Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week Thirty Three in Review (May 9 - May 13)

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 song for steady beat this week: Bling, Blang. In this song students pretended to use their hands, feet, and heads as hammers and saws. Students were asked to make hammering and sawing motions to the steady beat while singing the song. Students especially enjoyed the challenge of hammering with one hand while sawing with the other. It was actually quite impressive how many students were able to do this successfully! Students combined marching and playing ups and downs on the xylophone during the chant The King of France. As part of this activity, students were divided into four kingdoms. One student was chosen as the king or queen of each kingdom and another student was selected as the kingdom's musician. The king or queen's job was to lead the rest of the students around the room by marching to the steady beat. The musician's job was to play the ups and downs of the lyrics on the xylophone. Lastly, students began learning a song for solo singing entitled Who Has the Nickel.

First grade students reviewed the song All Around the Buttercup and the dramatic play You Must Pay the Rent. After reviewing the dramatic play, students worked in groups of three to prepare a short 'performance' of the play. After having the opportunity to practice together and divide the parts, students came to the front of the classroom and performed for the class. Students also continued to practice sol and mi through the song Merlin, Merlin. This week students learned a game that added a solo singing section to the song. After singing the song, four students improvised on xylophones to create the sound of magic music as the rest of the class passed around a bean bag (magic potion). At the sound of finger cymbals, everyone froze. Mrs. Aaronson then asked the student holding the bean bag "What did you wish for?" and the student sang his or her response.

Second grade students began learning a song entitled All Around the Buttercup. This song contains a new melodic note: re. Students enjoyed singing this song while playing its game. In the game, students gradually added themselves to a train that snaked in and out of the circle. After becoming familiar with the song, students were introduced to the new note, re, and discovered the placement of this note (in between do and mi). In order to practice all previously known notes, students were asked to place melodic cards for the song Mouse, Mousie in the correct order. Students worked with partners in order to decode each card, sing its pattern, and place them in the correct order. Students also completed their rhythm post-assessment this week. Students have made remarkable progress in their ability to read second grade level rhythms since the beginning of the school year!
Two students correctly placed all of the Mouse, Mousie cards in the correct order. The mice in the roof represent sol, the mice on the second level represent mi, and the mice on the first floor represent do.
These students are checking their work by pointing to each mouse while singing the song.

Third grade students took their rhythm post-assessment this week and achieved 100% growth or mastery! Wonderful job third graders! Prior to taking the assessment, students reviewed all third grade rhythms by playing another round of the game Rhythm Go Fish. Students also learned an African American Spiritual entitled Get on Board and enjoyed playing sandblocks along with this song. 

Fourth grade students continued to review rhythm this week by adding dotted half notes into rhythmic patterns. After reviewing how to count and clap dotted half notes, students worked in groups of four to play a game called Rhythm Go Fish. The rules to this game are identical to Go Fish; however, students must ask for a card by clapping the rhythm they wish to receive. Students also reviewed rhythm and form by playing rhythm sticks along with the composition 12th Street Rag. Lastly, students learned an African American Spiritual entitled Get on Board and enjoyed playing sandblocks along with this song. 

Fifth grade students studied three pitch and rhythm listening maps this week. As pitch can be the most difficult musical element for students to write, much time has been devoted to it. The first map was for the composition Island Rhythms. This complex map was a challenge for many students to follow and highlighted the importance of creating a clear and easy to follow listening map. Next, students studied maps for March from The Nutcracker and Norwegian Dance. Both of these maps demonstrated how pitch maps can also show the long and short sounds in the piece (rhythm). Students were challenged to follow along with these maps while listening to a recording. Students also reviewed terms for form such as D.C. al Fine and Coda.

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