My second son was having difficulty in learning and remembering his music notes. I knew I had to do something more tactile for him. His strength is in listening and is as agile as a monkey. I had thought of using chalk on the corridor cement floor to draw and let him jump on the notes. However, I didn’t have the energy level to do that. I improvised by using the baby cot side bar (which was waiting to be recycled since the cot has been converted into an Art Station ) for this activity. I figured he might have difficulties grasping the idea of the line and space bars which accounts for the blur look of not recognising his DO-RE-MEs. So here’s what I did.
Disclaimer- I’m not a Music Teacher. This is my feeble attempt in also deciphering the basic notes myself! In fact, I found this exercise so useful, I also managed to learn the notes together with my son. : )
I taped the cot bars with black electrical tape to create the Note bars. Then I used glittering pipe cleaners to shape the G- Clef symbol. With the aid of the white magnet board, I placed the magnets accordingly and he had to match it onto the cot bars using the circle foams (you can use bottle caps or round flat blocks etc)
As we ‘played’ this matching games, it amazes me how he grasped the notes instantly after the first try! I figured it would be the solid tactile wooden bars that allowed him to feel and visualise the boundaries and spaces between them.
It became clearer to him each time he placed the foam pieces on the bar line and he could distinguish the spaces in between each bar lines. (e.g. RE touches the first line, while ME is ON the First line, and FA is In Between the lines , inside the First Space and so on. )
In the above example, he had to match the yellow foam pieces in the sequence as seen on the magnetic board and say aloud the corresponding notes.
After he has learnt his notes from the big picture, he then proceeds to match accordingly on the magnetic boards. i found that this time round, he was able to recognise the notes spot on and did it with satisfied twinkling in his eyes.
The next time, when I do this game with him I would add on the listening aspect. To play the note on the keyboard when he places the yellow foam onto the correct positions. This will reinforce learning using the 3 senses (Sight, Touch and Hear ). Do you have any other activities to enhance music learning? Would love to hear and learn from you! : )
If this activity can be further enhanced or it may need any correction (since I’m not music trained!) I would appreciate the tips for improvements!
Am gonna end with a side joke made by my Eldest Son
DO-RE and Me go to the toilet
DO and RE came out
Who is left inside the toilet??
Fantastic! I’ve always struggled with reading the “towgeh” (bean sprouts) so this might have actually worked for me! I’m just curious, why was the cot so effective? Isn’t your son using his tactile sense in moving the magnets around on the board too? Maybe seeing the same thing in a different medium or representation helped him connect the dots. 😀 Kudos to your creativity!
Thanks,Lol. I think it’s the 3D feel of placing the foam pieces on top of the bar (to represent On the line concept), and the act of putting the foam pieces Into the space bars that made the difference? The cot bars are raised and it divides the spaces in a real space boundary feel where he could put his hand into the space while the magnet board’s lines are flat and on a miniature scale. Do I make sense? : )
Kudos for going to such an extent to do this little musical lesson with your boy! I love the way the old cot bars came in useful for this activity. Sometimes so many treasures lie around our house, and all it takes is some thinking out of the box to realise the learning potential of them!
Thanks for your affirmation! : ) Yes, indeed!
[…] The music lessons are getting more difficult to grasp even as I accompany J for the lessons. We BOTH have difficulty learning the notes. I was pretty frustrated and searched online for some help. I did one post on how I used a tangible method to help J learn here. […]
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