Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Lovely Blog and Versatile Blog Awards!

Blog Awards on Strings, Keys, and Melodies


Blog Awards on Strings, Keys, and Melodies photo


I have been honored to be awarded two blogging awards!  It is so nice to know that people are reading my articles and like what I have written!

I have been awarded "A Lovely Blog" award 3 times!  The first one came from Wise Owl Factory which is a wonderful website full of resources for teachers and homeschooling teachers.  She offers book reviews and wonderful printables that children truly enjoy!

The second one came from Miss L's Whole Brain Teaching another wonderful teaching blog full of new ideas for the classroom. 

The third award came from Mrs. P's Ed Tech Talk which is all about elementary educational technology.  Mrs. P also awarded me the Versatile Blog Award.

Now, I get to award these two awards to those blogs that I enjoy reading and think do an awesome job!











Be sure to check these blogs out.  They provide wonderful ideas, activities and information.

If you received the awards: Now it is your turn to award one or both of these awards to blogs that you enjoy! Please feel free to put the award on your blog somewhere.  When you write your post about the awards please link back to Strings, Keys, and Melodies!















Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fun with Music Series - 5 Classic Musical Games



5 Classic Musical Games photo
5 Classic Musical Games



Welcome to our Fun with Music Series.
I have had a great time writing this series through the month of July with Angelique Felix at angeliquefelix.com

We have written posts all month long to help you play with music.




Today I am going to remind you of 5 classic musical games that children love to play.

Children love to play simple games that they know the rules to and can easily play.  But they also love a little twist to spice things up a bit. 

1.  London Bridge

Children love forming a bridge and going under each others arms.  The twist:  in this version the bridge keeps getting lower at each new verse so the ones going under have to crawl and wiggle their way under the bridge.  Watch the video to see a variation to the classic London Bridge.





Trouble seeing the video?  Click here.



2.    Musical Chairs


For this game you need to set up chairs in a circle for everyone minus one.  Play some fun music as the children walk around the circle of chairs.  When you stop the music all the children need to sit down in a chair.  Since there is not enough chairs, one child will be left standing.  Now for the twist- ask the child a question.  This question can be about music theory or any subject you are studying.  If the child answers the question correctly than she can go back into the game!

3.  Freeze Dance

This game is similar to Musical Chairs since the children have to listen for the music to start and stop.  Play some great dance music and have the children dance or hop around.  Stop the music without warning.  The children have to stop dancing when the music stops.  The twist:  call out different type dances for the children such as Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Break Dance.

4.  The Farmer in the Dell

Stand in a large circle holding hands.  Begin singing the song:

The farmer in the dell,
The farmer in the dell,
Hi-ho the dairy-o,
The farmer in the dell.

Pick a child to be the farmer and she gets to stand in the middle of the circle.  Then sing:

The farmer picks a wife,
The farmer picks a wife,
Hi-ho the dairy-o,
The farmer picks a wife.

The child/farmer gets to choose someone to be the wife.  Then the wife and farmer stand together in the circle.

The rest of the verses are:

The wife picks a child.
The child picks a nurse.
The nurse picks a dog.
The dog picks a cat.
The cat picks a rat.
The rat picks the cheese.
The cheese stands alone.

Each child picked gets to pick the next child.

The twist:  Use the animals from a different story such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

The order of animals for Brown Bear:
Brown Bear,
Red Bird,
Yellow Duck,
Blue Horse,
Green Frog,
Purple Cat,
White Dog,
Black Sheep,
Gold Fish,
Teacher
Children

5.  Ring Around the Rosie

Hold hands and walk in a circle while singing this song.  Then everyone falls to the ground when you get to that part in the song.  Children love holding hands with their friends and being a part of the circle!

In case you don't know the words:

Ring around the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes, Ashes,
We all fall down.

The twist:  Think of different movements to do in place of falling down.

Ideas:  Jump up
Skip around
Hop on one foot
Clap our hands
Give a hug


Benefits of playing classic musical games:

Children get to socialize with friends.

Children learn to be part of a group.

Children learn to work together and act out a story especially in The Farmer and the Dell and London Bridge.

Games are a great way to be active and get moving.

Everyone has fun!

Visit the other Fun with Music articles!






The title picture was created using artwork by Trina Clark at www.digiscrapkits.com










Thursday, July 26, 2012

Finger Play Fun Day- "Take Care of Yourself!"

Finger Play Fun Day - "Take Care of Yourself!" photo
Take Care of Yourself!

Welcome to Finger Play Fun Day!

In honor of the athletes in the Olympics, I have written a song about taking care of yourself! 
Finger Play Fun Day - "Take Care of Yourself" photo

It is a simple song about eating your veggies, running,  jumping,  biking and playing and reading everyday!    All activities we should be doing everyday!



Trouble seeing the video?  Click here.

Take Care of Yourself!
Sing to the tune of Skip to My Lou
Written by Tonya Dirksen


Take, take, take care of yourself
Take, take, take care of yourself
Take, take, take care of yourself
Take care of yourself everyday.


Eat your veggies everyday
Eat your veggies everyday
Eat your veggies everyday
Take care of yourself everyday.


Run and jump and bike and play
Run and jump and bike and play
Run and jump and bike and play
Take care of yourself everyday.


Read a book or 2 or 3
Read a book or 2 or 3
Read a book or 2 or 3
Take care of yourself everyday.


Take, take, take care of yourself
Take, take, take care of yourself
Take, take, take care of yourself
Take care of yourself everyday



Carolyn at Wise Owl Factory has written a post all about the Olympics.  Be sure to check out her book reviews and printables.  She always provides awesome printables that children enjoy doing!

Here is another Olympic song displayed as a PowerPoint Storybook.  Do the motions of the actions in each verse as you sing this song!


Be sure to check the Olympic books we have in Our Music Store

Through Time: Olympics

Through Time Olympics

Read a review from Wise Owl Factory on Through Time Olympics.

Canoeing: Revised Edition (Great Outdoors)

Canoeing The Great Outdoors

Be sure to read the review by Wise Owl Factory for Canoeing The Great Outdoors!
If you buy any book or resource through Our Music Store we will earn a few pennies!

Visit Finger Play Fun Day for a list of past finger plays!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012

Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012
Explore Music Camp July 2012
This past week we had our first week of Explore Music Camp at our home studio. 

Every day we explored a different instrument, sang songs, played boomwhackers and rhythm sticks and had a lot of fun with music.

We did finger plays, call and response songs and even played with the parachute on Friday!

Monday was Piano Day.
Tuesday was Violin Day.
Wednesday was Ukulele Day.
Thursday was Guitar Day
Friday was Voice Day.

Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Tuesday was Violin Day





Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Miss Rachel showed everyone how to rosin the bow.


Miss Rachel showed everyone how to rosin the bow so it doesn't slip on the strings.

Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Miss Rachel explains the different parts of the violin.


Then she explained the different parts of the violin including the names of the strings.



Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Getting a nice bow position.
She helped everyone get a nice bow position.



Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
More rosin on the bow.
Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Playing rhythms on the violin.
Everyone got a chance to play on the instruments each day.  I don't have pictures of every day since I was teaching piano, guitar and voice.  I need to recruit more photographers!
Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Miss Rachel showing Shelli how to hold the violin.


Miss Amanda showed everyone how to play the ukulele, after explaining the different parts of the ukulele.
Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Playing the ukulele on Ukulele Day.

We did an experiment with different levels of water in glasses.  It was just like playing a xylophone.  The children enjoyed experimenting with the different sounds.
Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Water Xylophone
Explore Music Camp July 16-20, 2012 photo
Water Music Experiment
The children also helped me do a video for my Finger Play Fun Day.  They did a great job with 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree.  Be sure to check that out!


We still have 2 more weeks of camps.  Be sure to join us!
July 30-August 3 and August 6 - 10.

Cost:  $50  ($45 if you register early!)



For more information see Explore Music Camps or email Ms. Tonya at stringskeysandmelodies@gmail.com

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fun with Music - Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors

Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Fun with Music Series

Welcome to our Fun with Music series! 

Angelique Felix and I have been writing about fun ways to engage our children in music.  Today's topic is Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors. 

Be sure to check out Angelique's post on Musical Outdoor Play at angeliquefelix.com


Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors

Kids love crafts-especially the ones that make a lot of noise!  There are a lot of ways to make instruments that make music.  Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not very crafty or talented making things with my hands.  So I like projects that are extremely easy with very few supplies.

My number 1 go-to instrument is the Paper Plate  Tambourine.

Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Instrument #1 Paper Plate Tambourine

Supplies:  Paper plate
        Beans
          Stapler
                        Pens or crayons

Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Color the plate.

Color the plate any design.
Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Staple the edge of the plate.

Fold the plate in half and fill it with beans. 
Staple the outside edge of the plate so the beans don't fall out.

Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Paper Plate Tambourine

Ta-da!  You have a tambourine!

Instrument #2  Water Bottle Shakers

Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Instrument #2 Water Bottle Shakers

Supplies:  Clean and dry water bottles
Different fillers such as cut up straws, beans, and beads

Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Filling the water bottle.


Fill the bottles.  This is a great fine-motor building activity.  It takes a bit of concentration to get the small objects in the water bottle's small opening.
Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Water Bottle Shakers

Finished Water Bottle Shakers.

Instrument #3  Drums

Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Tub Drum

Supplies:  Empty tubs
Scissors
Wrapping paper
Tape

We wrapped the outside of the tubs with the wrapping paper.  If you put the paper on inside out the outside will be white and can be colored any design.

Tap on the lid of the drum for a nice hollow sound.


Instrument #4  The Tin Can
Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
The Tin Can -a great instrument!

Supplies: Unwrapped tin can with ridges
Metal spoon


Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
Playing the Tin Can.

Run the spoon up and down the ridges for a wash-board kind of sound.  This instrument is extremely easy but is one of the most popular!  It is amazing that something as plain as a tin can will make such an interesting sound.


Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
The homemade instrument collection.

After making our instruments, we sang a bunch of songs such as The Alphabet Song, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  The girls enjoyed it so much they kept singing for about an hour even after I went back into the house!

Fun with Music-Kid-Made Instruments and the Great Outdoors photo
The outdoor band played for over an hour!

You are probably wondering where the great outdoors is in this post.  Well, we made all our instruments and played our orchestra while outside!  Music doesn't always have to be a solemn occasion while sitting  silently in a chair.  We can take our fun outside and let the whole neighborhood hear! 

We sang while playing our instruments but other times we put on a CD and kept time with children's music and classical music.

I found some wonderful articles about homemade instruments.  My instruments are easy even for those craft-challenged like me.  Take a look at these links, if you would like more ideas:



Be sure to check out play-expert Angelique Felix's posts at angeliquefelix.com


Visit the other Fun with Music articles!














Thursday, July 19, 2012

Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree

Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree photo
Finger Play Fun Day

Welcome to Finger Play Fun Day!

Today we have more monkey fun for you.  Last week was 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Be sure to check it out to get all the monkey goodies.
Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree photo
Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree

This week we will be singing 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree!
Plus, Carolyn from Wise Owl Factory has provided more monkey printables and power point books for us to enjoy!

We have been hosting Explore Music Camp all week so I had the students help me out with the video.  I used felt finger puppets for the monkeys and alligator but you can just use your fingers or the monkey finger puppets from last week.



Trouble viewing the video?  Click here.
5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree
Author Unknown

5 little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator,
Can’t catch me!
Can’t catch me!
Then a long comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be and
He snaps that monkey right out of the tree.
 4 little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator,
Can’t catch me!
Can’t catch me!
Then a long comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be and
He snaps that monkey right out of the tree.

3 little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator,
Can’t catch me!
Can’t catch me!
Then a long comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be and
He snaps that monkey right out of the tree.

2 little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator,
Can’t catch me!
Can’t catch me!
Then a long comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be and
He snaps that monkey right out of the tree.

1 little monkeys swinging in a tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator,
Can’t catch me!
Can’t catch me!
Then a long comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be and
He snaps that monkey right out of the tree.

No more monkeys swinging in the tree.



My favorite printables ever:

5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree is a great way to introduce math to young children.  Carolyn, from Wise Owl Factory has made the cutest Monkey Math and Music printables.  I plan on using the music printables this week with my music camp since we have been exploring a different instrument each day.  We had a ball laughing at all the monkeys playing musical instruments. 


5 Little Monkeys Free PDF Math and Music


5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree Power Point "Story Book".  This is another fun way to tell and sing the story.  The monkeys dance and the alligator grows!

Be sure to check out today's post at Wise Owl Factory for book reviews and printables based on monkeys and other baby animals that will all go perfectly with today's finger play. 

I have placed several of the books she will be reviewing in Our Music Store.  If you buy them through our link, we will earn a few pennies! 

Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake: (formerly titled Don't Wake Up Mama)
Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake

Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree
Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

DK Readers: Wild Baby Animals
Wild Baby Animals



Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue
Orangutan Tongs



Have fun!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fun wtih Music: Classical Music and Creative Art Project

Fun with Music: Classical Music and Creative Art Project photo
Fun with Music Series

Welcome to the Fun with Music series that I am doing in collaboration with play expert, Angelique Felix at angeliquefelix.com.

Read the first week's Fun with Music post that introduces the series plus highlights a lot of music ideas for you and your family.

Read the second week's Fun with Music post that was all about Singing and Song Writing with Your Children.

Today's theme is Playing with Classical Music and Art.
Fun with Music:  Classical Music and Creative Art Project photo
Classical Music and Creative Art Project



This activity will get you and your child to really listen to the music.

Step 1:  Listen to Stars and Stripes Forever by John Phillip Sousa.  John Phillip Sousa is known for his American patriotic music.  Stars and Stripes Forever is known as a parade march.  When you listen do not tell your children anything about the song and do not let them see a picture representing the song.  Just listen!  We listened to this version of Stars and Stripes Forever on YouTube.


Step 2:  Ask your child what pictures come to mind while listening to this song.  Do you think of a story?  Do you see different colors?  Is it a happy song?  Is it dark and gloomy?

When I asked my daughter what she thought of the Stars and Stripes Forever, she said "parade" so I bet she recognized it from somewhere.  But then I asked her what colors it made her think of and she did not say red, white and blue.  She said red and yellow!


Fun with Music: Classical Music and Creative Art Project photo
Drawing a picture to tell what the music is all about.


Step 3:  Get out the art supplies.  The supplies can be simple paper and crayons or you can get elaborate with watercolors or paints.  Then while you play the song again ask your child to draw the story and emotions of the song. 





Fun with Music: Classical Music and Creative Art Project
Stars and Stripes Forever by John Phillip Sousa

My daughter did a wonderful picture of a parade. She drew about 11 men who looked like they were a part of a marching band except they didn’t have any instruments. Their hats were red and yellow like she said but she did add blue pants. So it is almost a patriotic picture with red and blue with a splash of yellow on their hats!


Fun with Music: Classical Music and Creative Art Project photo
Painting with watercolors while listening to Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Take two!  We did this project again using a completely different song:  Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

Bach wrote this piece for the church but we often associate it with something dark and scary.  But don't tell your children that!  While you listen ask them what they think when listening to this piece. 
 Is it happy or sad?

What colors does it make them think of?

Is there a story going on in the minds?

For this song, we got out the watercolors to make our pictures.  This time my girls thought the song made them think of a dark forest.  So they drew trees, a bear and a waterfall.


Fun with Music: Classical Music and Creative Art Project photo
Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor


Fun with Music: Classical Music and Creative Art Project photo
Another version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor


Composers write music to convey feelings and emotions.  Take the time to really listen to music and you will find the ups and downs in the music and the story the composer is trying to tell you.

Children learn best when they are having fun!  Teach them to listen carefully to music by having them draw or paint a picture while listening to a piece of classical music.

Visit the other Fun with Music articles!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed photo
Finger Play Fun Day

Finger plays are a fun way for children to learn music, math, reading and motor skills!


This week we will be singing 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.

This finger play helps children learn to count backwards and works on finger coordination, rhythm and timing.

I had so much fun last week making the felt duck finger puppets that I made some monkey puppets this week. 

Before you watch the video you can make your own finger puppets. My dear friend, Carolyn, at Wise Owl Factory prepared a printable of monkey finger puppets that are available for downloading. So print them out and get ready for some fun!




Trouble seeing the video?  Click here.

5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

5 little monkeys jumping on the bed
1 fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed.”


4 little monkeys jumping on the bed
1 fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed.”


3 little monkeys jumping on the bed
1 fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed.”


2 little monkeys jumping on the bed
1 fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed.”


1 little monkeys jumping on the bed
1 fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed.”




copywrite free lyrics http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/f018.html



Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed photo
5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

To continue the monkey fun, we have a 5 Little Monkey printable. Each page has monkeys to cut out and glue on the picture.  The numbers count backwards from 5 to 1.

Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed photo
5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed


Need more monkey fun?  Read 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed PPtx


Be sure to check out Carolyn's monkey post on Wise Owl Factory.
She has written a review on an adorable book :  Sock Monkeys Do the Monkey, Monkey! 

Sock Monkeys do the Monkey Monkey photo
Sock Monkeys Do the Monkey Monkey


I have this book available in Our Music Store.  If you buy it through us, we will get a few pennies!

Read last week's Finger Play Fun Day - 5 Little Ducks

Come back next week for another new Finger Play Fun Day video!