Playful Learning in Music Education: Unleashing Creativity with Unconventional Tools 🎶
In the world of music education, embracing a bit of playfulness can be the key to unlocking creativity and engagement. Step into my classroom, where the usual suspects of musical instruction take a back seat to some unexpected stars – googly eye rings, rubber chickens, and whirly toys. Let's dive into how these 3 unconventional tools infuse our lessons with excitement and bring out the best in our students:
1. Googly Eyes: The Improvisation Catalyst
When it comes to teaching improvisation, googly eye rings take center stage in my lessons and rehearsals. Improvisation can be intimidating, but these wiggly-eyed companions make it feel like a game. Students wear the googly eyes and take turns improvising, adding a lighthearted element to the process. It's amazing how a touch of whimsy can boost confidence and creativity in musical expression, allowing students to feel safe "behind" a puppet or guise of sorts as they try something more vulnerable like creating new tunes with their voice.
2. Rubber Chickens: Shaping Vowels for Beautiful Harmony
Creating a harmonious choral sound involves mastering vowel shapes. Enter the rubber chicken, our surprising ally in this endeavor. As students sing higher notes, we talk about vowel shapes and use our rubber chicken (affectionately named Drumstick by my middle schoolers!) as a visual reminder. Sometimes he participates in games as well... the sky is the limit!
3. Whirly Toys: Elevating Range and Tone Dynamics
Whirly helicopter toys take vocal exercises to a whole new level, literally! As students take turns during warm-ups making the whirly toy go high into the air, they follow it with their voice in a glissando. This helps students explore their vocal range and tone in a playful way so they aren't thinking about how high they are going, or shouting when they go higher. The visual element keeps them engaged!
Play in Learning: Where Hard Work is a Form of Play
Beyond the specific lessons, these unconventional tools contribute to an environment where play is embraced as a powerful learning tool. In our musical journey, hard work becomes play and play helps us achieve hard work. Each challenge transforms into an opportunity for discovery and growth. The unexpected elements brought by these tools encourage students to explore, take risks, and find joy in the process of making music.
What creative methods do you use to make music lessons engaging and fun for your students?