Friday, March 10, 2017

Teaching Music Concepts Through Children's Literature

Teachers have a lot of tricks in their tool bag to make learning more engaging, fun and interesting for the kids. One of my favorite tricks to use is to teach a music concept through an engaging children's book. 

I recently taught the students in first and second grade the song “On a Log, Mr. Frog.” The students first learned the song as a poem without knowing the beat or rhythm. First they kept a steady beat while I recited the poem and then they recited the poem with me. Next, we discovered which words landed on the beat and figured out how to add the rhythm after that. 

These students have also been learning to play a number of different un-pitched percussion instruments and to internalize this skill, I read to them the book, “Frog on a Log.” This book repeats the words, “frogs sit on logs,” many times throughout the text. Each time these words were recited the students played the rhythm and recited the text for the song, “On a Log, Mr. Frog,” on a different un-pitched percussion instrument. At this point they have been able to practice their instrument playing technique and fine motor skills, while also practicing learned rhythm patterns.

It is a great and engaging way for students to internalize new concepts and tricks them into learning while having a great time. 

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