Musical Alphabets – words to play
I have blogged in the past on some of my projects that focus on Musical Alphabets. I cover quite a range of different approaches under the idea of ‘alphabets’, but one of the things I like to do with ESL students is ask them to list all the words they can think of that can be spelt with the letters A-G (the musical alphabet as it appears on our classroom percussion instruments) and to try playing the words.
Here is our list of words:
Age, aged, ace, aced
Bag, bad, bee, bead, beef, beg, bed, beaded, begged
Cabbage, cafe, cage, cad, cab, caged
Dag, dead, dab, dabbed, dad, deaf
Fade, faded, fee, fed, feed, face, faced
Gee, gaff, gag, gagged, gab,
We have made some beautiful musical pieces in the past where each person plays their chosen word, and we try out different words in different combinations. Students might also write a melody by stringing a number of words together.
In a class of 15 students, we listened to each of the students’ word choices, tried out pairs and trios together, looking for pleasing combinations, then decided on an order of words for our class composition. We had a ‘chorus’ that everyone played that we returned to several times, giving our composition a Rondo form.