So much of what we do in our chugim is aimed at developing our children's listening skills. Here are 3 of my top listening activities that you can try at home!
1. 'It's Oh So Quiet' by Bjork
This song is a fantastic and fun way to introduce the idea of loud and soft. There are clear sections of the music that switch from extremely quiet dynamics to extremely loud dynamics, and even children as young as 2 can listen to and recognise the change. We listen to this song with scarves, which we put on our head and sit quietly during the soft parts of the music, waiting for the switch, and when the music changes we dance around with our scarves. The loud parts of the music are really exciting and great fun to dance to!
2. 'Hungarian Dance no.5' by Brahms
This beautiful piece is a great example of changes of tempo in the music. The tempo, or speed, of the music changes suddenly back and forth throughout the piece. It starts of at a steady piece and then suddenly speeds up. There are also examples of gradual change of tempo in the music and it keeps changing which makes it very exciting to listen to! We use a parachute for this one, and the kids love when the really fast phrases come up and we shake the parachute as fast as we can!
3. 'The Wild Horseman' by Schumman
This piano solo allows us to listen for the structure A-B-A in the music. The A section starts off the music and then there is a contrasting B section before the A section returns. The music, as its name suggests, has a feeling of galloping horses so when we listen to this music we use our hobby horses (read; kid size brooms!) to gallop around the room for the section A and during section B we go for a rest in the stables. This helps encourage the children to listen for the change in the music from section to section.