Making May Musical

Today I am joining up with the Totally "Tuned-In" Teacher for a Making May Musical link party in celebration of the TPT Teachers Appreciation Sale.  My store, along with most others, will be offering a 20% discount and TPT will add an additional discount when you enter a code (which we will find out soon) during checkout. (Please watch my social media accounts for the current discount code!)

For the link-up, we each are sharing one item in our own store that we are excited about, one product from another music store that we are excited to purchase.

Summer Shells Tonal Pattern Hunt

I'll get started with a product that I love using with my students in May.  

As the year winds down, both teachers and students will look towards summer. I am excited to have a way to bring summer into my classroom musically with this set of easy tonic and dominant tonal patterns in D Major. 

At first glance, Summer Shells Tonal Pattern Hunt is a set of flash cards.  

It is indeed THREE sets of flashcards, one large set for displaying on an interactive whiteboard, one half-sheet set for easier printing, and one composite page containing all eight patterns.  

Why tonic and dominant patterns?  These are the two major chord functions in major tonality.  Many folk songs that we commonly use in our elementary classes contain only these two chords.  It is great for students to recognize these aurally and visually!

What to do with all of these pattern flashcards?  Herein lies the flexibility in this set.  Here are some suggestions for use.

  1. Begin by practicing the patterns with your students.  Play them on a melody instrument and allow students to echo.  Sing them with neutral syllables or solfeggi and allow students to echo.
  2. Sing the patterns on solfege and students answer with the function of the pattern: "Tonic" or "Dominant".  In this set, tonic patterns are various arrangements of do, mi, and sol and dominant patterns contain 3-pitch combinations of sol, ti, re, and fa.
  3. Display the composite page on an IWB.  Sing or play a pattern and students identify the notation.
  4. Print the half-sheet patterns and scatter them around the beach (classroom floor or walls).  Play or sing a pattern and students must find the matching card.  This game can be played with the individual searcher, or multiple students searching at the same time.
  5. The teacher or leader calls out "Tonic" or "Dominant" and students must find a tonic or dominant pattern and bring it to the designated area.  This can be individual or team play.  Bonus points if the student can sing the pattern back to the teacher!
  6. Print out the composite page (use grayscale printing for the low ink version) and copy it for students.    One assessment option would be to ask students to label each pattern as tonic or dominant.  Another option would be to sing or play the patterns and students would number the patterns in the order that they hear them.  For example, the teacher would say, "Pattern 1 sounds like this..."  Students would listen to the pattern, find it on their paper, and label it "1".  

Recorder Workstations

I recently added Tracy King's Recorder Workstations to my wish list. This was a great purchase for me and my students!

Tracy always has wonderful products, but I have not been a big fan of teaching recorders and especially letting students loose for individual work.  This year has been different because we have been using the Quaver recorder materials and my students are playing beautifully!  Using Quaver has significantly cut back on all of those nasty intentional squeaks and my students have been engaged for far longer into the year than previously.  

I am ready to do some final individual assessing and would love to have something productive for other students to be working on while I work with a small group. Recorder Workstations have been a perfect way to finish up our recorder year.  I love the idea of using graphics showing the recorder fingering as a way to compose music.  Try it out!

Making May Musical

I am really hoping for some beach time this summer, but in the meantime, I will be Making May Musical!

Musically yours,


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