Blue Jello was a HUGE success in my primary. Everyone was involved and happy, and ALL of the kids were clapping TOGETHER at the end. It was amazing. They did so much better than I expected them too.
Now that we’ve got the rhythm down, this week we’re going to work on the melody and the words. I’m going to draw a blank staff up on the board and slowly add some things (like a treble clef, time signature, key signature) until they recognize it as music. I just pretend like my lines or straight, but there’s a great little tool for that which holds 5 pieces of chalk at once and makes drawing a staff super easy. They’re usually pretty cheap at a local music store, and they look something like this:
Once we’ve decided that it looks like music, I’ll start by putting the first note on the staff where it goes. I will use my rhythm strips as we go, so we know if blues or jellos come next. Once we’ve gotten our first note up, I’ll have the pianist play the next note and we’ll decide if it’s higher or lower than the first note, and if it’s a lot lower or just a little bit. I’ll put it up on the staff where it goes, and we’ll keep going until the whole line is up there. Most of the whole first line are all notes that are pretty close together, but the second line is where it gets interesting. There’s a nice big jump inside the word “safety” that we’ll probably spend some time with. I’ll have the pianist play it as written first, then we’ll decide where we think the note should go. I will have her play each interval until we hit the right note.
After the second line is complete I’ll probably stop and focus on the words. In junior, I’ll just do an echo technique, where I sing the first line and they sing it back to me, then the next and we’ll put them together, etc. Senior primary is a little more familiar with the words, so I’ll probably review them a couple times and then we’ll play a couple of games. I will have them only sing the words that are jellos, and then only the words that are not. If there’s still time (and there probably won’t be) I will have some words ready to play a round of Don’t Sing the Word. Here’s some great words that will work with this song.
I hope that these simple rhythm and melody exercises can help you introduce just a little bit of music instruction to your primaries and that it helps them to learn songs in the future. Most children really want to learn all about music and how it works in a very basic way.
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