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We've Got Rhythm

Welcome to the We’ve Got Rhythm  page! You’ll learn songs and chants, discover how to make your own Monochord, explore the oldest music in the world (body music!), and get acquainted with music notes. You can pick and choose which activities you try from this page based on the supplies you have available at home.

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Links to Fun Online Music Activities

Check out these musical eBooks, available on Tumble Book Library

Links to More Information on Music and Kids

Making Music with Mary

We've Got Rhythm

Music exposure and learning is a great way for children to build and enhance literacy skills. 

When children listen actively to music to discover high and low pitches, fast and slow pulse, and loud and soft dynamics, they are taking important steps in developing and furthering phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the child’s ability to hear and distinguish syllables, rhymes, alliteration, and phonemes.

Every piece of music tells a story as it moves through different harmonies, rhythms, timbres, and repetitions. When children explore and talk about the shape of the melody and the structure of a piece, they are building vocabulary and narrative skills.

Musical activities to do with your children (no musical training needed!)
Activities are organizes to show that they are especially good for developing rhythm, pitch, or narrative knowledge and skills.

Rhythm

Stamp your feet with any favourite song to feel the steady beat

Go for a walk and notice how steadily your feet move: ONE, Two, ONE Two. What happens when you count ONE two three four? ONE two three? Sing along to the pulse of your feet.

Make veggie rhythms with beets, cherries, and watermelon. As you’re walking, say “beet” with each step. Ready for more? Say “cherry” with each step. That’s two syllables each time your foot hits the ground. Now, mix it up: beet, beet, cherry, beet! Left, Right, Left, Right! Looking for a real challenge? Say watermelon with each step! Then, try putting it all together with household members. One person says “beet” while another person says “cherry” and you say “watermelon!”

Pitch

Pretend to be a fog horn and a little bird. Hum a note for a fog horn. Where do you feel it in your body? Is it low in your chest? Now hum a little bird note. Is it high up in your head and throat? Try imitating other sounds in the world around you and notice where you feel them!

Listen to music or sing your favourite songs, and use your body to show high notes and low notes. [example: Twinkle (sit) Twinkle (stand) little (stretch) star (stand) How I (bend knees a little bit) wonder (bend a lot) what you (crouch) are (sit).]

Hum along with a recording of a favourite song. While you’re humming, cover both your ears. What do you hear? How is it different from the way it sounded at first? 


Narrative

Listen to a piece of music as if you are listening to a story. Can you picture the place where the story is happening? Are some instruments or melodies characters? What do you see when the music gets louder or softer? Faster or slower? Maybe there’s an argument between two characters and then they make up and play a game together! 

Everything!

While you’re on the walk, stop somewhere safe, close your eyes, and listen to the soundscape. What kind of music did you hear? (Example: footsteps, wind, leaves in the wind, car horns, big machines, engines, birds, river, fountain).You can do the soundscape exercise at home too! (Example: breathing, doors, stomachs growling, tap dripping, cat, dog). 

Make a Homemade Monochord – Sound Wave Maker

Sound is the energy produced by vibration.  When you bang a drum, the boom sound comes from the drum surface vibrating at very high speed – so fast you can’t even always see it move!

The vibration carries through the air and into your ear.  Once your eardrum starts to vibrate, the brain interprets that vibration as sound.

This two-stringed instrument is like the kutyapi. The kutyapi has been played in the Philippines for hundreds of years.

Supplies:

  • Paper or plastic cup
  • long elastic
  • book

Instructions:

1. Place the cup—open end up—on the book. Stretch the rubber band around the length of the book and over the cup.

2. Strum the part of the rubber band across the top of the cup. Then strum the rubber band on each side of the cup. Do you hear three different sounds?

3. To change the sounds, move the cup. The shorter and tighter you make one part of the rubber band, the higher the sound your instrument will make.

4. When you find notes that sound good together, try strumming a three-note melody.

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Request these musical books from the Library Catalogue

Simonie and the dance contest by Gail Matthews
Make music! : a kid's guide to creating rhythm, playing with sound, and conducting and composing music by Norma Jean Haynes
Ketzel, the cat who composed by Leslea Newman
The Hockey Song by Stompin' Tom Connors
Indigenous peoples in arts and music by Erin Nicks
Play this book by Jessica Young
Double bass blues by Andrea J. Loney
Rock 'n' roll soul by Susan Verde
Drum dream girl : how one girl's courage changed music by Margarita Engle
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