January 16, 2016 by morningcamequickly
Here is the perfect set of melody bells to keep your students occupied while some are playing and others are not. Let them practice on paper bells! It goes well with the Falling Leaves song. This paper has both note names and color coding. Choose whichever is easier for your students to use. I keep a class set in plastic sleeves in a three ring binder.
I tell my students if they don’t practice on the paper bells, they won’t know what to do on the real ones. If I see a student not practicing, I call them on it and skip them until I see them doing it. It just isn’t fair to those who have practiced to have their moment messed up by someone who didn’t prepare. There’s a difference between the student who didn’t practice and the one who practiced but just needs more time to get it. As the teacher, you can tell the difference. You will also find that the last group to go, if they practiced, will do really well with your song. Exciting!
Now, before you go and try to tell me I shouldn’t teach students how to play by color, let me tell you about my situation. When I first did this, I had to teach 1,100 students at two different schools, seeing them once every 6 days for 25 minutes. That works out to be about 30 music classes a year. Folks, I’m a musician not a magician! Working within this system doesn’t allow for note reading perfection. I want kids to have fun in music class and be excited to come. Gym is always the competition Playing by color allowed my students to be successful, gave them something to do while six students were on the real bells, and had them asking for more.
I think you’ll find that these can be a handy tool to have available. You can download these for FREE here. Have fun!