I am happy today to share with you a download of the major scale pattern strip that we are using with our elementary Montessori tone bars. This is the green and white strip you can see in the image above.
I made mine reversible. I wanted the numbers 1-8 on the front and solfege (do, re, mi...do) on the back. This means there are two files.
Major Scale Pattern Strip for Tone Bars: Numbered Version
Major Scale Pattern Strip for Tone Bars: Solfege Version
- print the files
- cut and trim (each side of the strip will be in two pieces to fit into laminating film)
- place and/or glue back-to-back
- tape the two sections together
I can't promise that the width of the rectangles on the strip will match your tone bars. I can say that it is likely to match the width of your tone bars. If it doesn't fit, you may be able to tweak the size by changing the percentage of the size that you are printing the file. If that is more trouble than it's worth, this can be easily made with fadeproof construction paper.
When your child begins to play songs with this material rather than just build one-octave scales they may need to pull forward the appropriate tone bars above and below the highest notes of the scale. There are three ways to do this.
1. The child observes which letter names they used on the major scale strip and their color and pulls forward the matching bars above and below the scale they have already built. This is the method we are using for now.
2. Slide the strip you've already made up or down so that it begins with number one on what WAS number eight or so that it ends with number eight on what WAS number one.
3. Make three additional strips as you did above, BUT cut off the highest "do" or "number eight" from each strip. Then you will have three strips that go from do-ti or 1-7 that you can use in a chain to find all of the bars you need. You would start by using one strip starting on the note you wish. Then, you would ADD the other two strips above and below the first strip. The strips will be longer in both directions than the tone bars in total. In the case that you choose to begin your scale on G, you will use only two strips and they will run the entire length of the tone bars. This is probably why you see some sets sold in multiples and numbered 1-7 instead of 1-8. It is important to introduce the scale in a do-do or 1-8 manner because a scale represents a particular division of the octave and without that eight note you don't have an octave represented.