Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week Nine in Review (Nov. 2 - Nov. 6)

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

Kindergarten students practiced their singing, whisper, and speaking voices by learning the song Peanut Butter and Jelly. Students also practiced making sliding sounds with their voices by pretending to bounce, aim, and shoot basketballs into an imaginary hoop. Students were encouraged to begin their slide on a high sound. Vocal exercises such as this help prepare students for in-tune singing. Students also practiced identifying pitches that are the same or different by listening to two puppets sing the same song. Students responded with a thumbs up if the puppets' voices matched and a thumbs down if the puppets' voices did not match. Finally, students enjoyed learning a new counting song about pirates called When I Was One. Argh! 

First grade students began learning about musical phrases through the song Yankee Doodle. Students sang the song while patting and clapping in order to show each phrase. Students then walked around the room to the steady beat while patting and clapping. For an extra challenge, students were asked to change direction at the beginning of each phrase! Students also wrote the rhythm and melodic contour of the song See Saw by using their bodies and carpet squares. First students had to figure out whether there was one sound or two on each beat (one student or two on each carpet square), then students had to figure out whether those sounds were high or low (stand or sit on the carpet square). Once the students had 'written' the entire song, students who were not on the carpet squares judged our work by singing the song and showing the contour with their arms. Students also began learning a new chant entitled Queen, Queen Caroline and new songs entitled Teddy Bear and Rain, Rain Go Away.

Second grade students focused heavily on practicing melodic notes sol and mi this week. Students wrote sol and mi patterns on the interactive board as a class and on laminated staves as individuals. Students also worked in groups of four to dictate sol-mi patterns sung by the teacher. Students worked together to arrange their bodies to represent each pattern, students stood for sol and sat for mi. Students also learned a new song called I Pop Up and began learning a new song called Bluebells which will be used to introduce the melodic note la. Lastly, students began learning a rhythm game in which the teacher taps a pattern while the students think it. Then the students respond by speaking the pattern out loud.
This student wrote a sol and mi pattern that began on the fifth line.
This student wrote a sol and mi pattern that began in the first space.
This student decoded a sol and mi pattern that began on the second line.

 Third grade began a new activity called Four Beats After this week. In this activity, students performed a short body percussion canon by performing a series of patterns four beats after the teacher. Each class did exceptionally well and will be challenged to a higher level of this activity next week! Students also began learning a song called Great Big House in New Orleans. Students were asked to find the location of the melodic pattern mi-re-do in this song and then began learning the song's dance. Additionally, students took a melodic pre-assessment this week. This assessment will be used to track each third grade student's progress on melodic skills throughout the school year.

Fourth grade students began learning the song and movement game Tideo. This song will be used to help students learn sixteenth note rhythm patterns. Students also reviewed the numbers and letters for the lines and spaces of the treble clef staff by individually placing pom-poms on laminated staff papers. Then students worked in small groups to play the card game Go Fish using cards containing the notes on the treble clef staff. In order to find a match, students had to ask for the correct note. For example, "Do you have an A in the second space" or "Do you have an F on the fifth line?" 
Students playing treble clef Go Fish

Fifth grade students reviewed the rhythm to the song Our Old Sow as a class and learned to play the song's game. Additionally, students worked together with partners to place eight flashcards of the song's rhythm in the correct order. After completing this assignment, students were given two options. First, they could clap one or two of the patterns and their partner had to choose the correct answer. Second, they could rearrange the cards to create a new song and then clap the rhythm patterns in their new order. Additionally, students were given further opportunities to improvise four-beat rhythms using dotted quarter notes and eighth notes. I was very proud of each of the students who volunteered to come up in front of the class to improvise a pattern. Next week students will begin learning a new rhythmic pattern called sycopation.
Students created a new pattern to clap.

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