The Discovery Books and CDs are the heart of the Music for Little Mozarts curriculum! When children have them at home, they memorize the songs much more quickly. And they are exposed to different styles of music that are more sophisticated than they are able to play at this early stage.
Students love the Beethoven Bear and Mozart Mouse characters and the adventure story. They are an effective aid to make the music come alive in a child’s first lessons.
This echo-song from Music for Little Mozarts, Discovery Book 1 is such fun to sing! In addition, the “Do Re Mi Tapping Song” introduces several important concepts that will lay the groundwork for developing both singing and playing skills:
- Listen and respond – Young children learn quickly from imitating what they hear. I call this the “My-Turn, Your-Turn Game” and say to them, “When it’s my turn, you watch me and listen. When it’s your turn, copy me.” As your students progress, the patterning process introduced in this song will be helpful in teaching short melodic patterns from their lesson book pieces (confirming rhythm and intervals) as well as in introducing phrasing and articulation.
- Experience sounds that go up and down – Have your students tap the following: knees-tummy-chest for sounds moving up, and chest-tummy-knees for sounds moving down. This makes a large motor connection with the direction of the sounds.
- Develop an awareness of matching pitches through singing simple patterns in solfege – This is the introduction to singing in solfege, the international language of music. Some of your students’ parents might recognize the solfege syllables that are sung by Maria and the children in the movie “The Sound of Music.”
When introducing this song, I use the CD first. The tempo is fast so my goal is for students to have fun without expecting accuracy.
Next, I have students and parents in a group setting practice measures 15-18, singing and tapping knees-tummy-chest and chest-tummy-knees several times. Then, I have them tap knees-tummy-chest while singing ‘do-re-mi’ instead. In a private lesson, the student and I practice the motions together. In both settings I then accompany the singing as it is important for the children to see how much fun I have playing this song while they do the motions. I choose a tempo that is comfortable for my students and me.
During measures 19-20, I demonstrate whirling around once. In the second ending, we whirl around and clap “the end” on beats 2 and 3 of the last measure.
Some piano teachers may be opposed to singing, as lesson time is already short. During group lessons there usually is enough time to enjoy singing and dancing throughout the class, but for private students, I assign a listening segment from the Discovery Book as a part of practice time at home. Many parents and children tell me that they enjoy listening to the CD together in the car or at bedtime. Then it is easy to begin the lesson with “The Hello Song” and to choose another song to use in the middle of the lesson to help refocus attention. It takes little time and the pleasure is well worth it.
Christine H. Barden
Author, Arranger, Composer