Music News ~ Week of October 21st-15th

Over the weekend I had the great experience of attending a music teaching workshop at Western Washington University which focused on using classroom instruments such as xylophones, ukuleles, drums and recorders – All of which we are lucky to have in our own music classroom! So this week I have been utilizing some of the fun activities that I got to experience with my colleagues over the weekend, and the students are having a blast with them as well. Students thrive in the music room when they are actively making and creating music, and it’s especially evident to see by the smiles and learning that I have witnessed this week.

Kindergarten: This week, students are experiencing playing a steady beat in different forms of body percussion with the poems Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, Autumn and the song October is Here. They are also reading the book The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything and adding musical instruments to go with the words of the story. 

1st Grade: This week, students are learning that rhythm can come from words in the song Today is Monday (this song is also helping them solidify their knowledge of the days of the week) and they will play the rhythm of the words on instruments. They are also reading the book The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything and adding in creative body percussion motions to go with the words of the story. 

2nd Grade: This week, this week students are practicing rhythms containing quarter, eighth and half notes with the song What’s That Creature? They are also defining accent and bar lines with the song Icka Backa, and creating sound effects using the classroom instruments in the song Birds and Bats. 

3rd Grade: This week, students are spending time playing question and answer patterns on the class set of drums. Students are also exploring First Nations music this week. They are listening, singing and responding to a song from Native American culture called Indian Summer and comparing it to the song Ceremonial Dance.

4th Grade: This week students are reinforcing musical syncopation with the fun and upbeat song called Syncopation. They are also learning about the 3/4 time signature with a Maori stick game called Ma Ku Ay where they will be moving and conducting beats in groups of 3. 

Orchestra (5th & 6th Grade): This week in orchestra, students are learning all of the note names on their instrument. They are also working on left hand placement, finger strengthening exercises,  learning the melody part of Mississippi Reel, and playing simple known tunes by rote. They will begin some note reading, and finding their open string notes on a musical staff. Practice at home is essential at this point, muscle memory is being formed and students should practice left hand finger placement on their strings until it feels easy! 

Music News ~ Week of October 14th-October 18th

Kindergarten: This week, kindergarten students will identify when the music is fast or slow listening to Air and Badinerie by J.S. Bach. They are also hearing the story of the Gingerbread Man, and using the song that goes with the story to explore high and low sounds on a one line music staff. 

1st Grade: This week, students are playing an Orff accompaniment on xylophones and glockenspiels for the song Bye Low Baby Oh, and singing Hey Betty Martin to differentiate between beat and rhythm. They will also be creating stick notation with popsicle sticks for some of the songs we have learned in class so far this year.

2nd Grade: This week, students are learning about major and minor music, phrase form,  and signing their first round using the song Falling Leaves. They are also learning about the instrument families with the song I am a Fine Musician, and listening to Autumn by Antonio Vivaldi. 

3rd Grade: This week, students are signing Third Base Coach’s Dance to explore musical tempo, and learning the terms for describe different speeds of music, and learning about accented beats in music, time signatures, and 3/4 meter with the song Bells in the Steeple.  They are also learning about our composer of the month, Antonio Vivaldi. 

4th Grade: This week, students are learning about rondo form and improvising 16 beat patterns on drums, then composing a rhythmic pattern to use in the song Spanish song Cheki Morena. They are also learning about the String family of instruments, and playing along to Antonio Vivaldi’s Autumn on classroom instruments. 

Orchestra (5th & 6th Grade): This week, students are finishing up playing tests. Then, they will be learning the new skill of putting their left hand fingers down on to their instruments to change the pitch of the strings! This is an exciting new skill because it opens up their world to playing familiar songs, such a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and Hot Cross Buns which we will be exploring in class this week as well. 

Music News ~ Week of October 7th-10th

This Friday the teachers and staff will be at retreat, so we have a shortened music class week. Because there will be no school on Friday, there will be only one music class this week for all grades (Kindergarten will have their usual 2 classes). Here is what we are up to this week in music class:

Kindergarten: This week, kindergarteners are using our colorful movement scarves to show melodic direction with the song Autumn Leaves. They are also using non-locomotive movements to keep a beat, and using beat sheets to track a beat while they sing Hey Hey Look at Me.

1st Grade: This week, students are continuing to learn about melodic direction (high and low sounds, distinguishing if pitches are traveling up or down, singing in a low or high pitch) with the song High Low, and learning a xylophone accompaniment to Bye Low Baby Oh. They will also be introduced to the composer of the month, Antonio Vivaldi. 

2nd Grade: This week, students are improvising 8 beat patterns with the song Time to Play Instruments Today, and completing a rhythmic dictation using quarter and eighth notes. They will also be learning about the composer of the month, Antonio Vivaldi and listening to his composition Storm. 

3rd Grade: This week, students are defining dynamics and tempo terms in the art song Seasons. They will also learn about the composer of the month, Antonio Vivaldi and listen to his composition Storm.

4th Grade: This week, students are practicing syncopated rhythmic patterns.  They will also reviewing a song from last year, Land of the Silver Birch to sing with Canoe Song, and experiencing how two songs can be sung at the same time to make a two part harmony. 

Orchestra: Orchestra students will be taking their first playing test this week! For this playing test, students will need to play the “pepperoni pizza” rhythm on an open string, with proper posture and bow hold. Please note that from here on out, electives will be taking place on Thursdays and Fridays, so students will need to bring their instruments both days. (Not this week, since there is no school on Friday, October 11th).

Music News ~ September 30th-October 4th

Kindergarten: Kindergarteners are learning about melodic contour, and experiencing and showing melodic direction in the songs Autumn Leaves and I Am a Pizza. They are also using active listening skills and movement with a dance from Denmark called 7 Jumps. 

1st Grade: This week, 1st graders are continuing to experience melodic contour and learning about a musical scale. They are listening and determining if sounds are traveling up or down, singing a lullaby and explaining why it is sung quietly, and labeling high and low notes on a staff. They are also using active listening skills in a dance from Denmark called 7 Jumps

2nd Grade: This week, 2nd graders are practicing their new note values, half notes and whole notes and are writing and playing them on percussion instruments. They are using the new note values in the song Tony Chestnut, and labeling different tempos as they sing. They are also practicing steady beat with a passing stone game song from Ghana called Obwisana

3rd Grade: This week, 3rd graders are practicing sol mi do note patterns and learning how to sing melodies having never heard them before (sight reading). They are also performing their group rhythm compositions in rondo form with the song Shake the Papaya. They are also learning how to sing with expression using dynamics and tempo in the art song Seasons

4th Grade: This week, 4th graders are using rhythm flashcards to play percussion instruments and review half notes, eighth notes and quarter notes. They are also singing a cumulative song Topnotcher, and learning syncopated rhythm in Canoe Song. They are also learning about the characteristics of Baroque music and listening to an example Concerto in B flat by Handel. 

Orchestra (5th & 6th grade): This week, orchestra players are learning how to make a beautiful tone with their bows on the string. They are also doing preparatory activities for the left hand, learning about how each finger is given a number and how they are placed on the instrument to change the pitch.