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Here’s a quick activity idea for showing understanding of musical phrases through movement
Title – Musical Phrases with Movement Activity
By – Ashley Jenks
Primary Subject – Music
Grade Level – 2-3
When teaching my classes about phrases in music, I end with a fun activity for students to show the phrases with their bodies.
After we’ve discussed phrase, and the students understand, I ask four volunteers to stand in the middle of our circle and dance to each phrase of a song. Each phrase should have a different movement and the class should be able to see a visual “pause” at the end of each phrase.
I do this a few times with different volunteers. I allow the kids to get a little goofy, and their movements don’t always match the music (doing the ‘worm’ or disco moves to Japanese folk music…).
At the end, I get everyone in a circle and we “Pass the Phrase.”
Everyone is frozen except one student who dances a move for the ENTIRE phrase, at the end of the phrase – the stop, and then the student to their right (or left, whichever you choose) starts to dance a new move for the entire phrase. Repeat around the circle. (I usually have to play my song selection a few times to give everyone a turn.)
The first time through, I call each student’s name at the beginning of their phrase. The second time around, I let the students listen for the phrase ending and beginning on their own.
Another fun variation is for everyone in the circle to “follow the leader” on each phrase. At the end of each phrase, the entire group looks to the next student for the next move, and copies that for the ENTIRE phrase.