Whenever we listen to music, I always try and talk to N about the different musical instruments that are playing. He mostly doesn’t get involved with discussions, but I like to talk to him about the different sounds and ways of playing the instruments.
He’s also started playing the trombone. Well, acting as though he’s playing a trombone. I’m quite impressed how he
- knows what a trombone is, and
- gets the actions totally right, with the pursed mouth and arm moving the ‘slide’.
So I think it’s probably time to get him listening better to the music we play. At the moment, he’ll quite happily beat out the basic rhythm which he seems quite good at, and the next things I want to do is find some music which features the trombone and other recognisable instruments.
Then I had a brainwave and remembered back to my GCSE music exam where we would be played a piece of music and would have to mark on the score the various instruments, change of key, dynamics, tempo etc. It was one of my favourite parts of doing music, and something I was quite good at.
Obviously that would be too hard for preschoolers, but I decided I would make Musical Bingo instead.
I’ve created some downloadable Musical Bingo sheets. I’m planning on laminating them, then children can mark on the sheets and it can be wiped off to be used again at a later date. If you want to make your own, it’s just a case of either cutting out pictures of different instruments and sticking them onto boards or paper, or creating a board on powerpoint or the like
The ones I created are a random mix of instruments, so it’s unlikely that any one piece of music will incorporate all of them, but that means we can listen to several music cds and just mark as we go.
The alternative would be to have different boards:
- section of the orchestra – woodwind, brass, percussion, strings to help children understand the different types of instruments and their similarities
- genres of instruments – rock, classical, suitable for listening to different types of music.
If you want to play the musical bingo with more than one person and compete, you’d probably be best having an orchestral set of boards in order to be able to tick all the instruments off to win. But if you’re playing to help a child learn about and listen for the instruments in a piece of music, then a board of a random mix would work fine.
To play, just play a track and listen out for the instruments. If you hear them, circle the instrument, tick them off or put a counter on them. Once you’ve reached the end of the piece, it’s a great reason to then talk about the different musical instruments.
N’s going to love this game, hopefully it means we’ll get to listen to a whole track rather than just the first minute.
Do you play any musical games with your children? Please do share them with me, and also go an link up over at my #MusicExploration linky.