Ellen's Tube Tips

Welcome to Ellen’s Tube Tips. This is the place for teachers, group leaders and facilitators to share their experience with the tubes. Send your questions, stories, comments, ideas and even lesson plans to ellen@boomwhackers.com. We will post and credit contributions with feedback. We can learn a lot from each other!

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Ellen’s Tube Tips #13

Hearing and Singing Intervals

Kathy from Lewis, KS sent us this idea:

“I use Boomwhackers for interval teaching.  First I make a staff on paper big enough to roll out on the floor and walk on. This gives the students the physical feel of the differences in the intervals as they step them out.

“Lay Boomwhackers at the end of the staff on their correct lines and spaces. If you only have two students at a time, they can each play the tube as they step on the line or a space. You can also have as many kids playing as you have space and tubes by assigning some students to play a specific tube on a signal from the player.

“We play it like a ‘Simon Says’ game. I start out by using only two interval choices, like a 2nd & 3rd or a 4th & 5th. I say, ‘Mrs. Lindberg says stand on the 2nd space.’ ‘Mrs. Lindberg says go up a 2nd’. ‘Go up a 3rd’.” Of course, if they move to the 3rd, they are out. It’s fun to have kids partnered so one stays on the beginning note and the other goes to the designated interval. That way they can each play the matching tubes melodically and harmonically. Music like this becomes physical, visual and auditory. Sing the intervals and then have them draw the notes on the board.”

Thanks, Kathy!

Note from Ellen
I play an interval game like Kathy’s on the stairs. Have the floor be the lowest note and then label each step going up as the next line or space note. This adds the feeling of distance and direction of up and down. Make it into a Twister situation by saying something like, ”Put your right hand on G and your left foot a 3rd above it.” Have a few students on the side with tubes and when everyone has the correct interval, they play it on the tubes.

As soon as I told Kathy about the stairs, she immediately said she could have a whole class in the gym on the bleachers doing intervals. What a wonderful idea!

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