In church the Sunday before our lesson, my eldest student asked me, "When are we going to get to the tones?" I know that the feeling of accomplishment is important for students because it motivates them and make learning exciting. Since we needed to have a short lesson I decided to focus on 2 things: coming down the scale and getting into mode 1 in the Parallage Phrases. Since I knew they had been practicing the Nightly "Ni", I was hopeful that they would do better with the "up 2" and "up 3" jumps that I put had put back into the early phrases.
So, we started with the scale. In order to practice coming down the scale we played Fine* and Oligon/Apostrophos with the Ni Pa Vou cards (it probably should have just been Apostrophos). They had a lot of fun with the scale games as usual.
Next we did the Parallage Phrases, skipping the first ten phrases. Once we got to phrase 19 or 20 we added something new. I had them put their Ni Pa Vou cards in order next to their phrases. Then I gave them some magic notes and we matched them up next to the Ni Pa Vou cards. Then they used more magic notes to write out the phrase on the card. When they finished I asked them to chant it in their heads before we did it together.
Both girls did really well with the "up 2" jump. I started doing ison for them and they were able to go from ni to vou by themselves and stay on pitch for the most part. I only joined them on the melody if they were getting off pitch. I also joined them on a new phrase that introduced a new symbol. They wanted to chant on their own, so in general I tried to chant softly on the melody or do ison.
They used the magic notes a few times on some of the new, trickier phrases. They really enjoyed using the magic notes and I think that it will help them become independent more quickly. They kept asking why the notes were magic and I had to keep telling them that they would find out when we were all done using the magic notes. So when we were done, I showed them the magic wand, and how it could pick up the magic notes (the wand has a magnet inside and the notes have a metal ring around them that isn't very noticeable).
After the lesson I asked if they would practice the phrases if I left the magic notes and wand. They both agreed enthusiastically. Having the magic notes to use on trickier phrases will make it more likely that they will decode the intervals before chanting the phrase (which increases the chance that they will chant it correctly). It will also give them visual cues as they chant to help them find the right pitch. Plus, everybody loves colorful magnetic things to play with. Especially kids!
SAHM by day; ByzB curriculum developer by night. My career was in teaching: kindergarten, first grade, bilingual reading, Suzuki piano, and Music Mind Games. Now I paint icons and spend lots of time making materials on the computer. My greatest joy is directing my students in their learning. This blog documents the process and provides a space for my other ramblings as well.