The Pentatonic Scale For Early Years

 For pre-schoolers, music makes a unique contribution to playful learning. Interactive music activities are always fun and help infants to develop new skills in language, cognitive skills and motor abilities. Music can quietly promoting self-confidence, creativity and spontaneity and with the right approach it can even encourage children to take risks and make mistakes – an absolutely critical part of learning and growth for the pre school age group.

Carl Orff, composer and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music and dance in Munich German created a way of tapping into children's innate sense of melody and rhythm. percussion instruments. His method begins from the premise that every child is born musical and naturally loves to play, sing and dance. He developed a simple way of teaching music to youngsters using by tuning percussive instruments to the pentatonic scale, and encouraged children to play them together collaboratively.

Children learn best through, exploring, improvising doing. They have a natural instinct to explore their imaginations and make their own melodies. These instincts are coordinated into learning music by hearing and making music first, the reading and wring of the music comes later – in much the same way as children learn to use speech and language. The Orff melody instruments include pentatonic wooden xylophones and metal glockenspiels that offer great sound right away, without the need for mastery which encourages further exploration.

The Magical Pentatonic Scale

The pentatonic scale is perfect for improvised ensembles; anyone can just play around and never hit any notes that sounds really out of place. The pentatonic scale consists of five notes within one octave, which is why it is also referred to as a five-note scale. The notes in the pentatonic scale naturally sound good in any order because there are no dissonant intervals between any of them.The word pentatonic comes from the Greek word ‘pente’ meaning five (think pentagon or pentathlon) and tonic meaning tone, put them together and you get five tones or notes.

These scales are developed with five notes and exist as two common types: major and minor pentatonic scales. The major pentatonic scale is more commonly used and is denoted as the primary pentatonic scale. The major pentatonic scale is the same as the major scale minus the fourth and seventh notes. So you can get C major pentatonic by starting with the C major scale, and removing F and B. Removing the F-B tri-tone means there are no wrong or dissonant notes in C major pentatonic. Everything you play will sound bright and interesting, just perfect for beginners – especially young children who can gain a huge sense of achievement by creating simple tunes of their own.

Safe Musical Haven

Anyone can use pentatonic tuned musical instruments as a safe musical haven, the simplicity of the instruments, means that technique is not a problem. The pentatonic scale means dissonance is also not a problem. When children experience the simplicity of making pleasing melodies and harmonies on the pentatonic scale, suddenly making music becomes achievable and exciting.

Music in the early years supports children's all round development and helps to shape their skills in concentration, memory and listening skills. To aid this physical and cognitive development and lay a strong foundation in aural and rhythmic skills, every child must be given the opportunity to discover their musicality. With a little imagination, music can be incorporated into numerous settings throughout the day. Creating areas for music and sound exploration inside and out will help integrate music into the everyday experience of the children.

Integrate Music into The Everyday Experience of Children

The introduction of an outdoor musical garden or outdoor 'soundscape' will excite and inspire children musically while enjoying the obvious benefits that come from spending time in the natural environment, exploring new sounds whilst enjoying the fresh air. An outdoor musical playground will provide young children with opportunities for early interaction and positive experiences with music. A facility where children can explore, create and develop their own musical ideas and sounds - maximising the musical potential of a child during their most rapid developmental period while discovering the joy and empowerment of music making.

The traditional emphasis in education on getting music right has led many adults lacking confidence in their musical abilities. Many adults didn’t music lessons at school and yet love music. In a free-play environment, where there are no wrong notes, the experience can lead to a life-long love of music and music making. Creativity, imagination and discovery should be strongly facilitated and encouraged in music education. Through active learning: hands-on, participative and interactive, children's musical self-expression, self-confidence and self-esteem will grow and grow.