Teaching texture to young students (and even older ones) can be difficult. I try to help students create meaning by making sure they have a visual model to go along with the sound.
This year I decided to get students involved in making a visual model by using …. wait for it … PASTA! It worked out pretty well with minimal pasta remnants left on the floor. At the bottom of this post is the slide show I created with visual and listening examples of Monophonic, Homophonic, and Polyphonic texture. After several years of teaching texture, I’ve narrowed it down to the basics that I’d like students to understand at this point in their music education.
I made up bags of 3 kinds of pasta – elbow, bow ties, and penne. Of course, you can use whatever you have available, but I’d advise against any long pasta like spaghetti because it breaks so easily. We did our models on the floor but you could glue them onto paper to keep as examples. Here’s what my students came up with:
From left to right are examples of monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic.
Having students create these in “real time” allowed me to correct any misunderstandings they might have had.
Feel free to use the slides in the link below – or create ones that work better for you! There is even an bonus link to a fun review Kahoot!