Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Most children are not born with perfect pitch. Changing the pitch of their voice is something they have to learn to do, and before that, to learn to recognise what it means. Again this is best taught through demonstration and participation. Actions that can be done as the pitch changes, such as moving or pointing up or down, help to reinforce the concept of changes in pitch. Also don’t be afraid to use your own voice as you are talking about pitch to illustrate the differences. Be confident in your voice as you want the children to feel confident in their voices and if you are shy, they will pick up on it.

Equipment Required

  • Up to two pitch tracks
  • Props if required, ribbons, scarves, pom poms, or you can just use your bodies too.

Link to resources

Training Videos

Pitch Tracks-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Duration

Up to six weeks

How it works

This activity presents children with a small simple pattern of notes which combine high and low. The children are encouraged to move themselves or a prop up and down as the pattern goes up and down.

What to do in the class

When working with the walkers to 2 age group, the children are simply encourage to listen to the note and follow the response of the instructor. For older the older age group encourage the children to guess before you make a move.

Choose one of the 10 pitch tracks containing simple pitch patterns. Each track runs through each pitch so that you can hear them all before playing the longer tones. The first six tracks just use two tones, high and low, and tracks 7 to 10 use three tones, high low and middle. The tones are played one after the other High Low High Low High Low in order for you to demonstrate to the children what they need to do. There is then a random pattern of high low tones to move to. Play the tracks demonstrating moving to the pattern. Encourage the children to join in with you.

As they become more experienced you can do another pattern on the same day. Possible movements to do to the patterns:

  • Stand up and crouch down
  • Lift your arms up and down
  • Standing – lift pom poms /scarves up and down

The shorter the note durations the more quickly the children have to respond to each change. There are also some tracks with a random note duration which will add a nice element of fun as you are not quite sure how quickly you are going to have to move each time.

  • Pitch Track 1 – 2 sec note duration, 2 tones
  • Pitch Track 2 – 0.75 note duration, 2 tones
  • Pitch Track 3 – 2 sec note duration, 2 tones
  • Pitch Track 4 – 0.75 note duration, 2 tones
  • Pitch Track 5 – 1.25 note duration, 2 tones
  • Pitch Track 6 – Mixed note duration, 2 tones
  • Pitch Track 7 – 2 sec note duration, 3 tones
  • Pitch Track 8 – 1.25 note duration, 3 tones
  • Pitch Track 9 – 0.75 note duration, 3 tones
  • Pitch Track 10 – Mixed note duration, 3 tones

Adaptations for older/younger children

Let the younger children follow your body movements. Get the older children to anticipate which way you are going to move, or show you..

What to do in a nursery setting

No adaptation necessary

Tips

Use the longer note duration and only two tones for the younger children or when introducing the activity. Gradually speed things up by using shorter note durations or use the pitch tracks with three tones to make it more challenging

There are lots of different things you can do with pitch to get the children to understand the difference between high and low. You could also try something like a slide whistle (or other pitched instrument). When low to high is played, the children stand up, when high to low is played they sit down. You can develop this with different instruments, for instance a recorder or xylophone, or a small keyboard perhaps.