Sunday, May 1, 2016

Week Thirty One in Review (Apr. 25 - Apr. 29)

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 learned a new fingerplay entitled Ten Little Soldiers this week. After learning the words and the actions, students were challenged to speak the chant in their head while performing the actions. Students enjoyed the challenge and  later performed the chant in the order of speak-think-speak. The process of audiating (hearing something in your head) is an important skill for young musicians to develop as it will later help them to successfully sight read music. Students also reviewed the differences between high and low sounds and were challenged to find the high and low sides of a xylophone. Students were individually assessed on this skill and have made a remarkable amount of progress since the beginning of the year! Students also learned a fun dramatic play called You Must Pay the Rent and practiced speaking in high and low voices.

First grade students reviewed quarter notes and eighth notes by learning the rhythm to Haydn's Surprise Symphony. Students read the rhythm from the white board and reviewed the meaning of a repeat sign. After students were successful at performing the rhythm, students were asked to follow along on the board while listening to the recording. Students were asked to determine "what was the surprise?" The surprise, of course, was the very loud note at the end of the first section of music! Next, students were asked to tiptoe around the room on eighth notes, look behind them mischievously on the quarter notes, and create an 'exploding' movement for the final loud note. Students also reviewed melodic notes sol mi and la this week by coloring the notes for the song Lucy Locket. Students were instructed to color each melodic note a different color. This assignment was rather challenging for students. We will continue to work on reading sol mi and la in the coming weeks.

Second grade students reviewed how to tie two half notes together to create a four count note through the song I Got a Letter. Students also practiced writing four beat rhythms using half notes, ties, and half rests. Mrs. Aaronson played a four beat rhythm on the recorder and afterwards students attempted to dictate (write) the rhythm using only the rhythms in the rhythm bank. Students also reviewed melodic note do through the song Mouse, Mousie.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade students enjoyed a wonderful field trip to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, April 27! The orchestral program featured music evoking the sounds of the four seasons. Musical selections included Troika (a Russian sleigh ride), The Pines of Rome, Highland Harawi  (a piece written by the DSO's composer in residence featuring the sounds of a thunderstorm in Peru), and Vivaldi's Four Seasons. While enjoying this excellent music, students learned about connections between music and poetry and how a composer 'paints' with instruments. Approximately 75% of students attended their first professional orchestra concert on this field trip! Thank you, thank you to all teachers, chaperones, and the PTA who helped to make this field trip a success!

Third grade students reviewed melodic notes do re mi sol la low sol and low la this week through the song Chicken on a Fence Post. Students echoed the solfege for each phrase of the song and were then challenged to sing all of the song's solfege. Students reviewed rhythms that included dotted half notes by speaking rhythms that Mrs. Aaronson played on the recorder. Students began by speaking the correct rhythm from four choices. Then students were challenged to identify the correct rhythm from a series of eight choices. Finally students were challenged to speak two or three rhythms in a row from the same series of eight choices! With each successive challenge the students came up with an even more difficult challenge. Get it, third grade! Students also discussed expectations for the DSO field trip and enjoyed learning about the instruments of the orchestra through the iPad app Instruments 360.

Fourth grade students were led in a discussion about the expectations for the DSO field trip this week. Students were then given a final opportunity to explore all facets of the iPad apps that they learned to use last week. Following the field trip, students learned a folk dance entitled Heel and Toe Polka. In addition to learning the steps of the dance, students were led in a lengthy discuss about how to treat dance partners with respect. 

Fifth grade students explored musical form by creating their own ABA songs in the iPad app Garage Band. Students completed two projects this week. The first project involved creating a 3-track song in order to become familiar with the mechanics of Garage Band. The second project required students to create a song in the form of ABA. The A and B sections were to be noticeably different without sounding like a completely different song. Once again, students did incredible work on this project! If students completed this project early, they were encouraged to create more songs and challenged to create one in rondo form (ABACA).
These students created a country style composition in ABA form. You can see how the first and last sections (A) are identical and the middle section (B) contains similar instruments yet is different than the other sections.
The proud composers of the composition pictured above.
This student is editing one of her instrument tracks in Garage Band.
This student is experimenting with the drum feature on Garage Band.
These ladies are experimenting with piano chords in Garage Band.

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