Musical Hearts: Infusing Valentine's Day with Rhythm and Melody Magic

What do you do with holidays in your elementary music room? "Celebrating" the constant stream of holidays can be challenging, especially when most of us only see our students once or twice each week.  Finding a way to embed various musical concepts into a holiday "shell" can bring on the fun and engagement that students may need while still reviewing those melodies and rhythms. 

Valentines Day was always a little challenging for me. I never wanted to get into any discussions of romantic love with my little ones, but there seemed to be hearts everywhere in their classrooms! Then, of course, I finally wrapped my brain around the concept that hearts have beats and music has beats. I should definitely be able to do something!

I know you are probably wondering what took me so long! February had lots of big events for me. One grade had a symphony field trip, two more were preparing for a program, and I was always out for a couple of days for my state music conference.  This was every year.   The more I considered it, I realized that even those grade levels preparing for upcoming events could usually squeeze in a themed warmup, rhythm review, or brain break.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I only recommend products that I know and love.

Heart Rhythms - Move & Freeze & Find the Pattern

Let's dive into a heartwarming activity that'll have your students grooving and learning simultaneously. You will need rhythms that your students are working with to display around the room. Write these rhythms on paper hearts, foam hearts, or heart-shaped paper plates.  No time for DIY? Use these ready-to-print Heart Rhythms Task Cards

Here's the scoop:

Setup the Scene: Scatter heart rhythm patterns around the classroom. Keep those heart-themed vibes flowing!

Musical Marvels Unite: Strike up a class favorite Valentine or heart-themed tune. As the melody fills the air, encourage students to gracefully move around the room, stepping to the beat. I prefer to sing the melody myself, but hitting play on a favorite recording will work just as well.

Freeze Frame: When the music takes a pause, everyone freezes! Now, here's where the magic happens.

Drumroll, Please: Channel your inner percussionist and clap out a pattern on a hand drum. It's showtime!

Pattern Detectives: Students, the spotlight's on you. Audiate (that's a fancy word for musical thinking) the pattern, then glance at the cards nearby. Can you spot the pattern? Give a nod or a signal using a foam heart for an extra dash of fun. Cover that card like a musical detective! Teachers, be sure to set rules for movement in this section! My rules say that students must keep their feet frozen. They can cover a pattern that is within reach without moving their feet. Every student will not cover a patten each time.

Repeat and Revel: Hit repeat on the process. Sing, move, freeze, drumroll, detect patterns, and foam-heart cover – rinse and repeat!

Song Selection Matters: Opt for a simple duple meter song like "Love Somebody" for optimal musical joy. Alternatively, weave in a friendship or Valentine poem/chant or even the classic "Roses are Red."

My favorite song to use with this game is Valentine by Jennifer Bailey.  Jennifer's video mentions playing a game much like Charlie Over the Ocean. If you want to try that, go for it! Use this video to learn the song so you can sing it yourself, and then you can play either game!

Video Vibes: Spice things up with a friendship or kindness-themed freeze dance or play-along video to end your lesson. The more variety, the merrier! Here are a few suggestions:

Valentine Rhythms

Valentine Movement & Rhythm
Includes eighth, quarter & half notes and quarter rest

More Rhythm & Melody Practice Games

Looking to expand your musical toolkit with more engaging activities? Dive deeper into the world of rhythm and melody practice games! Explore the educational resources at Sally's Sea of Songs.  Head over to the Musical Hearts rhythm and melody practice collection, where you'll find a wave of innovative ideas to enhance your teaching repertoire. 

And there you have it, a musical adventure that's both educational and tons of fun. Dive in, make waves, and let the rhythm of learning carry you away!

Musically yours,


Post a Comment