One of Maury’s favorite games in the Music Room is Lucy Locket. The accompanying song is about poor Lucy, who lost her pocket one day. Thankfully, her friend Kitty Fisher found it and returned it to her. To play the game, one of our students becomes Lucy on that fateful day, looking for his or her pocket. A pocket is hidden somewhere in the room and the rest of the students give clues à la the game Warm and Cold with a musical twist: We sing our song louder when Lucy is closer to the pocket and softer when further away. What the students don’t know is that they are practicing one of the most difficult parts of a musical performance – dynamic contrast.
Over the last few weeks, First Grade has been using Lucy Locket to learn about the symbols for a crescendo and a diminuendo and integrating that into our own music making. Once we were familiar with the symbols and what they meant (with a great math connection – the symbols are the same as “less than” and “greater than!”) we were ready to start adding them to our rhythm flash cards for some practice. We mastered that pretty quickly, so it was time to make things even more tricky. Ms. Bomba was kind enough to lend one of the dice she uses, which I doctored to include some different possibilities for performance (die-namics?). Everyone was so excited to take their turn rolling. Our rhythms became much more interesting (and tricky) once we added some surprise dynamic markings.