Music in Motion: Music-Go-Rounds
by Mandy Lining | Dec 2, 2018
Music in Motion is an excellent music education website that offers tons of resources for your music classroom! They sell a wide variety of items, but one of their newest items is a teaching aid called Music-Go-Rounds, or Alphadots. Music-Go-Rounds are silicon disks that cling like magnets to a smooth surface or white board. There are several different sets of Music-Go-Rounds available such as hand signs, solfege names, music notes, note names, and more! But, the set we wanted to feature today is the note name Alphadots. Not only do they have the note names printed on them, but they also match the same colors as deskbells and boomwhackers! In today’s blog, we’ve put together a list of activities so you can incorporate this awesome teaching tool into your classroom. From composing a song to music fishing, there are plenty of ways to engage your students with Music-Go-Rounds!
1. Compose a Song
These are perfect for teaching students how to compose their own songs! Students simply place the alphadots or mini alphadots in the order they want to create a song! The large alphadots (circles) are best used on a large classroom size staff while the mini alphadots (squares) are great for smaller staff paper for individual use.
Even younger children can create their own compositions. Instead of using staff paper, just have them place their alphadots on a strip of laminated paper or the flat surface of a table. Then, play their song on bells or piano!
For a challenge, try to compose your own Christmas song! Below is an example of my own original Christmas song. Try playing this tune on your bells or piano. You can make up your own words or use the words I wrote!
Christmas time is here
It is drawing near
There’s joy in the air
That fills our heart with cheer
Christmas time is here
2. What Note Is It
This is a great two player game to review all those solfege note names. Have two sets of alphadots on a table. Have one student sit in front of one set and another student sit in front of the other set. Play a note on the piano or deskbells and have the students figure out which solfege pitch is being played. Whoever guesses it correctly first will slap their hand down on the correctly colored alphadot!
3. Music-Go-Round Walk
This activity is like a cake walk you might find at a fall festival! Place all the alphadots in a circle on the floor. Have students stand in a circle on the outside of the alphadot circle. Turn on some music and have the students walk around the alphadots. Once the music stops, students will sit on the alphadot that is closet to them. Then, go around the circle and have each child tell the solfege name, note name, or note number that matches the dot they’re sitting on.
4. Note Placement
Music in Motion provides a large, blank staff and piano visual that you can hang on a white board. Pass out the alphadots to the students and have them place their dots on the correct spot on either the staff or piano. Once all the dots are in the right spot, you can use it as a teaching tool to review note names, solfege pitches, etc.
5. Slap a Note
Scatter the alphadots on the board in a random order. Then, give a fly swatter to a student. As you call out solfege note names (do, re, mi, etc.), the student will slap the correct alphadot with the fly swatter. You can also practice recognizing pitch by playing a note on bells or piano and having students slap the note that matches the pitch.
6. Song Cognition
Challenge your students to see if they can figure out what notes go in which order to create a familiar song. Start with a simple song like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Have students place their mini alphadots in order using the correct note names to create the song! If students need help getting started, you can play the first couple of notes for them on piano and see if they can figure out the rest. This activity is a bit more challenging so it’s suitable for older children.
7. Music Fishing
If you’re looking for an activity for the little ones, this is perfect! Fill a tub full of water and place the Music-Go-Rounds inside. Using some kind of scoop or cup, have children fish for alphadots! Then, see if they can tell you the solfege note (do, re, mi, etc.) that matches it!
8. Nerf Gun Game
Place the alphadots on a white board in random order. Then, call out a solfege pitch. Then, have a student shoot the nerf gun at the correct alphadot that matches the pitch! Keep playing until you have covered all the pitches and each student has had a turn!
9. Throw a Note
This is another fun activity for the little ones. Set up colored buckets or baskets that are labeled with the solfege names (do, re, mi, etc). Pass out the alphdot circles to your class. Then, have students come up one at a time to throw their alphadot in the correct bucket/basket!
You can also used brightly colored buckets (solfege colors) instead of using labels. Students will throw their alphadot in the colored bucket that matches the color they are holding. This would be an easier version of the activity especially if you have a class of toddlers.
10. Music Scavenger Hunt
Hide the Music-Go-Rounds all over your classroom and have students try to find them! Have a contest to see who can find “do” first and then who can find “re”. Keep playing until all 8 solfege pitches have been found! You can also have them play the corresponding bell or key on the piano once they find an alphadot!
Thanks for checking out these activities. Don’t forget to head over to Music in Motion to take a look at all of their awesome products! Happy Musicing!