“So-mi‘s” are for singers. “A B C D E F G‘s” are for instruments (including the human voice).
Weather is calling us outside, so this week’s songs are for marching or walking. As you walk/march, try using the musical alphabet; A B C D E F G A B … forwards and backwards!
Going from A to G is easy for most of us. Musicians also need to be able to go from G to A ; G F E D C B A G F … Students who have conquered the backwards musical alphabet will find it easier to learn how to read notes on the musical staff because music goes forward (up) and backward (down).
Begin by keeping a beat with your hand. Name a musical alphabet letter e.g. “D”, move your hand down for “C”, down again for “B”, again for “A” and again for the hardest jump “G” etc.
In the beginning you may want to have a printed, vertical copy of the musical alphabet to help students name the moves. Challenge your class by removing the written aid for a few trys.
Keep to the backwards alphabet for a few days and then, re-introduce the forwards alphabet as well. Students now need to switch directions with the moving hand. Include 3 or 4 letters before changing direction to make it easier to catch on.
Vary activity with walking as the letters are named. Students walk forward with each letter going forward (up) in the alphabet, and backward for each letter going back (down) in the alphabet. It will be difficult at first, but can be turned into a game students might play during recess.
Game: Leader names the beginning letter “E”. Leader names an adjoining letter e.g. either “F” or “D”. Rest of players either take a step forward (for “F”) or backward (for “D”). Leader calls out any player who steps in the wrong direction. Last person in gets to be the leader next time.
A little bit of time creating these patterns in student memories will have a big pay off for reading music.