Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week Eleven in Review (Nov. 16 - Nov. 20)

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

Kindergarten students began learning about the differences between fast and slow this week using the song The Noble Duke of York. After learning a few actions to this song, students practiced performing the song quickly and slowly. Students also continued to practice their loud and quiet voices by singing an echo song called Oh My, No More Pie! Once students achieved success at echoing the teacher's loud and quiet voice, students were challenged to sing the opposite volume of the teacher. It is quite difficult to sing quietly after hearing a loud voice! Students also explored the sounds of their voice by vocally following a flashlight beam on the wall. As the flashlight beam moved up and down students were to imitate this movement with their voices. Students were encouraged to try this in their bedrooms at home! Other new songs and chants introduced this week: Chop, Chop, Chippity Chop and Rig-a-Jig-Jig.

First grade students explored many locomotor movements to the song Jim Along Josie. In addition to improvising lyrics and movements to this song, students practiced keeping the steady beat as they moved. Students also practiced 'writing' the pattern of longs (quarter notes) and short-shorts (eighth notes) to the song Rain, Rain by using chairs and their bodies. They also continued to build on last week's rhythm learning to Queen, Queen Caroline by pointing to beat charts while saying the song's rhythm of longs and short, shorts. On Monday, students were taught how to read high (sol) and low (mi) notes on a two-line staff and given a copy of Teddy Bear's first phrase to practice with at home. Students also began learning the songs We Are Dancing in the Forest and Bluebells. These songs will be used to practice quarter notes, eighth notes, sol, mi, and la.

Second grade students explored many locomotor movements to the song All 'Round the Brickyard. In addition to improvising lyrics and movements to this song, students practiced keeping the steady beat as they moved. Students also continued to practice sol and mi patterns by reading from a series of six flashcards. After echoing the teacher, students were given the chance to lead this activity by solo singing one of the patterns. Using the song Bluebells, students practiced reading sol-mi patterns in different positions on the staff. As students are becoming increasingly secure with this two-note pattern, students were led to discover that the song Bluebells contains a new note that is slightly higher than sol (la). Students also practiced counting and playing quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests by playing instruments to the rhythm of the chant Tee Hee Hee and working with partners to decode the rhythm of the song Pease Porridge. As students are becoming increasingly secure with these rhythms, students began learning a song called Draw a Bucket of Water which will be used to introduce half notes. 
These two students worked together to piece together the rhythm of Pease Porridge.

Third grade worked to improve their ability to sing mi re and do in-tune this week! Students have been practicing reading and singing a series of six mi re do patterns through the use of flashcards. Students also began learning the English street cry Hot Cross Buns by decoding the song's rhythm and melodic contour using chairs and their bodies. Students were then led in transitioning this onto the staff. Students were also led to find the steps and repeats in this song. Afterwards, students began learning to write this song using pencil and paper. Additionally, students began learning the song No One in the House which will be used to introduced a new melodic note called sol. 

Fourth grade students began learning recorder this week! Students currently know three notes: B, A, and G. They have begun practicing the song Hot Cross Buns in preparation for their first recorder karate test this upcoming week. Students can practice their recorder karate songs online at The password is rubric. Below are a few important tips for creating a good sound on the recorder:
  • Blow with slow, warm air.
  • Check that fingers are covering all of the correct holes and pushing down slightly.
  • Also check that fingers are not accidentally covering extra holes.
  • Sit up tall and use good posture.
 Fifth grade students learned about syncopation through Land of the Silver Birch and The Canoe Song. In addition to examining the syncopated rhythms in both of these songs, students sang The Canoe Song while performing a syncopated body percussion ostinato. Students were also invited to transfer this ostinato to the xylophones. Students sang the The Canoe Song and Land of the Silver Birch in canon and simultaneously. Each of the three fifth grade classes came up with their own ideas for how to perform these songs. Ideas ranged from a 31-person canon to both songs sung in canon simultaneously! Students were also introduced to the syncopation prevalent in Hungarian composer Bela Bartok's composition the Swineherd's Dance and in Russian composer Gliere's Russian Sailor's DanceStudents also enjoyed learning the Japanese song Sei, Sei, Sei and reviewed how to count dotted quarter and eighth note patterns using number counting. Students will use Sei, Sei, Sei next week to reinforce this counting.

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