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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaching Melodic Contour with Debussy and Ribbon Sticks

This week in 1st grade, we learned a bit about melodic contour! 

We started by listening to some simple melodies played on the piano. First I played melodies that only went up or down and had students point towards the ceiling or the ground to indicate direction. Then I played melodies that went up and then down or down and then up. Again, I had students point in the directions one after the other.

Next, we took a listen/look to Debussy's First Arabesque:
While we listened, we followed the purple/orange bubbles with our hand/arms for about a minute.

Then we took a look at another video once they got the hang of following the pattern/music. This video was the one we were going to add ribbon sticks too.
Here's the choreography I used:
:06-:16 side figure eighth(infinity sign) in front
:17-:26 large movement side to side over head
:27-:42 center swirls - stir the pot motion
:43-:45 side figure eighth in front
:47-1:05 side to side over head, ending with ribbon falling downward downward
1:06-1:40 hold ribbon and sway to music
1:42-1:51 side figure eighth in front
1:52-2:04 large movement side to side over head
2:05-2:16 small shake side to side over head and bring movement down as melody moves down
2:17-2:26 shake side to side raise with melodic contour

2:17-end shake side to side all the way down

Before teaching the choreography, I had students do similar movements without ribbon sticks. But if you're pressed for time, you could go right to the choreography!

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