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Parent Resources

Solfeggio Hand Signs
Solfeg syllables were first written in an 11th century hymn/chant by a monk named Guido d'Arezzo.  Interestingly enough, the notes of this chant (which was a prayer to St John) followed the steps of what is now the major scale:

(DO)       (RE)         (MI)          (FA)      (SOL)     (LA)     (TI)
UT        REsonare   MIra       FAmuli    SOLve   LAbii   Sancte
queant      fibris     gestorum  tutorum   polluti   reatum   Iohannes

Solfeggio was brought back into prominence as researchers and educators discovered the brain's ability to connect more easily with pitch relationships when a syllable was attached.  It is crucial to associate a placement of tone before ever identifying it's note name on the staff.  Since solfeg gives a name to each note of the scale, children can learn the sound 'SOL-MI' by singing it without having to think about a written note.

Zoltan Kodaly (pronounced [KOH-die], Hungary, 1882 -1967]  was a revolutionist who changed the attitudes of teaching music to children.  His addition of hand signs and use of 'patterning' are means for the goal of developing music within the child.  He added hand signs!  And each hand sign represents the function of each step of the major scale. This way, full body involvement is utilized because the hands can 'feel' the major scale.  
DO is solid, stable
RE slants downward pulling to DO
MI is stable but hovering
FA is wanting to fall down to MI
SOL stable, fixed
LA is static, hanging, and loose
TI has a strong pull up to DO

'Moveable' DO System
Some of you noticed that we may sing DO as C or DO as F or any other given note.  This is called Moveable Do.  This means that in any given key, the first note of the scale is DO.  It allows us to hear pitch relations in any key!  
The alternative form of solfeggio is a 'fixed DO' system, meaning that middle C is always DO, and D is always RE, and so on.  But this inhibits our ability to transpose or arrange music.  With Moveable DO there is no loyalty to the note or key of C, we are not trapped, rather we are aware of pitch relationships within any key.


Websites that help you practice recognizing songs that end in Mi Re Do:
You can use any of the above websites to listen to random songs and ask, "does it end with a Mi Re Do (MRD)? Does it have a Sol Sol Do (SSD)? What about Sol La Ti DO (SLTD)?" As we learn more and more patterns, your children will start to recognize and catch on to more and more of the common melodies used in music. 

The Importance of Mi Re Do, Sol Sol Do, Sol La Ti Do?

MRD, SSD, etc are all cadence patterns, which means they have a strong yellow-red cadence pull.  (Songs and musical phrases have common endings, also known as cadences.)  MRD and SSD have the strongest cadence pull, then SLTD.  They have a strong sense of Do and tonal center.  They help children to feel where Do is and where HOME (the tonal center of whichever key you are in) is.  They emphasize the 'homeness' of the Red Chord and of Do!

Puppet Show Coloring Pages
Here is a copy of the puppet show coloring pages so that you can print them out.  Let your children color them, put them on sticks, even laminate them if you'd like!  You can have lots of fun with them! 

1st Years - Triumphant March

2nd Years - The March of the Gnomes

3rd Years - Monsters


Class Procedures
  • Homework is to be shown at the beginning of class, either in front of you or on your piano.  Remember don't tear out your theory assignment!!  Simply turn to the page and leave it out for me to see.
  • When you arrive, wait for the welcome sign, then please simply walk in.  Remember that I want to start each class ON TIME!   If you are late it disrupts the class and you miss out.
  • Parents must come to class with their children every other week for 1st years and once every 4 weeks for 2nd & 3rd years!  Remember if it's not a parent day, then the tone bells don't come to class!
  • When you come please turn your cell phones off or to vibrate :).  You should be just as involved in class as your kids are!!
  • Please park against the west side of the street along the white fence.  That is designated visitor parking.
  • Please pick up your children promptly.  We will line up and I will let them outside after class.  Remember I will end ON TIME!  If you are late to pick up your child, they will have to sit and wait while I teach another class or clean up materials....which is not so fun for your child :).
  • The tote bag is not an accessory it is a tool!  Pleas use it to keep all materials together and protected.  Of course your children should have access to their cd, flashcards, books and bells whenever they want to practice at home!  Make sure you as parents are helping them practice and keeping your materials in good condition to last for the semester.
  • 1st year parents need to be sitting down and completing the Focus Concept, Listening Activities, Bell Practice, and Theory Assignment with their children once a week!  Everyday practice can consist to simply listening and practicing hand signs that may go along with the songs.  Of course your children will most likely want to have the tone bells out just about everyday!  You don't necessarily need to sit and complete the tone bell assignment everytime the bells come out.  Just make sure you are going through it with them at least once.
  • 2nd and 3rd year parents should make sure you are sitting at the piano with your child to practice at least half of the 5 days of practice. Your child can only earn their rewards by you signing off their practice charts inside of their theory books!
Do's and Don'ts When Parents Attend Class!

  • Share the experience with your child!  The more you participate the better you will be able to help your child at home.  This is a wonderful opportunity for for your relationship to be strengthened and improved through a safe, fun, and musical learning environment.  Embrace it : )!
  • Learn how to practice with your child at home.  You have to find the best time, way, and place to practice for you and your child.  Remember that you have a Practice Plan that will help your child to be committed and willing to practice.  Use it however it best works for you!
  • Be an example of musical enjoyment.  The whole idea of Let's Play Music is to develop a love of music and learning!  Your child will mirror your attitude.  If you are participating with us, smiling and enjoying it, it is most likely that your child will to! If you feel silly about doing activities, or that its beneath you to get on the floor and act silly, your child may start exhibiting the same attitude.
  • Force participation.  Let's Play Music class should be a safe zone for your child.  A place of where they are able to participate when they feel ready.  Sometimes it's scary to jump in the middle of the circle to do a silly dance!  When your child fails to participate or do hand signs, that doesn't mean they aren't internalizing what is happening.  I will invite them to play with us and they will when they are ready!
  • Repeat the teacher's instructions.  When I give instructions your child  has a choice to participate or not to.  If they choose not to and you repeat instructions they will miss out on the activity that we were asked to do.  This keeps them from internalizing what happened despite their lack of participation.
  • Visit with other moms.  Obviously this causes distraction in the classroom!  I want you to get to know each other, but please do it before or after class :).
  • Discipline your child in class.  I can handle that part of things!  If your child is acting up I will give them reminders and warnings.  And if it gets out of hand they will loose their sticker for the day.  If I need your help I will talk with you about the situation, otherwise enjoy your time in class and the time off from being the boss for 45 mins :).

Studio Policies/LPM Contract
  • I agree to pay the tuition as outlined in my registration.  I may pay for the entire year or make 8 installments. (Year 1: $40, Year 2: $45, Year 3: $50).
  • I agree to pay a $5.00 late fee if my tuition installment is not received within 7 days of the due date.
  • I understand that I am purchasing a spot in the class.  I will not be refunded if my child misses classes.  If I drop out mid-year without being released from this contract, I will pay the remaining installments.
  • I understand that if I decide not to participate from the beginning of the year, my registration fee and materials fee will not be reimbursed.
  • I agree to read the parent materials, attend class (Year 1: every other week, Year 2-3: Once per month), and assist my child in practicing at home, in an effort to maximize the benefits of the program.
  • I understand that Let's Play Music is a 3 year progressive music program.  This contract is binding for a year.  However, I understand to achieve the full benefits of the program as described to me, my child needs to attend all 3 years.
  • I will work with my child's teacher to elicit appropriate classroom behaviors from my child.  If my child exhibits extreme or dangerous behaviors, we may be asked to withdraw from the program.