DIY Slinky Puppets
The humble slinky.
Who would've thought it could be a crucial teaching tool in the music room?
How so, you ask?
Slinkies can be a fantastic tool for vocal exploration, encouraging students to widen the range of their voice with the movement of the slinky. You can model for your students (like in the video below) and have them copy in a number of different sounds and voices
Props to the wonderful Kerryn Vezos for introducing this one to me recently. The wonderful "up, down, wriggle wriggle wriggle" is a great instructional song. Students manipulate their slinky by pulling it up from centre, then down from centre, then let it dangle and spin from side to side. They then have to catch it on the word stop. On the word "slide" students hold the slinky horizontally and stretch it out to one side and then the other (encourage legato movements).
Beethoven's "Six Ecossaises" is a great piece for maintaining steady beat. You can have students manipulate their slinkies in a variety of ways, changing pattern with each variation (what a great way to introduce form analysis too!).
Students might dangle their slinkies, roll them along the floor, toss from one hand to another, balance on their heads, the possibilities are endless! You can even encourage them to create their own movements and tick off a choreography component of your dance curriculum if you are a Performing Arts teacher.
These slinkies are a super cheap and super easy-to-craft DIY exercise too. All you need are slinkies and googly eyes (Both available from most supermarkets, $2 shops, craft stores and party stores). Simply glue the eyes to the slinky and wait for it to dry. Then you have your own vocal monster!