Thursday, November 12, 2009

Music Melody Map

I remember doing this for music class when I was in Elementary School.  The teacher made this weird map of lines, symbols, squiggles, etc. that correlated to the melody of a musical piece. I remember specifically doing this for some of the Nutcracker Ballet pieces.

Anyway, I thought I would try it with my kids to teach them "Joy to the World" since it is a fairly simple song, but can be tricky due to holding out words over multiple notes. Using this method, we could sing the song over and over and hopefully keep their attention. You could do this for any song

I told them we were going to learn a new song, then showed them a poster that looked like this:

I had fun with them and asked if anyone knew the song. Of course I got lots of puzzled looks and remarks. So I had our pianist play the first few notes until they recognized it.  Then I sand them for it while I followed the "map" with my baton. (Baton's are excellent pointers...) 

Then I called on volunteers  to help me follow the map while the rest followed  with their fingers in the air. I also shrunk this down and put 4 on an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of cardstock, cut them out, and passed them out to the older kids AFTER they had practiced in the air with me a few times.
 I asked for them back, but told them if they wanted one to take home and practice :) they could come by after primary to get one.

After a few repetitions, I'd ask them what words went to the blue marks, or the red marks, etc. They did really well!
How it works:
Blue marks: Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Purple: Let earth receive her King!
Green: Let every heart, Prepare him room
Red: And Saints and Angels Sing! And Saints and Angels Sing!
Orange: And saints, and saints, and Angels sing!

Just follow the marks with your fingers to fit the words.
If this doesn't make sense, I could make a video...
...but then I'd have to sing a solo...
...and reveal my identity....
...but I would do it...
 ... just for you. :)
 So, let me know if I need to.

P.S. I have the PDF of the little pass out cards if anyone is interested. I really wish there was a way to just post those on here....does anyone know a way to do this?


  1. Oh! I love this idea! Fantastic! It was a lot of fun to sing this (in my head, of course) while following the map--it totally fits!

  2. Ha! it fits in portuguese too! thanks a lot!

  3. Great idea! I'm a fellow chorister. You can check my blog out at

  4. Fantastic idea- so clever and unique! I'm positive the children will really enjoy this! Thank you!

  5. Great idea I would love a PDF copy for my primary. Hopefully I can get it ASAP. E-mail it too
    -Sherri in Arizona

    P.S. Love the Blog!

  6. I would love the PDF. Please send it to

  7. Would you mind sending the PDF to sngordon at msn dot com?

  8. Is it too late to ask for the PDF? I'd like to use it this Sunday. Thank you so much!

  9. Kate: I'd be happy to send it to you, I just need your e-mail address.

  10. I don't get it?!? Maybe a pdf would help. Looks interesting.

  11. Thank you so much! I tried this one today and the kids LOVED it. It's so much easier for them to follow than trying to follow my hand for the melody. What a great idea!

  12. This is totally cute! Hey, forget Primary -- I think I'll use this at our Relief Society Christmas Soiree, just for fun. Let's see if they can guess the song! Thanks so much.