Children's Everyday Music: "Echo Rhythms" Build Musical Competence!


Photo by Jeri-Jo Idarius from Carolyn's Archives

We begin each Preschool music class with vocal warm-ups and then we sing our hello song followed by fun echo rhythms. This process sometimes takes several minutes, but it is greatly loved by the children! There are some silly sounds we make and there are some vocal challenges of high & low. But, the echo rhythms that we practice are by far the favorite of the the children!

Original photo from the artists at Dollar Photo Club with additions by Carolyn

Echo Music Games are a hallmark of the Orff-Schulwerk method of music education for children. You can click on this link for more information: About Orff-Schulwerk AOSA

By inviting children to "Say what I say" in Echo Music Games, the teacher sets up a musical environment that is designed to be fail-proof. By offering short, expressive musical phrases with a strong steady beat, the teacher models exactly what the child will copy. The child usually copies the phrases fairly accurately and this brings a feeling of success! Thus, the process gives the child a sense of confidence in his/her musical abilities...the first step in becoming a competent musician!

  Say what I say...

Photo from the artists at Dollar Photo Club

This delightful music technique from the Orff-Schulwerk pedagogy blends well with the Montessori method. "Echo Rhythm Games" have a kind of "built-in control of error," since the child is offered short phrases to copy immediately after the teacher says/sings them. You can read more about the Montessori concept of "control of error" at this link: Montessori Terminology AMS

From a darling recording of one of my Montessori Preschool music classes, I made another of my quirky videos! I was hoping to give readers an idea of the "pulse" of this fun activity. I hope you enjoy!

Video footage from the artists at BigStock Photo and children's class audio recorded by Carolyn

There are many more of my little quirky videos at my website and here's the link: STUFF FOR KIDS. 

Frank Leto, one of my all-time favorite music educators uses the Orff-Schulwerk echo singing technique like a pro (and he is!) You can read more about Frank and his wonderful cd's at my past post: Frank Leto's "Ladybug" Echo Song and Children's developing Singing Voice.

The "Hello Echo Song" on  my little video is one of Lynn Kleiner's. Check out her website filled with music activities galore: Lynn Kleiner Music Rhapsody.

I am so glad that you are reading this Blog post of mine and hope that you have gotten some ideas for your group! Please feel free to leave a comment below. I love hearing your thoughts!

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