Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week Fourteen in Review (Dec. 7 - Dec. 11)

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

Kindergarten began a loud and quiet assessment this week through the use of the song Listen, Listen. After each repetition of this song, one student was asked to play a drum either loudly or quietly. The class then had to identify whether the student played loudly or quietly. Students were assessed based on their ability to perform loud or quiet drumming. Students continued to study the difference between fast and slow through the chant Grandma Moses and the song Take My Little Car for a Ride. In Take My Little Car for a Ride the students get pulled over by a police officer for driving too fast! They must then drive slower in order to avoid getting pulled over once again. Students also began learning a Spanish chant entitled Bate, Bate and enjoyed working with partners to act out the chant's words. Lastly, students began learning the songs Dr. Knickerbocker and We Clap Our Hands Together. Both of these songs are being used to practice keeping a steady beat.

First grade students were formally introduced to quarter notes (ta) and eighth notes (ti-ti) this week! After learning about these notes through the song We Are Dancing in the Forest, students were introduced to a game called poison rhythm. In this game, one four-beat rhythmic pattern was designated as the poison rhythm. The teacher clapped multiple rhythmic patterns and the students echoed; the goal of the game was for the students to echo every pattern except the poison pattern. Students also learned a new song called Snail, Snail which will be used to help students practice sol and mi patterns. Students practiced sol and mi this week by reading four-beat rhythmic patterns from a series of flashcards. Students also practiced keeping a beat to the song Starlight, Starbright by pretending to gather stars from the sky and place them into a basket. Next week students will add triangles to this song and practice reading quarter notes and eighth notes in order to place the song's rhythm in the correct order.

Second grade students continued preparing to learn new  melodic note la through the song We Are Dancing in the Forest. Students sang the song using the 'words' sol, mi, and high while performing solfege hand signs. Students also learned a new la song called Snail, Snail and played a game in which students circled around and around just like the shell of a snail. Students also practiced Starlight, Starbright which is another song that will be used to introduce melodic note la. Lastly, students performed an ostinato (a short repeated pattern) to the chant 2,4,6,8. This ostinato was performed first by using body percussion and then played on xylophones. After students mastered the ostinato, it was combined with words to the chant. Students were divided into two groups: students who played the ostinato on xylophones and students who played the rhythm of the chant on rhythm sticks. In addition to helping students develop the ability to play more than one part to a song, this activity will be reviewed next week in order to begin introducing half note. Lastly, students began learning a new song called Plainsies, Clapsies. This bean bag tossing game will be used to practice melodic note la.

Third grade students added a sol-mi ostinato to to song Grandma Grunts this week. After successfully performing the ostinato and the song, students added a third part to the song by playing a half note pulse on the xylophones. Students also performed a do and sol ostinato for the song Remember Me on the xylophones. Students were led to discover that do re and mi are a step apart on the xylophone as well as on the music staff and that mi and sol are similarly a skip apart. Students also practiced do re mi and sol by playing a game called Steal the Bacon. In this game, students raced to find the music notation flashcard that matched the pattern sung by the teacher. Students earned extra points for their team by singing the pattern on their own. Students received one extra point for using the correct solfege syllables and another point for singing the correct pitches. Lastly, students played a quarter note, eighth note, and quarter rest rhythm game that required them to choose the correct answer from five different options.

Fourth grade students continued to test for yellow belt (Gently Sleep) and began learning the orange belt song (Merrily We Roll Along). Students also began to test for orange belt and learned a new note on the recorder - E! Students will need to know this note in order to practice their green belt song, It's Raining. As It's Raining is a rather challenging song, students were provided with copies of the song Rain, Rain which practices E but is less challenging. 

Fifth grade students began preparing for their Annie Kids auditions this week. Students were given a brief synopsis of the musical's story and a description of its characters. Students were introduced to the song Tomorrow by watching a clip from the 1999 version of the movie which contains this song as well as the scene between Lt. Ward and Annie which is found in the audition packet. Students then began learning Tomorrow Reprise. Click here to listen to a recording of this version of the song. Students were also given the opportunity to practice reading small sections of the script with partners. Please remember that auditions for solo singing and speaking roles are on Thursday, December 17th and Friday, December 18th. 

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