Specdrums: Starter Songs with Colorful Notation

This activity features 9 songs to play with your Specdrums Ring(s). You will play the songs by reading colorful music notes. Each song has its own special keyboard tailored with specific colors to guide you along in your playing.

Learning Objectives

Performing

MU:Pr4.2.5b - When analyzing selected music, read and perform using standard notation.

MU:Pr4.2.7c - Identify how cultural and historical context inform performances and result in different music interpretations.

MU:Pr5.1.2b - Rehearse, identify and apply strategies to address interpretive, performance, and technical challenges of music.

Responding

MU:Re7.1.4a -Demonstrate and explain how selected music connects to and is influenced by specific interests, experiences, purposes, or contexts.

Introduction

Have you ever sang “Happy Birthday” to someone? You could probably sing it very easily, but reading and playing the notes of this song may be a completely different experience.

In this activity, you will learn how to read and play songs using colorful music notes and your Specdrums Ring(s). Each song contains two pages: the sheet music (the title page with the music notes) and a customized keyboard page using only the colors you need to play for that song. You will play your Specdrums Ring(s) on the colorful keyboard.

Here is a sample of what you will see for each song you play:

If you see diagonal black lines on your keyboard, don’t play that note. Any key that is filled in with a solid color on your keyboard will be played.

Every song has a formula of notes that builds a melody . Think of a melody as a tune you can sing. If you play the wrong notes, the melody won’t be correct.

If you’re new to reading musical notation, start with the Beginner songs. If you need extra guidance, consult the Note and Symbol Guide. Once you’re comfortable playing the Beginner songs, move to the Intermediate songs. Perhaps you will be able to notice particular symbols and patterns of notes as you move along.

Keep challenging yourself as you move from Intermediate to Advanced songs. If you’re feeling super ambitious, maybe you’re ready to start a band! Maybe?

Required Materials

  1. The Specdrums Edu app downloaded onto an iOS device
  2. At least one Specdrums Ring - Note: in a classroom, your students can work in groups or can take turns playing these individually
  3. Songs with their respective keyboards (see PDF attachments below)

Beginner Songs: Song of the Volga Boatmen, Old Macdonald Had A Farm, Happy Birthday (With Chords)

Intermediate Songs: Sakura, All Through the Night, Peanut Butter

Advanced Songs: When The Saints Go Marching In, Take Me Out To the Ball Game, Cielito Lindo

Instructions

Connect your rings(s) to the Specdrums Edu app. The app should automatically populate with the default note bubbles after you scan the QR code at the top of the sheet music. Even if the rhythm is not right, read each colored note and play that note color on your keyboard. Sing along to the song you’re playing.

Watch this video tutorial on how to scan QR codes in the Edu app: https://vimeo.com/gosphero/review/358895161/011a11330e