Our students at Maury begin reading rhythms in Kindergarten. As they grow through Music, the rhythms get gradually harder until they are working with sixteenth notes, syncopation, and even 6/8! It’s not enough for musicians only to be able to read rhythms, however. Most music people encounter has a melodic component, so we need to work on putting pitches to those rhythms. Thankfully, we have our friends on Solfege Street (contributed by my own mother) to help us out.Some beginner rhythms to get us started.
As we are learning different rhythms, we are also finding out that the different pitches we sing have their own names and relationships to each other. In Kindergarten, most of the songs we sing have two or three pitches, so we are able to get a good grasp of Sol, La, and Mi. Just like the rhythms we know, we expand the scale as we get older, hopefully completing it by Fourth Grade.
Solfege Street. Looks like a nice neighborhood.
Because our Third Graders need to begin playing recorder from printed music as well as by ear, our Second Graders are diving into the marriage of pitch and rhythm: sheet music! We are learning where our solfege friends live on the staff (soon we’ll be finding out they can move!) so we can start learning songs from notes on the page. Once we have this kind of independence, there’s no limit to the music we can produce!
Solfege Street for our more mature musicians.
Second Grade blew me away this week with their progress. They were able to sing a song, turn it into the correct solfege syllables with hand signs, find where the notes would be on a xylophone, sing it again with letter names, and then play the song on xylophones! They definitely showed me they are ready for the next step, reading a new song from printed music! I can’t wait to hear the music our students will be making all on their own in the coming weeks.
A xylophone visual to help us get oriented before we move to the instruments.