Issue 70: The “Colouring to Music” lesson

The despised “colouring to music” lesson occasionally has its place.

I taught three lessons on the last-but-one day of term; infants, lower keystage 2, and upper keystage 2. I was tired, the children were tired, the weather was foul so taking the children and instruments over to the hall was a no-no, the normal timetable was in tatters so the lessons were at different times, and for different lengths, and “colouring-to-music” exactly fitted the bill.

I used the “My hat, it has three corners” song, and “Venetian Carnival” composed by Ronald Binge as my main starting point. More details can be found here as I have posted about these lessons before.

I used the idea of “telling a story” as a hook; so began each lesson with a song from my “Hello Children Everywhere” CD which tells a story; “Gillygillyossenfevver” for the infants, “The Emporer’s New Clothes” for the Juniors. The idea was that the children could listen to the story in the song, and pick up the chorus.

Then we sang the “My hat it has three corners” a number times as a game song with the actions, and repeated the actions while listening to “Venetian Carnival”. I explained about Venice, and the carnival, and tricorne hats, fancy dress, bands, parades (one little boy vividly remembering seeing something about Venice when visiting a casino in Las Vegas!). Finally, we listened to the carnival music again, pausing to talk about what the music could be describing; brass bands, acrobats, fireworks, fairground rides all came into it.

The rest of the lesson was taken up with responding to the music on paper, with colours, words (for older children) pictures, whatever they felt like doing.

So, in the time available, we listened attentively, sang, moved rhythmically, listened again with increasing aural recognition, used an expressive and musical vocabulary to describe music, and responded creatively to the music. I reckon that ticked most boxes.

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