"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature can not do without." ~Confucius

Friday, February 10, 2012

Getting the Voice Moving...

So, there are silly sounds out there that kids love and get them to giggle, but also get them thinking musically as well.... Enter, slide whistle!

Yes, Ladies and Gents, this handy-dandy little number will get you some smiles and giggles from your little tots like few other little instruments can.

Why I love slide whistles:

1. They're great for demonstrating low and high pitch.... and all the steps in between by "sliding" from high to low.
Some kids can be encouraged to sing if they get their vocal range going. Having your kids imitate the sliding sound of a slide whistle gets them experimenting with sliding their own voice up and down, thus introducing them to the wide range of pitch in their little voice!

2. They are kid- and wallet-friendly
I got each of these for about $2 from Music and Arts and I'm sure I will get my $2 worth on each. :-)
When I was teaching, all the kids wanted to try and play my slide whistle... of course this was a bad idea, so they couldn't... but the point being, most kids would love to get their hands on one and give it a try.

So, here's the activity we did today to help the boys explore their vocal range:

1. Collect children and introduce them to the new member of their musical family.

2. Play a low sound (slide held all the way out).
Say, "This is a low sound" and play it again.
Then say, "Can you point your hand down for the low sound?"
Kids point fingers down. You play sound again.

3. Play a high sound (slide pulled all the way up).
Say, "This is a high sound" and play it again.
Say, "Can you point your hand way up high for the high sound?"
Kids point way up high and you play sound again.

4. Now say, "I am going to slide from low to high, can you follow the sound with your finger?"
Start with slide out, slide it up slowly to get from low to high....

Now, put slide whistle down and try to do it with just the voice - all involved pointing low to high, then start from high to low and slide voice to follow your finger (You should all sound like fire engines right about now).

5. If kids are diggin' it, move on to making shapes to trace. (What in the world?? you're saying...).
Pick a shape. Draw dots on a piece of paper (on wall or table) for the kids to connect. The dots on the bottom are for low sounds, the upper for high sounds. Have your tot connect the dots and follow the direction with his/her voice.

 6. Now use your fingers and trace the shape together and have the voice go in the correct direction - sliding up, then down.

7. Have tot choose another shape. I was hoping for a circle, but K chose a rectangle... which works too (any shape works - yay!), so I drew four dots for him to connect. Then we traced the sound again.

8. Finally, both boys got to try their exciting slide whistles.
What was funny, but neat was that little J didn't quite get the whole blowing into the whistle-thing at first, but he was still sliding his voice to try and make it work... he was imitating really well! Then, he figured out how to play the silly thing, so that was good too... once we got him to turn it right side up.
They both walked out from this activity still saying "ooooo..OOOO...ooooo" and mimicking the slide whistle sound. Yippee!

So, go get a slide whistle and get your kiddo moving their voice around too!

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