We would like to welcome the families and staff of several centers who have recently began incorporating Kidstunes classes into the lives of their students! Offering Early Childhood Music and Movement not only spreads the pure JOY of music, but offers children the opportunity to create music, express themselves, build confidence and even improves fine motor skills, language development, math skills and so much more. Congratulations for giving your students a head start through music!
Bridging Oceans Int’l Daycare - Burlington
Kids Matter Academy - Greensboro
Lion’s Gate - Clayton
Origins Montessori School - Morrisville
Don’t forget, Kidstunes offers a referral bonus to current clients! E-mail us for more information at email@example.com.
Play Orchestra Conductor!
Start by watching a video of a conductor conducting an orchestra. Point out to your child how the Conductor keeps the beat with his baton, but also uses his face and body to convey expression, dynamics (when to play loud or soft), tempo (speed of play), and even articulation (smooth or choppy). These are ALL things we’re learning about this month. Listen to pieces of music and pretend to 'conduct' along with them. Folk songs or other familiar melodies could be a good place to start.
Next, take turns being a Conductor while the other follows by playing any instrument or even home made sound. You can use a pencil, drinking straw, or stick as your baton! You go first (no talking!), and have your child practice following your gestures... for example:
· When the beat pattern of the conductor is slow, instruments play slowly (largo). When they get faster, play fast (allegro)!
· The size of the conducting gestures indicates how loud or soft to play: large gestures = loud (forte), small gestures = soft (piano). Remind your child to get louder and softer as you change the size of your gestures.
· Articulation is also indicated by the conductor. Smooth, flowing movement indicates smooth & connected playing (legato), while sharp, sudden gestures indicate choppy & disconnected playing (staccato). Now Switch places and HAVE FUN!
The Orchestra unit begins just as we finish making our own instruments out of household materials. The families of instruments are categorized by size, shape, construction/material, and how their tone - or initial vibration - is produced to create a special sound! The Families include:
Strings - Strings form the heart of a symphony orchestra, and while all of these instruments have strings, some are plucked & some are bowed. Examples of mostly bowed instruments include violin, viola, cello, and double bass. The plucked instruments include guitar, banjo, harp, and ukulele.
Woodwinds - Each woodwind has a long, tube-shaped air column and produce sound in three ways: by blowing across a mouth hole (flute and piccolo), by using a single wooden reed (clarinet and saxophone), or by using a double reed (oboe and bassoon). Brass - The brass family consists of the wind instruments made of brass. All of the modern brass instruments, except the trombone which uses a slide, have valves which route air through the tubing for specific distances to produce a particular pitch. The brass instruments include trumpet, French horn, tuba, trombone, and baritone.
Percussion - The percussion family has the largest variety of instruments, and students will be most familiar with these since we use them in our classes each week. They’re grouped together because they are all made to sound by striking, shaking or scraping. Some of the most familiar members of this family are cymbals, triangle, maracas, bells, xylophone, tympani and of course drums!
Students will enjoy exploring each of these families and discovering how they all work together in the Orchestra with the help of the Conductor. This person keeps the beat and directs every aspect of the music, including tempo, dynamics, expression, and more - ALL without uttering a sound. Ask your child to show you how to conduct!
What fun we had discovering Tone Color (special qualities of sound), and how it distinguishes the differences in natural sounds, voices, & instruments. To further experience why each sound is unique, students enjoyed making their own instruments from everyday materials (some brought home for family play - others kept in the classroom for school play!) Talk to them about what kind of instrument they made (name, family it’s from, special sound, etc.). Then, play some music - or make some music of your own - and let them accompany with their new creation! Dance! Sing along! Enjoy!
This month we’ll explore the Families of Instruments of the Orchestra (String, Brass, Woodwind, and Percussion) & the ever-important Conductor! Talk to your child about why is each instrument family grouped together the way they are? How do they compare to your family? For instance, do the members of your family have similar characteristics - physical, likes, skills, even how they sound? And, then what are the differences - especially in size & how that alone changes your sound(s)? Next, can you &/or your child be a conductor silently keeping the beat? Or try pantomime-playing an instrument from each family & even imitate their sounds? Consider a family excursion to an orchestral performance - or enjoy watching a family-friendly one together - see what your child notices!