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Story Books that Teach Music Fundamentals: High/Low, Fast/Slow, Loud/Soft, Improv

I’m always looking for ways to allow students to improv using non-pitched instruments. The classic book Mortimer, by Robert Munsch, is an excellent book to encourage improvisation. There is a repeated refrain in the book:

“Clang clang, rattle-bing-bang

Gonna make my noise all day

“Clang clang, rattle-bing-bang

Gonna make my noise all day.”

As you read the book, encourage the students to improv using distributed non-pitched instruments during this repeated refrain. You may choose to have woods play on the first refrain, and the metals on the second. Or scrapers on the first refrain, tappers on the second and shakers on the third. This type of instruction increases aural differentiation skills.

This classic book can be used to teach many music fundamentals. Aural skills can be expanded to playing softly/loudly or slowly/quickly based on your instruction.

Below is a demonstration video using this classic storybook:


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