Monday, January 16, 2017

Week Sixteen in Review (Dec. 19 - Dec. 22)

Greetings from the music room! This was an exciting week of singing, moving, and playing instruments! Here are some of the highlights: 

Kindergarten practiced keeping a steady beat to the chant Engine, Engine this week. Students practiced tapping their hands on their knees while following along with the steady beat on the interactive white board. Students were then given the opportunity to come up to the white board and show the steady beat by pointing to train icons. Students were then each given a paper with train icons and asked to keep the steady beat on their own. While students are gradually making progress on keeping a steady beat, several students are not quite able to keep a steady beat just yet. Students also enjoyed moving to a recording of Trepak from The Nutcracker. Students performed movements to the steady beat and felt the form (sections that are the same and different) of the song through movement. Additionally, students enjoyed playing jingle bells and rhythm sticks while singing the song Jingle Bells. Students played jingle bells during the chorus and rhythm sticks during the refrain.

First grade students enjoyed moving to March and Trepak from The Nutcracker. Students performed movements to the steady beat and felt the form (sections that are the same and different) of the song through movement. Students also reviewed quarter rests and practiced writing them on heart charts. After students were successful at drawing quarter rests, they were given the opportunity to write, read, and share their own four-beat rhythm patterns using quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests.

Second grade students reviewed the song Grandma Grunts and practiced moving to the quarter note and half note pulses. Students completed the movement sequence for Draw a Bucket of Water and were successfully able to move to the half note pulse during this song. Students also practiced a series of three melodic flashcards containing the new note do. Lastly, students learned a chant called Holiday Treats, performed a body percussion pattern to this chant, and created word chains of their favorite holiday treats.

Third grade students were formally introduced to the melodic note high do (d') this week. Students were led to discover that the highest note in Li'l Liza Jane and I Lost the Farmer's Dairy Key is the note high do. Students practiced singing the melodic pattern do re mi sol la do'. Students also practiced performing a body percussion canon using the words I Love the Holidays. Lastly, students enjoyed moving while singing the song Deck the Halls.

Fourth grade students learned a new recorder song called Little Train. This song contains the notes B A G and E. Students also explored adding drums and xylophones to this song. This proved to be quite challenging as it is difficult for young musicians to play one thing while hearing another. Students also began learning the song It's Raining (green belt) and practiced breaking the song down into manageable chunks for learning. Students also learned a new note called low D. Students enjoyed playing a game in which they had to walk around the room and play this note as long as possible. If students ran out of air or squeaked then they were to sit down. Lastly students learned a speed game called One-on-One. This game is identical to the Around the World games frequently played in math classes - students race to say the correct answer as quickly as they can.

Fifth grade students continued to learn about listening maps this week. Students were introduced to a movement from French composer Camille Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals. The movement, Fossils, was intended to evoke the sounds of extinct dinosaurs. Xylophones were heavily featured in this song to create the sound of music being played on bones. Students followed along with two different maps: one that was incredibly confusing and one that was very simple and effective. Students discussed the pros and cons of each map. On a separate day, students were asked to listen to a recording of Fossils and place cut up strips of the listening map back in the correct order. Students did an excellent job with this task! Students also listened to a piece called Jamaican Rumba, followed along with its listening map, and discussed the form of this piece.

Mrs. Ellis's students practiced keeping a steady beat this week by moving to recorded music (All the Way to Galway and Syncopated Clock) and by moving to chants (Hickory Dickory Dock and I Think Clocks Are Neat). Students were asked to keep the steady beat by pointing to pictures of grandfather clocks while speaking the rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock. Students were very successful when doing this on the interactive white board. Ss also practiced keeping a steady beat by clapping and counting to eight at the end of I Think Clocks Are Neat.

Mrs. Ross's students began learning songs containing melodic note sol this week. Songs included No One in the House and Who's That Tapping at the Window. In addition to learning to sing the songs, students learned a body percussion pattern to No One in the House and played rhythm patterns to Who's That  on woodblocks and rhythm sticks.

Mrs. Muller's students reviewed the song Ho Young Rider and discussed the vocabulary found in this song. Students also learned about the four different instrument families: woodwind, brass, strings, and percussion. Students were asked to name the four instrument families and then practiced identifying which instruments belong to each family. First, students separated pictures of instruments into the four instrument families. Second, students were asked to listen to recordings and identify which instrument family they heard. As a challenge, some recordings contained more than one instrument family.

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