Who are the music appreciation cards for?
The cards can be used during playtime at home, or as a school activity for children between about 3 and 10 years old.
How should the cards be printed?
You can print the cards at home (ideally in colour and on A4 cardstock) and then cut out each flashcard – if you’ve got a guillotine, this will make cutting easier. To extend the life of the cards, you could also get them printed and laminated at a print shop.
How should the cards be used?
- Read the terms on each card and link the word to the picture. For example: This card says “slow” and it has a picture of a tortoise, because a tortoise walks very slowly. So when you are listening to a song and it sounds as slow as a tortoise walking along, then choose this card. Or this card says "loud" and has a picture of a tractor, because a tractor is quite loud when it's chugging along.
- Lay the cards out in front of your child, grouped into the colour-coded sets. For younger children, select only two cards per set.
- Play a piece of music and ask your child to listen to it. I encourage you to use a wide variety of musical styles each time you do this exercise – classical, jazz, folk, pop, electronic, choral, rock, country, hip hop, etc. If you use Apple Music, you could use this Winter Playlist or this Transport Playlist.
- As the song is playing, your child must choose cards that illustrate what is happening in the music. Eventually, you should try and get your child to just listen and select cards - don't talk about the music or their choices yet. But initially, you may have to talk about the different cards to get your child used to the exercise.
- At the end of the song (or a section of it), ask your child to report back on what they have heard.
© Copyright Shelley Smith at Rocking the Playroom.
- You may only print these cards for use in your household or your own personal classroom.
- You may not resell the cards, or use them for any purposes other than those for which they are intended, which is as a resource for a music appreciation activity at home or in a classroom.
- I’d love it if you’d spread the word with your friends or fellow teachers, but you may not distribute the PDF directly. Instead, send your friends over to rockingtheplayroom.com/sign-up and get them to sign up to our newsletter, so that they can receive their very own copy of the music appreciation cards, with instructions on how to use them.
- For any other questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.