The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, “Thus far and no farther.” – Beethoven
Written by Joleen Steel
Beethoven was a man of passion, driven to write music no matter what. Even when he lost the ability to hear, he still said “the tones and sounds crashed around” in his head until he could put them down on paper. Barriers such as lack of hearing and poor resources did not hinder Beethoven’s pursuit of music.
I think Beethoven would laugh with glee at the way Wikki Stix helps me break through musical barriers with my students. Wikki Stix holds their attention, gives them a kinesthetic learning experience, and increases their cognitive understanding of the music we are learning. Even students with hearing loss, short attention span, and small motor issues are thriving as a result of lessons like the one below.
Be sure to see our previous post regarding how to create the staff and symbols with Wikki Stix: My Favorite Easy Music Idea
The lesson below was developed for one of my students who has high frequency hearing loss.
Game: Beethoven and Wikki Stix
Goal: To learn the bass clef notes
of a song
Supplies: A roll of craft paper, scissors, and Wikki Stix Fun Activity set (I like this one because it comes with a white board and sells for $16.95 on this website: Activity Set)
Step 1: Roll out the craft paper. Cut it and stick it to the piano using two Wikki Stix. (The residue wiped right off my piano when I was done.)
STEP 2: Create the bass staff on the craft paper.
Step 3: Make notes by rolling Wikki Stix into circles. Use two colors if you want your student to differentiate between the line notes and the space notes.
Step 4: Review the Bass notes.
The first space of the Bass staff is an A,
which makes the line above it B,
the space C,
the next line D,
the next space E, and so on.
The picture shows notes ABCDEFG,
and the top line starts again with A.
Remove all the circles once you’ve completed this step.
Step 5: Begin constructing the song.
Show your student the song you’re learning. Point to the first note and name it and say, “This note is _____. Can you place a Wikki Stix note in the correct position on our bass staff?” Your student should then say and play the note on the piano. Point to the second note, name it, and ask the student to place it in the correct position on the staff. This time the student should play and say both notes on the piano. Continue this process with every note you want your student to learn. Each time, the student should play and say the notes from the beginning of the song.
When you’re done your song will look something like this (see Image 6)!
My student and I had such a blast doing this that my seven-year-old son started video taping us (see the video at the end of this post). I’m so glad he did because now I can show you some of the highlights of this lesson in action.
Thank you, Wikki Stix, for putting a huge smile on my student’s face and for breaking down musical barriers!
About Joleen Steel:
Steel is director and owner of New Song Music and the creator of the Music for Little Learners Kit. Joleen has a passion for unleashing the creative potential of young musicians. this passion is informed by her wealth of teaching experience as a public school teacher, home school mom and piano teacher. But the real impetus behind New Song Music is Joleen’s desire to nurture in children and youth the lifelong joy of making music. In order to make this pursuit more accessible to others, Joleen created the Music for Little Learners kit. This kit is a resource for home-school parents and studio teachers. The kit is filled with creative hands-on musical learning activities that will inspire learning and equip students
to begin a life-long pursuit of music.
Follow Joleen on Twitter!
See this Lesson in Action!