Music With Mrs. Tanenblatt

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Cicada Music Ideas

Here in Maryland, the Brood X Cicadas have started emerging! They have just started to shed their skin and in my neighborhood we are finding them crawling around and clinging to plants. Whether you think they are cute little critters or a terrifying plague (hey, I won't judge you) their once-every-seventeen-year appearance presents the perfect opportunity to connect our music lessons to the natural world. 

The cicada life cycle is perfect to inspire creative movement in the music classroom! You can talk with your students about how cicadas spend most of their life underground and only emerge for a short time. How can we use levels to show their emergence from the ground? What would you do if you had lived your entire life in one place and suddenly discovered a brand new world? How would you move to respond to this new environment? What kind of music could accompany this movement?

Speech Piece
I composed a speech piece called Cydnee Cicada. It's in triple meter and the rhythm set is dotted quarter, three eighth notes, and quarter - eighth. This makes it a great prep activity for K/1 and rhythm practice for 2/3. Students can act out the different actions that Cydnee does in the piece as they read the text. I composed this piece during my lunch break today and read it to my three year old this afternoon. She LOVED pretending to be asleep, waking up, and doing all of the subsequent actions. Her favorite part was climbing up on a step stool and pretending to chirp in a tree.

Instrument Exploration
You can extend this lesson by incorporating unpitched percussion instruments. What do cicadas sound like when they sing? What instruments sound most like a cicada?

If you have a cricket guiro, this would be a great opportunity to pull it out and maybe point out the similarities and differences between crickets and cicadas.

For more instrument exploration, you could have students perform the piece on barred instruments by improvising a melody. Another option would be to play a bordun or ostinato while reciting the piece. You could split the class into three groups: one to play instruments, one to say the speech piece, and one to do movements/act it out.

I hope you and your students enjoy acting like cicadas this spring! Hopefully learning a little about these insects will help to ease your kids' anxiety about them. Let's make this season fun and enjoy as much time as possible out in nature!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Feelings Check!

A terrorist attack on our nation's capitol... in the middle of a deadly pandemic... This past week has been a crazy one in the United States and I know that my personal feelings have been ALL OVER THE PLACE. Anxiety, worry, moments of joy and surprise... I have no doubt that my students are also struggling with lots of big feelings right now. As teachers we can't expect to solve all of our students' problems, but we can certainly check in with them to help recognize their emotions. As the saying goes, "If you can name it, you can tame it." 

Online learning makes it so much harder to get an accurate gauge of how our students are doing emotionally. We are physically distant and often can't even see their faces. Unless we make a point of asking our students how they're doing, we could miss significant things going on with their emotions.

I made these feelings check-ins as lighthearted way to inquire about my students emotional wellbeing and readiness to learn. After all, a child with dysregulated emotions is not going to able to sit and focus in a music lesson! It is our job to find out where the students are and what they need. 

I sometimes add one of these images to the beginning of my lesson slideshow. I ask students to respond by typing their number in the chat. I give them the option to share more details about why they chose their number but make sure they know that divulging more information is not required. It has started some meaningful conversations and helped me understand more of what my students are going through during these crazy times.

I hope these are helpful for you and spark meaningful conversations between you and your students!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

5 Ways to Use Google Slides for Remote Teaching

Are you teaching music remotely and interested in incorporating Google Slides in your lessons? I have been using Google Slides for about three years BC (that's "before Covid") so it was already a comfortable choice for me. When my school system shifted to full remote learning, I started using it for every single lesson. Here are just a few of the ways that you can use Google Slides remotely as a music teacher.

1. Welcome Screen

I always start my synchronous video conferences a few minutes early to give students a chance to log in and get themselves ready for class. While we're waiting for class to start, I share a slide like this:

On my welcome screen, I usually play a timer video that counts down to the start of class. I also include a picture of whatever materials we will be using that day. If I want to do something like a cup game, box drumming, or movement with scarves, I want to make sure I give my students a few minutes at the beginning of class to get those things ready. This helps with transitions during my lesson because I don't have to stop in the middle to send them on a hunt for materials.

2. Flashcards and other visuals

Google Slides is the perfect way to keep all of my flashcards and visuals together in one place. I love it because I can access my slideshows from any device, so if I'm browsing facebook at 10pm on my home computer and suddenly have a flash of inspiration for tomorrow's lesson, I can easily open my slides and make those edits instantly. I import .mp3s and videos that I plan on using and can seamlessly transition through every step of the lesson this way.

Here's a video I made at the beginning of the school year, walking through the components I put into my daily lesson slideshows:

3. Curate groups of YouTube videos

YouTube recently removed the ability to put children's videos into playlists. While this change makes total sense for children's safety, it's kind of inconvenient for a music teacher trying to compile teaching materials. Google Slides is a great workaround to this problem since you can embed YouTube videos directly into your slideshow. (And as an added bonus, there's no ads before the video and nothing autoplays afterwards!)

I recently made a slideshow with tons of YouTube videos related to The Nutcracker and it has been wildly popular with my students and other teachers! Click here to make a free copy.

4. Self-Correcting Games in Present Mode

With Google Slides, it's easy to turn objects into links that will direct students to another page within in the presentation. This means that if a student plays through the activity in present mode, they can click on an answer and it will automatically take them to a different page if it was the correct answer or the incorrect answer. Here's an example of a self-correcting game I made that uses embedded audio files and beautiful, high-resolution images:

5. Interactive Activities in Edit Mode

For more tech-savvy students, you can also create interactive activities that students can manipulate by moving elements around the screen in edit mode. This is a great way to have students compose music! For this activity, you can move the rhythm tiles onto the squares to arrange them any way they want. It takes a little bit of work at the beginning, teaching students how to drag items without accidentally resizing them or deleting them. However, I've found that kids tend to pick up these tech skills pretty quick- even faster than many adults! 

I hope these five ways will inspire you to use Google Slides in your music room this spring. Happy teaching!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Voice-Saving Tips for Virtual Teachers

If you know me well, you will remember that I had vocal nodes 13 years ago. It was a terrible experience, but I can safely say that it changed my life for the better. Because of it, I learned early on about the importance of vocal health for singers and music teachers. Those of us who are teaching music online have enough to be stressed about right now. I'm not ready to add vocal fatigue to that list! 

Synchronous online music classes can be just as vocally taxing as in-person ones, but because we're not projecting our voices in a large room with a few dozen children, we might not notice it right away. I've come to realize that when I'm on a video call and all of my students are on mute, I tend to raise my voice louder and louder because I'm not always getting immediate feedback from them. When students inevitably forget to mute their microphones, I'm competing with background noise from their households and have to speak loudly until I get a chance to remotely mute them. I also notice that if I'm leading a movement activity and need to stand up/move back from my computer in order to be seen, my computer microphone doesn't pick up my voice as well and I end up shouting the directions while doing the activity. The same goes for reading a book in front of my computer; the book often blocks the microphone and makes it much harder to be heard.

Tip #1: Invest in an external microphone
I've found that I am much less likely to shout into my microphone if it's right in front of me. There's plenty of different options to choose from; clip on lapel mics, free standing ones, headsets. The microphone that's best for you will vary depending on your needs. 

For instance, when I'm reading a book, I like to use my lapel mic so that the book doesn't get in the way. Headsets are great to wear when leading movement activities. A good bluetooth gaming headset will give you the freedom to move around. However, bluetooth ones will have more of a lag than wired-in ones. 

Purchasing an external microphone doesn't need to be a huge monetary investment. I've had good luck with even inexpensive mics. Even a cheap external microphone has given me better results than the built-in one on my computer.

Tip #2: Give yourself vocal breaks in the lesson
Several years ago, I started following the rule of "only sing for, never with, my students" so that I wouldn't have to sing all day every day. Unfortunately, that rule doesn't translate well to online learning. Most of the time students are on mute and I am singing their repertoire myself, hoping that they are singing along with me at home. I try to have student volunteers unmute to take over the task of singing a song, once I feel like they know it well. 

When teaching virtually, it's tempting to want to enter full-on Mr. Rogers mode and just talk and sing for the entire class session. However, we all know that good teaching puts more responsibility on the learners. There should be time when students are doing independent or small group work. The teacher can act as less of the "sage on the stage" and more of the "guide on the side." This can mean giving students some much needed screen breaks with pencil-and-paper work. Or it might be sending students to a digital activity where they can work independently, or work together on a Jamboard or in a breakout room.

Tip #3: Pre-record some lesson components
Obviously you don't want to pre-record an entire lesson when teaching synchronously. We need to connect with our students during the time we have together. But I've found that it is a big help to have certain songs, dances, and activities pre-recorded before my lessons. This not only saves my voice from having to sing the same thing repeatedly, but it also gives me the chance to take attendance and check in with students while the video is playing. I can also chime in to add narration or live commentary and not have to shout it while doing movements. When I use a pre-recorded video of myself, I usually turn my camera off so as not to confuse students.

The videos also came in handy when I needed sub plans on short notice at the beginning of the school year; I put together a slideshow with some of the videos I had already made and my sub only had to press play. The videos are also helpful to share on your learning management system after class. I always upload my videos for students to re-watch as they complete their asynchronous work, or catch up on the content if they missed class.

Tip #4: Take care of yourself!
Virtual teaching during a pandemic is emotionally and physically taxing. Be kind to yourself, stay healthy, and hydrate! Your body (and vocal folds) will thank you :)

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Let There Be Peace

I've been preparing to teach syncopa to my fifth graders soon, so I've been thinking a lot about the Canoe Song. (You know the one... "My paddle's keen and bright." often sung by Girl Scouts?) It's recently been brought up in the music teaching community as a song that's inauthentic and appropriates indigenous culture. Because of that, I'm no longer choosing to teach it. I'm continuing to research music that better represents Native American voices in my classroom. In the mean time, I needed another song to fill the pedagogical gaps that the Canoe Song left behind.

The specific concepts that I was looking for were syncopa and minor tonality. I wanted a song that would be short and simple, easy to learn but engaging enough that students would want to sing it over and over again. I decided to flex my creative muscle and write one of my own.

The song is called, "Let There Be Peace" and uses a driving syncopated rhythm. I wrote it in E minor, an easily accessible key to accompany on ukulele and it sits well for children's voices. The best thing about it, though, is how easy it is to ad lib additional verses. The first two verses establish the form (Verse one is "Let there be peace on Earth" and verse two is "I am the peace on Earth.) and then you and your students can brainstorm additional verses ad nauseam. This makes it a great song to prepare a concept in a Kodály inspired classroom, because you can change the lyrics and sing it over and over again.

Listen to the song here:

And here's a copy of the notation:

I hope this song brings you and your students peace during these crazy times. If you use it in your classroom I'd love to hear how it goes!


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Singing Games for Online Learning

In planning for my upcoming semester of teaching music online, I've been thinking a lot about how I can engage my students with singing games. As a Kodály-inspired teacher, singing games are the bread and butter of my music program, and I was not ready to give them up when I found out I wouldn't be seeing my students face-to-face this fall. So I got together with a group of creative teacher friends to compile this list of ten singing games and activities that you can do to get your students singing, moving, and playing during online learning. Enjoy!

Songs and Games in this playlist: Brown Bear Brown Bear, Button You Must Wander, Great Big House in New Orleans, Miss Mary Mack, Rhythm Telephone, Rico's Pizza Restaurant, Solfa Simon, Telephone, and two ways to play We Are Dancing in the Forest!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Testing, Testing, One Two Three

One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of the school year is assess students' ability to keep a steady beat by moving to music. Just because I'm teaching virtually doesn't mean I can't have my students perform creative movements! I wrote this quick little chant as a way to get students to take turns being the "leader" and demonstrate beat moves on camera for their classmates.

I was also thinking it could be turned into a guessing game. One student (the "guesser") could be selected to physically turn their back away from their computer so they can't see what's going on. Meanwhile, the teacher writes down the name of another student who will be the leader and holds it up to the camera to show the rest of the class. Perform the chant (mics muted) and the leader student performs steady beat moves for the class to copy. The guesser student turns around and watches to try and figure out who the leader is. 

I wrote this chant with a simple enough flow for young students to be able to perform it. However, it does have one advanced rhythm (eighth note with paired sixteenths) so you could use it to prepare or present that concept with older students as well.

If you try this game and chant with students, I'd love to hear how it goes!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

My Back-to-School List for Virtual Teaching

When our school buildings closed in March due to COVID-19, none of us knew exactly when we would be getting back to business as usual. My school district implemented a continuity of learning plan which kept us in contact with our students and engaging in weekly lessons, but was more of a temporary stopgap rather than intentional virtual teaching.

I found out last week that because of the continued community spread in my county, we are going to be doing virtual learning for the entire first semester of the 2020-21 school year. Now that we know in advance, it's no longer a temporary contingency plan. It's time to be purposeful and plan meaningful lessons that we implement synchronously and asynchronously.

Usually this is the time of year that I start roaming through Target and my local thrift stores to snatch up new goodies for classroom decor and fun toys or manipulatives. However, this year it looks very different: instead I'm filling up an Amazon shopping cart with the tools I will need to set up my space for successful virtual learning this fall.

It is so great to be able to see my students' faces when we do our virtual class meetings. However, when I need to share my screen I have to choose between looking at the meeting or looking at the document I'm sharing. It's important to keep an eye on the meeting in order to monitor the chat and look for students who may be raising their hand for clarification. But then I can't see the song or presentation that I'm sharing with the class. 

The solution is to hook up a second monitor so that you can have the meeting on one screen and the presentation on the other. I know many teachers who use a TV as their second monitor. However, since I have small children at home I can't work in the living room where the TV is. For me, it made the most sense to purchase a second monitor for my workspace.

I'll admit it: my husband and I are pack rats. My "home office" (read: small desk that I've had since childhood) is up against the wall in a cluttered room full of children's clothes, board games, workout gear, my husband's recording equipment, and so much other junk useful stuff.

One way I was able to adapt my cluttered space to make it more useful with working from home was by turning my desk around. Now I have a plain wall behind me for filming teaching videos and participating in Zoom conferences. To jazz it up a little, I decided to purchase a wall tapestry to hang on the plain wall. Now I have the option to use a simple white background or a nice nature scene when I need to be on camera.

I am lucky to have a touchscreen device provided by my school system which functions as a laptop or a tablet. It's extremely versatile and I love using it as a tablet, especially to screen share with students and use tools like a virtual white board. However, writing with your index finger is clunky at best, so this year I will be investing in a stylus pen.

A major downside to having my workspace in the basement is the lack of natural lighting. With only the overhead light available in the room, I look like a dimly-lit pink blob. But with one click of the ring light, I can be in a video and look like a normal human!

One thing I learned from doing online grad school in July was that the blue light from my screens was really affecting me. I was getting headaches every afternoon and it was taking me hours to fall asleep every night! Fortunately, most devices have an option in the screen settings to reduce blue light automatically. However, that does affect the tint of colors on the screen. Many people opt to wear blue light filtering glasses instead.

None of us knows exactly how long this virtual learning situation will last. But, as usual, I plan to be prepared for anything. And also as usual, I prepared by doing some online shopping! If you're interested in the specific items I've been shopping for, the following are paid Amazon affiliate links for the things on this list:


Monday, August 3, 2020


When I signed up for the Kod├íly masters degree program from the American Kod├íly Institute four years ago, I had no idea that I would be completing my final semester over Zoom! It was somewhat surreal, after three summers of intensive work with my cohort, to finish our program as tiny squares on a screen. But we made it, and learned a lot from our professors during this bizarre time of pandemic learning. I am actually quite grateful to have had this experience of online learning from a student's perspective, because now I feel like I understand a little bit more about what my students need from me when we return to school virtually in the fall. 

One of my classes, Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs, was particularly eye-opening when we had a special guest teacher, Robert Hitz. He specializes in improvisation and creativity and absolutely leaned in to the challenge of teaching us via Zoom. He even coined the term "Zoomerang" to refer to music games played remotely via video conference.

Improvisation can be a scary thing for many students. Doing so over Zoom can feel even more daunting when everyone else is muted and you're just singing into the void. However, Robert facilitated an enlightening session where we got to have some fun shenanigans. 

I'm not going to lie: even with crazy lag times and poor audio quality, it felt good to be making music with my classmates again! I think that many of these activities can be modified and used with our elementary students and I'm looking forward to trying. Here's a recap of what we did:

Layered Ostinati
To play this game, everyone had to - gasp - turn ON their microphones! We embraced the inevitable fact that it would be messy and not sync with our classmates. One person started by creating an ostinato (we used a mix of vocal improv, hand clapping, and instruments) and after a phrase or two, they would add another person into the groove. We kept adding people until everyone was doing their own thing at the same time. 

Some things to consider: Obviously with the lag on Zoom you never really sync up with the rest of the group. The audio mix is wonky and you will only be able to hear a few people at any given time. It's not going to sound like a virtual choir, and that's OK. The important thing is to focus on the other people that you can hear and keep the music going. It might also be helpful to create the order of people ahead of time and type it in the chat, so participants will know when to join in with their ostinato.

Sound Relays
This activity isn't as affected by the inevitable Zoom lag because players take turns. One person improvises a phrase and then calls on someone else to unmute and respond with a new sound inspired by the one that came before it. Then they call on another person who responds with something related, and this continues until everyone has had a turn.

Some things to consider: I am 100% planning on using this one in my virtual teaching this fall. It is so empowering for students to be in charge of their music making with this kind of improvisation. For people who crave a bit more structure, like me, you could set it up as a rhythm or melodic improv activity and play it kind of like telephone. 

In my version, Student A would create a four beat rhythm pattern. Then, Student B would repeat that rhythm pattern and create a new one. Student C repeats B's pattern and creates their own. And so on, and so on... 

Alien Language
My entire cohort was CRACKING UP when we played this one. An improv classic whether online or off, in Alien Language you form a small group and speak to each other with entirely made-up sounds. We modified this for Zoom by only having a group of three or four participants playing the game while everyone else stayed on mute (and died of laughter.)

Some things to consider: This could be a really fun ice breaker. There's no wrong way to talk like an alien! The only challenge would be the maturity level of the group, because my cohort of 30-something-year-olds could barely keep it together.

Friendly alien | Free SVG

Student-Generated Games
The culminating activity involved breakout rooms, my new favorite Zoom feature. We were randomly split into small groups and Robert sent us a list of motivating quotes and reflections about music. We were tasked with the job of taking one quote and using it to make up our own improv game to play.

My group used this quote: 

"The notes I handle no better than many pianists.  But the pauses between the notes – Ah, that is where the art resides!" ~ Arthur Schnabel

We decided to create a variation on the relay game we played earlier in the session, but we intentionally left rests and spaces in between sounds. It was interesting to hear how our patterns complemented and inspired each others'. 

Takeaways From My Experience with Robert
I am so glad I got to participate in this session. Now I feel much more confident in the possibility of collaborative music making over Zoom. Last Spring, most of my live teaching sessions were just me singing while the rest of the class was muted and hopefully singing along with me in their homes. Now I feel like I can really open it up to include more students creating and improvising!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Left Hand on Top!

For many elementary music teachers, the new calendar year coincides with the start of a unit on playing the recorder. If you're like me, you teach recorders to third graders for several reasons: as a way to reinforce their knowledge of absolute note names, to prepare them for band instruments they can play in the future, and to get their hands on an affordable, accessible, rewarding musical instrument.

One of the biggest hurdles I find when teaching recorder is getting my students to remember which hand goes on top of the instrument. Despite posting reminders around my classroom, there's always a few students who instinctively use their right hand when playing B-A-G. I recently polled the members of a music teachers facebook group to see how they model the left hand for their students.

The results were clear that most teachers value modeling the proper technique. What do we do, then, for the kids who still just don't "get it" and can't remember which hand to use? As a way to help them remember (and hopefully get the correct posture into their muscle memory), I created "Left Hand on Top" wristbands! You can download them for free in my store:

After using them for a few years, I've found a few tricks that help me to use them most effectively. It's all about preparation. On the day that I introduce the wristbands, I want to be able to quickly and efficiently get one on each child. I have to be the one to place it on each wrist because otherwise they will inevitably end up on the wrong side.

In order to prep them as much as possible, I cut them all out ahead of time and place a piece of clear tape on each one so it's ready. All I have to do is wrap it around the child's wrist and it's done. But what do you do with 25 paper wristbands that each have a piece of tape hanging off of them? This year I came up with a system to store the wristbands that already have tape on them so that they are ready to peel and stick: I attach them all to the clear plastic cover of a three ring binder!

Before the class comes in, I just bring the binder over to my classroom door. I have them line up outside my room and announce that today they will be entering "Club Recorder." It is a very exclusive club and to be a member they must wear their exclusive recorder wristband. Then I instruct them to hold out their left hand and tape a wristband on each student as they enter the room.

My students are always excited when they get to be part of an "exclusive club" and they love having the wristbands. When taping them on, I make sure to wrap the wristband so that the blank side gets covered up and the words are on the outer portion. For most kids, they only need the physical experience of wearing the wristband once to remember the proper hand position. For others, I will save extras in case they need to wear it during the next class. Works like a charm!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bounce High, Bounce Low: A Favorite Game to Teach La

This time of year, my first graders are usually getting ready to add la to their melodic arsenal. They've been practicing so-mi songs for a while and it's time for the next step in their learning sequence. Since I completed my Kodály Level I last summer, I learned a lot about selecting quality songs to prepare, present, and practice la. I'm writing about one of my favorites today:


This is a great song to prepare la. For those of you who are not familiar with the Kod├íly method, there are three stages to learning a new concept: prepare, present, and practice. During the prepare stage, the students are playing games and singing songs that include the new concept but they haven't made it conscious yet. The prepare stage is all about exposure and aural immersion. When preparing a new concept, I like to use songs that invite lots and lots of repetition, and it doesn't get much more repetitive than Bounce High, Bounce Low! 

For this stage, I like to play the classic playground game, Over Under. Any time I can bring a playground ball into my music room, my kids go nuts! (When I taught on a cart, I would modify this by playing using something smaller like a tennis ball and they still loved it.) My musical version is slightly different from the traditional game. Here's a video version of the original:

The object of the game is for the students to pass the ball backwards around the entire circle without dropping it. Have students stand in a large circle, all facing the same direction. Make sure there is plenty of room between each child. Choose one student to hold the ball to start. The students will pass the ball on the second and fourth beat of each measure (either on a la or on a mi.) If passing on the high note, the student must pass it over her head, and if passing on the low note, the student must pass it between her legs. The student behind her needs to be paying attention and ready to catch it because otherwise it's easy to drop the ball in this game- literally!

A common pitfall with this game is that the students get so excited about passing the ball that they forget to match it up with the pitches as they go. I will assist with the singing or play the pitches on a melodic instrument so that they can clearly hear how it is meant to align. If they start passing slowly I slow the tempo of the song to match. Likewise, if they are in a groove and passing faster, I will sing faster to match.

Once a class has mastered the large circle formation, I will let them play it competitively. I will break the class up into two or three teams and give each team a ball. Instead of standing in a circle they stand in a line and the object is to get the ball from the front to the back. 

For an added level of complexity, you can lengthen this game: when the ball gets to the back of the line, the last person has to run up to the front and start it over again. This continues until every player on the team has had a turn to be up front. 

This can get chaotic with different teams singing the songs at different tempi, so if the noise is too much for your class, you can have each team go one at a time and use a timer to see which team can perform it the fastest.


After several weeks of singing a variety of songs that include la, it's time to formally present the concept. In my Kodály level I class, I learned that a good song for presenting a concept needs to meet certain criteria. First, it should contain mostly known concepts. In this case, the known melodic material is so and mi. There should only be one instance of the new note, preferably appearing close to the end of the song. Since Bounce High, Bounce Low is such a short song, it doesn't fit this criterion perfectly, but I've had success using it nonetheless. (Some other good la present songs: Bell Horses, Snail Snail, Lucy Locket, Hickety Tickety Bumble Bee.)

When the new note occurs, it should be surrounded by its closest known neighboring pitch. This means that songs including the mi-la leap are too difficult to use for present songs. It's best to find songs that go from so to la directly. 

Once your kiddos know the song very well (and after playing the game for a few weeks, they definitely will!) they are ready for the present lesson. You start by deriving the rhythm on the board. For this reason, you always want to pick songs with familiar rhythms when doing a formal present lesson. My first graders learned ta and ta-ti at the beginning of the school year, so this song meets the criteria perfectly. 

After they derive the rhythm, you will add the solfege pitches underneath. You always want to go from the known to the unknown: first finding all the sos and mis, and then finding the new note. 

The students should be able to aurally distinguish the fact that the new note is higher than so. At this point, you give the new note a name, la, and show the students how to label it and sing it. I also use this time to teach the Curwen hand sign that goes with it.


The final step in the sequence is to practice the new note. With Bounce High, Bounce Low, I like to take advantage of the fact that a bouncy ball fits perfectly like a note on the staff! I use it as iconic notation and show a large ball for quarter note and two smaller balls for paired eighth notes.

There's plenty of other ways to practice la as well: reading and writing the note, singing solfa games, improvising on instruments, playing a melodic ostinato, etc. This is the stage in the process where small group centers and individual work can be used to reinforce learning as well.

Have fun teaching musical concepts through this great game!