Greetings from the music room! This was an exciting week of singing, moving, and playing instruments! Here are some of the highlights:
Kindergarten students learned two new chants this week: Ten Little Soldiers and Slippery Slithering Snake. After students learned all of the words and the fingerplay to Ten Little Soldiers, they were challenged to perform the chant three times. First students spoke the chant and moved their fingers, next students thought the words to the chant in their head while moving their fingers, and lastly students spoke the chant and moved their fingers once again. This helps the students to practice inner hearing with a steady beat and prepares them to learn about form (same/different/same). The chant Slippery Slithering Snake contains hissing (breath support) and emotive speaking. In addition to these chants, students continued to practice fast and slow movements to previously learned songs.
First grade students reviewed the rhythm of See Saw and also practiced moving quarter notes and eighth notes up and down to show whether the notes are high or low. Once students had all of the notes moved into the correct position, they were asked to sing ‘high’ for each high note and ‘low’ for each low note. Students learned another two-note song called I Pop Up. Mrs. Aaronson would sing statements such as “if you like pizza, pop up” and students who like pizza would respond “I pop up!” Students especially enjoyed silly statements such as “if you have eyeballs, pop up” or “if you’re wearing shoes, pop up.” Lastly students began learning a railroad song entitled Paddy Works on the Railway. Students were challenged to perform a ‘slow’ beat to this song even if Mrs. Aaronson played a fast pattern on the guitar! Students loved the challenge and were incredibly successful!
Second grade students began preparing to learn a new melodic note, re, this week. Students practiced the song Closet Key and learned a new song, Frog in the Meadow, which will be used to learn this new note. Students also began working on solo singing by echoing a short melodic pattern at the end of the song This Little Light of Mine. This pattern also contained the new note. Lastly, students began teaching themselves a new song! First students read the rhythm to Knock the Cymbals. Then students decoded the solfege for this song. Once students had unlocked the sound of this song, they were taught the words. Next week, students will learn the dance to this song.
Third grade students searched for the note high do in a new song entitled M is for Mary. After students discovered the location of this note and a few short melodic patterns, students were able to sing part of the song using solfege. Students also enjoyed inserting their classmates’ names into the song and attempting to use their bodies to create the first letter of each name! Students were led to discover that the new note in the song Big Fat Biscuit is lower than do! Students practiced singing this song using the pattern “do-low-do.” Students also practiced reading all known rhythms along with the song Twelfth Street Rag. Students learned a series of four rhythmic patterns and practiced repeating each pattern. Students discussed the form of the piece which included terms such as introduction, interlude, and coda.
Fourth grade students began focusing on the note C this week. Students learned a two note pattern to play along with the backing track of Duke Ellington’s C Jam Blues. After students were familiar with the pattern, the class was led in a discussion of improvisation. Students were given the opportunity to improvise on notes C and G as a class and also as individuals. Students practiced reading notes from the treble clef staff by playing a game with a staff drawn on the floor from yarn. Mrs. Aaronson or a student would stand on a line or in a space and students had to identify the note. First, students spoke the name of the note, then students played the note on the recorder. Students also began learning their blue belt song, Juba, and began learning new note high D.
Fifth grade enjoyed finishing the video Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory this week. By watching the video, students will develop a deeper understanding of the overall story that we will be telling through our musical. Following the video, students began working on a vocal techniques unit. This unit will discuss techniques such as proper breathing, proper posture, breath support, conserving air, and vowel formation. In addition to preparing students for participation in the fifth grade musical, this will also help prepare students to be successful in middle school choir. This week, students began focusing on posture. Students performed a series of stretches and were shown a series of techniques for standing with one’s best posture.
Mrs. Ellis’s students reviewed the chant Ten Little Soldiers. After students mastered all of the words and the fingerplay, they were challenged to perform the chant three times. First students spoke the chant and moved their fingers, next students through the words to the chant in their head while moving their fingers, and lastly students spoke the chant and moved their fingers once again. This helps the students to practice inner hearing with a steady beat and prepares them to learn about form (same/different/same). Students learned a new chant entitled Spider, Spider Legs and All. This chant contains the same rhythm as Engine, Engine and will be used to reinforce the difference between beat and rhythm. Students also enjoyed exploring form by moving to Edvard Grieg’s composition In the Hall of the Mountain King.
Mrs. Ross’s students continued to focus on melodic note la and the rhythm half note this week. Students learned a new song containing half notes entitled Who’s That Tapping at the Window. Students practiced reading the rhythm to this song and also played half notes on xylophones to accompany the song. Students did an incredible job following directions and playing half notes on the xylophones! Students also learned a new note containing melodic note la entitled Ida Red, Ida Blue. While singing this song, students were invited one at a time to choose either a red envelope or a blue envelope. If students chose the red envelope then they were given a melodic pattern to sing. If students chose the blue envelope then they were given a rhythmic pattern to clap. Students did a remarkable job performing the patterns that they were assigned. Additionally, students practiced playing do re mi sol and la patterns on the xylophone.
Mrs. Muller’s students continued to focus on dynamics this week. Students reviewed the listening map for Night Watch and began studying two new maps March Past of the Kitchen Utensils and Fanfare for the Common Man. As the dynamics were not marked on the map for March Past of the Kitchen Utensils, students were asked to add their own dynamics. Students were incredibly accurate in their selection of dynamics. Students also examined the form of this piece and were led to recognize that sections with the same letter and picture were identical in sound.