Here's my response to a teacher in New York who emailed me asking about the choice of the do re mi colors.
The colors are simply the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, red. It's good to use the do re mi cards to play games so students can experience the colors. Once the students have learned to sing "Daily Do" and are ready to relate the pitches to the keyboard it's time to use magic notes to write out the do re mi rainbow colors. Each student has a handful of magic notes and a paper piano (Panda 1 Pack). Classroom students can easily share materials. Rather than merely telling them the colors, I ask them these questions so they can discover the color sequence themselves and thus remember it more easily. The first time we use a C major scale. Try this with your materials and you'll see how logical it is.
1. Q: What are the primary colors? A: Red, yellow, blue. We place red, yellow, and blue magic notes on the major triad keys, C E G.
2. Let's figure out the color for D. Q: What color is formed by combining red and yellow? The students hold up the red and yellow magic notes to see for themselves. A: Orange. We put an orange magic note on D.
3. Let's figure out the color for F. Q: What color is formed by combining yellow and blue? The students hold up the yellow and blue magic notes to see for themselves. A: Green. We put a green magic note on F.
4. We put another red magic note on high C.
5. Q: What color is formed by combining blue and red? The students hold up the two magic notes to see for themselves. A: Purple (violet). We put a purple magic note on B.
6. Q: What color is formed by combining blue and purple? The students hold up the blue and purple magic notes to see for themselves. A: Indigo (I may need to help them with this color name). Since the magic notes don’t come in indigo we stack two magic notes together (blue on top of purple, or two blues, or blue on top of pink) to create the color indigo on A.
7. Ta da! The major scale in do re mi rainbow colors.
The above photo shows my student singing “Daily Do” and pointing to the magic notes. The magic notes on her paper piano show the eight tones of the major scale. When she sings the minor section she will push up the lower LA and TI that are waiting in the margin and pull the upper TI and DO into the margin. Her magic notes will then form the minor scale.
The workshop teachers photographed in the preceding article are using do re mi rainbow colors to take melodic dictation on staff slates. They are using do re mi cards as a reference.
I'm happy to say that I’ve finally learned the color sequence for rainbows which are now even more beautiful to me.