Music has a universal appeal, and Melodee Bells is another musical set that can be played by individuals across a range of skills. And because of the range of individuals I can use this with, and the pleasure it brings many of my kids, it is one of my favorite tools.
The 8 plastic bells come in 8 different colors. On the top of each bell is a sticker with a number (1-8) and the note. Line them up before you start playing, from 1-8. The clapper mechanism inside the bell is metal.
A songbook with 14 songs is included. Each note has a number above it to tell which bell to play. Songs are Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Three Blind Mice, London Bridge, Lullaby, First Noel, Jingle Bells, Oh Master Let Me Walk With Thee, Jesus Lover of My Soul, Home Sweet Home, O-Susanna, Largo, Finlandia, and Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes.
I have made up my own songs on index cards using colored dots to indicate which bell to ring. Play each line of dots across, starting at the left and moving to the right (like reading). If four lines of dots is too much to look at, put two lines of dots on one card. You could even put one line and point to each dot as you go if necessary.
My cards. Play by color only.|
To play, pick up each bell in turn, shake it, and then return it to the same space. Kids have loved to sing along with me as they play, and they love hearing that they have actually played a song they recognize.
- Work hand-over-hand, even if the individual cannot follow the songbook. A sense of accomplishment can be felt and a look of joy comes into the face when the song is recognized and the individual knows he is playing it.
- Print the songs as colored dots on index cards. I have put 1 line on an index card and I have put up to 4 lines on a card. I use a box of Crayola markers and a highlighter for the pink. The pink in the Crayola markers looks too close to the red for me.
- Cover all but the line that is being played. Some cannot look down and look back up and find their place. Some cannot pick out where they should be looking.
- Work on visual discrimination, visual memory, figure ground, grasp and release, following directions, color recognition, sequencing, manual dexterity, executive functioning skills, process skills, leisure and play exploration and participation
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