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Teaching Melody During Online Learning

Teaching Melody During Online Learning: Videos, games, and more for teaching melody digitally during school closure

Wondering how to teach melody when not in the same room as your students? In this blog post, I’m exploring how to practice melody with students while teaching online.

Melodic Reading Videos

In my last blog post, I discussed rhythm reading videos. Melodic reading videos can also be used to improve musical understanding, like this one for sol-mi.  Students can simply echo sing.

My friend Debbie O’Shea from Crescendo Music has this whole series; she has this whole series. Here is one of the melodic reading videos. 

Here’s another melodic video from another channel, practicing all of the notes in the major scale, intervals, and more:

Students can simply sing along!

In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about Amy Abbott’s Rhythm Wars. She has a set called “Solfa Wars,” that also looks like the opening credits of “Star Wars.” While online learning, you could simply provide a link to the video for students to watch.

Melodic games

Boom cards are a great way to interact with students digitally. Jane from Sillyomusic has a whole series of Boom Cards. Here’s her game for sol-mi:

Students can be assigned a link, so they can click the link and play, or they can get a username and password, and you can track data. When students choose an answer, the game immediately tells them whether they are correct or not, which is great for immediate feedback!

Melodic Worksheets

Having a way of students writing on the staff is important, so sending home a packet of worksheets could be helpful. Here are some free worksheet sets for melody:

And here are a few others that aren’t free:

If you don’t want to send home the entire packet, you could see this tutorial for how to split the PDF. Or you could print out the worksheets you want, scan them, and then save and send.

Making Videos

If you’d like to make your own melodic videos, it’s not too hard to do. Let’s say you want to make a video so students can read melodic patterns. You could use these tools:

I’m also planning on making videos of me teaching melodic concepts, with my face to the camera. For this, I’ll need:

  • A dry erase board
  • Screencastify
  • Microphone (completely optional, but can make sound better. If you don’t have one, you can just use the microphone already in your computer.)

To make a melodic reading video:

  • Insert lines into PowerPoint or Keynote to make a staff
  • Insert circles and place them in the appropriate places on the staff
  • After making several patterns, go back to the first page, open up Screencastify, and hit record
  • Give a singing prep and sing the pattern on the screen, then leave time for students to echo you
  • Upload the video to Google Drive, or to YouTube as an unlisted video, then share that link with your students. You could also upload to a website, such as one you make with Google Sites.

I hope this has been helpful to you, as you try to figure out how to continue your “typical” lessons with your students. In tomorrow's blog post, I'll write about how to take all of this information and put it all together, for engaging digital lessons with your students! Happy (online) teaching!

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