Saturday, July 6, 2013

Music with Mommy: Fast and Slow

We started school this week.  Peanut and Munchkin are busy learning -- spooning, counting, sorting, tracing, cutting, drawing -- all in the front room of our house.  We've decided that Saturday is a special day in school.  It is Music with Mommy day.  I don't know as much about music as I do about other subjects, but I know my fair share after 7 years of piano lessons and 6 years of school choir.  Not to mention all the modern music greats that Hubs has exposed me to like U2, Aerosmith, and U2.

Today I slept in though and didn't have much time to prepare a lesson.  We have been learning about Greenville, SC this week so I went to the Wikipedia page for Greenville, searched under "Music", and came up with... Lynyrd Skynyrd.  You got that right folks -- our inaugural music lesson was brought to you by Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Who knew they played their last concert with all original members in Greenville, SC way back in 1977 (remember that year?  cause I don't).

When I think of Lynyrd Skynyrd, I think of "Free Bird", and that is exactly what we listened to.  All 15 minutes of it.  That provided the perfect jumping off point for our lesson on Presto and Largo, Fast and Slow.  If you haven't listened to "Free Bird", take the time.  Be forewarned though that this video is rife with late 70s concert glory.


"Free Bird" is great for talking about fast and slow because of the variation in tempo.   The kids were impatient to explore the instruments, but I had planned to have them dance and move with the music, getting faster when the music gets faster.  It doesn't speed up until 6 minutes in so you might want to skip ahead if your kids have a short attention span like mine.  Afterwards we each picked an instrument and went in a circle playing our instrument fast, then slow, then fast again, then slow.  I used a percussion instrument to help keep time.

Finally we sat at the piano and explored the metronome.  We set the metronome as fast as it would go (Prestissimo) and as slow as it would go (Largo) then in between.  We all chose a note and played it in time with the metronome as best we could.  I then played "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" slow, then fast, then a little faster and we sang together.

The kids loved it and I had fun making music with them.  Great lesson for a couple preschoolers.

What songs can you think of that would be great for teaching fast and slow?


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