First Explorations in using ‘Multiple Representations’ at MusicLaunch

The video below shows a peak into one of our first explorations of using ‘Multiple Representations’ to teach musical concepts at the YMCA in Chinatown. The video shows intern, Pui, taking the lead in demonstrating rhythmic concepts, numeric pitch identification and solfege using Lego blocks that we found in the classroom at the YMCA. The students were surprised by this use of the Lego blocks initially, but caught on quickly.

At the beginning of the video is the initial introduction of rhythmic concepts. One sees intern MusicLaunch intern, Pui, pointing to a block and together with intern Devin Ulibarri demonstrating the desired action – in this case, clapping according to the size of the blocks. The clapping patterns were introduced separately (1,2 and 3 beats), but were combined to create an 8 beat pattern consisting of three of the smaller patterns. The students were then asked to manipulate the blocks in order to come up with their own structures. For example at 0’53” in the video, one observes Kayla’s pattern (2+1+3) and then her brother changing the pattern (2+3+1). This moment is important because it empowers the student and demonstrates that musical concepts can be mastered and manipulated – it develops their creativity.

At 4’22” into the video, one can see the culmination of the entire lesson. In this final review, Pui asks students to identify the solfege names of the notes by hinting at the numeric name. Pui asks the class what the second pitch in the scale is to which a student answers, “Re”. Pui then asks the class to answer using pitch to which the class accurately sings the intended pitches that she is identifying using her fingers (numeric name). At the end of the review, Pui tests the students mastery by asking them to skip “Re” and accurately sing “Mi” from “Do” – the students have some difficulty doing this, but this is their first time and subsequent videos will reveal their progress.

The video ends with quick demonstrations of other types of multiple representations that we have used in the break off sections of MusicLaunch. Future blog posts will keep you posted on the significance of these other forms of multiple representations and how they have helped the development of the students in MusicLaunch at the YMCA in Chinatown.

1 thought on “First Explorations in using ‘Multiple Representations’ at MusicLaunch”

  1. It’d be interesting to overlay a steady, metronomic pulse (lining up with “do, do, (rest), and re”) with that same concept as a way to introduce the idea of rhythmic notation *and* syncopation.

    I thought the assessment of mastery (skipping from “do” to “mi”) didn’t quite work, if only because this introduced? a new skill that they hadn’t done yet (i.e. skipping a note rather than stepwise motion).

    Be sure to find ways to keep each representation alive, in use, and meaningful!

    Great job guys.

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