Sunday, November 1, 2015

Week Eight in Review (Oct. 26 - Oct. 30)

Greetings from the music room! It was a wonderful week of singing, moving, and playing instruments! Here are some of the highlights:

Kindergarten students completed a melodic pre-assessment this week. This assessment will be used to track each Kindergarten student's progress on the melodic skill high/low throughout the school year. As students were assessed one-on-one, students enjoyed learning about the instruments of the orchestra through a video entitled Oscar's Orchestra. Students also began learning a song called Lucy Locket this week. This song has a 'hot'/'cold' game which enables the students to practice their loud and quiet singing voices. Additionally,students were introduced to a fun instrument called a vibraslap. Students used this instrument in a chant called Old Mrs. Witch, which enabled students to explore how their voice can go up and down just like flying. Lastly, students enjoyed singing a song called Little Ghostie. In this song, students created a ghost out of a tissue and echoed patterns by singing "ooooo."

First grade students learned a song called What Will You Be? This song gave students the opportunity to play a steady beat on bass xylophones as well as act out many spooky Halloween creatures. Students reviewed the rhythm to Spider, Spider Legs and All by playing short sounds (eighth notes) on rhythm sticks and long sounds (quarter notes) on drums. Students also reviewed the song and game to Witch, Witch and then placed witches onto a two-line music staff to show the contour of the song. Lastly, students enjoyed a movement activity to Edvard Grieg's composition In the Hall of the Mountain King. Students pretended to sneak into the mountain king's cave. As the music grew faster and louder, students realized that the mountain king knew they were there! We ducked behind rocks and eventually jumped out of the cave to safety!

Second grade students began to feel a half note pulse by bouncing tennis balls to the chant Trick or Treat. Students also practiced singing and signing sol and mi by decoding short patterns sung by the teacher. Students decoded the melody to Witch, Witch using the interactive white board and then sang the song using sol and mi. Students reviewed the song Must Be Halloween and read an eight beat rhythmic pattern on the white board. Students played eighth notes on rhythm sticks and quarter notes on drums. Students enjoyed creating a Halloween story to Hungarian Dance #3 by Johannes Brahms. Students began by listening to the composition while the teacher pointed to a form outline. The students were told that the A section represents trick-or-treaters going trick-or-treating, but that they must listen and fill in the rest of the story. The students created their own ideas for the B and C sections and then divided themselves into small groups to create actions and movements for each section. We then performed the whole piece with all of the student's ideas in place! The students also enjoyed having a chance to play the gong along with a picture book entitled Scary, Scary Halloween.
The Hungarian Dance #3 story created by Mrs. Ulin's class.
Third grade students learned a clapping game called Double Trouble which reinforced the steady beat and allowed students to cooperatively work with a partner. Students also worked with partners to decode the song Closet Key. Students were given four flashcards with fragments of the song that students had to sing and place in the correct order. Students also learned a call and response song called Skin and Bones. Lastly, students enjoyed learning about the history of and story behind Camille Saint-Saens' composition Danse Macbre. Students listened for key elements of the composition and discussed Saint-Saens' use of instruments to create aural images.

Students singing the do-re-mi patterns to decode the song Closet Key.
Students checking their work.
Students working with their partners.
Got it!
 Fourth grade students reviewed the song Ding Dong as well as its rhythm. Students used rhythm sticks to play the sixteenth notes found in this song. Students also sang this song in a 2-, 3-, and 4-part round. Students also practiced part singing through the song Boots of Shining Leather. Once students mastered the song and its dance steps, students sang the round in two parts while dancing in two concentric circles. This was quite a challenging feat! Students also continued to practice the letter names of notes on the treble clef staff through an activity called letter dominoes. 
Students have created a staircase with their music 'dominoes'.

These students created a diamond using their music 'dominoes'.
New Bulletin Board: This bulletin board was created by fourth grade students who completed an optional homework assignment. Students created their own sentences to help remember that the notes on the treble clef lines are E-G-B-D-F. Students then drew a picture representing their sentence.
Fifth grade students focused on dotted quarter notes and eighth notes this week. Students found these rhythms in the song Alcitron, a song from Mexico. Students also learned a stick passing game to this song which required everyone in the class to keep a precise steady beat. Students reviewed a series of rhythmic patterns by first identifying patterns clapped by the teacher and then writing those patterns on a dry erase board. Students learned a new song this week entitled Our Old Sow. Students dissected the rhythm of this song and performed each type of rhythm on a different instrument. Students had the opportunity to play rhythm sticks, hand drums, triangles, and tambourines. Students also began a rhythm improvisation activity. In this activity, all students read and clapped a 12-beat rhythm pattern while one student created, or improvised, an additional 4-beat pattern as a solo.

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