Archive for the ‘letter recognition’ Tag

Music and literacy

I thought I’d write about one of the newest students in the Lower Primary class at Language School. His name is Marko (a pseudonym). He’s from Eastern Europe. He is bright, funny, and has an impish mischievousness about him in music class. He is also  notably articulate, which is an unusual thing to say about a new student.  But Marko’s oral language is highly developed. He has already spent some time in a mainstream school before coming to Language School.

Today the Lower Primary students worked on glockenspiels. They invented little four-beat melodies choosing from three different pitches. They worked all together, playing through these tunes slowly. I noticed Marko seemed to be struggling, which surprised me, because he has been so very bright in all the classes. I went to help him. I pointed to the letter names written on the board, and said them out loud for him. I noticed that he needed to look at the board before playing the next letter. Look up, look down, locate, play. Look up, look down, locate, play. That was fine – most of the students start like this, but then they begin to process the pattern, they memorise it, and can play more fluently. Marko didn’t seem to be sure about which letter was which without comparing it to the letter-shapes on the board.

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