Sing & Ring in Spring

 

Spring is the perfect time to sing and ring about nature’s glory.  ChimeWorks offers some suggestions below for lesson plans using a variety of teaching techniques and objectives.

With these folksongs, we can enrich our students with a greater appreciation of the beauty of the world around them.  Many of these songs have been passed through the centuries and are classic examples of fine musical literature for young musicians.

All  of these lesson plans are available for immediate purchase and digital download at the cost of $2.29 each – just pennies per student – in our “Handchimes in the Classroom & Rehearsal” store.

 

Lesson Plans with Chordal Harmonization

 

Come, Follow Me

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 3
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Nature
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Come Follow is an English folk song dating from the late 17th century.  It was written by John Hilton in 1652.  It is a three part round or canon.

 

I Love The Mountains

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 4
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Nature
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

I Love the Mountains is a traditional American campfire song passed down through generations.

 

Lesson Plans with Harmonization by Ostinati

Sakura

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Topic: Spring
  • Language: Japanese
  • Origin: Japan

Sakura is a traditional Japanese folk song telling of springtime and cherry blossoms.  It dates from the late the Edo period between 1603 and 1868.  It is based on the Phrygian mode.

 

Come, Let Us All A-Maying Go

  •  Use: Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Spring
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Come, Let Us All A-Maying Go is a three part round or canon.  John Hilton the younger was an Early English Baroque composer.

 

Lesson Plans Using Icons to Teach Music Literacy

Bunessan (Morning Has Broken)

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Icons
  • Topic: Nature, Praise
  • Language: English
  • Origin: Scotland

The melody, Bunessan, was named after a town in Scotland.  During the 19th century it was set to the text of Morning Has Broken.

 

Baa, Baa Black Sheep

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Type: Icons
  • Topic: Animals, Nursery Rhyme
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Baa, Baa Black Sheep is an English nursery rhymed dating back from 1731.  Its original context is thought to be a complaint on the taxation of wool.

Celebrate Music

March is Music in Our Schools Month.  It’s the time that we demonstrate the powerful effect of music in the lives of our students.  What better way to mark this month then to sing and ring about our art.  Children will remember the songs that we teach them throughout their lives.  Be it a catchy tune, silly lyrics or an engaging movement, the music that we teach will impact our students in different ways, but the end results are the same – lifelong memories.

As teachers of music, we hope to instill an appreciation, love or passion for music into our students.  We do this best by actively involving them in the music-making process allowing them to be creative as they go and encouraging them to connect their experiences to the world around them.  We also know that music will stimulate the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and social growth of our students affecting their lives in so many ways.

We balance our choice of lessons and repertoire to broaden our students – classical, folk, world and nonsense songs fill our teaching space – all to provide our students with a varying wealth of repertoire.  Along with our singing, we introduce drums and other percussion, recorders, Orff instruments, ukuleles, Boomwhackers®, KidsPlay® bells and handchimes all in effort for our students to find their voice.  In the end, our hope is for well-rounded young musicians leading to accomplished adults who are kinder, gentler and welcoming.

How often do we stop and sing about it?  Music, that is.  During this month, we have an opportunity to sum up all that we offer with songs that praise our beloved art.  Words that express how wonderful music is that our students will remember for a lifetime.

Share the joy of music with some of the following ChimeWorks lesson plans that will allow your students to sing and ring about it!  All of the lesson are available for immediate purchase and digital download.  Once copy at $2.29 will bring the gift of music to all of your classes.  Click the title of each lesson to find it in the store.

 

Merrily, Merrily Greet The Morn

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Music, Nature
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Merrily, Merrily Greet The Morn is an English Folk song published in 1917 in the book, 55 Songs and Choruses for Community Singing.   The song’s words and horn-like music represent hunting scenes in England.

 

Music Alone Shall Live

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 3
  • Topic: Music
  • Language:English
  • Origin: Germany

Music Alone Shall Live is a German folk song in three-art round or canon form

 

O Music, Sweet Music

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 2
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Music
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

The three-part round or canon, O Music, Sweet Music, is attributed to Lowell Mason, an American hymn writer.  This piece uses two chords and is a wonderful introduction into chiming and singing together.

 

Sing Together

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: General, Music
  • Language: English
  • Origin: Unknown

Sing Together is a folk song of unknown origin.  It is a three-part canon or round.

 

Viva La Musica

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, Music
  • Language: Italian
  • Origin: Germany

Viva La Musica was written in the17th century by German composer, Michael Praetorius.  The Italian text translates to long live music!

All Creatures Great and Small – Lesson Plans about Animals using Handchimes

Spring is on the way and this time of year welcomes songs about furry and feathered friends.  At ChimeWorks, we have lesson plans that will surely delight your students as they sing and chime along to some new and some familiar tunes while learning how to harmonize a melody or follow the steps to early music reading.

ChimeWorks uses three teaching methods with the folk songs below to implement handchime use in the classroom or singing rehearsal.  With icons, students will develop eye – hand coordination by initially using symbols or colors to introduce music literacy and gradually progressing to score reading.  By using chords indicated by the teacher pointing to a chart, students can easily harmonize their singing.  And finally, with ostinati lessons, harmonic patterns are taught by rote to harmonize the singing and develop more independence when playing.

All of the lessons are available for immediate purchase and digital download for pennies per student.  Only one copy of the lesson is needed for teachers to bring effective music-making and success to the classroom.  Browse our complete store here for other creative and successful lesson plans.

When using these lessons, be sure to check out Malmark’s colored bands to wrap on the handchimes which act as a valuable teaching aid when using colors.

 

 

Lessons using Icons

 B-I-N-G-O

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

B-I-N-G-O is an English language folk song dating back to the late 1700s.

 

Baa, Baa Black Sheep

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Baa, Baa Black Sheep is an English nursery rhymed dating back from 1731.  Its original context is thought to be a complaint on the taxation of wool.

 

The Farmer in the Dell

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Language: English
  • Origin: Germany

The Farmer in The Dell is a nursery rhyme and children’s game.  The song originated in Germany and was brought to North America in the late 19th century.

 

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

Old MacDonald Had A Farm dates to the early years of the 20th century.

 

Lessons using Chords

 Six Little Ducks

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Chords: 2
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Six Little Ducks is an English language nursery rhyme and singing game.

 

Ev’ryone But Me

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Chords:3
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

Ev’ryone But Me is an American folk song with roots in New England.

 

Go Tell Aunt Rhody

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Chords: 3
  • Language: English
  • Origin: France

Jean-Jacques Rousseau composed the original tune as a gavotte or dance in the mid-1700s.  The tune later traveled through England, Germany to New England where the folk text was added.  Countries around the world use the tune for various folk texts.

 

Old MacDonald

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Chords: 3
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

Old MacDonald Had A Farm dates to the early years of the 20th century.  The tune will be familiar and allow the students to focus on chiming.

 

Lessons using Ostinati

The Frogs

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Canon: Yes
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

The Frogs is a traditional campfire song sung by Girl Scouts in North America.

 

Sweetly Sings the Donkey

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2
  • Canon: Yes
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Sweetly Sings the Donkey is a traditional song that children love to sing.  Additional verses may be created by adding animals and their sounds.

Music Literacy in a Snap with Colors and Handchimes

A great New Year’s resolution for any teacher would be to introduce music literacy to more in 2018.  If you have handchimes at your disposal, teaching music reading with the help of colors couldn’t be simpler! At ChimeWorks, we have developed tools for teaching young children to develop eye-hand coordination using colors and symbols and then, systematically moving on to colored-coded notes on the staff and ultimately reading handchime/handbell notation.

We begin by using colors that are closely correlated to those used in Boomwhacker® and KidsPlay® systems.  Therefore, one will be able to use our lesson plans with handchimes and/or Boomwhackers and KidsPlay bells to teach music literacy.  Sensitivity is given to the use of colors alone due to the statistics that 1 in 12 males and 1 in 200 females suffer from color vision deficiency.  Along with a select color for each pitch we have allocated a shape modeled closely to those used in shape-note singing.

Coupled, these symbols are referred to as Icons – non-traditional symbols used to notate music.   They allow students to quickly “read” music without the worry of not knowing standard musical notation.   They also allow students to quickly express themselves at an early-learner stage with known symbols rather than struggling with music notation.  The use of icons develops eye-hand coordination rapidly allowing students to quickly adapt to numbers, pitch names, solfege and then standard music notation.

ChimeWorks has developed Colored Bands which can be wrapped around the handchime tube so that each student can identify a pitch with a color.  In the case of vision deficiency, the shape may also be drawn on to the band.  These bands are available for Malmark, Inc. and be found by clicking here.  Colored bands can be an effective tool in the classroom when denoting pitches and chords.  Using the ChimeWorks Icon Chart, each pitch is assigned a color.  By wrapping the appropriate colored band around the shaft of the handchime tube at the base, you can effectively indicate which handchimes are assigned to pitches or chords.

Since icons are used with non-music readers, they can be utilized with younger children.  These same children may not yet be literate and understand how to track from left to right.  We suggest that great success will be met when the icon chart is presented through a computer-generated slideshow presentation or interactive whiteboard so that the teacher may point to each shape tracking for the students in tempo and rhythm.

Once the students master the melody using icons, they may continue with the Chroma-note® (colored note head) score. Older students may meet success by just having the location of the pitch on the staff on the note designation label which is standard on all brands of handchimes and may be able to move quickly to the handchime score which is in standard music notation.

Icon lesson plans may be found here on the ChimeWorks website.  By introducing these easy to teach lessons, your students will color their world with music through handchimes.

Hanukkah Lesson Plans using Handchimes

Looking for Hanukkah lesson plans using handchimes? Lessons of light and dedication are perfect to teach in December as many around the world commemorate Hanukkah.  ChimeWorks has assembled lesson plans below that sing of Hanukkah, peace and joy!

But first, more about Hanukah as explained by Chabad.org.  It is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods.

The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.  It is also spelled Hanukkah.

In the second century BC, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in God. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of God.

When they sought to light the Temple’s Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Hanukkah.

At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah lighting. The menorah holds nine flames, one of which is the shamash (“attendant”), which is used to kindle the other eight lights. On the first night, one flame is lit. On the second night, an additional flame is lit. By the eighth night of Hanukkah, all eight lights are kindled.

Special blessings are recited, often to a traditional melody, before the menorah is lit, and traditional songs are sung afterward.

A menorah is lit in every household (or even by each individual within the household) and placed in a doorway or window. The menorah is also lit in synagogues and other public places.

The lesson plans below are available for immediate purchase and digital download at $2.29 each:

 

Hanukkah using Icons

Hanukkah II using Chords

Good and Joyous using Ostinati

Greeting of Peace using Chords

Hava Nagila using Chords

Shalom Chaverim using Chords

Toembai using Chords

Toembai II using Ostinati

Using Colors to Teach Music – Some Things to Consider

Mention colors and music notation among two or music teachers and a debate will surely ensue. Proponents of using color coded music believe that the method is a surefire way of having instant success in making music while opponents may see it as dumbing down. Walking the center line may be the safest stand on this subject; here are a few considerations on the subject regarding handchimes and ringing along with suggestions for experiencing the best of both worlds.

As proponents of using colors to teach music literacy, we are very sensitive to those who cannot see color or experience color vision deficiency. About 8% of males and .5% of females experience this deficiency. Therefore, we advocate using colors along with a second method in all lesson plans. For instance, if using a color to indicate pitch also use a shape as a secondary indicator as used in the ChimeWorks Icon Chart.

Using Colors with Lesson Plans in the General Music Classroom or Choral Rehearsal
Colors are familiar and easily recognizable to most which makes them a great precursor to music notation to teach eye-hand coordination as well as tracking from left to right for pre-readers. One color may indicate a pitch as in using icons or it can signify a chord for creating harmonies while accompanying a melody. These methods are used by having a central focal point for the children to follow as indicated by the music leader. The use of an interactive whiteboard or projection is highly recommended.

When introducing music notation, a simple melody using colored note heads helps to simplify finding the correct space and line to follow on the staff. Once the concept of locating a specific pitch on the staff is taught, eliminating colors is encouraged.

Attaching a colored band to a handchime is an accessible means of designating an instrument to the appropriate pitch or chord. These functional bands are easily wrapped around the handchime tube, are effortlessly removed and can be reused.

Creating resources using colors is simple with the use of a computer. While working with Chroma-NotesTM notation in Finale PRINTMUSIC® is the simplest method of producing colored music notation, general resources can be produced in word processor software. An important aspect of creating resources is that you keep the colors and symbols consistent when assigning them to pitches. Using the ChimeWorks Icon Chart as referenced above, allows you to maintain uniformity when using available resources in the marketplace as well as creating your own.

Using Colors with the Handchime Ensemble
Long a source of debate in the ringing world is marking the handchime/handbell score. While these instruments are a great tool to teach music at any age and countless youth and adults have been able to learn music skills by ringing in a handchime/handbell ensemble, there has been contention along the way.

Early in the handbell movement, indicating when to ring the instrument in a particular hand was indicated by a circle around the note head often in red and blue. Through the years, experience taught us that using a circle may not be the best indicator as the marking distorted the score by blocking the purpose of a particular note head be it melody, counter-melody or harmony. Gradually, highlighters came into play. With the use of highlighters in two consistent colors for example, yellow for left hand and pink for right hand, the note will be designated without obstructing its purpose and any other markings such as dynamics, articulations or techniques.

While using highlighters to indicate notes in a score, the ringer can be trained to locate their assigned pitches and with standard handchime/handbell assignments, know that their left hand is ringing the pitch on the space and their right hand, the one on the line. It can, sometimes, be difficult to ween a ringer off the use of color coding a score. Adults have more difficulty losing this crutch than children, however, the ultimate goal is to use ringing as a tool to teach music literacy and to nurture musicians of all ages.