Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fun activities for some of my favorite kids!

(sorry about not posting this a week ago)

Here are a few follow up helps/ideas for parents after our exploring harmony co-op

Canons/rounds. These are a wonderful way to get children to sing in harmony (there are also speech and movement canons, and there's a beautiful Signing/sung canon in the Signing Time TV show/DVDs, too). The canon we did in class was Alfred the Alligator, probably my favorite. I even have an alligator puppet, named Alfred, who frequently helps me teach.

Ostinato-Ostinati are repeated, stubborn (obstinate) patterns that just continue to repeat. Ostinati can be rhythmic, melodic, or movement. We did a rhythm/speech ostinato with Missasagua Rattlesnake.

The lyrics to that one are:

Missasagua Rattlesnakes
Eat brown bread
Missasagua Rattlesnakes
Fall down dead
If you catch a caterpillar feed him apple juice
But if you catch a rattlesnake, turn him loose!

We also added dynamics to this poem, discovering that the Italian words for soft and loud are piano and forte. Here's one of my favorite videos, from Teresa Jennings and the folks at music K-8 magazine.

We also explored Boomwhackers and special word orchestration, with "I want to Boom", by Chris Judah-Lauder. Here's another fun song to use with boomwhackers, simply moving up the C scale, large to small, also from music K-8.

And, we explored hand drumming and rhythm with Monkey, Monkey Moo, a traditional (and very silly) nursery rhyme. We used sound shapes for this-basically, just drum heads in a frame, which lets drumming activities be very, very quiet.

Have fun making music!


  1. These videos are great! I've been looking for resources for harmony singing and these are a lot of fun.

  2. Have you ever thought about doing your own mini music lessons online, like Khan Academy, but for music? You could have an Amazon Affiliate link with the musical instruments and materials that kids would need to participate.