Thursday, February 13, 2014

Let's Make a Pattern!

We have so much fun in Sound Beginnings! One of the things we are doing for the next few weeks is making patterns with our own set of graphic cards. We are learning to make patterns, read them, and then creating music as we "play" the pattern by using body percussion as we pat, clap, and snap the pattern.

Why are we making patterns in Sound Beginnings music classes?

There are mathematical and scientific benefits AND musical benefits to understanding patterns!
I found a summary of its importance relating to math on

"Patterns are all around us, from the clothing we wear to the repeating patterns found in nature and everyday routine. Patterning is also a basic math skill upon which many mathematical concepts are based. Times tables, addition and skip counting all require an understanding of and proficiency in patterning. In preschool, identifying and creating patterns is just the beginning of the mastery of life-long mathematical skills."
By Traci Geiser

It's a great foundation skill for music too!! Instruments follow patterns. The black keys on the piano are organized into groups following a pattern of 2 and 3 all the way across. The quicker the child internalizes that, the easier it is to move on to finding each of the white keys and eventually playing fluidly without watching the piano or their hands. Music IS patterns! There are small 2-10 note melodic phrases that repeat. There are rhythmic patterns. There are patterns found in chord sequences - I, IV, V; I, IV, V. Then there is the whole structure of the piece - such as ABA form. And there are more! Music loves patterns! And our brains love patterns! Our noggins are always looking for the easiest way to process information. When students can quickly recognize patterns, they can sight-read music, process it, memorize it, and perform it more quickly!

So THAT is why we're making patterns in Sound Beginnings!

Extend your child's learning with these simple everyday activities that are sure to delight gives these suggestions: Help her find the patterns on her clothes, the soles of her shoes, the patterns in leaves and flowers!
Here are some fun activities to get her making patterns of her own:

  • When serving small crackers or cereal that comes in multiple colors, ask your child to create a pattern with her food before eating it.
  • String beads or colored cereal into a beautiful patterned necklace for hands-on pattern work. 
  • Use blocks, Legos or other small toys to create patterns across the room. The longer you make it, the more fun it is (and the more practice for your little one)
  • Use stickers or rubber stamps to make patterns on paper. Your child will be delighted in the opportunity to use these fun tools for learning.
  • Create movement patterns as you move across the back yard, down the street or through the  park. For example walk, walk, jump; walk, walk, jump. Try any of these movements to add to the fun: skip, run, jog, hop, turn, and sit.
  • For some Valentine's Day fun, print this sheet out and make patterns with some conversation hearts

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