Greetings from the music room! It was a another exciting week of singing, moving, and playing instruments! Here are some of the highlights:
Kindergarten completed a variety of loud and quiet assessments this week. As a class, students echoed the teacher's loud and quiet voice while singing the song Oh My, No More Pie. After it was clear that all students understood that the goal of the activity was to echo the teacher loudly or quietly, students were invited one-on-one to sing loudly or quietly into a 'microphone'. Students also played a loud and quiet guessing game in which each student was given the opportunity to play on a drum. Students were secretly asked to play loudly or quietly. After performing the given dynamic on the drum, the whole class was invited to guess the chosen dynamic. Additionally, Students began learning a new vocal exploration song, Herman the Worm, and a new song and dance entitled Bobalinka. The purpose of Bobalkina is to introduce students to line dancing and reinforce the concept of steady beat.
First grade students enjoyed keeping the steady beat and naming gifts that they received over the holidays in a chant called The Holidays Are Over. After naming different gifts that they had received, students turned the names of those gifts into quarter notes and eighth notes. For example, teddy bear became two eighth notes and one quarter note. I-pad became two quarter notes. Students used four different gifts to create an eight beat rhythm chain. Then students played those rhythms on rhythm sticks while speaking the rhythm syllables ta and ti-ti. Next, students reviewed the melodic notes sol and mi by singing the song Lucky Me. Finally, students moved around the classroom while singing Lucky Me; students played the eight beat rhythm chain on rhythm sticks at the end of the song. Students also began learning to write sol and mi on the music staff.
Second grade students enjoyed keeping the steady beat and naming gifts that they received over the holidays in a chant called The Holidays Are Over. Students also reviewed the presence of one sound over two beats by discovering the location of long notes (half notes) in the song Rocky Mountain. Students reviewed that it is possible to tie two quarter notes together to create a note that lasts for two beats. Additionally, sstudents played a snowball tossing game while singing the songs Snail, Snail and Plainsies, Clapsies. The goal of this snowball tossing game was to assess whether students can sing in-tune and match pitch. Students also began preparing for a rhythm reading assessment by reading flashcards while a funky blues background track was played.
Third grade students worked in both large and small groups to show the duration of quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. After students created a movement for each note value, then they performed the appropriate movement based on the teacher's drumming. For example, if students decided that they would jump for quarter notes, then each time the teacher played quarter notes the students jumped. Students reviewed melodic notes do re mi sol and la this week by placing notes on the staff and by reading a series of flashcards. Students also played a snowball tossing game to the song Pease Porridge. The goal of this snowball tossing game was to assess whether students can sing in-tune and match pitch. Students also began preparing for a rhythm reading assessment by reading flashcards while a funky blues background track was played.
Fourth grade students learned to play new notes high C and high D on the recorder. Students also continued to test for their green belt (It's Raining) and practice notes E and D. Students also practiced these notes by playing a poison pattern game. In this game, one rhythm was designated as the poison pattern. Students echoed (on the recorder) every pattern that the teacher played except for the poison pattern. This fun game allowed students to practice playing a variety of notes. Students were also introduced to improvisation through Duke Ellington's C-Jam Blues. Students learned a short two-note pattern to play along with the recording. After several repetitions of this pattern, students were invited to improvise on the notes B and A. Several students volunteered to improvise and some even used more notes than B and A!
Fifth grade students began a unit on vocal techniques. Students were lead through several posture and breathing exercises which included stretching, hissing for 16 or more counts, and working with partners to go through a posture and breathing check-list. Students also learned about breath support by watching a short physics video on how a ball can stay afloat in a steady stream of air. This video was connected to the importance of maintaining a steady stream of air when singing. Students were also introduced to the purpose of written music (to show contour and duration) by studying a Gregorian chant. Students were asked to follow along with this ancient piece of music and to compare it to modern music. Next week students will begin learning about solfege including its purpose and history.