Budget cuts to public school music programs have left many children without a knowledge base of songs and singing games that give context and meaning to the symbols of notation.
To learn how I could help out with my private students’ general music education, I took a course for public school music teachers (Kodaly Level 1) at Portland State University. In this course we learned to use folk music in the classroom to teach children how to sing, move to, write, and eventually read music.
Excited to put my new knowledge to work, I taught a folk song to a student – just for a fun – just for that one lesson – just to see what would happen. The student enjoyed this activity so much that she insisted on learning a new folk song at every lesson for the rest of the school year!
So began the integration of folk music into my regular curriculum for beginners!
Musical concepts that are introduced and/or reinforced in the folk song below:
6/4 time signature, up beat, tie, quarter note, half note, dotted half note, melisma, ritardando, fermata, a tempo, D. C. al Fine, Fine, bar line, double bar, solfege syllables: do re mi fa so la – and when a student is ready to play chords and melody together – adding the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords.
Click image for a closer look.