Another "High & Low" Activity with Little Kids & the Xylophone!

HIGH & LOW MUSIC ACTIVITY with XYLOPHONE


SIMPLE ACTIVITIES ARE SOMETIMES THE BEST...AND THIS LITTLE DITTY FROM OUR PRESCHOOL MUSIC CLASS WAS FUN WITH A BIT OF A CHALLENGE.


Watch the short video at the end of this post to see it!



The Xylophone is a beautiful sounding instrument and it's a great one for young children since it has relatively large bars and is played with thick handled mallets. The little children in our preschool music classes greatly enjoyed playing the high notes and the low notes after we did a little activity from the wonderful music curriculum,  "Music Room" from the Australian company called Bushfire Press. They have excellent materials for even the youngest of music classrooms. Here's their website link:

                             http://www.bushfirepress.com


First, I think its important to help the children get their hands warmed up and we always start our music class with some flexing of the muscles in our hands, fingers, & shoulders. This is always a big hit as the little ones love to show me how strong they are! 


In this lesson, I introduced the Xylophone for the first time and showed them that the bars are made of wood and explained that this is how we know it is a Xylophone. I use the Orff-Schulwerk style barred instruments (bars can be easily removed), but for this lesson I left all the bars on. 

                                        Photo from the website of WEST MUSIC


I learned a great trick from Kalani (another fabulous music resource person) who demonstrated how he places rubber bands on the pins in between the bars and then stretches them across the bars so that the bars stay in place and don't pop off when a young child is tapping with a mallet.

                                See example below:




 Kalani's website has many resources including his very popular annual seminars which feature his unique "drumming circle" techniques. Here's the link: http://playsinglaugh.com


MY VIDEO BELOW IS A SHORT DEMONSTRATION OF OUR FUN ACTIVITY: "HIGH & LOW CHALLENGE". 



As we continued for a little longer the children got better and better at identifying whether I was playing high or low on the Xylophone. The 5 & 6 yr olds figured out that they could also tell whether it was high or low by where I was playing on the Xylophone: the longer bars to my left are the low notes and the shorter bars to my right are the high notes!



                    
When the children each had a turn to play the Xylophone I was delightfully surprised to see how many of them chose to play the high notes and the low notes just as I had done! Then, they went on to create their unique little tunes that were very darling.
YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE about the Xylophone and see a video of a famous Xylophone player at my blog post from 2012:


P.S. I just added a new STUFF FOR KIDS page to my website with some little interactive music lessons on High & Low:
Stuff for kids at magical movement company
Hope you enjoy!
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