Bring the melody with you

This week I decided it was a good idea to complete a craft project with my younger ones. We have been discovering our singing words (solfedge) that help us sing melodies with no words and this was really the cumulative project. We called them melody bracelets and the kids adored them. Here’s what you need:
– a different color bead for each symbol (I did 5 colors 1 for each of Do-So)
– cups to hold each color bead
– kids craft string ( can be anything that is kid friendly, yarn, plastic string, string etc.)
– container for the string
– display to tell the students which color stands for each solfedge symbol

I first emptied the bags of beads into the containers. I would suggest containers that seal well so you can prevent accidental spills. After I put those aside I decided to cut the strings for the classes, I know who ever is reading this is probably thinking that cutting 150 some odd strings for students is crazy but I accomplished this in about 15 minutes and it will save you time and a headache in class. Tie one knot at the end of each one for your kindergarten and maybe 1st.
I’ve found that 2nd on up can do it themselves. Then put them all in the containers for class.
After you have set up the beads and string create a large chart with what color is what so the students can see which solfedge words they should be singing. Also, make sure your students are proficient in solfedge before doing this activity. I don’t explain solfedge in my class, we just do and will use them for everything from substituting for lyrics to writing the words on the board and pointing to them in a random order for them to sing to helping us sing melodies that have no words.

Class time:

First thing first is lay down the rules. You do not want students throwing beads and diving all over the place. I tell my students they must stay on the rug and are only allowed to move if they need my assistance or to help a friend. I also say they are only allowed 5 beads (5-10 for 2nd) of different colors, they are not allowed 5 of the same. After they are done with the bracelets they may help a friend or share there melody with a friend nearby.
I have the containers laid out in the center of the circle on the rug and call up a few people at a time to choose beads and sit at their seats to make 5 or more patterns and sing each one quietly to themselves. After they are done the students come and tell me and I hand them a string with a knot to make a bracelet. When they are done stringing a bracelet they can come back to me and I make another knot to tie off the beads before tying it on their wrists.

Be prepared to have a lot of bracelets to tie and be prepared to pick up the occasional dropped bead!

This activity had a lot of excited students who were so excited to share their melodies with their friends. I had a room of singing and lots of smiles. The whole point of the activity was to get students singing everywhere they go, and sharing their music with others and the bracelets were a physical reminder for them.

Like this activity? Try it out! Then let me know how it goes!

3 thoughts on “Bring the melody with you

  1. Tracy Gilmer says:

    This lesson seems great. I can imagine the little ones walking away singing their solfege compositions. These students will think about solfege every time they see their bracelets.

  2. Tracy Gilmer says:

    Reblogged this on Tracy G's Teacher Tech Lounge and commented:
    As a music teacher I have to say this blog demonstrates a wonderful example of involving students across curriculum lines. I know this post doesn’t deal with technology but sometimes education can be as plain and simple as string and beads.

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