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Musically Montessori:#7 Rhythm Echoes, Funny Singing & Learning a New Song!

PRACTICING RHYTHM PATTERNS & SINGING WITH YOUNG CHILDREN IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF MUSIC LEARNING AND HERE'S HOW TO MAKE IT FUN & ENGAGING! Little children really enjoy making funny sounds with rhythms and dynamic singing. 

***©Carolyn Lucento 2015. You are warmly welcome to use any of the ideas I have posted here, however, the content & photos are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without my permission.

This is the seventh article in my series: "Musically Montessori, A Sequential Curriculum for Everyday Music." You can read the previous articles here.




Photo by the artists at Dollar Photo Club with text inserted by Carolyn

Just below, I have inserted one of my quirky videos that may help you to get an idea of how to present echo rhythms to a group of young children. Some kind of short, one minute rhythm pattern game should be a part of every music circle. You can view more of my little videos at my website by clicking here: Stuff For Kids.




LESSON TITLE: "Let's Echo Rhythms!" 






FEATURED SKILLS TO DEVELOP:
  • Concentration
  • Body Coordination
  • Auditory discrimination
  • Memory Development
  • Musical confidence  
MATERIALS NEEDED: 
  • Open space for group time
PROCEDURE:
1. PREPARE: Sit in view of all the children, with back straight and relaxed. This activity is designed to follow the “Warming Up Our Voices” Lesson.

2. EXPLANATION: The idea is that children will repeat sounds that the teacher produces in a rhythmic pulse.

3. MODEL: I begin by modeling for the children sitting comfortably yet straight back and long neck. 

4. SAY: “Let’s practice echoes. When I point to me, it’s my turn and when I open my hands to you then you echo what I said. Echo is copying.”

5. SHOW: I show the children--- pointing to me and then opening my hands towards them.

6. SAY: (With a steady beat/ keeping a rhythmic pulse)
~ “Be my echo.” (Point to self. Then, open hands to the children so that they repeat)
~ “Say what I say.” (Again, point to self. Then, open hands to the children so that they repeat)
~ “Quack, quack, quack, quack.” (Again, point to self. Then, open hands to the children so that they repeat)
~ “Ta, Ta, Ta, Ta.” (Continue as above/ children repeat)
~ “Cheep-cheep, Cheep-cheep, Cheep-cheep, Cheep-cheep.” (Continue as above/ children repeat)
~ “Ti-ti, Ti-ti, Ti-ti, Ti-ti.” (Continue as above/ children repeat)
~ “Moo-oo, Moo-oo.” (Continue as above/ children repeat)
~ “To-oe, To-oe.” (Continue as above, etc.)
~ “Ta, Ti-ti, To-oe.” (Continue as above, etc.)
~ “Ti-ti, Ta, Ti-ti, Ta.” (Continue as above, etc.)
~ “Ta, Ta, Ti-ti, Ta.” (Continue as above, etc.)
~ “Ta, Ta, Ta, Zah.” (Continue as above for the first 3 sounds and then move hands to shoulders for ‘Zah’ which represents a quarter rest in the rhythmic pattern.)
~ “Very well done.” (Continue as above, pointing to self, then opening hands to the children so that they repeat.)
~ “Thank you very much.” (Continue, etc.)
~ “Don’t make any noise.” (Continue, etc.)
~ “Sh, Sh, Sh, Sh.” (Continue, etc.)
~ “Sh-sh, Sh, Sh-sh, Sh.”(Continue, etc.)
~ “Sh, Sh, Sh-sh, Sh.” (Continue, etc.) 
~ “Sh, Sh, Sh, Zha.” (Continue as above and place hands on shoulders for the Zha sound.)
~ “Thank you very much.” (Continue, etc.)

7. SHELF WORK: In your “music work center” you can add Montessori-style command cards that say: “Be my echo.”
  
EXTENSIONS & EMBELLISHMENTS: 
 ~  Use this activity at the beginning of each music lesson circle to familiarize the children with echo rhythm patterns. (It's good music training!)
~ Play a metronome along with the activity (that's what you hear in the background of the video above)
~  The animal sounds are meant to correspond to the notes in the rhythms: 
  • “Quack” = 1 quarter note (“Ta”)
  • “Cheep-cheep” = 2 eighth notes (“Ti-ti”)
  • “Moo-oo” = 1 half note (“To-oe”)
These funny animals sounds can be left out for older children. (Although you may be surprised how much they enjoy them!) Also, for older children, longer rhythms can be offered to the children. (ex: “Ta, Ta, Ta, Ta, Ta, Ta, To-oe.” or: “Ti-ti, Ta, Ti-ti, Ta, Ta, Ta, Ti-ti, Ta.”) Observe what your group enjoys and then adjust. Also, the “Sh-h” sounds can be left out, as well. 
 ~ The sounds, “Ta,”  “Ti-ti” and “To-oe” are standard sounds used in Orff-Schulwerk & Kodaly music education methods for rhythm practice.
~ Use numbers in place of sounds (Ex: “1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4. etc. or “1and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. etc.)
~ As the children gain more experience with rhythm echoes, you can try out some rhythmical call & answer chants such as: “Boom Chicka Boom”  or “Oh, My, I Want A Piece Of Pie”.

I love the rhythm activities that Frank Leto has on several of his cd's. Here is a link at Amazon. Be My Echo from Circle Time Album and there's more at Frank's website: Frank Leto's album, Repeat After Me.

LESSON TITLE: “Let’s Sing a Familiar Song!”

Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

FEATURED SKILLS TO DEVELOP:
  • Concentration
  • Body Coordination
  • Auditory discrimination 
  • Memory development
  • Musical confidence 
MATERIALS NEEDED: 
  • Open space for group time
PROCEDURE:
1. PREPARE: Sit in view of all the children, with back straight, yet relaxed. This activity is designed to follow the “Warming Up Our Voices” Lessons, so make sure the voices are nicely warmed up!

2. EXPLANATION: The idea is that children will sing a familiar song using various music concepts such as “High /Low” “Fast/Slow” “Loud/Quiet”. You don't necessarily have to use the formal music terms with the children, but they will probably like it if you do: Presto (fast) Largo (slow) Forte (loud) Piano (quiet) Just keep it fun and don't quiz the children on the formal terms unless they are older. 

3. MODEL: I begin by modeling for the children sitting comfortably yet straight back and long neck. 

4. SAY: “Let’s sing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ in our high voices. (Said in a high voice)

5. SHOW: It’s helpful to move a hand up in the air to represent the concept of “high” in music. 

6. SING: “Ready, set, sing” (in the high pitch you choose)
~ “Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star
   How I wonder what you are…"etc.
7. INVITE: “Do you think you all can sing that song in your low voice?” (Said in a low voice)
~ “Ready, set, sing” (in the low pitch you choose)
                  “How about singing that song very fast in a
                   ‘Presto’ way?” (Said quickly)
                   “…in a very slow, ‘Largo’ way?” etc.
                    “LOUDLY! 'FORTE!'” etc.
                    “very quietly 'Piano'…”

7. SHELF WORK: 
~ In your “music work center” you can add Montessori-style command cards that say: “High” “Low” “Fast” “Slow” “Loud” “Quiet” (or the formal music terms explained in #2 in the above section.
~ Set up a music stand at the children's height and provide the sheet music of the familiar song, so that a child can set  this up and then sing from the sheet music. 
~ Create a Classroom "Songs" Notebook with a page of the words for each of the favorite songs the children enjoy singing from your music circles.
  
EXTENSIONS & EMBELLISHMENTS: 
 ~  Sing the familiar song like a cat, or a dog, or ’under water’, or like an opera singer, or in Spanish, or like a rock star with pretend microphone etc.
~ Hum the familiar song. Then, ask the children if they felt a tingling/tickling of the lips, mouth or cheeks. This means the vibrations of the vocal cords are crossing the lips and that's a GOOD thing!   
 ~  Sing the Twinkle Twinkle Song while making a chopping motion with the hand and substituting the numbers 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4…etc. for the words
~ Make up new words to the song (Ex: sparkle, sparkle little planet… or flashing, flashing traffic light)
~ With the Twinkle melody, the children can sing the “ABC Song” and also “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” since these songs all have the same melody.
~ Invite the children to THINK the words to the song, but not sing them. They can keep the beat quietly with a chopping motion on the hands.  Later, they can silently “mouth” the words and then sing only the last word of each phrase of the song (Ex: star…are…high…sky…star…are)
~ Set up a music stand adjusted to children's height with the familiar song represented on music paper and a conductor's baton for a small group of children to sing together during work period or free choice time (see above photo)
~ If you play the guitar, autoharp, ukulele or another appropriate instrument, you can play along while the children sing any number of familiar favorites.
~ Turn on an instrumental version of the familiar song on your cd or iPod and invite the children to sing along Karaoke style 


Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company 


LESSON TITLE: “Let’s Learn a New Song!”

Photo by the artists at Dollar Photo Club

FEATURED SKILLS TO DEVELOP:
  • Concentration
  • Body Coordination
  • Auditory discrimination 
  • Memory development
  • Musical confidence

MATERIALS NEEDED: 
  • Open space for group time

PROCEDURE:
1. PREPARE: Sit in view of all the children, with back straight and relaxed. This activity is designed to follow the “Warming Up Our Voices” Lessons.

2. EXPLANATION: The idea is that children will begin to learn a new song by first echo-ing the words in short phrases, then in longer phrases. (just saying the words) Later, the song is sung in short phrases, then longer ones. And, finally, the song can be sung using the music concepts (in a high voice, or low voice, etc.) from the preceding lesson, “Let’s Sing A Familiar Song.” 

3. MODEL: I begin by modeling for the children sitting comfortably yet straight back and long neck. 

4. SAY: “I have a new song for you today! It’s called 'Dragon, Dragon'. First, I’ll sing it for you. Then, we’ll play some echo games with the song.”

5. SHOW: It helps to review the procedure for echo games, by pointing to yourself then opening hands to the children for them to echo. I say: "When I point to me, its my turn and when I point to you its your turn to copy me."

6. SING: “Ready, set, sing” 
~ “Dragon, dragon 
     In the sky
    Who can you see 
    with your little eyes?
    Animals playing 
    all around
    One he sees and 
    flies to the ground.” 
(from Music for Children Vol 1 from Tamara O’Brien) Here's the link at Amazon: Dragon Dragon by Tamara O'Brien. The entire album is an EXCELLENT RESOURCE for Preschool Music with nice songs that can be sung and then later played with instruments as the children progress.)

7. INVITE: Remind the children of how to play the Echo Game and then start with SAYING the words  to the song:
a.~ Pointing to yourself: “Dragon, dragon”… Open hands to children so they can echo the words.
   Once again pointing to yourself: “In the sky”… Open hands to children so they can once again echo the words.
   CONTINUE this process through each phrase of the song as it is written above.
b. ~ Pointing to yourself: “Dragon, dragon, In the sky”… Open hands to children so they can echo this longer phrase
   Once again pointing to yourself: “Who can you see with your little eyes?”…  Indicate for children to echo
   Pointing to yourself: “Animals playing all around”…Indicate for children to echo
   Pointing to yourself again: “One he sees and flies to the ground.” …Indicate for children to echo.
c. ~ Proceed as above saying first 4 lines at one time and then indicate the children to echo
   Say the last 4 lines at one time and then indicate the children to echo
d. ~ Finally, say all the words at one time (the entire song) and then indicate for the children to echo
LATER:
~ Pointing to yourself, SING each line of the song as in a.~ above
~ Pointing to yourself, continue as in b.~ above
~ Pointing to yourself, continue as in c.~ above
~ Pointing to yourself, continue as in d.~ above  

7. SHELF WORK: In your book corner or music center you can add a page to your classroom “Songs” Notebook with the words to Dragon,Dragon.
   
EXTENSIONS & EMBELLISHMENTS: 
 ~  Sing the new song like a cat, or a dog, or ’under water’, or like an opera singer, or in Spanish, or like a rock star with a pretend microphone etc.   
 ~  Sing the new song while making a chopping motion with the hand and substituting the numbers 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4…etc. for the words
 ~ Play a circle game with the Dragon song: One child is the dragon “flying” around  the circle, the other children are sitting in the circle. On the words, “One he sees”…the dragon taps a child to join him/her in “flying” around the circle. Then, there are 2 dragons who each tap a child on those words…and the game goes on until all the children are up  “flying” around. OR, the game can be varied so that when the child who is the dragon taps another child, the "dragon" sits back down at the circle and the newly tapped child becomes the dragon.



I am so delighted to have you visit my blog and I hope you got something from your time here that will be useful in your work with children. 

The NEXT article in this series, Musically Montessori, A Sequential Curriculum for Everyday Music WILL FEATURE some fun BODY PERCUSSION and MUSICAL MOVEMENT activities that are great fun and add immeasurably to the music learning in the young child's environment.

You can have my posts delivered right to your inbox by subscribing here: Magical Movement Company Subscribe for Updates. And, I really love to hear your ideas, so please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the section below!





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4 comments:

  1. A lot of great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. So glad to have your sweet comment, Jessica!

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  2. this is priceless info!! thanks so much for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anastasia. It is my pleasure to be sharing these ideas and so glad you have found them helpful!

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