The Power of So and Mi

In my first grade classes, I presented So and Mi. I teach through the story of Music Street. So and Mi are brothers. So is the older brother and Mi is the younger brother. I treat the pitches like characters to engage my students. For example, Mi is an annoying younger brother that whines and complains. So does not want to be next door neighbors with Mi. Therefore, there is a space, or line, between the two houses. I have found that my students gravitate towards this story and they remember the solfege!

Something happened recently that proved how powerful solfege can be! My fine arts department hosted a math competition for all grade levels during their fine arts time. We gathered the classes under the pavilion where they have P.E. When first grade arrived, I grabbed their attention with echo clapping. I still heard some talking. Then, I started to sing So/Mi patterns for my students to echo back to me. It was a remarkable sound! Imagine around 140 first graders singing together, and they were mostly in tune!! The power of that sound moved me.

It sparked so many ideas. If my first graders can sing So/Mi patterns beautifully, imagine if they sing actual songs together. I could build a choral program starting in first grade. I know I may be jumping ahead of myself. But, I encourage you to try it out, if you haven't already. Primary students are capable of more than we give them credit for, and my recent experience proved it!


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