Pitch Practice for Preschoolers


Happy Top 10 Tuesday y’all!  It’s time for another  music activity, and today, we will be helping preschoolers learn the concept of pitch with a fun and simple game.

Before we begin, we will need a pitched instrument.  For the purpose of this game, I like the idea of using hand bells, one of the suggested Top 10 Tuesday instruments.  (For a complete list of the Top 10 Tuesday instruments under $40 that will help bring music education into your home, click HERE.)  The hand bells are a set up in a C major scale and are easier to mix up than visually seeing the notes together like on a glockenspiel.  Here is a picture of a hand bell set:


They are available for purchase from Amazon.com.  To check them out, click HERE.

The Activity

You will only need three of the hand bells for this game:  a low-pitched bell, a middle-pitched bell and a high-pitched bell.    I would use the low C bell, the G bell, and the high C bell.

Play each of the three bells for your child and explain to them that there is a low sound, a middle sound and a high sound.

When they hear the high sound, they will stretch up as high as they can….on tippy toes with hands as high up as they can reach.

Image from the Toronto Public Health Department

Image from the Toronto Public Health Department

When they hear the middle sound, they will put their hands on their knees.

Image from umphub.com

Image from umphub.com

Finally, when they hear the low sound, they will curl up into a ball on the floor.

Image from Getty Images

Image from Getty Images

Start slowly, visually allowing your child to examine the bells as you play each one and as they move their body according to the sound.  Now have your child turn away from you.  As you play the bells this time, they will have to rely solely on what they hear.  As you see your child is successfully taking on the correct shape with each sound, increase the speed of how fast you’re playing the bells.  Make sure not to take on a pattern.  You want the sounds to be as abstract and unplanned to follow as possible.  The faster you go, the faster your child will be moving their bodies.  Plenty of giggles are sure to follow and recognition of pitch and sounds has been achieved!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Top 10 Tuesday music activity.  Please check back every Tuesday for some more musical fun.  For an archive of all previous activities, click HERE.  Until next Tuesday, play on!


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