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A Lesson on Melody

What is melody? Melody is the shape direction and pitch of the music; the tune of the song.

 Melody is a logical succession of musical pitches arranged in a rhythmic pattern. An


important part of melody is rhythm. The notes vary in pitch and duration. Form also applies
to melody. Melodies include repetition as well as contrast. Pitch characteristics of melodies
include:

 Direction - up, down, stay the same

 Range - wide or narrow spectrum of notes ranging from low to high

 Position - Maybe use notes of high pitches or transposed to low pitches, but as long as the
intervals between notes is consistent, the melody can be placed with the total pitch
continuum.

 Intervals - The distance between the pitches of the melody may be steps from one note to
an adjacent note, or skips where pitches leap from one to another skipping a tone or
tones.

Just a Few Instruments Capable of Playing a Melody

Flute Bells Saxophone

Piano Guitar Xylophone

Recorder Violin Kazoo

The Musical Alphabet – ABCDEFG

 Lines: E every G good B boy D does F fine


 Spaces: F A C E
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Staff

5 Lines and 4
Spaces

Musical notes on
the staff sit either
on a line or in a
space. The
placement on the
staff indicates The staff is a musical timeline reading from left to right.
pitch. Reading
music involves
understanding
rhythmic notation
as well as melodic
notation.

The Treble
Clef

The treble clef Treble Clef


tells us which
line is going to
be which note
or pitch. The
treble clef is
also known as
G Clef. The
bottom of the
sign encircles
the 2nd line
from the
bottom of the
staff - G
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The Musical Alphabet is: A B C D E F G

The lines of the staff are: E G B D F

The spaces of the staff are: F A C E


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1. BoomWhackers Activity

Have students gather in groups, where each child in the group gets a
different boomwhacker. Have students “guess” which order the scale is
in and play that order. Then help correct them.

Have them play the scale up then down. Then have them play the scale
adding in steps, skips, and repeats as well as ups and downs.

Have the children then pick out a simple song like „Twinkle Twinkle”
and play it adding in the various elements.
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2. Staff Cards Activity

 Create laminated staff cards for the class ahead of time.


 Give each student a card along with several plastic chips.
 Have students create melodies in up, down, skip, step, and repeat
patterns.

3. Kazoo Activity
Every student takes out their kazoo and that class “plays” the following
songs:

ABC, Twinkle Twinkle, Ba Ba Black Sheep


Have the class note that all three songs have the same tune, and how it
was easy to notice it while playing the kazoos.
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4. Singing and Solfege Handout/ Activity

 This last activity is to teach students about melodies and how to


read music by using their voice. Use the Handout that follows.

 Teach them these hand motions using the „Do Ray Me‟ song using
the clip from the The Sound of Music. (5 min clip)
o http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw7lxdiL7NI
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Singing the Scale in Solfege