Friday, June 16, 2017

Music Literacy in the Library

A while back, parents in my local school district were surveyed about what needs there are for kids in the community. Many parents expressed a need for more music. That got me thinking, as a children's librarian, about how I could bring more music programs to kids at the library, and how I could connect that to literacy.

Then I discovered a great partnership in the person of this music educator I know who had come to one of our Educator Nights at the library: Dayita Datta. She came to me and pitched an idea for a music program for kids to introduce them to all kinds of concepts about music, while keeping the focus on singing, dancing and having fun. 

Yesterday we got to try out that program here, just as a one-time thing because of budget limitations. It was awesome. She had the kids dancing, singing, clapping rhythms, playing the metallophone. But literacy was deeply involved in the program all the way through: in the books she presented, in the ways she "sang" the books, and in the ways the kids anticipated outcomes and participated in repetition and rhymes. 

Here are a few of the books Dayita shared:

Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree

First this book starts out illustrating an English song, then it changes to a "music map" with chestnuts rising and falling to indicate the rise and fall of the melody, and growing bigger or smaller to indicate how long to hold each note.

I loved the music literacy applications of that! Eventually, what the kids see is the official sheet music of what they just sang.


Dayita didn't just read this book--she sang it on chant pitches, and encouraged the kids to come in on chanted "Oh yes!" and "Oh no!"

Freight Train

Playing a train whistle, Dayita taught the kids about the difference between rhythm and tempo. She kept the same rhythm but changed the tempo, or speed. Then she read the book, playing the whistle and inviting kids to clap along.

I hope I can have Dayita back at my library because there are a lot of possibilities I think she could explore with the kids if we were able to hire her for a longer series!

No comments:

Post a Comment