How to use colour strategically on Musicology to teach young children!
Colour allows you to quickly understand and organize visual elements, especially those that are similar. In music, that could create a much easier environment to learn and memorize the key aspects.
In an article on colour-coding your classroom, Amy Curletto wrote, “Colour coding is especially beneficial for students who are non-readers or who are just learning to read. When colour is involved, grouping, material organization, and differentiation become much, much easier.” (source)
Colour has been used in children’s education for decades. It helps create routine, structure and instruction using colour to differentiate between items. In music, colour is essential too!
Consider what that could look like in music with plenty of different things all going on at once: note values, melodic patterns, rhythmic patterns, steps vs. skips, dynamic markings, high vs. low, white keys vs. black keys on the piano, vowel sounds and so on, that is a lot to remember, especially for a young child. Colour creates visual cues to organize elements.
Our emotions can colour the music we hear. People tend to pair faster-paced music in a major key with lighter, more vivid, yellow colours, whereas slower-paced music in a minor key is more likely to be teamed up with darker, more grey, bluer colours.
Colour coding is beneficial for several aspects of teaching from beginner to advanced. It develops music literacy and organization, pattern recognition and memory reinforcement.
Coloured shapes to highlight sections of music
On our whiteboard feature, you’re able to create shapes with a whole variety of different colours. Using these shapes, you’re able to highlight note segments and different sections. Using this feature could help young children recognize reoccurring note segments to further their understanding of the music. You’re even able to free hand draw shapes and designs!
Using Colours for Dynamics
Colours play an important role in dynamic discovery. Use red for Forte, Orange for Mezzo Forte and Blue for Piano. Hot and cold colours are understandable for children and also fun!
In the Notes Menu of the Grand Staff feature there are coloured number dots in the colours of Solfege. These dots can be placed either on the keyboard or the staff for easy note reading recognition and slid around collaboratively! That means that both you and your student can move them around on this feature together!
RAINBOW KEYS! You heard that right, folks. There is a button that looks like a rainbow where you can activate rainbow coloured keys. This is so much fun for the kids (and adults!) and it makes it very easy to see what key has been pressed. You will find that MIDI is much easier to show examples of positions than simply a camera over your piano (which we also have for those that enjoy it.) However, with MIDI, you can see the position much more clearly without fingers getting in the way. It’s also fun for the student to do as well. All they have to do is plug their keyboard into their computer with a MIDI cable (also a printer cable) before the call starts and Musicology will automatically pick it up. For those that are on an acoustic instrument, fear not! Simply press the keys on the screen. This feature is available to both student and teacher and works collaboratively so you can always see what the other person is pressing.
Success music studio states: “Colour coding the counting numbers simplifies learning the rhythm. It condenses the counting from approximately a half-dozen shapes, that need to be interpreted and put in the rhythmic context of the measure, down to just three easy instructions” (source)
Colour coding is a powerful multi-sensory teaching tool. Color code the rhythm in any piece of music to show clear examples of rhythmic value and make it fun at the same time with right hand/left hand/together exercises!
A quick visual on how to use colours while teaching music online via Musicology!