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Music Learning Through Innovative Rhythm And Tonal Skills | The Tuneables

The Tuneables is a first-of-its-kind program

Where Music Begins

The Tuneables, developed for young children by the Music Intelligence Project, focuses on important early musical skills and understandings. Similar to language development, music learning begins with acquiring an ear for music and engaging in accurate musical performance, such as singing and moving to the beat.

Going well past the casual playtime music experiences of most preschoolers, The Tuneables introduces a high quality, substantive music curriculum through innovative and engaging videos, songs, and books, Children learn important skills by actively participating in songs and activities that focus on the following:

Rhythm Skills: Perceive and move to the beat and form rhythm patterns from groupings of beats and divisions of the beat.

Tonal Skills: Perceive and perform melodies based on major and minor scales and form tonal patterns from groupings of tones from the melodies and scales.

Musical Expression: Experience and understand expressive musical elements such as tempo, dynamics, articulation, tone color, style, texture, and mood.

Performance Skills: Imitate appropriate and accurate models of singing and rhythmic movement and develop the singing voice through voice flexibility activities.

Musical Repertoire: Hear standard compositions from classical, popular, folk, and traditional jazz music literature.

These musical beginnings create a solid foundation of music understanding that forms the framework for advanced learning, such as music reading and playing a musical instrument.

Tonal Skills

The foundation for tonal learning rests on a collection of notes (scale) that have a musical meaning because of their relationship to one tone called the “tonal center” (“home tone” or “final resting tone”). In The Tuneables curriculum, tonal patterns consist of two to five tones. Children sing them in songs, hear them in isolation, and sing the tonal syllables (e.g. Do, Re, Mi) associated with those tones. The sequence for the introduction of each new pattern is chosen to gradually introduce and then strengthen the perception of tonality.

Rhythm Skills

The foundation for rhythm rests on the beat and incorporates groupings of beats and divisions of beats to form rhythm patterns. In The Tuneables curriculum, rhythm patterns are presented, repeated, performed, named and recognized in various songs and musical compositions. These patterns are introduced in a sequence that enables young children to maintain a sense of the inherent logic of timed musical events as the learning and maturation proceed. Rhythmic movements demonstrated by animated characters are chosen so that they are easily performed and enhance conceptual understanding.

Musical Expression

The enjoyment of music expands as children understand and experience the expressive elements available in music performance. The Tuneables addresses this musical dimension by providing experiences with tempo (faster or slower), dynamics (louder and softer), articulation (smooth or detached), tone color (instrumental or vocal sounds— individual and combinations), style (e.g. march, lullaby, dance), texture (density or transparency of sound), and mood (the emotion that the combination of music events projects, e.g., excited, calm, happy). All songs are enriched with appropriate and interesting accompaniments to exemplify one or more of these expressive elements, and the actions of the animated characters are designed to reflect typical human responses to expressive effects.

Performance Skills

The Tuneables develops performance skills by providing accurate models and appropriate activities leading to performance accuracy.
• Rhythmic accuracy is developed through a variety of movement activities that are easily imitated
and performed. The animated characters provide rhythmically accurate models of these movements. Children also develop rhythmic accuracy when they join in singing with the animated characters.
• Singing accuracy is addressed by including activities that promote voice flexibility and extend its range. Songs are in a singing range that is best suited to the young child’s voice. Children are asked to imitate singing models that have pitch and rhythmic accuracy. Harmonic accompaniments are structured to best support the accurate pitch production when singing.

Musical Repertoire

The Tuneables introduces children to a standard repertoire of music literature from the classical, popular, folk, and jazz traditions. Each DVD features a composer and introduces the children to the sounds of the composer’s work by incorporating well-known musical themes and compositions into songs and other activities. This is The Tuneables music immersion experience.

Songs composed for The Tuneables curriculum comprise most of the musical material. These songs will soon became favorites of the children because of their ease in learning and their full and engaging accompaniments. Traditional children’s songs are utilized when appropriate for learning music concepts. These songs as well as songs composed for The Tuneables feature exciting and imaginative accompaniments that give children experience with the great music traditions.