@singplaycreate Easy rhythm activity. #musiceducators #musiceducation #singplaycreate #musiceducatorsoftiktok #musicteachertiktok #musiced #musiceducator ♬ original sound – Sing Play Create
EASY SING, MOVE, PLAY ALONG ACTIVITIES
Today’s post is about easy sing, move, play along activities!
Looking for an easy way to start your music classes? How about getting everyone quiet? Or, want a powerful teaching tool you can use any time without props or materials? I’ve got one for you that I’ve used for years and it’s super effective once you learn it and teach it to your students. I call it the ECHO SING, MOVE, PLAY along activity. It’s the most effective teaching tool I’ve used for classroom management and for teaching everything in my room. Are you ready to learn about it? Keep reading to learn some fun echo sing, move, play along activities.
HOW TO SET UP ECHO PLAY ACTIVITIES
One way to get students attention without even talking is to use an echo sing, move or play along activity.
Once your students know the routine, then you will be able to pass off the activity to student leaders.
The trick is to keep it very simple and repeat it often so that students know exactly what to do.
Think of it like it’s a song. You want them to sing the same melody, the same lyrics using the same tempo and dynamics every time- that’s how to use this idea successfully.
STEPS TO SUCCESS
Here’s the steps to use to set up this activity for success.
- CHOOSE EASY PATTERNS (TRY PLAYING THE STEADY BEAT WITH YOUR KINDERS)
- DO NOT TALK OR EXPLAIN THE ACTIVITY
- WAIT FOR STUDENTS TO BE QUIET (wait, wait, wait, wait for it!)
- CLAP AN EASY PATTERN (ta ta titi ta)
- PUT YOUR HAND TO YOUR EAR OR POINT TO YOUR STUDENTS AND COUNT THE BEAT 1-2-3-4
- DON’T WORRY IF THEY DON’T GET IT
- REPEAT THE PATTERN
- REPEAT WAITING FOR 4 BEATS
- IF THEY GET IT-CONTINUE WITH THE NEXT PATTERN
- IF THEY DON’T GET IT-PAUSE-STOP-SMILE-BREATHE-BEGIN AGAIN
- DON’T GIVE UP! THEY WILL GET IT!
- BEGIN AGAIN
Once they get it, you can slowly integrate harder rhythms. If you go too fast-you’ll lose them, so it’s better to keep it EASY for them at the beginning and have FUN with it.
Part of the FUN is that you are NOT going to SAY A WORD!
You can laugh, smile, do a little dance- BUT DON’T DIRECT OR INSTRUCT BY SPEAKING
ECHO TEACHING IS SUPER EFFECTIVE
Once you get this technique down you can apply it to learning anything in your classroom.
SILENCE and SHOWING with EXPECTING ACTION is a powerful teaching tool to have in your back pocket.
It will save your voice and enable your students to learn quickly.
Honestly! You DO NOT NEED TO TALK if you teach your students what to do slowly and carefully at the beginning of the year (or whenever you’ve read this post).
I promise you that if you are strong-your students will go the distance with you.
This method of teaching is SO FUN!
I LOVE the SILENCE in the room when they all are figuring out that I’m not going to TALK! There’s always a student who will say “shush guys-she’s not talking! She wants us to follow her!”
YAY! I shout in my head:)
You can do this!
They will be engaged with listening, looking and clapping/tapping/snapping/stomping.
The pace will demand attention.
The out come will be good musicians!
APPLICATIONS IN MOVEMENT, INSTRUMENTS, SINGING
Not only can you use this method for teaching rhythms, but for singing warm up exercises, playing instruments and movement activities.
If you have everyone set up on instruments you can play a note or a short melodic phrase and use this method to have them echo play. Don’t worry if they get it right-you want them to engage, experience and practice using their ears and eyes.
There will be students who fret that they don’t get it right. If you don’t REACT to the incorrect notes, over time these students will learn that it’s OKAY and that it’s not the purpose of the activity.
Again, keep the notes and phrases super easy at the beginning so that they are not frustrated. Try using just one note on a beat. Play it 4 times- do do do do . It’s okay if the students can see what you are doing.
Echo playing helps your students understand to follow the conductor, listen to the music, listen to everyone else’s music.
Later you can turn this into a game where students play for each other and test to see who can echo play back best.
You can use echo singing to warm up voices. Now we’re really having fun!
Begin with one pitch, then you can change the rhythm of the pitch or echo sing the solfege notes you may be working on in a song.
Try using solfege hand signs without singing. Point to your head and have the students “think” the sounds.
Later, you can have them sing what you signed- wait to do this until they really get the “echo-singing” technique down. You will need to demonstrate using a puppet. You sign and then the puppet sings.
Then, you sign and then point to the kids and the puppet sings and hopefully a couple of the kids get it- keep repeating again until they understand.
It may take several class times to do this and for them to feel comfortable doing it.
MOVEMENT AS AN ECHO ACTIVITY
Silent movement is a beautiful thing.
Use this teaching method to calm your class down.
You can stop what you are doing and just do a standing yoga pose.
- Count to 8 then stand up and point to the kids.
- Count to 8 again as you wait for them and then do another pose.
- Be sure to think ahead what poses you’ll do!
- Repeat posing and waiting until they get it.
- Don’t talk, don’t discipline, they’ll get quiet (hopefully).
- Then, go back to the activity as if nothing happened.
Action speaks louder than words. You will be sending a message to your students that the activity is important and needs to be done, that it’s okay to take a break and that it’s NOT OKAY to be so disruptive.
If they don’t follow you doing standing poses, then sit down.
It’s very important to keep a beat (internally) so that there’s a rhythm to what you are doing.
- Sit criss-cross for 8 beats.
- Open arms and point to students 8 beats (even pulse in the air).
- Stretch legs out 8 beats.
- Open arms and point to students 8 beats (even pulse in the air).
You get the idea!
You can also use the method to teach the moves in a dance, a scarf activity or other movement activity.
Just follow the pattern.
ECHO PLAYING BRINGS THE CLASS TOGETHER
The students will love these activities. They will love you too because you are giving them time and space to DO the activities and not TALKING to them all the time.
You will love this as it will CREATE MORE TIME in your classes for student participation.
I’m hoping you’ll give these sing, move, play activities a try and let me know how it goes!
Let’s Move and Learn with Music!