Two peeks at part work!

Hi everyone, this is Sue!

There was a time BK (before Kodaly) that I thought that ‘part work’ only meant singing from a choral score in 2 parts or more.  The simplest practice of part work is echo singing and going on to keeping a beat while singing a simple song.

The first example is of second graders preparing tikatika with the song “Chattanooga Choo, Choo,” (follow link for score of the song)  In this video of my second graders the children are making trains of any length (some by themselves!) and put the rhythm in their feet while singing the song then switching to part work in the B section as they stop and clap a simple steady beat pattern with a child or children around them as they sing the melody.   The children are practicing part work also in the sense that they are going from the rhythm in their feet to the beat in their hands.

Video of Students playing the game-

The second example is of part work in grade 4.  They are reading and performing a 2 part rhythmic score with the boys on one part and the girls on the other.  This means they must be independent since it is unlikely that they are seated next to someone on their same part.

Other Pedagogy used in this score
  • The two parts are in different colors so students are able to track it easily
  • On the alto part, the notes are upside down as they occur in much of staff reading
  • The last measure of the alto part has a titi broken into single eighth notes with the soprano part replicating the measure exactly.  I tell the kids “Same rhythm, different font”
Teaching process (over 3 lessons)
  1. Class reads and claps soprano part
  2. Class reads and claps alto part
  3. Class reads/claps one part while Teacher does the other the vice versa
  4. Class claps in 2 parts ½ room on each part-students grouped with like parts
  5. “Mixed Nuts”  students perform like the video, in parts but in mixed groups.  (suggestions for grouping can be by gender, birthday etc)
Have fun!


  1. Fun ideas, Sue! Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. I love seeing your students in class!!! Thx for posting the videos!!!

  3. That WAS excellent! Nothing beats seeing and hearing students in action. Thank you!

  4. What a great reminder! I tend to forget all of the ways in which to build part work independence. The videos really help drive home how effective each activity can be. Thanks for sharing!


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