Thursday, June 16, 2016

Week Thirty Six in Review (May 30 - June 3)

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 reviewed the chant Little Bird and began learning how to play a xylophone using two hands and two mallets. Students were instructed to 'ride a bike' (this sets their hands up in the correct position). Often, students who hold their hands incorrectly are 'driving a car' rather than 'riding a bike'. Each student was given an opportunity to try using both hands and the students sitting to their sides were asked to help make sure they were holding the mallets correctly. I was surprised how quickly and effectively students were able to help each other. Students were even able to help Mrs. Aaronson fix her purposely incorrect hands! Students also began learning a fun song entitled Old Mister Rabbit. This song has a fun game similar to London Bridge. As each rabbit is 'captured' in the trap, he or she joins the trap to make it even bigger. Students got the biggest thrill out of this game and asked to play it again next week!
First grade students reviewed how to play melodic notes sol mi and la on the xylophone this week. Students were introduced to a series of flashcards containing new melodic patterns. Students sang these patterns and then worked with partners to play them on the xylophone. After students were successful at playing these patterns, they were asked to arrange the cards to make a song! Students enjoyed mixing the cards up and attempting various combinations.

Second grade students were assessed on their ability to play the notes do mi sol and la on the xylophone this week. Students were assessed one-on-one by playing a series of four melodic flashcards. During this one-on-one assessment, students who were awaiting their turn enjoyed finishing a DVD of the percussion group Stomp. In this DVD, percussionists use basketballs, kitchen utensils, playing cards, and brooms to create many interesting sounds. 

Third grade students explored form this week by creating movement for a song in the form of ABC. As a class, students chose three different movements to represent each section of the form. Then students performed these movements to recorded music. Students also began learning to recognize form in written music. Students discovered that the form to the song Hot Cross Buns is AABA. In other words, there are three sections of the song that repeat and only one section that is different. Additionally, students learned and practiced singing the solfege for the B section of the song Big Eyed Rabbit.

Fourth grade reviewed the three different body percussion parts for I Lost the Farmer's Dairy Key. Students were then shown how to transfer each of these parts to the xylophone. After students were secure on each of these parts, they were challenged to play all there parts simultaneously. It took a bit of practice, but each class was eventually able to perform all three rhythms successfully. Students also practiced identifying rhythmic patterns containing sixteenth notes. After listening to a pattern being played on the recorder, students attempted to identify the correct pattern from six choices.

Fifth grade students completed their music evaluation unit final project this week. I have to admit, I was very impressed with the quality of the students' work. This was an incredibly challenging project. I was impressed with the students' accuracy as well as their resiliency in the face of this challenge. Many students created several drafts of their listening map before they were sure they had completed their best work. Some students even went above and beyond - their maps contained all five elements and pictures that fit the theme. Well done, fifth grade!

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