How do you use “Singing Fingers” in the Music classroom?
I’ve just begun using it this week. I have to say, the kids are absolutely fascinated. Without fail they want to know “What app is that?” We could go on for the entire class period just working on pitch with this app, if we didn’t have too many things to squeeze into 45 minutes already.
I asked two colleagues for some input on how I could use the app. Melanie Hazelrigg is a teacher in two other buildings in our district. Here are her ideas:
first grade pitch exploration
first and second grade practice reading pitches as icons
any grade – simple composition (each student in a group records one note or phrase, then the students put them in order to make a whole composition)
creating sound effects to go with a book or poem
learning about the classroom instruments by mimicking the sound with a picture of the instrument
thinking about pitch: drawing short lines for high pitches and long lines for low pitches
thinking about sound waves: close together for high and far apart for low/tall for loud and short for soft
Martha Stanley is a colleague from far away in the state of Arkansas. She regularly posts to the Music K-8 mailing list, and gave permission for me to re-post her ideas on singing fingers. Martha teaches all grade levels. including high school.
“My HS students and I have messed with Singing Fingers and have gotten
useful and sometimes hilarious results.
It dawned on me that the app could be used for composing.
EX: record a “line” of music. Play it backwards and voilà, retrograde.
Play it slowly and voilà, augmentation.
Have two kids record identical lines and play in canon. (That was really
Also for intonation – have a prerecorded “line”. Let a student listen to
it and on another iPad, have him/her replicate it. Then compare the two
auditor-ally Compare the colors of the two lines. The colors should more or less match because if you draw
a line and record do to do’, you’ll see the colors change by pitch. So
both do pitches should be (say) red.
Have some kids do high sound lines and then low sound lines. Have kids
play the lines and determine if the pitches are high or low. Could work
really well with pitch direction or melodic notation.
It’s been awhile since I thought about Singing Fingers, so I can’t remember
all the ideas I had for it, but it COULD be very telling because it does record.
Be aware that if you make sounds while you play a line, you’ll record over
I recently added video capability to Tuesday Music. Unfortunately, I’m still learning the ins and outs of using it. Every video I’ve uploaded so far has either loaded sideways or upside down. Apparently it’s a problem common to videoing with an iPhone. These particular videos aren’t quite as annoying to view upside down as others I’ve tried to post, so I decided to post this the way it is, and figure out how to correct the problem at a more opportune time. (It’s 2 A.M. I can’t sleep.)
This first one is a simple sound map. Although the picture is upside down, the sound is not, so try to envision the map going upwards instead of downwards.
The second video is also a sound map which is supposed to move upward, remain on one pitch and then descend. First I demonstrated for first grade, and they (sort of) echoed.
The third is a map of approximate pitches for “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. I hope this upside down thing isn’t as annoying for you as it is for me.
“Twinkle Twinkle” kid version.
Second grade is working on Muppet songs for their spring program. We started working on “The Rainbow Connection” today. When you hear this, bear in mind that they’ve just begin learning it. They’re not quite sure how it goes yet….obviously.
They did much better with “Jambo”, as you can tell by the colors as well as the pitches.
First grade, trying to match a single pitch. It’s so cool that they can use their eyes as well as their ears to make it work.
First grade: 3 tries on “Jambo”.
I can see how this could be used for assessment as well as practice.
So, what are your ideas? How else can we use this?