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4. Origami Solfege Octahedron

Lesson 4 Module 1

My daughter loves origami and while she was playing with our cube, she had the idea that an Octahedron would serve our musical purposes better since there are eight notes in the scale.  Through her inspiration, and a whole lot of math with my husband, we figured out this printable and made it for you.  But don't worry, folding it and enjoying it is the easy part.

An octahedron is an 8-sided 3-dimensional figure, most often seen with equilateral triangles, such as the dice with 8 faces.  It is one of the Platonic solids, which my children first learned about from Peter Weatherall.  So... if you want to add a little math to your music lesson, this video has a really catchy melody!

As far as musical application, you can use this die in place of music cards when playing some of our games such "Rainbow Castle".  You can also use it for ear training, where you sing whatever pitch lands on top.  Or roll two of them and name the interval between them.

Having said that, unfortunately the fact that these are origami means that there are folds hiding behind some parts of the die and not others, which means that the weight isn't evenly distributed, and some notes pop up far more than others in our experiments.  So... the idea is solid but the application is less so in practice.

We've had the best use with these as a fill in the answer kind of thing.  The teacher maybe will play a given note, then play another one and ask the student what note it was.  For example, they may play middle C and tell the student it is "Do".  Then they perhaps play "G", and ask what note that is in solfege.  It makes a perfect 5th, so it must be "So".  They get to answer with a tactile number by showing "So" on the die.

Mostly these are a novelty item that are really fun to make, and a great conversation piece.  We love it!  I'd love to know what ideas you come up as you play with them!


Note:  This Octahedron Printable has also been added to our "Solfege Fun" module.

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