Why teach solfege? If you’ve taught K-1 to read, you use two approaches - phonics and whole language. Solfege is like the “phonics” of music - in phonics you teach children the sounds of the letters. In solfege, you learn to hear relationships between the pitches in the scale.
Using letter names in music is like whole language - you learn the letter names and learn that when you see a B, you cover the top hole of the recorder. Both note naming systems are useful - just like kids use both phonics and whole language to learn to decode language, kids who use both solfege and pitch letter names are better able to decode music.
I know that not every music teacher uses solfege, but I really see the value of it. I used to create charts of reading songs (Engine Engine, Lucy Locket) and it was exciting for me and for the kids when they could decode the song. I’d gush all over them - “You sang that song without me having to sing it first! You figured it out!!! That’s sight-singing, and that’s something that a lot of adults can’t do." Recently, I talked about how I use solfa from K-5. You can find the full text on my blog https://blog.musicplay.
At Easter time we often play hiding/finding games with our students.
On MusicplayOnline, there are many!
Little Bunny - Grade 1
Easter Bunny Hops Along - Grade 3
Hide the Easter Eggs - Grade 2
These 3 games have several "hiders" hide easter eggs around the room while you sing the song.
At the end of the song, the students who are the "finders" get to go and search for eggs.
My suggestion is to hide your colored egg shakers, then after all have had turns to hide/find, create word rhythm compositions using 4-8 eggs, and using the colors of the eggs as word rhythms.
For example: Yellow, Yellow, Pink, Green
Choose body percussion or instruments to play the color words.
Show the rhythm notation of the color words using craft sticks.
Sing one of the Hiding songs as a theme, then use the color word rhythm compositions as B, C, D sections.
This is another hiding game you could play! Download and print the melody flashcards from MusicplayOnline.
There are new 1/2 page melody flashcards in the SOLFA PRACTICE - So-mi - Extra Resources
Currently we just have these in the key of C, but we're working on D and F as well. For teachers who used fixed do (not moveable) the key of C flashcards are your fixed do resource.
The Melody Hunt student worksheet and flashcards are on the bottom row of resources. AND - check out all the great solfa resources in the section!
Melody Hunt Instructions:
- Hide the 8 flashcards around your classroom - in plain sight.
- Give the students each a copy of the worksheet and a pencil. Clipboards are great if you have them. If you don't have clipboards be resourceful - you could use an old hard cover text as a writing surface.
- Students hunt for the flashcards, then copy the pattern onto the worksheet.
- They should be sure the numbers match so you can correct them if you wish.
- After copying all 8 patterns, students can choose 4 patterns to create a new melody - or they can write their very own so-mi melody.
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