letters were part of the musical alphabet and we took it from there…..
- We labeled all of the lines and spaces on a Treble staff from D below the staff to G above it.
- I then had kids write their names in the space that says “name”
- As an example, I used my name “Kristin Maria Pugliese”. We went through each letter to see if there was a corresponding note. For the letters that do not have a note named for them, I crossed it out ~ such as K, R, I, S, T, I, N. NOTHING! So we went on to my middle name. There are 2 “A’s”, so I wrote my name on the line beneath and wrote the corresponding note above. For “G”, I could choose a low G or the high G.
- The rule was there had to be at least 4 notes. If there aren’t, you had 3 choices:
- Use your middle name (if you hadn’t already)
- Repeat the note
- Use a neighboring note (perfect opportunity to see the neighboring note in action!)
- Click HERE for the worksheet to give the kids
- After it was all written out, kids took out glocks and metallophones to hear their notes. I also encouraged them to pay around with their 4-8 note piece to see what they could add to make it interesting. They could change the rhythm, repeat more notes and/ or tinker with neighboring notes ~ it was up to them!
The cool thing was at the end of the class when I asked kids their thoughts, a few had some great ideas on what they could do with it. One student showed us how he took his “4 note pattern” as he called it, and played it in a variety of different ways. I LOVE when the kids get into the lesson!!