Teaching Children Music Giveaway and Review
Use this Fancy Widget To Enter The Giveaway!
Win a Membership to Teaching-Children-Music.com in this weeks giveaway!
Teaching-Children-Music.com is full of printable music curriculum, activities and stories!
In the post below, you can check out some of the awesome pieces of curriculum from TCM!
Not a week goes by where I don’t think, “I really should put more up on the blog this week.”
When it comes to teaching kids’ music, parents have questions, kids want new materials, and teachers need more lesson plans to keep up with their students.
That’s what a good mus-ed blog does; answer questions and provide innovative materials.
So for all the times when I’m thinking, “I really should put more up on the blog this week,” I thank my musical stars that there is Teaching-Children-Music.com.
Teaching-Children-Music.com is a lot like Preschool Prodigies… it’s a blog and a music program and it’s made with lots of love!
Their members-only area is chock full of printable curriculum; musical manipulatives for Solfége and rhythm; video piano and ukulele lessons; musical stories you can read aloud to your kids or you class; and printable activities like board games.
A few weeks ago, Tamsyn hosted a giveaway of the PsP Playground on her blog and it was a huge hit.
This week, we’re flipping the tables and giving away a Membership to Teaching Children Music.
You can use the contest box at the top of the page to submit entries to the giveaway!
Beginner Rhythm Curriculum
Teaching-Children-Music.com has a lot of music curriculum à la carte (or you can get them all inside their Members Area or by winning this contest)!
One of my favorite pieces of their curriculum is the Beginning Rhythm Pack. It’s immensely extensive and the rhythm bingo cards are awesome. If you ever play rhythm bingo with your class, these will save you a TON of time (and they’re super affordable… $10 I believe).
The Solfége Train
One of my other favorite pieces of á la carte music curriculum from TCM is the Solfége train.
Inside this 48 page eBook are tons of materials for teaching children their Do Re Mi.
You can play Twister with the Solfége, write a couple of Sol-Mi-La songs, play color coded nursery rhymes with Solfége (totally my jam!), and learn about Guido d’Arezzo, the father of Solfége!
From Allison Brown:
“Seriously, learning Moveable Do with the Solfege Train taught me more about music theory than 10 years of piano lessons. It teaches ear training and theory, two things I’m seriously weak on, in a very [Early Learning] way (my 2 year old does fine).
The blog at Teaching Children Music is full of empowering advice for parents about teaching your child music.
Whether she’s busting myths about common parent fears, compiling videos about orchestra learning or running an epic giveaway for awesome music learning products, Tamsyn is very involved with her blog and the community that surrounds it.
Tamsyn isn’t afraid to get into specifics on her numerous blog posts either, and as someone who answers a lot of parent-question emails about music, I know how valuable those specifics are to parents.
To bring it back to the giveaways, it seems like Teaching Children Music is ALWAYS running a giveaway!
For you as a parent or teacher, it means you’ve always got a reason to visit the blog, if for no other reason than, “what cool thing might I win this week?”
From a business owner and website developer standpoint, the way that the giveaways create engagement on her posts is really well done. It takes a leap of courage to demand that kind of engagement from your website visitors and doing so benefits everyone involved.
As a reader and parent, getting involved at Teaching-Children-Music.com helps you make small but powerful mental commitments to staying involved in your child’s education.
Early Learning Closed Group
Tamsyn is also a founding member of an excellent Facebook group that offers myriad support for music teachers and parents. I’m not sure how I was invited to this magical group, but I’m willing to bet it had something to do with my engagement on Teaching-Children-Music.com. (Hint: Get involved at TCM!)
The group is filled with super active parents who share product reviews, tips, videos of kids playing deskbells, and everyone gets involved answering each other’s questions about educational products. If you’re a fan of BrillKids and the Little Musician program, you might already know the members or be one yourself!
Moveable Do vs Fixed Do and Tamsyn’s Very Clever Piano Solution
When I first saw the Moveable Do piano insert, I got that familiar feeling of “man, now why didn’t I think of that?”
This is one of my favorite parts from inside the Teaching-Children Music members area.
In the process of developing the curriculum for Preschool Prodigies, I have to wrestle with the question of fixed vs moveable Do. Some of you might even have noticed that inside PsP, if the song is not in C Major, we just avoid talking about Solfege (Do, Re, Mi) all together.
Tamsyn’s solution to the question of Moveable vs Fixed Do is elegant, effective and super clever. You can check it out first hand in her $10 beginner piano course!
The reason it works so well is because it provides the color coded keys that make reading music super easy for kids without stickers and more importantly, it allows for Do (and all of the Solfége syllables) to be moved around the piano.
So if you learn a song a So-Mi-La song in one key, you easily transpose to another.
Teaching transposition to kids under 5 is definitely difficult… they can hear the change in energy and they’ll almost immediately reset their tonal center, but still showing them how or why it works like that is difficult.
The Piano Insert gives you a super simple way to physically demonstrate the idea of moveable Do and transposing.
SPEAKING of Moveable Do…
There are two main Solfége systems… Moveable Do and Fixed Do.
Most of Europe uses fixed Do, where as most of the U.S. uses moveable Do.
In short, Moveable Do is like the piano insert; Do is the beginning of our scale and the home base for our music. It’s firm, strong and usually marks the end of a song.
Fixed Do means that the musical note C is always Do. The note D is always Re and so on, even if you’re not in the key of C.
Those that use “Fixed-Do” have chosen to associate “Do, Re, Mi” with “C, D, E” and, in doing so, are attempting to employ these labels as absolute designators. Those that use “Moveable-Do” have chosen to associate “Do, Re, Mi” with “1, 2, 3” and, in doing so, are attempting to employ these labels as relative designators.
The supposed advantage to fixed Do is that it builds a strong sense of absolute (perfect) pitch.
Well at that point, why not just the note names, C D E? Fixed Do enthusiast argue that Solfege syllables are easier to sing than letter names and help draw a stronger musical connection (compare singing the word Fa with the phonetic pronunciation of F [ef], and you’ll see what I mean).
But Fixed Do can become REALLY complicated really quickly.
Where as a major scale in Moveable Do is always
Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do
a major scale in Fixed Do can get as ugly as
Di Ri Mis Fi Si Li Do Di
Why I Prefer Moveable Do and Tamsyn’s Piano Insert
Moveable Do relies on the idea of relative pitch. When you listen to a piece of music, it’s usually routed in a specific set of notes (the key of C).
The root (also called the tonic) can be thought of as the note one, and it has a very firm, solid and home base kind of sound.
The second note, Re has a rising sound. The third note, Mi, is more restful and peaceful. For info about the rest of the notes, check out this video lesson here!
In my opinion, the sense of moveable pitch is really where music draws its color from. Whether the melody is on a rising tone, a resting tone, a grand tone or a piercing tone has a lot to do with the emotion and the feeling of the music.
In more advanced music, it’s easy to get lost in expansions away from the home base and land in an almost Do-less territory, but for most pop music, kids’ music, and especially beginner piano music, the feeling of Do is hard to ignore.
A lot music from India and China is written with the Do (Sa) as home base, and the moods are set by using specific scales that always relate back to a droning Do. Depending on what country you’re in, Do might be C, C# or even D, but the idea of Do always remains.
Which brings us back to the piano insert and back to the members only area of Teaching-Children-Music.com
By color-coding the music and the moveable insert for the piano, Tamsyn has created an awesome way to illustrate moveable Do to children—because you can literally move Do around and see how it lays out all over the piano.
One might say that as an absolute pitch enthusiast, I shouldn’t love moveable Do as much as I do, but for me at least, the feeling I get from different notes, progressions and musical patterns tends to be based in relative pitch, ie in relation to Do.
Why then does PsP focus so much on perfect pitch?
Well perfect pitch, in many ways, is just a perfect sense of relative pitch. You don’t lose the relative nature of the music you’re listening to because you can recognize the note names. If anything, the relative sense of pitch becomes more clear.