Episode 11 – The Use Of Melodic Cues

How can we use musical cues (short melodies) to aid transitions in the music classroom. Enable easy, quick transitions from formation to formation or from sitting to moving. From follow the leader at the start of the class, find a partner, find your own space in the room ready to move, form a circle or sit on the mat, these instructions can be musical rather than spoken. The teacher hums, sings or plays the short melody and the students become accustomed to knowing exactly where to move. It’s remarkable…especially for those days when you lose your voice!

Video Transcription:

Hi music colleagues. Great to see you!

The use of these musical cues as non-verbal instruction for the students is an amazing way of less talk, more action, more music and more music making. I’d like to share a few of these with you that I’ve learned over my years of teaching.

The first one is I’d like them in a circle at the start of the lesson, so they follow the leader, [singing] following the leader, following the leader. Standing up. So that we can make sure we make a circle before they get settled in their seated position. So following the leader is really important to do. Lots of games and dances and so a fundamental formation in your classroom and that’s established right from the start of prep. Tricky to do initially, they don’t understand what to do, but then it becomes embedded. It helps them then know what a circle is and how to make it. Find a place for moving, so I asked them to find a place to move it standing up. So I asked them to find a place for moving by themselves. Find a place for moving back, find a place to move, find a place for moving, standing up. They find their own place in the room, and then we begin our individual movement, and then we begin our movement activity and then returning to the mat becomes ‘sitting on the mat please’.

Eventually getting rid of all the verbal instruction or the lyrics you’re left with the melodic pattern [Music]. And at the end of term one of prep you can just play that sing it, and they know what to do. It’s fantastic. The other one I’d love to share with you is the looking for a partner. Really, really important to develop this social connectedness within your young students, and we put the periscope up, and they keep it up until they’ve found a partner. It aids them sing across the room to someone who might not have a partner. Looking for a partner, looking for a partner. I found one, I found one, looking for a partner, looking for a partner, I found one, I found one.

And all of these are fantastic to make your class flow with less direction. Happy teaching.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart