Thursday, March 29, 2012

Half Step/Whole Step, C Major Scale

Today the boys learned about half steps, whole steps, and the major scale pattern.  I used the presentations from Jean K. Miller's Montessori Music:  Sensorial Exploration and Notation with the Bells.  

The first step was to simply show them the whole/half step cards.  I let Kal-El read "whole step."  Before I could ask him to read the next card, Me Too read it first and shouted out "half step."  I didn't expect that!

Kal-El enjoyed the lesson, but wasn't particularly excited about it.  Me Too LOVED finding and labeling the whole steps and half steps.  He has declared it his "special work."

I set this work up on our table today with a board to extend it only because the window seat where we usually do this work is not deep enough to do the part of the presentation in which I separated the two bells "boards" to show that the tetrachord pattern is identical.

We also learned how to use the major scale control strip to check our work.  The files for the control strip and whole/half step cards is available for free download in this post here.

Afterward, Me Too asked to see the "next thing to do with the bells."  I had anticipated that, so we worked on listening to the bells and identifying their letter name by ear.  They were able to identify most of the bells, so I also showed them how to label them with the white discs.  They need a little practice to be sure they can identify all of the pitches by ear (Their violin playing has led to knowing most of the pitches, but there are some such as "c" that they haven't played on the violin yet.  They play almost entirely in A major right now.)  Soon, we will be ready to start pitch notation on the bells boards.

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