Monday, February 20, 2017

Week Twenty Three in Review (Feb. 13 - Feb. 17)

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

Kindergarten students explored their voices this week by imitating the sound of a slide whistle. Students did a wonderful job of using the upper range of their voices to truly imitate the sound! Students also explored their voices by playing a game called Find Your Partner. In this game, each student is given a piece of paper with an animal on it. At least one other student has the same animal. At the beginning of the game, each student makes the sound of their animal. By listening to the sounds, they must find the person/people who have the same animal and form a group of like animals. Students loved this game and asked to play it multiple times! Students also learned a new chant called Grandma’s Glasses which will be used to begin working on the difference between high and low sounds. 

First grade students were led to discover that See Saw and Rain, Rain Go Away begin with the same rhythm and melody. Students were given the opportunity to write the rhythm of See Saw on individual white boards. Students drew a single line and wrote notes above and below the line in order to show high and low sounds. Students also began learning the song Old Joe Clark. Students moved fluidly during the first half of the song and patted a slow steady beat during the second half of the song. Students also explored many different types of movements with a scarf. Students moved smoothly, roughly, and pretended to dab paint in the air. 

Second grade students discovered where the new note, re, lives on melody street this week. Students were led to discover that the melodic pattern that they had been solo singing is the pattern mi 'new note' do. That means that the new note, re, will be moving into the lot between mi and do’s houses. Students also learned the hand sign for this new note and practiced singing melodic patterns with this new hand sign. Students learned a new song, Poor Old Crow, and were asked to keep a half note pulse during this song. Students were also asked to perform a half note pulse while making every second pulse silent. This prepares students to learn about whole notes. Students reviewed the song and game to Closet Key and practiced finding the half notes in the song Are You Sleeping.

Third grade students practiced reading low la patterns on the staff this week. Students were led to discover that patterns with a strong low la presence have a “Halloween” or “spooky” quality to them. Students began learning a new song containing low la, Captain, Don’t Side Track Your Train. Students were challenged to find the pattern ‘mi-mi-re-do-la,’ in this song. After a bit of trial and error, many students were able to find the location of this pattern. Students also practiced reading rhythms to play a game to the song Black Snake. While students sang the song a black yarn snake was passed around the class. The student whose hands were closest to the snake’s head was able to choose a rhythm from the board. The class could earn up to three points by reading the rhythm. Students enjoyed trying to achieve a perfect score!

Fourth grade students prepared to test for their red belt this week. Students reviewed the form of Lightly Row and practiced reading notes and checking fingerings with partners. On Tuesday, students were give the opportunity to test for their red belt. On Thursday, students enjoyed receiving their belts, playing poison pattern (while practicing new note F#), and learning to play Fight Song on the recorder.

Fifth grade students reviewed vocal techniques ‘conserve your air’ and ‘fountain of air’ this week. Students learned a new song, Oh, What a Wondrous Thing, and discussed how they could use these two techniques to make the song sound its best. Students also watched a video of the One Voice children’s choir’s audition on America’s Got Talent. Students were asked to use what they have learned about posture, breathing, and vocal techniques to create feedback for this choir. Students did an incredible, thoughtful job answering this question! Students were also given a brief overview of the history of written music in the Western world. Students were given the opportunity to listen to and follow along with an ancient manuscript of a Gregorian Chant. 

Mrs. Ellis’s students focused on preparing to learn quarter rests this week. Students worked together to decode the rhythm to the song Big Black Cats. Students discovered that there is a rest at the end of the first phrase – no sound on the beat! Afterwards, students sang the song The Muffin Man and began practicing rests using muffins on the interactive white board. Eight muffins were arranged to represent the steady beat. Students spoke yum to the steady beat, one yum for each muffin. One by one, students began removing muffins from the white board. Students were instructed to stay silent in place of the missing muffins. This proved to be quite challenging for many of the students as this exercise requires immense focus and hearing the beat internally.

Mrs. Ross’s began preparing to learn a new note, high do, this week. Students learned the song Li’l Liza Jane and discussed the lyrics to this song. Students also reviewed melodic notes do re mi sol and la by reexamining the song Rocky Mountain. Students were led to discover that they now have all the tools to play this entire song on the xylophone. Students began transferring their knowledge of this song to the xylophone.

Mrs. Muller’s students continued to focus on form this week. Students listened to a piece called Los Mariachis. This time students were given a blank listening map. The form (rondo) was marked in but the instruments for each section were left out. Students were instructed to listen to the recording and then fill in the boxes with the most important instruments in each section. Once again, students were incredibly successful! Students then began learning about a form called theme and variations. Students were show a series of three pictures and asked to name the theme of each picture (high heels, cookies, cars). Students were then asked to discuss the variations on these themes (color, size, shape). Students then discussed how composers can use theme and variations in music. Composers can vary a theme by using different instruments, dynamics, speed, etc. Lastly, students were asked to create a picture showing themes and variations. Themes consisted of pizza, eyes, and vehicles.

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