Thursday, December 6, 2012

What's Our Dynamic?

As music teachers, we are continually trying to discover opportunities to use musical terminology a variety of ways in the classroom.  While browsing through Pintrest, I saw a classroom noise level chart.  This was a very cleaver idea, which sent my mind floating upon ways that I could alter it for music class. So... I came up with this.

First, a chart was created to display the different dynamic levels used in music.  Whenever we are learning a new piece of music, a student is chosen to come up to the "dynamic" chart and move the arrow to the level we will be using for that song.  For example, the teacher may ask the students to find any dynamic markings in the song, then have them come up to the chart to move the arrow.  As the dynamics in the song change, the teacher or a student could move the arrow accordingly.

The arrow was simply made by gluing a clothes pin to a laminated arrow made from construction paper.  Not only do we use this chart when learning about music, we also refer to it for the sound level of our classroom.  When asking a student to read out loud, the teacher could say, "Who would like to read this paragraph about Mozart in a loud forte voice?"  While working in small groups, the teacher could move the arrow to give a visual for the volume level of the class.  Students will begin to understand that when speaking and in music, fortissimo is reserved for special and appropriate times.

This chart has been a great visual and classroom management tool for my class.  Here's hoping it might be helpful to you too!  Enjoy!