Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week Twenty Four in Review (Feb. 29 - Mar. 4)

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

Kindergarten students enjoyed adding boomwhackers, a musical instrument that consists of pitched, colorful tubes, to the song Snowman Joe. Snowman Joe is a song built on the notes of the major scale, the notes rise one pitch at a time as the song progresses. When Mrs. Aaronson played the boomwhackers for the students, in the order of the major scale, she was greatly pleased when some students noted that the boomwhackers sounded just like Snowman Joe! Students were then given the opportunity to play one of the notes themselves. Students also revisited the song Johnny Work with One Hammer in order to review fast and slow and to practice steady beat. Revisiting this song from the beginning of the school year easily showed how much the students have progressed in their ability to keep a steady beat since the beginning of the school year! Lastly, students began learning a song called Little Snow Flakes which, in addition to having a fun "ice statue" game, allowed students to begin differentiating between notes that go up and notes that go down.

First grade students learned a new song entitled The Kangaroo. This song allowed students to improvise a short response and to practice singing melodic notes sol and mi. Next week, students will review this song and play its repeating notes on the xylophone. Students also participated in a vocal exploration exercise called 'back shapes.' In this exercise, students worked with partners and used their fingers to draw shapes on each others backs. The person whose back was being drawn on was to make a sound with his or her voice that matched the shape of the drawing. For example, if a student felt their partner draw a line going up his back, the student would perform an upward slide with his voice. Students also reviewed the new high note (la) by singing the song Bluebells on solfege and playing triangles only on the new note.

Second grade students only had one day of class this week as a result of the snow day on Wednesday. On Friday, students began learning a new sol-mi-la song entitled Traffic Lights. In addition to practicing the new note la, this song enables students to practice fast and slow movements and contains a fun quick reaction exercise. It also teaches children about the meaning of the colors of the traffic lights. Students also used a beat chart and dry erase markers to figure out rhythm to the song Starlight, Starbright. Once students had correctly written the song's rhythm, they were challenged to decode the solfege (sol-mi-la) for the song. 

These students are working on decoding the rhythm and the solfege for the song Starlight, Starbright.
This student has very successfully decoded both the rhythm and the solfege for Starlight, Starbright!
Third grade students learned a new song entitled Old Brass Wagon and the movement that accompanies it. This song will be used to introduce new melodic note low sol. Students also began learning the Heel and Toe Polka! This fun social dance encourages students to move to the music's phrases and to work cooperatively with one another. Social dances such as this allow students to experience a piece of music's form through movement. Lastly, students worked with partners to write in the solfege (do-re-mi-sol-la) for the song Firefly on six melodic flashcards. Once students had written in the solfege, they were asked to place the cards in the correct order. 
Two third grade students correctly wrote in the solfege for the song Firefly and then placed their melody cards in the correct order.
After students had completed the work with their partners, we checked our answers on the interactive white board.

 Fourth grade students reviewed which instruments belong to the woodwind family and the characteristics that make them woodwind instruments. Students were given a brief overview of how oboe and bassoon players can make their own reeds. Students were also introduced to the bassoon, the clarinet, and the flute through video recordings. Students were shown how size makes a significant difference in the sound of an instrument. For example, the piccolo is practically identical to the flute except that it is smaller in size and therefore plays higher pitches. Students enjoyed seeing the size variations throughout the recorder, saxophone, flute, and clarinet family. Students were also introduced to two brass instruments, the trumpet and the trombone, and learned about the defining characteristic of brass instruments.

Fifth grade students learned a new solfege pattern for warming-up and practicing correct vowel formations this week. Students also began to work on memorizing the chorus music for the musical Annie Kids. Students were led in a discussion about the style difference between the song Easy Street and the rest of the show's music. Students worked on using a light, supported voice during this song to match and maintain pitch. Students also reviewed the song Tomorrow and worked on difficult rhythms within this song.

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