The 30-lesson First Note™ music curriculum was authored by three international experts and widely published authors in the field of children’s musical education, and is currently being used in classrooms across the US. This award-winning program features a variety of cultures and incorporates proven methods of music instruction developed by Carl Orff (Orff Schulwerk), Emile Jacques Dalcroze, Zoltan Kodaly and others. The lessons are multi-cultural (table of contents), including 9 different languages that are featured in song throughout the lessons (songs list).
The program is designed to be ‘facilitated’ rather than ‘taught’, and is so easy to use that virtually anyone can teach it! The video portion of First Note has regular pauses allowing the teacher a great deal of flexibility and control of the content mix, length and pace of each lesson. The scope and sequence (sample) along with learning targets and materials required for each lesson are included in the manual.
Each program lesson follows a similar path or pedagogy; The classroom teacher opens the manual (2-lesson sample), starts the video and Miss Melody (Rachel Brackett) appears, reviews the previous lesson, introduces a new concept and “word of the week“, then heads off to the First Note Music Store with all of the ‘Music Friends’ while singing “It’s Music Time”. She plays her step bells and 4 Music Friends magically appear for that days lesson. She warms them up their voices and bodies with the Frankie Dance*, and then practices the lesson while the classroom students mirror them. Lastly, each lesson ends with a visit from a surprise cultural guest that introduces an instrument or singing from various parts of the world.The program is a standards-based music program for use in Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st Grade (PreK-1) classrooms, and can be used by all PreK-1 teachers, as well as an aid to music instructors. Best of all, it’s just plain fun and the kids love it!
*Developed by creator Anne Green Gilbert, the Frankie Dance™ involves a series of exercises at the beginning of each lesson. It is comprised of eight (8) fundamental movement patterns that we move through in the first year of life. Research has shown that these patterns are crucial to the wiring of our central nervous system. Cycling through these patterns sitting or standing has been found to be beneficial. This “dance” is an excellent full body and brain warm-up for children and adults in all settings. The Frankie Dance™ can also be also be used before tests, performances, and presentations; and during computer work and TV watching for brain reorganization, oxygenation, and recuperation. For more information about Anne Green Gilberts’ work, please visit the Creative Dance Center web site.