Interactive Visual Aids Capture Young Learners

Want to engage students and promote understanding of music concepts? Teachers are always on the hunt for new ways to captivate students and demonstrate music concepts. If those materials foster music experimentation, so much the better. In their article in General Music Today (January 2011), Jèssica Pérez Moreno and Teresa Malagarriga i Rovira use a variety of materials with young children.

Visual Aids

Using Chick Corea’s “Children’s Song,” the authors use the above materials and a container of water to convey the music ideas of an AABACA coda structure with an ostinato to 2-year-olds. The sun, frog, and fish each move to the rhythms of the A, B, and C themes respectively, while the teacher moves the water with her hand to represent the ostinato. Children gradually carry out the activities for the individual themes until they can do them independently. Once the children are independent, the teacher displays a musicogram with buttons and ribbon to represent the melodic themes and a wavy blue line to represent the ostinato. Children follow the musicogram while listening to the music and discuss the rhythms and pitches of the melodies. Instruments are slowly added. The musicogram is made available so children can repeat the music activities they’ve learned or invent new ones.

Visual Aids

Representation of Theme B from “Children’s Song”

Visual Aids

Representation of Theme C from “Children’s Song”

For 5-year-olds, the authors use the musicogram plus an enlarged copy of the score, colors, and different percussion instruments, along with body movements.

Read about specific plans and activities, as well as materials for making the musicogram, in “Discovering Music through Chick Corea in Early Learning Centers in Spain: Proposals and Materials” in the January 2011 issue of General Music Today.

Jèssica Pérez Moreno is a doctoral candidate at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Teresa Malagarriga I Rovira is a professor of early childhood music education at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. —Linda C. Brown, January 26, 2011, © National Association for Music Education (