New Teacher Course Day 4

Today we’re talking all about melody!

In elementary music, we focus on solfege before we work on actual notes on the staff. If you need more info on moveable do (the system we use in the US) and solfege, click here. (Note: We typically use la based minor, so the minor scale begins on la below tonic of the relative major.)



High and Low lessons: 

  • Fairies and Giants: Listen to the piece Fairies and Giants by Edward Elgar. Have the kids pretend to be fairies on the high parts, moving around the room flapping their wings. On the low parts, we pretend to be monsters– I want them to scrunch down and walk to the steady beat. I purposefully use monsters instead of giants, because I want them to think of the fairy sections as high (we will walk on our tip toes), and I think it’s less confusing. 
  • Different sounds: Play a sound on an instrument or computer, and have kids hold up a sign for high or one for low depending on how it sounds. 
  • Drumming: Have students use drums to practice high and low sounds! Play a pattern on the rim of a drum for it to sound high, or in the middle to sound low. Have the kids echo you in the correct place.

Upward and Downward lessons:

  • Nursery Rhymes: I love to use nursery rhymes that have the words up and down, like Jack and Jill, Hickory Dickory Dock, or King of France. Click here to read more about those chants. Click here to download lyric sheets and the rhythm that goes along with the the chants (free) here. 
  • Vocalizations: Have squiggles on the board, and have kids trace the line and move their voice accordingly. When the line goes up, they go up. When it goes down, they go down. You can also have them draw their own on paper or white boards OR you can use pipe cleaners to make the lines. (You can check out vocalizations on TPT here)
  • Rollercoaster: Similar concept. Have the kids echo vocalizations while moving their bodies as if they are on a rollercoaster. When it goes up, they go up. When it goes down, they go down. 
  • Scarves: Listen to a song and have the kids move their scarves along with the contour. Some of my favorites for this are O Mio Babbino Caro (Pucchini) or Im Herbst (Robert Franz). The second one means In Autumn, so it’s perfect if this lesson falls in October. 
  • Mortimer: The book Mortimer is really great for up and down. Have the kids play the glockenspiels or xylophones up when someone goes up the stairs or down when they go down the stairs. (Grab the book here– affiliate link)

If you need help finding songs by solfege, you can check out this website. It has tons of songs organized by rhythm, melody, country, subject, etc. Click here to check it out. 


See you tomorrow!