Happy September, everyone! This month, our musical word of the month is “melody.” Melody is an easily recognizable element of music. By definition, it’s a sequence or succession of pitches. In laymen’s terms, the melody of a song is typically what you sing or hum.
A really great activity to do at home is to have a child compose a melody and play it. There are a few different ways to do this, and it does depend on what supplies you have on hand. We happen to have a keyboard at home. If you do, too, putting colored stickers on a succession of keys is one option. Boomwhackers work well because each tube is labeled and colored. Another option is to gather a collection of toys that make sound. For today, I used a toy xylophone we have in our toy bin! Like boomwhackers, the xylophone works very well because each pitch is already assigned a color. It’s also much more likely you’ll stumble upon one of these in your playroom!
How to Write Your Own Melody
1) Play each note on the instrument or toys in front of you so that the child can remember each sound.
2) Tell the child that they are going to compose their own melody and create their own song. Using crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc., allow the child to draw the colors they want to hear in the order or pattern they choose. If you’re using toys, you can draw the shape and color of the toy. Choose a developmentally appropriate number here, I like do 3-7. Remind them that they do not have to use each sound and they can go in any order they would like.
3) Play the melody back! Play the corresponding colors. The child may choose to change the pattern or they may love it and want to play it over and over!
4) High five your musician, they just wrote a melody.
5) To take it a step further, make up a phrase and attach a word to each pitch (color).
We hope your little musicians enjoy creating a melody! Please share some of your compositions below. We’d love to see them!