PaNiBe Lesson example


PaNiBe Lesson Example

 Sample Lesson using Panibe sound-relational system when teaching a traditional children’s song: ‘Rain, rain go away’.



Pa   Ni   Be   Lo   Da  Ce  Di   Pa

(1)   (2)  (3)   (4)  (5)  (6) (7)  (8/1)

PaNiBe Body Signs





Text:                        Rain, Rain Go a – way

PaNiBe:                    Da    Be   Da – Da Be

Scale degrees:           5       3      5 – 5    3

In C major:               G        E     G – G    E

In Do Major:             Sol    Mi  Sol-Sol Mi

Text:                       Come    a – gain a-   no- ther day!

PaNiBe                      Da  – Da   Be – Be  Da – Da  Be

Scale degrees:            5   –  5       3 – 3      5  –   5   3

In C Major:                G  – G        E – E     G  –  G   E

In Do Major:            Sol- Sol     Mi-Mi   Sol – Sol  Mi


  1. Song introduction, making an emotional connection: Talking about the weather and maybe pretending to go on a picnic or playing outside.


2. The song is sung in a game context (picnic, playing in the playground or in a field). Children are already familiar with the ‘Drum walk’ where they walk rhythms to drum and chanted cues such as Ta (beat:walk/loop/tren) and Ta-di (sub-division of the beat: run-ing/ren-nen/co-rre). These rhythmic cues can also be integrated in the game context.


3. Teacher and children sit down, and now the teacher gives a melodic context in ‘lu-lu’ before singing the song (scale degrees: 1 2 3 4 5 4 3 2 1/ 1 3 5 3 1/ 1 7 1/ 1 5 1). Children learn the song by rote, first listening to the teacher sing and joining in the movement, then singing along and eventually singing alone, and even a solo.

4. Pulse (tapping on lap) and rhythm (clapping): What do you feel? Establishing a difference between pulse and rhythm. How can we recognize this song from another? By its rhythm. How many heart-beats did you feel/hear? How many claps are in one heartbeat? In which words are there two claps in one heartbeat?

‘Rain, Rain go Away’ heartbeats and stick notation inside each beat.


5. Melodic contour: Who can show me how the -melody of the- song goes? Children can use free body-hand-arm gestures. Teacher notices how the children have perceived the melody of the song (phrasing and melodic direction). Reflect about the interpretations. Which part of the song goes high and which part goes down? More specifically: on which word the sound/pitch is higher and on which word/syllable is lower? Which pitches are repeated? Are all parts of the song the same or is there a different part?

Example of dots indicating melodic contour:


6. Experimenting: How can the song be different? Here, children and experiment varying articulation (legato/ staccato) and dynamics, etc. Visual cues at this stage are only given kinaesthetically. The song can also be sung leaving some words (singing on text) or pitches (when singing on ‘lu-lu’). For example the higher pitch is left out at one time, or the lower pitch notes are left out and sung inside (inner singing).

7. Creating Rain music: Children are given the assignment to create rain music that could be related to the song or not. They may create own rain instruments or put together instruments for a ‘rain ensemble.’ This can be done in groups. Then, children perform their compositions. Children appraise each other’s work.

8. Children listen to a (classical) piece that resembles rain and draw/ notate ‘rainy weather’: rain-lots, little-, wind, thunder-sun at the end or not. Perceptions are discussed and compared.

9. The next time the song is sung and played again, children visualise the melodic and rhythmic patterns of the song first using Body Signs and then on the board, for example. Dots for showing melodic contour can be used and line for phrasing. Rhythmic content is first chanted and clapped (together) and then shown in for example, heart or stick notation. Children then ‘read’ together with the teacher the rhythm and melody of the song. A simplified two-line staff can be used for further melodic reading. Children then, move to reading alone.

Example: Rhythm using Takadimi


Ta      Ta   Ta-di  Ta       Ta-di   Ta-di  Ta-di  Ta

Example of a child’s own writing of rhythm on dotted melodic contour:


Visual connection with sound on a two-line staff:


Da                  Be

10. As a fun activity, children can be ‘jumping notes’ on a floor staff made or ropes and sing and jump their note. Boomwackers can also be used: children take turns to play and sing their note Da or Be, scale degrees 5 -3.


11. Practice same melodic and rhythmic content in other songs. Let children improvise rhythmic and melodic patterns.



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Illustrations by Silvia Lopez Chavez: