In our preschool piano prep we begin our lessons with a brief storytime. While I was setting up the children were free to improvise with the solfege pitched deskbells and percussion instruments. They also built their own piano by lining up individual white keys and black keys.
To begin the lesson we read a story together about the Barrel of Songs, an old tale from Lithuania in which we learnt how the owls ? came to get their low and deep song of "hoo, hoo, hoo"
In today's class we played a music games and revised familiar music theory concepts such as p is for piano (soft and quiet) and f is for forte (strong and loud).
We moved onto our lesson on pitch, high and low. I played random notes on the piano and asked the children to point to the sign which they thought it was. For example, was the note I played to the right of middle C, and therefore a high pitched sound, so did they point to the sign, for the treble clef? Or was the sound I made to the left of middle C and a low sound, in that case, the bass clef.
I played random notes on the piano and asked the children to point to the sign which they thought it was. For example, was it the "p" sign, for soft? Or was the sound I made a loud one, in that case, f for forte.
We introduced the music symbols for pitch and music notation with the treble clef (to indicate the high notes) and the bass clef (to indicate the low notes).
By the end of this part the children were pronouncing and correctly identifying these symbols. Our preschoolers now know how to recognise the symbols, how to pronounce these words and to associate them to their matching symbols. Keep up the great work everyone!
(credit to Nicola at Colourful Keys for the paddlesticks signs for the ? =high and the ? =low).
After circle time, we all stand up and stretch and then get going as we delve right into our rhythm flow and movement games.
We danced along to the"thumbelina" song from Wunderkeys (credit to Teach Piano Today for the music and lyrics and tutor books). Thumbelina was p=soft right until she decided to count to five and then she became very loud when she used her strong legs to stomp around the room. She stomped once! She stomped twice! etc
We revised our numbers 1-5 with our five fingers on each hand, and distinguishing between our left and right hand. We matched up our fingers with the wunderbies animals from wunderkeys (credit to Teach Piano Today for the Wunderkeys tutor books)
We listened to Aunty Bea Publications Aunty Bea as she sang "5 little ducks" in Maori for the numbers and the ? duck.
Then together we all acted out the story to the 5 little ducks as we sung the words. And in next week's class we will have a go at playing the tune to 5 little ducks on a range of pitched instruments from the deskbells to the boomwhackers, the xylophone and the piano keyboard.
Next we moved onto more movement with the action nursery rhymes like "i'm a little teapot".
We also did some classic dalcroze rhythm games as the children walked and ran and tiptoed and stomped, as instructed and to the music.
Thanks to Gaylene, an inspirational teacher I shadowed at Lynmore Primary School last year, I discovered Jolly Learning. Jolly Learning are known for their groundbreaking resources on phonics which are used internationally from the UK, to NZ and Africa and everywhere else in between. But did you know that Jolly Learning also produce music resources? Well they do! They have a division called Jolly Music. Jolly Music follow the kodaly approach to music. In our piano prep class we incorporate activities from both dalcroze and kodaly.
Jolly Music have produced a handy article discussing the distinction between rhythm and pulse, written by Cyrilla Rowsell. It's well worth a read! You can see the full article in pdf from the Jolly Music website link below:-
Source: ‘Rhythm and Pulse – teaching music to primary-aged children’ by Cyrilla Rowsell, Music Teacher Magazine (UK), Feb 2012, http://jolly2.s3.amazonaws.com/PR/MTM%20Jolly%20Music%20Feb%202012.pdf)
We continued on with more movement with the action nursery rhymes like "i'm a little teapot".
We also did some classic dalcroze like rhythm games as the children walked and ran and tiptoed and stomped, as instructed and to the music.