Graphic Scores – Fostering Literacy Skills

Harry (3) conducts his graphic score with the big kids!

As I have said, a graphic score is such a useful device for showing in pictorial or indeed musical terms, musical elements and ideas from  a composition, using colour, texture, shape and line to interpret melody, rhythm, timbre, texture and structure in music.

Lewis and Jake (both 4) are practising their musical shapes!

However it is also an effective and wonderful way to help very young learners with their reading and writing skills using music as the learning medium.

I’ve often used this way of helping 3-4 year olds with their musical ideas and have found it nurtures several aspects of creativity, reading, understanding, mark-making and writing. Here are some examples:

  • Learning to read signs and symbols from left to right.

Combining music rhythms and symbols with recently-learned phonics in a musical score.

  • Making the connection between written symbols and sounds.
  • Incorporating phonics, letters and indeed musical symbols into the graphic scores to reinforce work being covered in literacy.
  • Incorporating numbers into the graphic scores to reinforce work being covered in numeracy.Joseph (4) is using music symbols to write his own colourful score.
  • Mark-making using shapes and colours, developing fine motor skills.
  • Creating beautiful and meaningful representations of musical sounds.
  • Writing – musical signs and symbols as well as letters, numbers and other signs.

    Cooperating and sharing ideas to make fuzzy felt scores.

  • Being creative!
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