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Moving Melodies

Aim: What is the shape of a melody? How does a melody move between high and low?
Summary: Students sing and identify melodic contours.
Standards: US 1, 6; NYC 1, 2
Grade: Kindergarten
Concept: Pitch
Artistic Process: performing, responding, creating
Materials: audio excerpts, student worksheet (Moving Melodies)
Time Required: 20 minutes


  1. Practice singing high and low pitches through call and response and familiar classroom repertoire; practice tracing the shapes of the melodies with your finger in the air.
  2. Sing or play different musical excerpts with a variety of highs, lows, and melodic directions. Have students trace the melody in the air as they listen or sing along.
    Download Teacher Worksheet (PDF)
  3. Look at the melodic shapes on the student worksheet. Have students trace each melodic line with their finger and sing the changes in high and low pitches.
    • How does this line move between high and low?
    • Can you sing what this shape might sound like?
    Download Student Worksheet (PDF)


Kindergarten Activity Exemplar: Pitch

This video is an exemplar of an activity from Carnegie Hall’s Music Educators Toolbox entitled "Moving Melodies." Students sing and identify melodic contours.


Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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