Easy Musical Scale Preschool Activity Using Mason Jars
This simple activity provides a fun way to use mason jars to introduce a musical scale. Kids can explore the different sounds made by tapping on jars filled with water. Enjoy music with preschoolers in this hands-on activity that provides sensory and fine motor experiences.
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Kids engage in musical activities in many ways: dancing and singing to music; playing musical instruments; mimicking familiar lyrics in pretend play.
Musical activities provide opportunities for kids to play and learn using their all their senses while supporting the development of cognitive skills.
Musical scale activity
In this activity, kids can learn to distinguish the individual sounds of the notes on a musical scale.
They'll also become familiar with the shape of musical notes as they cut out notes to place on a staff.
A staff or stave (plural: staves) indicates the set of lines used for the notation of notes of different pitches.
The five-line staff is in general use and will be illustrated in this activity.
Supplies for a musical scale activity
- mason jars
- self-adhesive letters
- wooden spoon or plastic drum stick
Instructions for preparing a musical scale activity
1. Prepare the jars in advance.
- Add water to mason jars to reproduce the notes in the scale on the keyboard. Experiment with the sound by tapping gently on the jar as you add, or remove, water.
- Apply the letter indicating the note of the scale on each jar so that the bottom of the letter indicates the waterline.
- Empty the jars.
2. Prepare the musical notes and staff.
- Draw musical notes (or print these to trace around) on plain white paper so children can color and cut out the notes - or - simply cut the notes from black construction paper for the children to place on the staff.
- Make a musical staff on a long sheet of paper or print this smaller one.
Musical activities with kids
1. Fill each jar with water to the bottom of the letter on the jar.
To make this easier for young children, have the correct amount of water for each jar in a corresponding plastic cup, so kids can pour from the cups into the mason jars.
2. Tap on the jars to hear the different sounds (notes).
Experiment striking the jars with a wooden spoon, a plastic drum stick, or a rubber mallet.
3. Place the prepared staff in front of the jars.
Draw a mark (X) on the staff to indicate where each note will be placed.
Note: This activity is based on the C major scale.
4. Place musical notes on the staff to line up with the jars.
The letter on the mason jar names the note on the staff.
- In a small group activity, provide a jar for each child and a plastic container of water. Experiment with the amount of water in the jar and striking the jars with a wooden spoon, a plastic drum stick, or a rubber mallet.
- Find the sounds created by the jars on the keyboard - kids mimic each sound by tapping their corresponding mason jar.
- Make this a child-led activity by providing materials and allowing kids to explore and discover with minimal guidance.
Kids will love making sounds with the jars, and experimenting with the mallets.
An introduction to music through hands-on activities helps make learning fun and memorable.