Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Music Aid - Slinky

A slinky is a handy aid to explore dynamics when teaching or reviewing a song. I direct the children to start singing and to watch the slinky. As I slowly pull it apart, they should gradually sing louder. Then as I slowly push it back together they should sing softer. The kids like to have a turn to use it and this gives us the chance to sing the song several times. I think the small party-favor size works the best. The kids like to stretch the slinky out wide and a bigger one just sags in the middle. This makes it more difficult to gather back in. These small plastic ones work really well. They are cheap and easily replaced. They also don't tangle as readily. This is a real plus!

I got this new one in a different color on my singing time shopping trip. That was a pretty profitable trip. Four new things for my singing aids box.


Susan said...

I don't have a slinky, but I have used a pink tape measure from my foo foo pink female tool kit. It works the same way. :)

Jenni Taysom said...

This works like a charm. I had one little boy in particular who would never sing, or cooperate, during singing time. Come to find out, he was paying attention.
Because I saw your idea of the slinky I bought one when I saw it at the store and put it in my church bag. I forgot about it for weeks and then one Sunday I was low on ideas and during singing time the kids felt restless and I remembered the slinky. I pulled it out and told the children I would watch for good singers and let them come up and take a turn stretching the slinky to indicate if we should louder or softer. This little boy sang like he has never sung before - words were coming out his mouth and he was trying with the ones he didn't know as well. It was so heart touching to see how something so simple engaged him and encouraged him to participate.

The Children Sing said...

I love it when things turn out so well! You never know what will interest someone, do you? I think that is why the church encourages us to use variety in what we do, and change activities often. Sometimes just a change of pace or bringing something different than the usual will create a spark.

: ) Paula said...

I saw this post today (Sunday!) when I was looking for ideas for today (procrastinated!) and loved the idea of using a slinky for dynamics, we are a few weeks away from the Sac. Mtg. Program. But I don't have a slinky and can't go to a store to buy one. So I'm going to use a rubber band and stretch it out, like you described for the slinky (improvisation!). Thanks for the creative ideas and for your website. You help make my ward's singing time fun!

The Children Sing said...

Wow Paula, you are so clever! I'm sure the rubber band worked and you were smart to think of it. I hope the children managed to hold on to it and not get snapped. ;->

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