Music With Mrs. Tanenblatt

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Singing Games for Online Learning

In planning for my upcoming semester of teaching music online, I've been thinking a lot about how I can engage my students with singing games. As a Kodály-inspired teacher, singing games are the bread and butter of my music program, and I was not ready to give them up when I found out I wouldn't be seeing my students face-to-face this fall. So I got together with a group of creative teacher friends to compile this list of ten singing games and activities that you can do to get your students singing, moving, and playing during online learning. Enjoy!

Songs and Games in this playlist: Brown Bear Brown Bear, Button You Must Wander, Great Big House in New Orleans, Miss Mary Mack, Rhythm Telephone, Rico's Pizza Restaurant, Solfa Simon, Telephone, and two ways to play We Are Dancing in the Forest!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Testing, Testing, One Two Three

One of my favorite things to do at the beginning of the school year is assess students' ability to keep a steady beat by moving to music. Just because I'm teaching virtually doesn't mean I can't have my students perform creative movements! I wrote this quick little chant as a way to get students to take turns being the "leader" and demonstrate beat moves on camera for their classmates.

I was also thinking it could be turned into a guessing game. One student (the "guesser") could be selected to physically turn their back away from their computer so they can't see what's going on. Meanwhile, the teacher writes down the name of another student who will be the leader and holds it up to the camera to show the rest of the class. Perform the chant (mics muted) and the leader student performs steady beat moves for the class to copy. The guesser student turns around and watches to try and figure out who the leader is. 

I wrote this chant with a simple enough flow for young students to be able to perform it. However, it does have one advanced rhythm (eighth note with paired sixteenths) so you could use it to prepare or present that concept with older students as well.

If you try this game and chant with students, I'd love to hear how it goes!