Monday, February 20, 2017

Week Twenty Two in Review (Feb. 6 - Feb. 10)

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

Kindergarten students rustled up some cows this week while singing the song Hunt the Cows. This song contains two different sections: fast and slow. Students explored the upper ranges of their voices by letting out the cowboy cry ‘yeehaw’ during a story called Cowboy Joe. Students also learned a new steady beat song entitled One Finger, One Thumb. This song requires students to add more movements with each repetition: finger, thumb, arm, leg, head, sit down, stand up. Students also continued to practice moving fast and slow to the song Rig-a-jig-jig.

First grade students reviewed the high and low sounds in the song See Saw. Students practiced singing ‘high’ for the high notes and ‘low’ for the low notes. Mrs. Aaronson drew a line in between the high and low notes to further clarify the separation between the notes. (This also prepares students to read music from the five line staff). Students also practiced keeping a ‘slow’ beat to Paddy Works on the Railway and transferred this beat to their feet. Students were encouraged to move slowly and heavily as if they were carrying heavy railroad equipment. At the end of each repetition of the song, students echoed rhythmic and melodic patters sung by Mrs. Aaronson. Students also enjoyed watching a video in which men worked on the railway while songs were being sung. 

Second grade students reviewed the rhythm and melody to the song Knock the Cymbals. Students also learned the dance to this song. After performing the dance, students were once again asked to solo sing a melodic pattern. After each student completed his/her turn they were allowed to play a cymbal three times. Students enjoyed having the opportunity to actually ‘knock the cymbals!’ Students also began learning a new song which contains half notes called Are You Sleeping. 

Third grade students discovered that the new low note is a skip lower than do. Students practiced identifying this note on the staff and learned to recognize this note on melody street. Students were then led to discover that the note’s name is low la. Students then practiced playing the pattern do-la,-do on the xylophone. Lastly, students learned a new song entitled Let’s Play in the Snow. Students named various articles of clothing that would need to be worn outside in the snow. These items were added to the song as students swayed their arms back and forth to the dotted half note pulse. This motion prepares students to learn about 3 beat meter. Students were then given the opportunity to create a swaying motion with a partner. Students were very creative with the ways in which they chose to sway!

Fourth grade students prepared to test for their blue belt this week. Students reviewed the form of Juba and practiced reading notes with partners. On Tuesday, students were given the opportunity to test for their blue belts. On Thursday, students began preparing for their red belt test on Lightly Row. Students reviewed the difference between high D and low D and began to analyze the form of the song and practice the notes for the A section. Students also learned the fingering for brown belt song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, F#.

Fifth grade students focused on breathing this week and also learned two new techniques: fountain of air and conserve your air. Students watched a video that demonstrated how a ping pong ball can float on the steady stream of air coming out of a shop-vac. The class discussed how using a steady stream of air provides support for the notes that you sing especially high notes. Students learned an exercise with an octave leap to practice using a steady stream of air. Students learned one more technique, conserve your air. Mrs. Aaronson blew up a balloon and then let it fly through the classroom. The balloon did not conserve its air and it quickly deflated. Then the balloon was blown up again and the ends of the balloon were pinched together. Air leaked out slowly and the balloon ‘sang beautifully’! Much to the children’s disappointment (the sound was obnoxious at best), the balloon stayed inflated for a significantly longer time. The class discussed how conserving your air allows you to maintain a strong sound on long notes.

Mrs. Ellis’s students focused primarily on the difference between fast and slow this week. Students learned two new songs, Take My Little Car for a Ride and Hunt the Cows. In Take My Little Car for a Ride, the singer drives his/her car too fast and gets pulled over by the police! The singer then promises to drive slower. Students enjoy pretending to drive their car in a way that matches the recording. In Hunt the Cows students pretend to be a lazy cowboy who overslept and is late to find the cows. At first he/she hurries to do the work, but after being unable to find the cows decides to take a nap. Oops! Students also learned a song, Big Black Cats, which will be used to help introduce quarter rests.

Mrs. Ross’s students continued to focus on half note and melodic note la this week. Students learned a new song called Are You Sleeping. Students practiced reading the rhythm to this song. Students also learned a new song entitled Let’s Play in the Snow. Each student named an article of clothing that would need to be worn outside in the snow. These items were added to the song. Students also continued individual assessments to the song Ida Red, Ida Blue as students chose red or blue envelopes to determine whether they would perform a melodic or rhythmic patter.

Mrs. Muller’s students began focusing on form this week. Students reviewed the listening map to March Past of the Kitchen Utensils and reviewed how the song has sections that repeat. The repeating sections are marked with the same letters and pictures. Students were then introduced to a piece called Trumpet Tune Round-O. Students were given this listening map in small cut up pieces. The students were asked to listen to the recording and attempt to place the strips in the correct order. With minimal guidance, the students were extremely successful. Students learned that songs with the same pattern as this song, ABACA, are known as rondos. Additionally, students learned a new song for singing entitled Paddy Works on the Railway.

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