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Showing posts from November, 2009

Rhythm Dictation Christmas Style

We are taking the Christmas music (that started right playing on the radio stations right after Halloween) and using it this week for rhythm dictation.  Using some familiar Christmas songs, the students will write the rhythms symbolically.  Beginner students use chips to represent the different rhythms.   If I clap one half note and two quarter notes then the student would put a chip on the 1st, 3rd and 4th beat.  For more advanced students I have them write the correct rhythm in the ornament.  I use a page protector and a dry erase marker so that I can use the sheet over and over again.   You can use whatever song you like, but here are some songs with simple rhythms: Jingle Bells Up on the House Top Jolly Old St. Nicholas Little Drummer Boy Here Comes Santa Clause I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause O little town of Bethlehem Rhythm Dictation

Turkey Songs

Thanksgiving is upon us and this is a great time to sing about that funny bird, the turkey.  Turkey Jerky  Sung to "The Hokey Pokey" You put your right wing in You put your right wing out You put your right wing in  And you shake it all about You do the Turkey Jerky (strut like a turkey) And you turn yourself about That's what it's all about (Turkey Jerky) Alternate verses: Left wing, drumsticks(legs), stuffing(tummy), waddle (neck), head, tail feathers ____________________________________ Five Little Turkeys 5 little turkeys standing by the door 1 waddled off and then there were four 4 little turkeys underneath a tree 1 waddled off and then there were three 3 little turkeys with nothing to do 1 waddled off and then there were two 2 little turkeys in the noon day sun 1 waddled off and then there were one 1 little turkey better run away For soon will come Thanksgiving day. __________________________________ Ten Little Turkeys 10 little turkeys standing by the gate 2 

Candyland Game

I love using familiar games to teach music concepts and one of my favorites is Candyland.  I actually found this game as a beach towel one summer.  I snatched it up and knew I could use it for teaching music.  I wrote the musical alphabet on the colored squares to make the game musical.  To play I have students pick a pawn (usually a fun eraser) and then draw a card.  I use some staff cards for level one and up and keyboard cards (cards with an x on a key) for my beginners. You identify that note and go to that letter on the board.  The fun candyland cards are intermingled in the staff cards. You can get a candy cane, gum drop or ice cream cone (my favorite). The special cards that came with the towel were really big, so the kids knew when they were about to get a special card.  I decided to make my own special card and just attached them to some playing cards that were the same size as my staff/keyboard cards.  I usually play with them or have another student join them.  It is a whole

Bingo Chips

I use bingo chips for the musical alphabet and numbers.  I purchased mine at a local educational store but I have provided a link below if you want to buy some online.  I take the bingo chips and put alphabet stickers or number stickers on them.  I found these stickers in the ever popular scrap booking section.  I use these to label keys on the keyboard, in my Turkey Worksheet and many other games and activities.  With the number chips, I have the students put the correct number under rhythm cards in different time signatures so they have a visual for counting. Click here for a link to purchase bingo chips

Thanksgiving Songs

Thanksgiving is a great time to teach children about what they can be thankful for.  You can use Thanksgiving as a time to talk about families, food groups, travel, manners, pilgrims, Native Americans and of course turkeys.  Here are some thanksgiving songs about being thankful and Thanksgiving Dinner. Thankful and you Know it  Sung to: "If you're happy and you know it" If you're thankful and you know it clap your hands If you're thankful and you know it clap your hands If you're thankful and you know it then your face will surely show it If you're thankful and you know it clap your hands Idea #1 : Let the children say things they are thankful for and put it in the song: "If you're thankful for your family clap your hands." Idea #2:  Add different motions: stomp your feet, jump around, shout "Thank you" _________________________________________ We eat Turkey  Sung to "Where is Thumbkin" We eat turkey, we eat

Treble Clef Lines Introduction

Here is a worksheet I created using my new Music Mac Fonts .  This is an introduction to the lines on the Treble Clef.  Now, I know everyone uses the standard Every Good Boy Does Fine, but I change it up to reflect the girls:  Every Girl Buys Doll Furniture.  I explain to my students that the Treble Clef is the girl clef, where the girls sing up high.  It also is a very fancy looking clef and home of Treble Clef Girl.  This is a great visual worksheet to introduce the concept.  There is a fun matching activity match to reinforce the concept.

Pilgrim and Native Songs

Pilgrim and Native Songs Here are some Pilgrim and Native Songs that teach about the very first Thanksgiving. Some of these songs used to use the word "Indian" and I have substituted Native to be more sensitive to the Native American culture. The Thanksgiving story is a great example of sharing and cooperation. Thanksgiving Things Sung to: "The Farmer and the Dell" Hit the floor to the beat The turkey in the pen The turkey in the pen All the children come and see The turkey in the pen Tap your knees to the beat The pilgrims in the boat The pilgrims in the boat All the children come and see The pilgrims in the boat Clap your hands to the beat The Natives in the field The Natives in the field All the children come and see The Natives in the field Snap fingers or swish hands to the beat The pumpkins in the patch The pumpkins in the patch All the children come and see The pumpkins in the patch Clap hands over head to the beat The butter in

One Minute Club

One Minute Club This idea came from Susan Paradis' website.  Every month I test my students and see how many notes they can name in one minute.  I use flash cards that are in a preset order, so that the cards get harder as the student moves through them.  I put stickers on the back of my flash cards so I can easily sort them into the levels I want.  Then I have them numbered so they can be in the correct order for each student.   I only test the student on the notes they have been introduced to, so for example High and Low C in my studio aren't introduced until level 2B, so any student below that wouldn't have to identify those notes.  They must name 22 notes in one minute to get in the club.  This is all the lines and spaces of the Treble Clef, Bass Clef and then Middle C for Bass (stem down) and Treble (stem up) and D above Middle C and B below Middle C.   After they are in the club and learning more notes, I let them pass if they can't think of the note so they c

Sticky flags

I LOVE sticky flags.  If you haven't seen the post it flags or used them before, you have to try them.  I use them to mark the kids music and their assignment pages.  I've used them on the piano for beginners to help the child not move from a certain position.  For example, if the child is in Middle C Position, I would put a flag on E and then A so if they shifted out of position they would feel the post it flag.  These are a music teachers best friend!

Color Songs

Color Songs As I searched for songs to teach the colors, I found that most out there don't deal with all the colors.  There are some great ones that deal with a specific color.  They teach you how to spell the color and name some things that are traditionally that color.  I will try and add some of these songs in the coming months.  Here are some color songs and rhymes that deal with all the colors.  I have attached some examples of some of the visuals I use for these songs.  Enjoy! If you see red Sung to: If you’re happy and you know it If you see a red____, nod your head  If you see a red ____, nod your head If you see a red today Nod your head and shout hurray If you see a red ____, nod your head Put w hatever red thing you see in the blank and continue with the other colors If you see a Blue ____ touch your shoe If you see a green ____ wave your arms If you see a yellow ____ clap your hands If you see a orange ____ tap your head If you see a purple ____ wiggle you

Tough Turkey

Here is a worksheet I use to reinforce the musical alphabet and intervals.  The student completes the musical alphabet on the turkey's feathers.  On the turkey's with intervals, the student completes the musical alphabet by 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths or 7ths.  With the interval turkeys you can start on whatever letter you choose or write a different letter in the first feather for group lessons.  I usually have the students go around to the left or up alphabetically, but they could also go around to the right going backwards or down through the alphabet.  I use my bingo chips to complete the turkey's feathers, but you could have your student write on the turkeys as well. Google Docs: Turkey Worksheet Here is an example of how to complete the worksheet

Turkey Songs

Turkey Songs The first song is a great song to review colors and rhyming words.  I have a link to a download of visuals of the items the 'turkey is in' so the kids have a visual of that color.  Sometimes I have the kids tell me what the rhyming word will be for example  "Turkey is in the blue sky so the rhyming H word would rhyme with sky and be?  Hi" The second song is a songs about the turkeys getting away and counting backwards from 5 or you could count down from any number.  On these kinds of songs you could also introduce subtraction, changing the number of turkeys that got away and having the students subtract. Turkey in the brown straw( Sung To: Skip To My Lou My Darling) Turkey in the brown straw, Ha, ha, ha, ha Turkey in the brown straw Ha, ha, ha, ha Turkey in the brown straw, ha, ha, ha, ha Turkey in the brown straw Turkey in the white sleigh, hey, hey, hey Turkey in the blue sky, hi, hi, hi Turkey in the red barn, harn, harn, harn Turkey

Piano Races

Our game this week is Piano Races.  I don't remember where I first heard about this game, but it is a great one to use, especially for keyboard recognition.  I have added on to it over the years. 1. Have the students pick a thing to represent them in the game.  I have a collection of erasers I use, though you could use anything that will fit on the keys.  You need two or more to play this game. 2. Start at the lowest or highest end of the piano and choose an alphabet card. 3. Move to that note and the first one to the end of the piano wins. I have several variations of this game: Variation #1: Use intervals, cards with word or staff notation, melodic and harmonic Variation #2: Identify chord inversions  Variation #3: Identify Keys Variation #4: Identify or add up a rhythm I don't have the students identify a note name on the staff, because the note they move to is not the actual note represented on the staff. I am not sure where this idea originally came from

Magic Wand and Magic Notes

I have used a magnetic wand and magnetic chips in my studio for years.  I call them magic notes.  The students love to play with them and they are just the  right size to represent a note on the staff.  We use them for marking cards,  note learning and even counting scores.  I used them recently in the Tic Tac Toe Game .   I call the wands, Magic Wands and the chips magic notes. Here is a link to a website where you can purchase them. Magnetic Wand Another link for Magnetic Wand Check out these Great Resources!

Music Fonts

I purchased a program for music fonts that helps you create your own worksheets and flash cards.  I hope to learn to use it quickly and start posting some helpful activities with it.  Click on the link above to learn more about it.

Scarecrow Songs

Here are some Scarecrow Songs I sang with the kids this week. Enjoy! Jingle Jangle Scarecrow When all the cows were sleeping and the sun was behind a cloud. Up jumped a scarecrow and shouted very LOUD! "I'm a Jingle Jangle scarecrow with a floppy floppy hat. I can shake my arms like this! And shake my feet like that!" When all the hens were roosting and the moon's behind a cloud, Up jumped the scarecrow and shouted very loud "I'm a jingle jangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat, I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that. The kids love crouching down and then popping up on "Up jumped the scarecrow" We move are arms and feet of course as directed I also ask the children what time of day is the scarecrow dancing? The Floppy Scarecrow The floppy, floppy scarecrow Guards his field all day He waves his floppy, floppy ___________ And scares the crows away. Pick a body part or article of clothing to put in the blank Act ou

Tic Tac Toe Game for the Keyboard

    Tic Tac Toe is a great way to review just about any concept! I have flash cards of notes on the staff, chords, keys and keyboard names. Depending on the student's level I make a grid out of these cards.  3 x 3 like Tic Tac Toe. Then I have a stack of drawing cards with the alphabet on them or the chord or key names.  The student draws a card and marks their board if they find the matching chord, key or note.  I usually have a game going for me or another student and we see who can get tic tac toe first. After someone wins, I replace the marked cards with new cards so they can have some different material to work on.  The markers you use can be anything: bingo chips, candy, erasers or my favorite: Magic Notes Look for my Tic Tac Toe Keyboard Game .

Little Light Shine

Little Light Shine was started last year. I wanted to share my songs and activities with children in their child care centers. It has been a lot of fun and hope to add more centers as more people find about it. Feel free to click on the title above to see my website.

Welcome to Sing a Song

Sing a Song blog will feature children's songs and music activities that I use in my teachings. I am a piano teacher and have been singing with children in school and child care centers for over 8 years. These songs are a collection of material I have gotten over the years from websites, workshops and some I have created myself.  The games are things I use in my piano studio to teach about music. I plan on including helpful tips and bright ideas that I come across as well. Please feel free to request a song about a particular subject and I will see if I can find one or make one up. Enjoy!