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  • Writer's pictureJenny Ferris

Great ways to develop inner hearing

As Kodaly himself famously said, "we should read music in the same way that an educated adult will read a book: in silence, but imagining the sound". The way to achieve this endgame is to start developing inner hearing skills in our students right from the outset. As soon as their musical education begins, we want to encourage students to hear music not only coming from speakers or the mouths of their music teacher and peers, but inside their own mind as well.

Over the next few months I'll be posting a series of activities and ideas to develop inner hearing skills in your students, whatever their age or ability!

I have already listed a couple of great activities in my post about Sammy Snail (check it out here) but today I'd like to talk about a device that I use in my classroom a lot, which students really relate to - traffic lights!

Even though they aren't driving yet (hopefully!), your students should all be pretty familiar with the concept of green meaning go, red meaning stop etc. If not, there's a handy little song which will teach them these concepts (and it's also great for teaching do later on) which goes like this:

Once the students are familiar with the song, you can do some great inner hearing activities with them. Start small by having them inner hear the words that each traffic light says, or the colours. Then try inner hearing a whole sentence. Then, using the traffic light puppet, have the students sing aloud when you are pointing to the green light and inner hear when you are pointing to the red light.

If students are struggling at all with the changes between one and the other, then use the yellow light as a warning that change is coming! (I have found this step made all the difference with a number of students with additional learning needs).

Once they are familiar with the traffic light concept, try it with other songs, longer songs, as an assessment task, make a game out of it by having a music traffic controller (like air traffic controllers. Less hectic, but no less important!) There are so many ways you can use this resource!

In case you haven't already done so, make sure you sign up to the mailing list and you will receive this song analysis, traffic light sewing pattern and activity, along with a number of other freebies! This pattern is exclusive to subscribers, so make sure you get on that list for more Kodaly Crafts goodies!

Happy singing, happy sewing!

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