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  • Writer's pictureJenny Ferris

Dynamic Duo

Hey there, welcome to my first lesson-based post!

I'd like to introduce you to two of my favourite puppets, who are also two of the ones I've had the longest and ones I keep coming back to over and over!

This is Forte the tiger - he likes loud noises and has a very big roar but don't worry, his bark is bigger than his bite! When children meet Forte, they automatically understand the association between big cats and loudness (you could also use a lion) and this helps them to remember the correct word for "loud" a lot easier!

I bought Forte at the Melbourne Zoo, but you can find plenty of plush tiger or lion toys at toy shops all over.

This is Piano the mouse - Piano is very shy and gets scared away unless we are very quiet when we whisper his name. Students once again create a very quick and clear association between a mouse and quietness, therefore remembering the correct terminology in a more meaningful way!

I bought piano from a pet shop, as he is actually a cat toy! However, these mice are easy enough to make - stay tuned for an upcoming post on mouse finger puppets and many more great songs you can use them for!

I find having my dynamics puppets work as a pair really helps students to understand the contrast between differing volume levels as well. As I always say, there is no one volume that equals "loud" - talking at a normal speaking volume may be considered way too loud in a library, but would be drowned out at a football match!

There are some great activities I love to do with these guys including some conducting, arranging known songs by adding dynamics and one of my favourite games: "Hot & Cold Dynamics"!

Hot & Cold Dynamics

In this game, one student is selected to leave the room. While they are gone, the class hides Piano the mouse somewhere out of sight but still accessible. When the student returns, they must wander around the room looking for Piano. To help them out, the rest of the class sings a known song, getting louder the closer the student is to the hiding place!

It's such fun! After a round or two even my most reluctant singers are joining in at the top of their lungs! Of course, the first few times we play the game I often have to have a discussion with the class about the difference between a singing and shouting voice! We also talk about the fact that in music we only want to get as loud or soft as we can within the limits of a beautiful and musical sound.

For more details on this game and others, you can check out my FREE Dynamics lesson bundle over on my TeachersPayTeachers Store.

Click Here to visit my TpT store and claim your free lesson bundle to help celebrate the launch of Kodaly Crafts!

Happy music-making!

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