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When it comes to teaching solfa, sol and mi is where we start. The best way to get these notes engrained in students’ heads is with sol mi songs– especially sol mi songs. Using sol mi songs allows students to have authentic musical experiences while learning their first two melodic notes.
Now, by the time we get here, we’ve already learned:
- High and low
- Up and down
We also use sol and mi, but call them “high” and “low” for a while. All of this prep work may feel like a lot, but it makes all of the difference when it comes to teaching the actual notes.
All of the sol mi songs included below contain JUST sol and mi. Some have other variations with other notes, but these are the ones that I use.
I’ve created lesson packs for some of the sol mi songs to help you teach the song, do activities with it, and introduce sol and mi. If there is one available, it will be linked below the song, and it will have a picture of it as well.
Want some free resources? Join the FREE Resource Library! After joining, you’ll get access to a library with powerpoints, lyric sheets, quizzes, worksheets, and more! Plus, you’ll get elementary music lessons emailed straight to your inbox to keep the ideas flowing and make lesson planning EASY.
And now, let’s get to the sol mi songs!
Star Light, Star Bright
The first of our sol mi songs is Star Light, Star Bright.
This is a classic song that features quarter and eighth notes as well as sol and mi, so it is perfect for your elementary music classes.
We do quite a few things with this piece, but my favorite are:
- Talking about what we wish for
- Using flashlights to point to the high and low parts of the song
- Pair with other space themed songs, like Follow the Drinking Gourd
Note: Some people use a version of this with la in it
A simple lullaby, this song pairs very well with the last one, since they are both night themed.
With this song, I like to have the kids imagine rocking a baby to sleep. This gets in steady beat practice along with the piece. It’s even more fun if you give the students stuffed animals and let them rock them to sleep!
I love to use this at the end of class, particularly if we’ve had a busy or crazy day to help calm the students down.
Quien es esa Gente
The next piece is probably my second graders’ favorite of the sol mi songs, and that is Quien es esa Gente.
This is a Mexican folk song that talks about how people are being too loud for you to sleep.
This didn’t come with a game, but I did make one up:
- One person comes to the front and is the “sleeper”
- Everyone walks around the room while singing the song.
- At the end, the sleeper wakes up and looks for anyone moving. If you’re moving, then you become a sleeper too!
You could also do it as a guessing game– have one person tap the sleeper and have the sleep guess who it was.
- Who are all these people walking over here?
- They are making so much noise that I cannot sleep.
Cuckoo is a sol mi call and response song that is perfect to talk about solo singing.
Have two kids come to the front and hold puppets or stuffed animals and sing the song to each other. I also like to that them move the animals up and down to match the song.
I also like to pair this with this book, which is a legend about the cuckoo bird from Mexico. Every time is says “cucu”, I sing it on sol and mi and the kids echo it back!
If you’re singing sol mi songs around Halloween, it doesn’t get better than Witch Witch.
Witch Witch is a singing game in 6/8 that includes only sol and mi.
Here’s how the game works:
- One person is the witch. They stand in the middle.
- Everyone else stands in a circle and sings the song.
- When the students say “No you old witch!” the with chases them and tries to tag them
- When a student gets to the safe zone, they are safe. Anyone who is tagged is out.
I like to modify it so that the witch is in the middle of the room, and the students run from one side to the other. This is a bit calmer than them stuttering everywhere.
Also, if you’d like it to be more controlled, you can be the witch so that you can make sure no one pushes too hard!
You can purchase the lesson pack so that your slides are done and ready to go by clicking here!
Seesaw Sacradown is a good sol mi song to work on steady beat.
With this one, students put their hands out to the side and move side to side like a seesaw to the beat while they sing.
I also like to extend it and have the whole class pretend to be on a seesaw– one side goes up while the other goes down.
Our last one is Macaroni. Macaroni is one of my favorite singing games for sol mi– and it includes solo singing!
Here’s how to play:
- Students sit in a circle while one student is outside.
- The outside students gallops around the room while everyone sings.
- Wherever they stop, that person sings the end “Macaroni”. They become the next person to go around
This is extra fun if you have stick horses. If you don’t have any, you can make them out of pool noodles like Mrs. King does in this blog post. (Click here to read!)
I also like to have students play on the xylophones after they finish their turn. I’ll put two or three xylophones at the front, and one person will play, then they slide to the next one, and so on.
There we go friends– 7 sol mi songs to get you started!
Do you use these in your class? Which one is your favorite? Which one did I miss? Message me on Instagram (@beccasmusicroom) and let me know!