Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week Twelve in Review (Nov. 23 - Nov. 27)

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

Kindergarten students did not have class this week.

First grade students continued to explore locomotor movements to the song Jim Along Josie and used this song to play a listening freeze game. Students also learned a fun Thanksgiving song called Gobble, Gobble, Gobble and its fun chase game. After students learned the song and played several rounds of the game, students were given a sheet of paper with the melody written in turkeys. Students were asked to color the high turkeys red and the low turkeys blue. This melodic note reading assessment revealed that students are ready to learn the musician's syllables (sol and mi) for high (sol) and low (mi) notes next week!

This student is off to a good start!
This student correctly colored all turkeys: high notes - red / low notes - blue.

Second grade students began learning a new song called Grandma Grunts this week. This song will be used to learn half note. Students were first asked to move around the room and step the steady beat. Afterwards, students were asked to step to the half note pulse (a better speed for grandma). Students also began learning a new song called We Are Dancing in the Forest. This song will be used to help students improvise, confidently sing solos, and learn the melodic note la. Students practiced the new high note (la) by playing triangles along with the song Bluebells. Students were given the challenge of only playing the triangle on the new note. Students who were not playing the triangle helped by singing note names and using hand signs.

Third grade students had a wonderfully productive week in music class! Students learned a new song called Frog in the Meadow. This three-pitch song gave students the opportunity to identify and sing mi re and do. While singing the song and its melodic syllables, students greatly enjoyed playing the race game that accompanies this song. Students also practiced singing mi re do patterns after the teacher sang those patterns without using these melodic syllables. Additionally, students learned a new melodic note this week: sol! This new note is a skip higher than mi and was learned through the song No One in the House. Next week students will have many opportunities to practice this new note. Lastly, students practiced reading quarter notes, quarter rests, and eighth notes by pointing to four-beat patterns, memorizing those patterns, and speaking their rhythm syllables. A few students in each class enjoyed have the chance to lead this activity.

Fourth grade students have made an incredible amount of progress on the recorder in one week's time. This week, students began testing for their white belts. In order to pass and be awarded their first belt, students needed to play the correct notes and rhythms while maintaining a good sound. Each student was tested one-on-one while the class was able to work with partners or independently in order to practice Hot Cross Buns (white belt), Gently Sleep (yellow belt), and create their own B-A-G songs. Students are also highly encouraged to practice at home!

As a reminder, 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 continued to practice syncopation this week through the use of Russian composer Gliere's Russian Sailor's Dance. On Monday, students were led in a discussion about the concept of theme and variations. First students looked at a series of pictures and were asked to figure out the theme (high heels, vehicles, cookies). Then students were asked to discuss some of the variations (color, size, shape, texture). Then students listened to Russian Sailor's Dance while following a listening map which described how the theme was varied. On Tuesday, students practiced clapping and counting the syncopated theme to Russian Sailor's Dance while measures of the song began to disappear. After all measures were removed and students could clap the 24-count theme from memory, students were invited to write the missing rhythms on the board. After students successfully completed this task, they were given the option of watching a Russian dance performance of this composition or watching this section of the ballet. Here are both of the videos:

Russian Sailor's Dance - Russian Performance
Russian Sailor's Dance - Ballet Performance - begin at 3:50

Next week, on Thursday, fifth grade students will be taking their rhythm post-assessment.

I hope that everyone had a safe, restful, and joyous Thanksgiving Holiday! 


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