Music is very much a part of our lives. It touches us in many ways and evokes various emotional, cognitive, and physical responses. Music can convey many themes and ideas. Music communicates with us in terms of our own thoughts and feelings. The early Greeks believed that certain modes (scales) or tonalities elicited specific emotions.
Let’s visit two of the most commonly heard scales in Western music (the major and minor tonal systems) and the responses that these scales may elicit from the listener. To readily hear a major scale, play from C to the next C using only the white keys of a piano. To hear a minor scale, play from A to A using only the white keys.
For the child, the difference between major and minor is a difference of mood. Major scales tend to increase feelings of happiness and joy. Minor scales are more somber and tend to dampen one’s spirits. Children often describe songs in major as sounding bright or cheerful. They describe minor as sad or spooky.
While teaching music to young children, I discovered that they can sing songs in a major tonality more easily than songs in a minor tonality. It may be due to the interval relationships within these two scales. It may also be due to lack of experience in singing in a minor key.
It is interesting to observe young children during free play as they improvise their own melodies and songs. While the tonal patterns may be brief and repetitive, they tend to be in a major key. This may be due to environmental influences such as music in the home, children’s television programs, and/or music training. Many children’s songs are composed in a major key.
Silly Bus composes many of its children’s songs in major keys. Their songs in major tonality have great appeal for children due to the bright, happy, and energetic qualities inherent in this tonality. The melodies are very appropriately wedded to each song’s text.
Tempo, the arrangement of the pitches in a melody, rhythm, and harmony also play an important role in setting the mood or expression of a song in addition to tonality. Researchers have yet to explain why and how music affects our emotions. What we do know is that music affects us all and has the power to call forth emotions that reside within us.
Preschool Activities: How To Make Musical Instruments In The Household
Preschool activities can be limitless. Often times there are several great preschool activities ideas and fun right in your own home. Using preschool activities help children and preschoolers to learn and explore new areas of development through creating and through participation. It’s no surprise that children love music. As a result of this well known fact, a fitting child activity for kids would be to make some musical instruments for them to make their own ‘music’ or to play along with music that may be playing at home or in the classroom. Music helps kids to learn to keep rhythm. They may dance and move to the beat of the music or at least try to. Music can also help stimulate their minds, physical & mental development and co-ordination skills. Below are a few great preschool activities & kids activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
How To Make a Musical Shaker: Musical instruments are fun to make for your children or preschoolers. Kids will love to make their own special musical instrument. This activity makes it fun for kids to play along with music and learn about keeping beat, or rhythm. Requirements For This Preschool/Kindergarten Activity include the following items below.
1 small or medium sized plastic bottle (*do not use glass for safety reasons) A variety of small containers could be used. Some Rice, soy beans or other similar non-perishable type of beans or rice. A glue gun (*always supervise when working with hot appliances like this), Colored construction paper, (Optional) some glitter
PreK/Kindergarten Musical Instrument Activity: What to Do: Take the water bottle, strip off any old labeling etc. Take a small amount of rice or soybeans and use a funnel or pour carefully into the bottle for your desired sound. Take the hot glue gun and glue on the cap with a few dabs of hot glue on the ‘threading’ of the cap. Twist cap on tight and let dry. You can then use the construction paper to cut out small stars and shapes etc.to glue on the bottle to decorate. You may also want to use glitter or other things to decorate the bottle or have the children decorate their bottle shakers.
** Keep in mind, different sized containers, different types of plastic and different contents will produce different sounds. Have Fun with Your Water Bottle Shaker: Play some fun kids music and let your children shake their new musical bottle shaker to the beat. You can help to tell kids when to shake their musical shakers. Try to explain to them when the beat takes place or let them just ‘shake’ away!
— Castlecroft Rangers (@CastlecroftRngr) December 4, 2014