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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Teaching Melodic Concepts: Lesson Plans and Strategies

Over the last few weeks I've been sharing some of my favorite lessons for introducing different solfege pitches in elementary general music. These are a great way to get your lesson plans going as you plan out your long-range sequence for teaching melodic concepts across grade levels! Along with my posts on solfege, I've got a few other favorite posts and resources to help you teach melodic concepts as effectively and comprehensively as possible.

The place to start, before introducing any specific pitches, is with the concept of high and low. Here are some of my favorite lesson ideas for introducing high and low in early childhood/ kindergarten:

Different teaching methodologies start introducing specific pitches in different orders, but I start with Mi and Sol in 1st grade. Here are some of my favorite lessons for introducing and practicing those 2 pitches:

Once students have a solid understanding of Mi and Sol, it's time to add La!

I introduce Do and Re next to complete a pentatonic scale, but these lessons can also be used if you start with Do, Re, and Mi as your first set of pitches:

By 4th grade students are ready to work with the full diatonic scale! I have separate lessons that I use to focus on ti and fa with upper elementary:

I introduce letter names at the beginning of 3rd grade. It's a whole new ball game switching from just solfege to using letter names as well! Here are my favorite full-class and center lesson activities for helping students practice letter names:

During the pandemic I discovered even more great ways to get students practicing note letter names in fun engaging ways using technology:

For melodic composition, I use a lot of manipulatives to make it more accessible for young students (it's a lot to wrap their heads around!). My favorite by far for lower elementary (but even my 4th graders love them) is music monster magnets:

For older students, I find color-coding the notes helps a lot with melodic composition, and stickers are a fun way to break up writing tasks!

Looking for more lessons and strategies to teach melodic concepts, including melodic composition, lessons incorporating children's literature, solfege, pitch letter names, and more? This free ebook is a compilation of ideas on teaching melodic concepts from tons of expert music education bloggers. Download your copy here:

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