Greetings from the music room! This was an exciting week of singing, moving, and playing instruments! Here are some of the highlights:
Kindergarten students focused on steady beat and the difference between fast and slow this week. Students reviewed the rhyme Engine, Engine Number Nine by moving around the room like trains while Mrs. Aaronson played the sandblocks. Students tried to imitate the teacher's fast and slow movements with the instrument. If the sandblocks moved slowly, students moved slowly. If the sandblocks moved quickly, students moved quickly. If the sandblocks were clapped together it indicated that the train had a wreck! Students then dropped to the floor and kicked their legs like train wheels while speaking the rhyme. Students explored the upper range of their voices by pretending to be a plane and flying with their voices on a journey through the music room. Students were encouraged to make their voices soar above the clouds! Students also reviewed the songs for steady beat Cobbler, Cobbler and That's a Mighty Pretty Motion and enjoyed listening to the song Over in the Meadow while viewing a beautiful picture book illustrated by Ezra Jack Keat.
First grade students learned their first music note this week! Students reviewed how to draw lines to show the steady beat and were then shown how to turn those lines into quarter notes! Students learned that although the note's name is quarter note, it makes the sound 'ta' when we read it. Students practiced reading quarter notes by saying ta. Students were also given the opportunity to draw their own quarter notes using white boards and dry erase markers. The next step is for students to understand the difference between beat and rhythm. While Mrs. Aaronson played the drum, students were challenged to walk the beat even if the beat was not being played. With a bit of practice, students were quite successful. Students also began learning a chant called Queen, Queen Caroline. This chant tells the story of a queen who lost all of her hair after washing it in turpentine! This chant will be used to reinforce the difference between beat and rhythm and prepare students to learn to read eighth notes.
Second grade students focused on the new low note (do) this week. Students learned a new song, Donald Duck, which ends with this new low note. Students enjoyed moving to this song by exploring how a one-legged, two-legged, three-legged, etc. duck might move. Students particularly enjoyed the challenge of moving like a five- and six-legged duck. Two students discovered that if you work together and use two people, it is much easier than trying to create six legs on your own! Students reviewed the song and game Charlie Over the Ocean and practiced writing sol mi and the new low note, do, on the staff. First, students practiced as a class by using the interactive white board, then students used individual white boards. Lastly, students read rhythm patterns containing quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests and prepared to transfer these patterns to the xylophone by learning a series of mallet exercises..
Third grade students continued to transfer the melodic notes (mi re and do) of Frog in the Meadow to the xylophone this week. Students were give the chance to play the song in front of the class as individuals and as partners. Students were also challenged to play the song together as a class. This is much more difficult than it sounds as each child must play the notes at exactly the same time. Each class did impressively well. Students also began learning a new song entitled Do, Do, Pity My Case. This song, which is about all the chores we must do at home, provides students with the opportunity to improvise lyrics and movement. This song will also be used to practice melodic notes do re mi sol and la. Lastly, students learned a movement game which reviews quarter notes, half notes, and whole notes. First, students moved around the room to each note (first by listening to a drum, then by listening to recorded music), then students learned a beat tag game. In this game, students move to whole notes and may only step on count one. In other words students step on count one and then hold on counts two, three, and four. The person who is 'it' tries to tag all of the other students before time runs out.
Fourth grade students continued transferring the song Hot Cross Buns to the xylophone this week. Once students were able to play the song on their own, students were challenged to play the song at the same time as their partner. Students were given the opportunity to play as individuals or in pairs in front of the class. Students were then challenged to play the song all at the same time. This is more challenging than it sounds especially since this song has many rests. It is common for young musicians to rush and skip rests when they play together. Next, students attempted to play independent parts. Students on xylophones and metalophones played the song, while students on basses played the steady beat and students on glockenspiels played in the rests. Students also began learning to read the letter names of notes on the treble clef staff.
Fifth grade students continued their rhythm unit this week by completing the rhythm pre-test, reviewing Our Old Sow, and learning two new songs. The rhythm pre-test will be used to examine student growth in this area during the fifth grade year. Students learned a new song entitled Li'l Liza Jane. This song contains both of the new fifth grade rhythms and provides many opportunities to build musicianship. While singing, students were asked to clap an 8-beat pattern which matches most of the words and contains both of the new rhythmic patterns. Students also learned a Japanese song called Sei, Sei, Sei and the rock-paper-scissors game which accompanies it. Students were asked to find the location of a long-short pattern in this song (dotted quarter note, single eighth note) and asked to notate it on the board using by using a long line and short dash. Lastly, students continued to transfer Hot Cross Buns to the xylophone and discovered that this song can 'live' in several different places on the xylophone.
Mrs. Ellis's students learned two new steady beat songs this week: Hop Old Squirrel and On a Mountain. Students hopped and jumped to the beat during both of these songs. During Hop Old Squirrel students also created several new ways to move: students shrugged their shoulders, ran, and hopped and clapped at the same time. Students also continued to explore their voices by following a ball up and down in the air and by soaring through the air like airplanes. Students explored the upper range of their voices as they flew and were encouraged to make their voices soar above the clouds! Students also vocalized animal sounds and sang the song Old MacDonald.
Mrs. Ross's students continued to prepare for reading quarter notes and quarter
rests by reviewing last week's exercise on the interactive white board. Each
time students saw a door with a key, they said "click." Each time
they saw a door with no key, they were to remain silent. As students were very successful with this activity, they were formally introduced to quarter notes and quarter rests this week. Students were led to discover that quarter notes represent one sound on a beat, just like the doors with keys. Students were also led to discover that quarter rests represent one beat of silence, just like the doors without keys. Students also explored ways to show the beat through movement. When students heard a loud, low sound on the drum they walked the steady beat. When students heard a quiet, high sound on the drum, they froze their feet and performed a new movement such as tapping their toes, bending their elbows, or swinging their arms.
Mrs. Muller's students reviewed rhythms from previous grade levels through a game called Post Office. In this game, students worked in pairs and were given an envelope containing seven cards with different rhythmic patterns. Students spread all of their cards on the floor and as Mrs. Aaronson played a rhythm on the recorder, students had to identify the correct card and place it into the envelope. The game concluded
when students had only one card left. The goal was to have that card
match the only rhythm that had not yet been played by Mrs. Aaronson.
Students were very successful in this review game! Students also reviewed the song Hot Cross Buns and the notes in this song: mi re and do. Students then transferred this song to the xylophone.