An Earful of Melodies
Ear and Sight Reading Activity
• ear training activity for students to identify the melody being played
• melody dictation using the 8 melodies provided - one per class/lesson
• a variety of melodies for analysis - different time and key signatures, and rhythms
• students perform each melody with a chosen tempo and expressiveness
(dynamics and use of crescendo and diminuendo, rit., etc.)
There are eight, distinct melodies provided. Each one has special melodic features that could be addressed for teaching opportunities. Students could identify the melody played by the teacher. (See sheet) Or, in pairs, students could play the melody on a tablet app, recorder, keyboard, etc. to test their partner(s).
Use each melody for students to make musical observations about each one. (See sheet)
Have students draw the contour of each melody. (See sheet) and sample below. Contour is a good tool to help students see the interval range and melodic patterns of a melody.
Is there a common feeling (emotion) to melodies that have a larger spread of intervals?
Students could perform their choice of melody into GarageBand for iOS with the main melody on one track, a chord accompaniment on a second track (Smart Strings, for example), and a drum pattern on a third track. Most melodies follow a basic chord progression of chords I - IV - V - I.