There are numerous sources of melodic and rhythmic examples on the internet, especially in music education blogs, but are you utilizing them and making them work for you? This post will begin a discussion about integrating technology in elementary music classes without re-creating the wheel every time. Ideally you’ll have a song collection to draw on before searching for sources. If you do, skip to the third point below!
First, choose folk songs and the very best composed songs as the foundation of your lessons. If the song has melodic and rhythmic concepts you can draw on, it is worth more currency in your collection.
Second, determine which grade levels are most appropriate for the melody, rhythm, and game, if there is one. Remember, you can always create movements, Orff accompaniments, and games to extend the learning.
Third, create or download visual aids and resources for use in the classroom. On my Resources for Teachers page, you’ll find that resources are divided into groups. When I only want to focus on rhythm, I often take away the staff while retaining the meter and barlines. If my goal is for students to add barlines or put the phrases in order, I might create another example without meter and barlines. Two examples on the Rhythms Only page are Skipping Rope Song and Grandma Grundts.
What if you’re looking for a melodic example? This is one area where my Resources for Teachers page can especially help you. I try to post melodic examples in both F and G, and sometimes C. These are the keys my students typically sing in and there’s no need for flats or sharps in the key signature (unless there’s a fa in F or a ti in G.) Students should sing in the key they’re seeing, and they should be able to read solfége in more than one key. More on this in future posts.
How do you use visual aids in your classroom? How do you create them?