Now that your student has learned the basics of rhythm, it’s time to talk about the next big idea in creating music: MELODY!
What is Melody?
Merriam-Webster defines melody as “a sweet or agreeable succession or arrangement of sounds; a rhythmic succession of single tones organized as an aesthetic whole.”
Put simply, the melody is the tune of the music. It’s made up of two things: rhythm and pitch. Rhythm is the beat of the music while pitch is the highs and lows of the sound. The melody is a musical line of notes that our brains interpret as one cohesive unit with a beginning and ending. The melody is the part of music that most often gets “stuck” in our heads and serves as the main focus of the song.
For instance, if you imagine the song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, chances are you are focusing on the melody of the song!
Your student’s beginning method book has intentionally placed familiar melodies in many of the exercises to help them succeed. Parents can encourage their young musician to open up their method book, pick a song with a familiar melody, and play for you!
Play-Alongs: Pop Songs with a Purpose
Play-Along books provide young musicians with an excellent opportunity to learn the melodies of recognizable and popular songs. With the purchase of a Play-Along book, there is often a CD or online audio demonstration tracks for download or stream to help you hear how the song should sound. Once the melody is learned, students can perform with the available backing tracks to create a unique performance! Best of all, Play-Alongs are available for almost every instrument out there! No matter what instrument your student plays — strings, brass, woodwinds, or percussion — they can learn to play their favorite contemporary hits.
Have questions? Need advice? West Music is here for you! Give our music education experts a call at 800-373-2000.
Katie Senn is the Content and Community Engagement Manager for West Music. Her background is in music education, with an emphasis in orchestral directing and cello. She performs regularly around the midwest with her all-female folk band Awful Purdies. She serves her local community as a board member for the following organizations: Iowa City Music Auxilary, Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child, and her children’s before and afterschool program.