Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week Twenty Three in Review (Feb. 22 - Feb. 26)

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 only had one day of class this week as a result of the snow day on Thursday. On Friday, students reviewed steady beat songs The Monkey Stomps His Feet and Punchinella. Students also began learning a song entitled My Poor Hand is Shaking. In addition to enabling students to "get the wiggles out," this song encourages body awareness and phrasing. Throughout the song students lament how one part of their body will not stop shaking. At the end of each verse, students yell "stop!," grab the shaking body part, and freeze. Students especially enjoyed the verse about their whole body shaking! Students also began learning the chant Engine, Engine which is being used to reinforce fast and slow and to practice beat. 

First grade students began learning a new song called Hop Old Squirrel. This song, which includes quarter rests, allowed students to improvise new verses and different ways to move around the room. Students were also challenged to perform various movements on select words: students hopped on the word 'hop,' clapped on the words 'old squirrel,' and patted the rhythm of all other words on their knees. Students also began learning about a new high note (la). Students were introduced to this note using the song Bluebells. Students were introduced to its placement on the music staff as well as its hand sign. Lastly, students worked with partners to place rhythm cards to the song Starlight, Starbright in the correct order. 

This student is sorting through her rhythm cards and is off to a great start!
These students have correctly placed the flashcards for Starlight, Starbright in the correct order.

Second grade students enjoyed experiencing Grieg's composition In the Hall of the Mountain King through movement this week. While moving to this composition, and pretending to sneak into the Mountain King's lair, students experienced how the composition gradually got faster (accelerando) and louder (crescendo). Students then read the rhythm (quarter notes, eighth notes, and half note) for the compositions' A theme and the B theme. Once secure in these rhythms, students transferred the rhythms to hand drums and rhythm sticks and played along with the recording. Students also discovered the occurrence of a new low note (do) in the song King's Land

Third grade students were formally introduced to melodic note low la this week! Students were led to discover that some of the notes in the song I'm Gonna Sing are lower than do. Students were then shown the note's position on the staff and its hand sign (the same as 'normal' la). Students then listened closely to the song Sally in the Kitchen  and were challenged to discover the location of low la within this song. Students also created an introduction and a coda for this and performed a rhythmic ostinato for it on xylophones.

Fourth grade students began a unit on the instruments of the orchestra this week! After taking a tone color pre-assessment, which will be used to help show student growth at the end of the unit, students were given a brief overview of the four instrument families: woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion. Students were then introduced to the woodwind instruments oboe and saxophone through live demonstrations. Students discovered that although the saxophone is a woodwind instrument, it is very, very rarely found in the orchestra.

Fifth grade students continued to work on vowel shapes as well as the chorus music for the musical Annie Kids. Students focused heavily on learning the song Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile. Students also worked on singing strong entrances and correct pitches in the songs N.Y.C. and It's the Hard-Knock Life and maintaining a steady tempo in Easy Street

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