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Transition Ideas

for movement, instruments, and songs

VIC TORIA BOLER | WWW.WEMAKETHEMUSIC.ORG


TRANSITIONS FOR MOVEMENT
MOVEMENT TRANSITIONS

… … Use songs for lining up and making a circle

… … Use SMLSM questions and have students sing back their response.

example: Who is sitting criss-cross applesauce? (I’m sitting criss-cross

applesauce)

example: Who is standing in a line? (I am standing in a line)

… … Change words to a song to give new directions

… … Use hand signs for sit, stand, circle, and line up.

… … Use pictures for dance formations, lining up, or circle time

TRANSITIONS FOR INSTRUMENTS


INSTRUMENT TRANSITIONS

… … Teacher passes out rhythm instruments while speaking short phrases on

rhythmic syllables. Students either echo clap or echo on their instruments

… … Teacher passes out recorders while singing solfege syllables. Students either

echo sing on letter names or echo on their instruments.

… … Students echo clap while walking to orff instruments. Continue echo clapping

once they’re behind the instrument. Freeze with hands together while you give

instruction.

VIC TORIA BOLER | WWW.WEMAKETHEMUSIC.ORG


TRANSITIONS FOR CHANGING SONGS

MELODIC TRANSITIONS

… … Sing known songs while walking to new formation

… … Students listen to the teacher sing a new song as they move to a different

formation. Does the new song contain the mystery note?

… … Sight read melodies written on the board. The teacher changes one note at a

time until the melody becomes the beginning of the next song.

… … Echo sing short phrases containing the target melodic element. Gradually

change the phrase to become the beginning of the next song.

… … Use identical melodic phrases to transition to a new song (such as Lucy Locket

and We are Dancing in the Forest). Sing the phrase on solfege. Teacher asks,

“What other song could this be?” Students guess from a list of songs on the

board.

… … Use identical rhythmic phrases to transition to a new song or rhyme (Such as

Engine Engine and I Climbed up the Apple Tree OR Frog in the Meadow and Here

Comes a Bluebird). Speak the phrase on rhythm syllables. Teacher asks, “what

other song could this be?” Students guess from a list of songs on the board.

VIC TORIA BOLER | WWW.WEMAKETHEMUSIC.ORG


TRANSITIONS FOR CHANGING SONGS

RHYTHMIC TRANSITIONS

… … Move to a new formation while echo clapping

… … Move to a new formation while clapping the words of a known song

… … Students sing a song while keeping a steady beat. Continue keeping the beat

after the song is over while the teacher begins the new song.

… … Students conduct to a known song. Continue the conducting pattern after the

song is over while the teacher begins a new song

… … Echo clap short phrases containing the target rhythmic element. Gradually

change the phrase to become the beginning of the next song.

… … Students read song fragments as rhythmic practice. Gradually add more

flashcards to create a new known song.

VIC TORIA BOLER | WWW.WEMAKETHEMUSIC.ORG


TRANSITIONS FOR CHANGING SONGS

T H E M AT I C T R A N S I T I O N S

… … Connect songs with a story.

example: Lucy Locket took Engine Number 9 to Arioso Land

… … Connect songs with similar elements or characters

example: Riding in the Buggy and Liza Jane

example: Burnie Bee and Bee Bee Bumble Bee

example: Doggie Doggie and Bow Wow Wow

example: Let Us Chase the Squirrel and Hop Old Squirrel

… … Connect elements of a composer’s life or themes in their classical pieces to

connect with known songs

example: After an activity from “Autumn” by Vivaldi, sing Little Leaves are

Falling

example: Students sing Willum he had 7 sons. Teacher says something like,

“Wow that’s a lot of kids! Can we think of a composer who had even more

kids? (Bach) Let’s listen to some of his music”

example: After an activity with Carnival of the Animals, the teacher can

show students where Camille Saint-Saens lived (France) on a map.

Ask students, “do we know any other songs from France?” Then sing Fais

Do Do.

… … Connect songs with the same mood, tempo, or key

VIC TORIA BOLER | WWW.WEMAKETHEMUSIC.ORG