Looking for a lesson that covers a specific melodic concept?  Need some games to use with a sub or to spice up your existing unit?  Here's a list of lessons/activities/games I use with my own kiddos (they link to other blog posts where the lessons are explained):

Mi So Lessons (appropriate for Kinders - early 2nd graders)
So and Mi Shoe Songs
See Saw
Bluebird (original song)
Bunny Bop (good for anytime of year)
Hey, Hey, Look at Me
Pease Porridge Hot
Bee, Bee
Engine, Engine
One Two Sky Blue
Rain, Rain
Starlight, Star bright
Mi So Games/Activities
So and Mi Dash
Solfa Dojo Level 1
See A Penny
So and Mi Folder Games
So and Mi Mad Minutes
So and Mi Patterns (to print or project)
Breakfast with So and Mi
Seasonal So and Mi activities
Will You Be My Lovebug?
So and Mi Snowflakes
Snowball Songs
Bunny Bop

Mi So La Lessons (appropriate for 1st and 2nd graders)
Sol, Solecito (movement and listening activity included)
Doggie Doggie
Red Rover
Snail, Snail
Bell Horses (movement and listening activity included)
Little Ruby Red Bird
Plainsies, Clapsies
24 Robbers
Arre Mi Burrito
Chini, Mini
Duerme Mi Tesoro
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
The Mill Song
We Are Playing in the Forest
Mi So La Games/Activities
Solfa Dojo Level 2
In the Doghouse
Mi So La Folder Games (various keys)
Mi So La Mad Minutes (various keys)
Mi So La Flash Cards
Floor Staff Ideas
Seasonal Mi So La Activities
Turkey, Turkey
Winter's Here
Easter Matching Game


  1. Hi Emily,

    Could you recommend an activity to teach each of the following:

    1. Breathing
    2. Crescendo (without the kids yelling/screaming)
    3. Dynamics or expressing emotion

    If you have any ideas for the above topics, I would LOVE your help.


  2. Sure, let's see:

    Breathing - My student teacher showed my kiddos this one and I loved it - she had the students reach up above their heads and take a deep breath (it is really hard for them to breath shallow in this position and use their shoulders - they usually take a nice, deep breath with their diaphragm) - then, she had the students close their eyes and breathe again and discuss how it felt - then had them lower their arms and try to keep that open, lifted feeling - I also use one where the students slightly bend their knees, breathe in deeply with their hands out in front of them, then swirl one hand around like a large pot while saying "sss" on a steady stream of air (stopping whenever they need to) - while they do this I check out their posture and the deepness of their breath

    2. Crescendo - with the voice? I build them into our warm-ups. We'll say, "this is my piano voice" (whisper) then we'll say cresCENDO and mimic the shape of a crescendo, but we don't get too loud because we then say "this is my mezzo forte voice" (regular speaking) and then we do another crescendo for "this is my forte voice" (we don't yell but we do speak loudly) - another thing you can do (I use an owl puppet) is have the students sustain an "ooo" on a nice comfy pitch (usually F or G) and sing louder if the owl flies closer to them and softer if it flies away (you can demonstrate this for them so they know exactly how to sound, or accompany them with a nice roll on a metallophone)

    Dynamics/expression - Is this when singing? I find modelling what I want and using words like "stronger" (instead of louder) or more quiet (instead of soft) are effective - students can also use their hands (we call it painting the music) to help them create the structure of a phrase - using bigger/wider gestures for loud sounds and smaller ones for quiet

    For expressing emotion - this can be tricky because a lot of times our students are too immature to have a wide emotional palette or don't have any concept of the historical context of a piece - when this occurs, I just communicate with them - I tell them about the background, I help them experience it, I have them discuss the meaning with others, I might even show a Youtube clip of the event, etc - for example, my choir is currently working on a few African American spirituals so we really discussed the historical context, the purpose behind them, how the kids might feel if they were in that situation, we moved around and pretended to labor in the fields while we worked, etc - my choir loves to come up with motions for the text (we don't always use it when performing but it helps them understand the lyrics and helps them memorize the lyrics)

    Hope that helps!