When your child starts out learning music, one of the first things they will learn is the scale. Music teachers often use games to teach the scale, and many even use games as part of teaching piano and other instruments.
If you want to give your little music lover some help learning the major scale before he/she takes piano lessons in Atlanta, here are some fun games that will teach them this fundamental part of music.
There are a number of different toys your child has that could be used to learn the scales. For example, building blocks such as Legos can be used to build scales. In this game, each Lego brick is a half-step on the scale. Your child builds a small stack of one or two bricks for “do.” For the next stack (representing “re”), they add two blocks more because “re” to signify the two half steps between the two notes. They continue on building the scale, making sure to use enough bricks to account for the half steps between the notes.
You can use any type of toys for this. Blocks or tokens from board games work very well if you don’t have Lego blocks. Another option is to lay out items in a line instead of building up. For that, you could use candy such as M&Ms. Put down two for “Do,” then four for “Re,” and so on. After the lesson, you and your child can enjoy the candy as a treat!
Play an Otamatone
An otamatone is a fun little instrument that can be used for learning the major scale and other activities. It looks like a large music note.
After turning it on (otamatones use batteries), students slide their finger across the long section of the instrument to make different pitches. You may need to mark on the instrument where the different notes are. Once that’s done, the student can look at a song written out in stick notation and figure out how to play it on the otamatone. This is more of an advanced lesson for those who are getting a good grasp of the scale already.
In addition to using the otamatone, you can also use a couple of other instruments for this type of lesson. Orff instruments such as xylophones and marimbas can be a lot of fun for students, especially young students who haven’t started learning other instruments yet. There are some very colorful little xylophones that would work very well for learning the scale.
Another option is a boomwhacker, a colorful instrument made up of different plastic pipes. Students hit these pipes against their legs to make sounds.
Folk songs can be used to introduce or reinforce the major scales. If your child already takes music lessons, their music teacher may have one of these songs that they like to use. If they don’t, you can ask them for recommendations. If your little one isn’t taking lessons yet, you could look online for options.
One favorite song some teachers use is “Chumbara.” This is a Canadian song that’s often sung along with a clapping game. If your child already knows “fa” and “ti,” You can use this folk song to help them learn the rest of the scale.
Ready to Start Music Lessons?
Once your child becomes familiar with the major scale, they may be ready to move on to more formal music lessons. We offer lessons in many different instruments plus vocal training for children and adults, and all teaching takes place in your home where you and your child are comfortable. Contact us today to learn more.