We have just recently begun to teach music class at our church school. I say “we” because I have a little assistant. In this picture, he is eating his yogurt before class started and while I was setting up. He mostly eats smarties and grins great big when we sing “Building Up the Temple”!
Since we started this class later in the year, I didn’t have much time to choose a curriculum. So we are putting some activities together from various resources.
Here are some of the activities and lessons we hope to teach this year:
- Rudiments of Music – We will do this through flashcards, whiteboard classroom teaching, student pair-up drills, paper drills, note count math, etc. This includes learning all the names of round notes with their rhymes, time signatures, flats/sharps/naturals, all the elements of the staff and clefs, the different notes and their counts, note rests, key signatures, etc.
- Teaching Music Time – I thought of buying a drum to help with this, but found a pair of rhythm sticks in a bag someone had given me. So we are using these to understand time signatures, bar lines, measures, and how many beats come per measure.
- Intentional Listening – So many times our children have a hard time coming to church, where we sing four-part harmony, and be able to pick out the lead or any other part they wish to sing. This is where I hope to get them to listen very carefully to different tones, pitches, and singing parts to hear a specific one. One simple way we have done this is to use the keyboard. I will play a note and then sing a note. The children have to then tell me if I am singing the note I am playing – or if I am too high/too low. It also helps them to sing the note themselves and try to get their own voice to match the one I play.
- Voice Control – Nobody is allowed to scream or screech. The must sing in as beautiful of a voice as they can! Kids can get silly when I ask them to try out their voice range from high to low. So I have to remind them to use their pretty voices. I am also trying to teach them to follow my instructions in going from soft to loud or loud to soft. Someone had given me some signs I can hold that have loud and soft written on them with an animal picture who depicts that. (One side loud, other side soft) As they are singing, I flip it around to the opposite side and see if they can follow the instruction. It was amazing how much fun they had and how excellent they did!
- Composition – There is nothing like learning something well until you put it into practice. I believe children will get the hang of music better if they begin to compose it themselves. It will be extremely simple compositions, but it will give them the liberty to choose their own time signatures, note counts, and where on the scale they want their music to be. I don’t think we’ll get to this for a while, but I believe it will be fun!
Music should be fun and delightful! It is praise to our God who created us, saved us, and is coming again for us. Why should we not want to make beautiful music with our voices?
Yet we also must learn the whole rudiments of music and how to read it so that we can all harmonize together. I found this bulletin board set to be both colorful and informative.
We also use the Praises We Sing small songbooks. And I purchased a cd of beautifully sung hymns for them to listen to different singing parts. Flashcards are great for helping with repetition!
I found a couple websites that offer free printables for teaching music.
This is just a beginning, but it has been a fun beginning! Happy Singing Everyone!
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