eBook 1 - Mrs Clef's Chicken Coop
By bringing music to life through association, in this case a farmyard chicken coop with beautiful and engaging illustrations to match, children discover the first fundamental of music theory; the four spaces in the treble stave.
The chickens, Francine, Abigail, Connie and Edna lay their eggs in “special spaces” throughout the story as a means to help children to make the connection between the music stave’s spaces and the chicken’s eggs. Each chicken lays their eggs in a particular space and therefore helps children to understand that each space is relative to a specific chicken. This relativity is then later reinforced and simplified to give the children a solid understanding that each space signifies either an F, an A, a C or an E in terms of musical notes and lettering.
In the book, children engage with what they learn as they progress by “buzzing”, likes bees, at high and low notes to further clarify each note’s position within the stave. Children listen to a specific note and respond by singing back the sound of each note or pitch as the chickens lay their eggs. As an all-embracing exercise towards the end of the book, children then listen to and echo Mrs Clef’s rendition of “God Bless the Moon” as she sings it to her favourite chickens at night. Children can then sing the song and show the melody in the air by looking at the melodic contour represented by the moons.
Further to the theoretical learning and practical side of the music lesson, children are also presented with musical signs, notations and tools such as: the treble clef, the tuning fork and the metronome.