Friday, January 18, 2019


This post is all about clocks! Lots of ideas for a lesson using word rhythm vs beat, form, solo singing, expressive movement and more! Use this as one complete lesson, or pick and choose what works for you! I did this lesson in first grade last week and it was so fun! We got to do it all- sing, say, dance, and play! 

Vocal Exploration- repeat after me.  First Vocal Sirens, then clock sounds (tick tick tick tick, ding dong, Cuckoo Cuckoo Cuckoo Cuckoo etc.) 

Cuckoo in the Clock - Every time we sing this song, we sing, then play the rhythm on an instrument (or clap), then Cuckoo 4x. 

In this lesson, first I have students continue to tick on the steady beat as I sing the song.  We then switch parts and sometimes I split the class as well- some singing/ clapping and some ticking. (Yay Partwork) 

For the Game, All students close their eyes and start singing the song.  While they are singing and then clapping the rhythm of the song to "Knock" I choose one student to hide behind the piano.  The hiding student sings the cuckoo's on their own.  When they are done, the class opens their eyes and tries to guess who is missing. 

Hickory Dickory Dock Vs Tick Tock
This activity I learned from Lucinda Geoghegan when I was in Hungary a few years ago. It is GREAT for steady beat in both 2/4 and 6/8.  First, the class sings Tick Tock (see below) and adds a simple hand clap game to that (clap own hands, hit partners hands, repeat). Next we learn Hickory Dickory Dock, and say it with the same game.  Then we stand in a circle and first ALL say Hickory Dickory Dock with the handclap game.  During the rest at the end, we "Ding" and turn around to do Tick Tock with a different partner.  (I call this Level 2. Level 1 is just the hand clap game with a partner, not switching back and forth.) 

As a challenge (or Level 3) students can stand in a circle and try to have both the chant and the song going at the same time (every other pair sings Tick-Tock while the others say HDD).  The different timbres (singing and speaking) helped Ss to stay on their own parts.  This is great to start prepping 6/8 un-conciously even with little ones.  They love the challenge of part-work!

2/4 Tick tock, tick tock, goes my little clock
        s      m      s      m      s      l     s s     m

6/8 Hickory Dickory Dock, the Mouse ran up the clock.  

The clock struck one and down he came, Hickory Dickory Dock.

Syncopated Clock Scarf Routine

My students LOVE this scarf routine because it shows form, uses both hands, and they get to throw the scarves! I made it up, but being honest, I know I have done scarf routines to this song in many workshops so it may unconsciously be similar to another you have seen. 

A Section - Scarf in RT Hand and move rt arm around in a circle in front of your body as if it is a hand on a clock. 
When the A sections repeats, students switch the scarf to the left hand and do the same thing. 

B Section- Put scarf in both hands, wave above head for 16 beats, then down low for 16 beats 

C Section- Throw/ Catch to the steady beat! Be sure to have students switch hands. 

Viennese Musical Clock Scarves and Cups

For the Scarf Routine, it is mostly a movement exploration activity.  During the A Section, students must March to the beat, but can move the scarf however they want.  For the other sections of the rondo they get to move both their feet and the scarf creatively to match the music. 

For the Cup game, older kids to the typical "cup pattern" during the A section and then follow the leader for other sections of the rondo.  Leaders may choose to do activities to the beat using their cup, or just their hands. 

Typical Cup Pattern- Clap, Clap, Tap-tap, Tap.  Clap, move it, over, z. Clap, pick-it up (with your hand upside down), Hit your left hand (with the bottom of your cup), Down (tap the cup on the floor). Switch Hands, Tap, and Pass, z. 

At the end, we wrap up our lesson with a Time Telling Book. See a list of awesome time books HERE

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