Thursday, June 16, 2016

Week Thirty Five in Review (May 23 - May 27)

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 chant entitled Little Bird. Students learned the words to this chant and were asked to pat and hop on the 'special' words. Later students will transfer these special words onto the xylophone and play it using two hands! Up until this point, students have been working with only one mallet. The main focus has been on student familiarity with the instrument rather than technique. Students also reviewed the song Two Little Black Birds. Each student enjoyed having the chance to be either the bird named Jack or the bird named Jill. Students added flying sounds by playing glissandos on the xylophone. Lastly, students completed a steady beat assessment by marching around the classroom to the steady beat of a drum. It is rather impressive how much progress Kindergarten students have made on steady beat this year!

First grade students reviewed the melodic notes and game for the song Lucy Locket. Students then worked with partners to practice transferring their knowledge of melodic notes sol mi and la to the xylophone. After having time to practice, students were invited to play the song for the class. It was quite thrilling to watch how successful the students were at transferring their prior knowledge to this instrument!

Second grade students practiced melodic notes do re mi sol and la this week using a song entitled Do As I'm Doing. After copying several motions performed by the teacher, students were asked to come up with their own movements. Each student in turn was given a turn to lead the class in movement. Students also practiced playing melodic notes do mi sol and la on the xylophone. Students were given a packet containing six new melodic flashcards. Students were instructed to work with partners and to play these patterns on the xylophone. After students were successful in playing these patterns, there were asked to arrange their favorite cards to create a song. Some students used all six cards! Students also reviewed the chant Jeremiah and continued to review musical terms piano (quiet) and forte (loud).

Third grade students continued to explore musical form this week through the song I've Been to Harlem. Students were introduced to the two main sections of the song as well as two additional sections of movement. Each section was labeled with a letter: A, B, C, or D. For each section, the students were to either sing and move or simply move. After students fully understood what to do for each section, the class explored different combinations of letters. For example: ABA, ABCBA, ABACDABC, etc. Students particularly enjoyed being asked to reshuffle the letters to create a new form. It very enjoyable to watch the students respond as quickly as possible when one section changed to the next. Lastly, students learned a new song containing low sol and low la (Big Eyed Rabbit). 

Fourth grade students continued to study sixteenth notes this week. Students reviewed the song and Orff arrangement (xylophones) to the song Chatter with the Angels. Students then learned a new song entitled I Lost the Farmer's Dairy Key. This song has a fun rock/paper/scissors game and an Orff arrangement that contains sixteenth notes. Students learned the game as well as a series of three body percussion patterns that will later be transferred to xylophones. Additionally, students reviewed the song and game Rabbit and the Possum as well as the rhythm game Heads Up, Rhythms Up.

Fifth grade students took a one day mini-break from our music evaluation unit this week. In order to give students a bit of a mental break before diving into our final project, students enjoyed a change of pace in the form of a rhythm stick movement activity. Students learned a two-part (AB) pattern for the Swedish song Fjaskern. The pattern included tapping the rhythm sticks on hands, hips, and shoes as well as passing the sticks around the circle. It was quite the challenge for students to stay with the steady beat and not drop their sticks. After becoming acquainted with this pattern, students performed it to recorded music. The best part about the recording was that it gradually got faster and faster! As the recording sped up students really had to concentrate in order to keep the pattern going! Following this mental break, students began working on their final project: creating a listening map that contains at least three elements (instruments, form, rhythm, pitch, and/or dynamics) to Chopin's Waltz No. 1.

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