Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What is pitch?

As you may already know, we have been exploring the ideas of music.  It started out with exploring our collection of instruments.  We spent time learning about them and made a book about our experiences.  The children have been using that book as a reference guide when working with the instruments.  I have brought in newer instruments and the children have been sharing their thoughts.  

While working with these things, the children have started to talk about the sounds they make.  We discuss high and low sounds.  So what does that mean in the musical world?  The word I have been introducing the children to this week has been "pitch."  A high pitch is a sound like birds chirping, female opera singing, guinea pigs squeaking, and jingle bells.  A low pitch is a sound like thunder, big drums, boat horns, and deep voices.

We spent Monday discussing this idea.  We have been doing it naturally, but now have introduced the term for it.  The autoharp was a great tool because it was one instrument that could make varied pitches.  

This is something that both the "researchers" and the "performers" of the classroom musical enthusiasts can use.  It leads me to think about the idea of pitch in every day life.  What sounds can we hear in our natural environment?  How can our voices make varied pitches?  Can we sing the same songs in a different pitch?  What kinds of music can we describe using that term?