Music Lesson: Teaching High/Low Tones
from: The Early Childhood Mailring
In my Music class we are doing a lesson plan explaining High/Low (tone). I have been searching for a approriate song that we can use to teach to preschoolers about the concept and that is also fun and may have some actions that show high and low. If anyone has any ideas i would greatly appreciate it!! Thanks ahead of time.
I have seen our music teacher introduce this concept with two puppets. One speaks in a "high" voice, and the other speaks in a "low" voice. Any two puppets would work. She then moves on to various music with high and low tones.
Bee Bee Bumblebee
I was a Music Teacher for 18 years, and one of the things I did for high and low was use the rhyme "Bee Bee Bumblebee". The children pretended they were bees and would say the rhyme and flap their pretend wings to the beats of the rhyme as they said it. When Bee Bee was up in tree we would say the rhyme high and stand up high. When bee bee flew down to the clover in the grass we stooped low and used a low voice to say the rhyme. You tell a story and use different voices depending on where Bee Bee is in the story. The children love to use their funny voices. Here is the rhyme.
Stung a pig upon his knee,
Stung a pig upon his snout,
I'm sure glad that pig is out!".
I also do this with a slide whistle - when the notes go up they stand, down they sit - they love this as I go up and down a little and then a lot.
I know a little pussy
How about this:
Her coat is silver gray
She lives down in the meadow
Not very far away
She'll always be a pussy
She'll never be a cat
For she's a pussy willow
Now what do you think of that?
Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow Scat
Start singing on the lowest note and each lines goes up a note - start with hand low and as you sing higher and higher bring hand up a little bit. On the Meow's go down a note at a time and then a loud scat at the end.
I think all of the ideas presented on this subject have been excellent. From my experience in this area, I have a couple of ideas to share.
- Young children confuse high and low with loud and soft. I think it's important to use a movement activity for them to understand the concept.
- Singing favorite songs in a high or low voice while moving high and low is always a good activity.
- Songs about high and low with finger plays are good. Eeensy Weensy Spider is a perfect example. Another good one is The Grand old Duke of York.