Teach Your Child Music: Doman method


Doesn't it seem that Doman has a method for everything? Either way sound good to me.
Out of all the programs we do, this turned out to be the easiest and the most fun.
Actually, Doman believes there are quite a few things you can get started with babies:

  1. Music appreciation and listening skills
  2. Developing the perfect pitch
  3. Note reading
  4. Rythm
  5. Musical Terms

Power Point presentations for teaching music

Music appreciation and listening skills

Well, that's the easiest one: just turn on music and enjoy it! And Doman actually believes it is the most important part of musical program. So, a little more to it:

  • Pick a composer that you love
  • Pick a musical piece that you enjoy: joyful, happy, dramatic
  • Play a little part of that piece (~30 seconds or even less for small babies) 3 or more times a day. Announce the piece by stating the name of the composer and the name of the musical piece.
  • As you are playing it – dance, bang the rythm, hug and kiss your baby – have fun!
  • Play the same melody for a week and next week pick a different segment of that musical piece, or a different musical piece altogether. At the end of the week you can listen to the entire piece.
  • Always stop before your baby wants to stop!

We altered the approach a little: I also show the picture of a composer, say one or two facts about him and play one full composition of his (I pick small ones, such as Flower Symphony by Tchaikovsky from Nutcracker, or Toreador by Bizet from Carmen). We dance, bang the sticks, jump up and down, play with toys, or just hug. Or continue with our activities – eat, play, cook. Now whenever any of the Bach opening notes start up, my son starts screaming "Baaaaah!", or whenever Carmen fragments are played, he is marching. For Schuman we jump up and down. For Schubert we try to bang waltz rhythm. For Tchaikovsky we spin in one place. Tons of fun!

Supplies: you don't really need anything if you've already got the music, but I found the following very helpful:

Classic Composers (click on Products and pick Classical composers – they don't allow direct links)

This is a subscription for CDs and a little booklets about the composers. It makes it much easier for us: I don't need to search for a suitable piece on my CDs, I don't need to surf the net for pictures and facts. I get the whole package: picture, little booklet full of facts, and a CD where I can pick suitable fun piece.

Though, honestly, I prefer different source for the actual music pieces: Bethoven's Wig CDs These CDs became our favorite since my niece and nephew got them as gift. So far I find them a lot more helpful for this program: the musical pieces included are short, fun, and we can listen to the funny songs written for those pieces afterwards. So, while I do use the previous set for pictures and melodies that I can't find on these CDs, these are our primary "music donors". Besides, I love the silly songs so much, that I don't mind listening to them in a car over and over again, as long as my little music fan desires.

 

Developing the perfect pitch

As far as I've read before, every child is born with a perfect pitch. Then our singing out of tune, and total ignorance of it usually gets him to lose it. What a pity, though I think the benefits of singing together outweigh the loss of perfect pitch.

What is a perfect pitch? It is an ability to differentiate different sounds and know what notes they are. Doman actually recomends a program that helps develop a perfect pitch in children.

  1. You need a perfect pitch instrument: small xylophone that you can carry around with you.
      • We use Angel Glockenspiel 25 note xylophone
        This one was recommended to us by Perla, terrific author of
        TheClassicalMommy site. So far it's been serving us very well – sturdy,
        compact, large selection of notes, sounds good.
      • Some people mentioned that an electronic piano also has a perfect pitch, but I am not sure how portable that is.
  2. To teach a newborn , pick 3 notes, name them and play them 10 times the first day, naming them each time. The next day pick three new notes until you've tought all that you have available. Keep cycling through this sequence for 3-4 weeks or even longer.
    To teach an older child, play and name your 3 notes 5-10 times a day for 5 day. Ona sixth day retire one of the notes and add a new one (same as with cards!)

 

Note Reading

Once you are done with perfect pitch you can start note reading: ability to "hear" pitches as you look at the written musical notation.

  • Create a bit card for every note on your xylophone.
  • Pick 5 notes, play them simultaneously showing the appropriate bit card. No need to name the note, just show. Add and retire the same way as with flash cards. Go through all the notes.
  • Now teach the same bits by naming them: "C", "A", "F flat"; don't indicate "low C", "high C". The child will intuit into it.
  • Once the child is mature enough to play with this information…
    • play note bingo (create bingo cards with 3×3 squares containing note names)
    • musical note hopscotch
    • play a note and give a child 2-3 choices of answers to pick from
    • play two notes and let the child point which one matches the single bit card you are holding for him to see
    • pick an note on xylophone and let child try copy it with his voice
    • Create a card game with musical notation, such as "Go Fish".
    • share if you find other interesting game!

Rhythm

Two parts to it: the natural learning of rhythm in a melody and musical notation of rhythm.

Natural rhyhthm learning:

  • find some marches and march to them
  • find some foot-stomping music and clap to it
  • dance along some watzces
  • in short, play any music and help the baby identify its rhythm by moving with it

Musical Notation:

  • Make rhythm bits (full note, quarter note, etc.)
  • Practice reading bits in rhythm
  • Make up your own rhythm cards and practice reading them. Gradually increase the nubmer of notes.

… to be continuted.

11 Responses to “Teach Your Child Music: Doman method”

  1. Myriam Adams Says:

    TKS for the ideas above, I find them very good and will try to incorporate them in my activities.
    I am a volunteer worker and use music, action songs,clowning, puppets and games with my local colleagues at the cancer ward of a Children’s hospital and several other places. T I’ve been brainstorming about more ideas to use in small or larger groups as well and it seems like anything that looks like a “games” does the trick- it has to be fun!
    One idea that came to me that could be added to the above list is having flash cards with the picture of specific musical instruments ( I have about 20 already). Then having a recording of about 5 seconds max of these instruments.some keyboards have a wide variety which sound quite genuine, but I’d prefer the real ones.
    The idea is to the sound on the key board or a CD as you flash the cards instead of saying any words.When the child( children) are familiar with it and you believe they could start recognizing them, you can lay all the cards on a table or the floor in front of them and have them take a turn at pointing to the right one as the sound is played.
    Change the order and see how they still follow.
    Next step is even more fun as you can spread the cards all over the room and play the sounds in a different order and the child(ren) have to run to the right one as fast as they can.
    Later, you can even do combination of instruments and have 2 or 3 or more instruments playing, and the child(ren) have to collect the ones they are hearing. You can stop the music as soon as they get it!

    I also thought of learning how to read notes and make the flashcards with the lines of the regular do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do and where they belong on the line and if the teacher can make the sound of the note while flashing it’s good and if not, she can use the other hand to do it on an instrument or have someone else do it as you have to be able to rotate the cards and need two hands.
    If this method is already put on a computer program and you happen to know where, I’d be very interested to find it. Basically it is learning the “solfege” (name of the notes) through the sight reading methods. It takes a long time to accomplish this as older children and grown-ups.
    Bye and thanks for this chance to write a comment!

  2. Hanieh Hashemian Says:

    I will be thank you if you help in these problems:
    1-For showing the composer’s flashcards should I just show and name it to the baby and then put it away and say some facts about that composer or I should say the name and the facts while I’m holding the picture in front of the baby?
    2- How can I share my own materials with your website?

  3. Admin Says:

    Thanks for offering to share your materials!

    Since our site has been recently upgraded, some of the functionality is still being developed.

    So in the meantime, you can just email the files to ideas@childandme.com and we’ll be happy to help you share it with other parents.

  4. Alenka Says:

    I prefer to show composer’s portrait while the music starts playing and at the end of it. On the first day I just name the composer and the piece. I ask my kid how it makes him feel, what the composer was thinking about, and we play a little – dance, clap, tap, just go crazy.

    On the second day, I name the composer, the piece and add just one fact. I try to play that piece 3-5 times a day – sometimes, while we eat, sometimes, while we play, sometimes, while we dance to it or run around. I say the same fact for the whole day.

    The next day, I’ll pick a different fact (and the name of the composer and the piece). I think that if you have too much information, kids just tune out. One fact per day (a few times per day) is really enough!

    Once in a while we’ll flip through the Fandex cards with composers as we listen to some CDs with combinations of different classical pieces (we really love Bethoven’s Wig series) and playfully try to tell each other as much as we can about that composer.

  5. Hanieh Hashemian Says:

    Dear Alenka,
    You are a perfect and the best mother in the world and your children should be proud of you. I really appreciate your efforts to help other mothers despite of the little time that you have.
    I have some more problems with the music program. I will thank you if you help me in them. I know you have a very little time especially that you have a new baby who doesn’t sleep at night. Here are my questions:
    1- Can I teach the developing the perfect pitch and the note reading steps of music program simultaneously or at least start the latter before the first one finishes?
    2- Can I teach more than 3 notes for the first step and/or more than 5 notes for the latter step a day?
    3- I want to teach the music by piano to my son. Can I use another instrument when piano is not available? E.g. xylophone
    4- What is the recommended color for drawing the notes on the bit cards? Red or black? Can I use different colors for each music note?
    I wish you the best luck and success in educating your children.
    Best regards,
    Hanieh Hashemian.

  6. Alenka Says:

    Hanieh,

    Teaching music is fun!

    Thank you so much for your kind words! They really mean a lot to me!!!

    First of all I want to stress that I am not a professional musician or music teacher, so my answers are based just on intuition:
    1. With my own little one I started simultaneously: I show him the note, I name it, I play it on the xylophone. What’s the worst thing that can happen? He might forget some of them and we’ll need to go over that information once he is older! So I present all the information possible and hope some of it eventually will ring a bell.
    2. Number of notes is merely an example. If your kid enjoys more, by all means show them more! If 3 or 5 is too much – the baby is losing attention, show just one. Or two. Or three. Stop before your baby wants to stop and your baby will let you know very soon how many he likes!
    3. I use xylophone. You can find ore information in the article above. Xylophone is portable, has many notes, always tuned.
    4. Color for notes: I use black. I don’t think it’s crucial. Your idea of different colors is interesting. May be consistent colors would make it easier later to switch to normal note notation – the child will learn to find the differences in the picture other then color? I am not really sure. Experiment and share what works!

  7. Walter Says:

    Hi Alenka.
    HELP!!!!!!!!! I am starting a new job teaching children music. I am used to teenagers and adults. I teach Tuba, Euphonium, baritone and classical guitar. Any suggestions.
    Thank you
    Walter

  8. Anna Says:

    When teaching perfect pitch, do you name the notes using do-re-mi or C-D-E? I have not started teaching my 14 month old the alphabet yet as I am using Doman method to teach her to read. I was just wondering whether using the letter names for the notes will confuse her later on when she is learning the alphabet for reading? Or will she figure it out herself? What is your experience?

  9. Alenka Says:

    I tried teaching both note names. Seemed confusing both to me and my kid. So I tried teaching just Do-Re-Mi. Yet, on our xylophone the notes are indicated as c-d-e. I also found some flash cards with notes and a picture where they should be found on the piano. These cards were showing a-b-c. So we switched to a-b-c. I haven’t noticed any confusion. Again, I am neither a professional teacher, nor a professional musician.

  10. Luciana Says:

    Hi, Alenka!
    I´m music student from Brazil. I´d like read some book or article published about Doman´s music program, because I need references to put in bibliography of my researches. This informations above you read in somewhere? Thanks!

  11. Alenka Says:

    The materials that I used to post about Doman music approach were distributed during the course at iahp. I don’t know if those materials are available in any other way. I wish I could help you further, but I guess the best thing would be to contact http://www.iahp.org/ directly for more information. Good luck!

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