Let's Sing 3 Column

Friday, May 20, 2022

Week 9 in Music

 Here is a synopsis of what happened in music - instructional Week 9, the fifth and final week of the second semester.   With the specials schedule that we have at Gold Rush this year, four weeks equals 1 instructional week in music for all of the students.  This post covers the time from April 25  - May 20, 2022.  

  • Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders had the opportunity to review their music skills in a fun way through Music Olympics this rotation.  Students were divided into teams (chosen by 4 captains) and competed in events involving melody and rhythm reading and writing skills.  Third graders competed in only team events.  Fourth and Fifth graders competed in team events, plus 2 ribbon events.  For each event, 3 points were awarded for 1st place, 2 points for 2nd place and 1 point for 3rd place.  The team with the most points at the end of the week got a team prize in addition to whatever ribbons individuals won.  Events were selected from the Treble Clef Spell-It relay, the Treble Clef spell-it ribbon event, Play a Tune by Ear, Name that Tune, Rhythm Roll, Treble Clef Read-It, Dice Scramble, Rhythmic Dictation, Team note naming challenge and Rhythm Grab.
  • Kindergarten, First and Second Graders enjoyed singing - (1st and 2nd) getting to choose from a menu of choices, and Kindergarten from some silly songs.  Students also had the opportunity to be very active as we learned or reviewed many traditional folk dances and movement activities this rotation.  These were selected from the following:
    • Scattered formation dances: Back to Back - Face to Face, Two-Part Dance, Minoeska (Giants, Fairies and Gnomes), Highway Number One and Sasha.  
    • Single Circle and partner dances: Kinderpolka, Heel and Toe Polka, Seven Jumps, Fjaskern, Little Shoemaker, Les Saluts and Sashay the Donut
    • Long-aways Set Dances:  Willowbee, Chimes of Dunkirk, Jubilee Rag, Zootio-O and Alabama Gal
    • Singing and movement games:  Jack in the Box, Charlie Over the Ocean and Punchinella

Friday, April 22, 2022

Week 8 in Music

Here is a synopsis of what happened in music - during instructional Week #8.   With the specials schedule that we have at Gold Rush this year, four weeks equals 1 week of instruction in music for all of the students.  This covers the time from March 28 - April 22, 2022.

Our "Enter with Ears and Imagination" protocol (introduced in the last rotation) brought the following musical examples to our World Music feature playlist:  

  • Tarana In Bhupali  - (Southern India). Carnatic Classical Essentials

    Album: Legacy; Performed by: Ali Akbar Khan, Asha Bhosle & Swapan Chaudhuri  

  • Mazalni Maak (Dahmane El Harrachi) - (Morocco - Northern Africa). Performed by Ahmed Drief Album: Sounds Of Morocco

In addition to World Music, the composer of the month feature for April was the American composer, Aaron Copland.  Featuring three American composers helps to tie in with the 4th grade music standards of American musical styles.

  • Rodeo: I. Buckaroo Holiday by Aaron Copland. Performed by Donald Johanos & Dallas Symphony Orchestra 

  • Fifth Graders returned to playing Drum Circle ensemble pieces.  We reviewed the two basic strokes of Bass (palm in center of the drum with flexed fingers) and Tone (fingers only on the edge - sweet spot).  Students learned a piece based on speech by Jim Solomon with several layers, "Thump, Thump".  You'll find some videos on the In the Spotlight page of this blog.  The piece introduced students to a new rhythmic figure of one eighth note with a pair of sixteenth notes - Tee-tika and Tika-tee in rhythm syllables.  In addition to learning all the layers and performing the piece, students had some time to practice rhythmic dictation using these patterns mixed in with note values previously learned.  Some students also enjoyed a Talent Time on a music Friday.  They had the opportunity to perform something for their classroom audience if they chose to.  With the rest of our class period students chose favorite music and movement games.
  • Fourth Graders returned to playing Drum Circle ensemble pieces.  We reviewed the basic strokes of bass and tone.  Students learned a piece for Drum Ensemble using speech, "Jack-a-Dandy", arranged by Jim Solomon.  This piece has many layers.  You'll find some videos on the In the Spotlight page of this blog.  One of our days was also spent using the rhythms of this piece to practice rhythmic notation.  Some students also enjoyed a Talent Time on a music Friday.  They had the opportunity to perform something for their classroom audience if they chose to.  With the rest of our class period students chose favorite music and movement games.
  • Third Graders gained more experience playing in a Drum Circle layered ensemble.  In addition to reviewing the Bass and Tone strokes, they learned a muted tone.  Students performed a 3 layer drum Ensemble called Drum Up the Sun by Will Schmid which we paired with a song for recorder, Spring Rains by Margaret Jerz.  This new recorder piece introduced students to a new note - low D.  In addition, some classes also enjoyed a Talent Time on a music Friday.  They had the opportunity to perform something for their classroom audience if they chose to.  With the rest of our class period students chose favorite music and movement games. 
  • First and Second Graders had a day to review the timbre families of our Untuned Percussion instruments in an activity with Colored Dominoes as our musical score.  Students got to play two instruments in each of these groups - Click, Jingle, Rattle, Scrape, Ring and Membranic (Skins/Drums).  Each color block was one beat and students read the score and played according to their color team. 

    Students also returned to singing as we learned some songs for Earth Day:
    • The Earth is Our Mother - a Native American style piece, which we accompanied with the gathering drum and rattles.
    • Care for the Earth by Colorado composer, Elizabeth Gilpatrick.
    • Don't Dump Trash Words and Music by Jill Jarobe, arranged by Jill Gallina
            Most classes also enjoyed a Talent Time on a music Friday.  They had the opportunity to perform                something for their classroom audience if they chose to.  With the rest of our class period students             chose favorite music and movement games.  
  • Kindergartners had a day to review the timbre families of our Untuned Percussion instruments in an activity with Colored Dominoes as our musical score.  Students got to play two instruments in each of these groups - Click, Jingle, Rattle, Scrape, Ring and Membranic (Skins/Drums).  Each color block was one beat and students read the score and played according to their color team. 
    During our other days together, students played tonebar instruments as an accompaniment to a singing/movement game - Bow, Wow, Wow.  They played an ostinato pattern on the xylophones (tah, tah, tah, rest) and the glockenspiels (rest, rest, rest, tah).  Half of the class played the instruments while singing the first phrase of the song as an ostinato (repeated pattern), while the other half played the movement game and sang the song and played the circle game.  Then we switched so everyone got to do both parts.  Students also moved to the steady beat with sound and silence and read 4-beat tah / rest patterns.  In addition to this, students also learned a new singing game, "Doggie, Doggie Where's Your Bone" which has two parts for solo singing.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Week 7 in Music

Here is a synopsis of what happened in music - during instructional Week #7.   With the specials schedule that we have at Gold Rush this year, four weeks equals 1 week of instruction in music for all of the students.  This covers the time from February 21 - March 25, 2022.

Our "Enter with Ears and Imagination" protocol (introduced in the last rotation) brought the following musical examples to our World Music feature playlist:  

  • Na Cadencia Do Samba  - Rio Carnival (Brazilian Samba)

    Performed by Coral e Orquestra Musika  Written by Luis Bandeira

  • Nafasha-ye Bi hadaf  - Iranian (Persian) Pop Music 

    Performed by:  Mohsen Yeganeh

In addition to World Music, the composer of the month feature this month was the American composer, Amy Beach.  She was chosen, in part, because March is Women's History month and she made many break throughs as a Woman composer, and also because of the comparison between her and Scott Joplin.  They were both born in the USA within a year of each other and both played piano as their major instrument.  Their music was very different from each other, though.

  •  Piano Concerto in C Sharp Minor, Op. 45, II. Scherzo: Vivace by Amy Beach 

 

  • Fifth Graders returned to working on their compositions for Soprano Recorder.  Each student composed a short piece for recorder - 4 measure long - using an elemental structure and at least 3 pitches. Students reviewed recorder fingerings and technique and then reacquainted themselves with the pieces they had begun composing in the first semester.  They had a chance to make revisions and prepare their final manuscripts with an eye to a rubric for notation in music composition,  Students also worked to prepare their pieces to share, playing them for the class.  Since these melodies each had the same tone set and length, they were able to layer their piece with another composer's and play them at the same time.  In addition, 5th graders also had their third take at the 50 in 5 note naming challenge and we took the chance to enjoy some movement on Folk Dance Friday.
  • Fourth Graders also returned to playing recorder this rotation.  They took on learning the A section of a larger Rondo piece called Driving Force.  This piece introduced the students to a new note - high C.  Once we knew the A section, we added the drum accompaniment and took turns adding that accompaniment.  In a group of 3, one person played the drum part while the other two played the recorder melody.  We rotated for turns so that everyone got to do all parts.  In addition, 4th graders also had their third take at the 50 in 5 note naming challenge and we took the chance to enjoy some movement on Folk Dance Friday.
    • Third Graders got back to recorder.  We reviewed the basics - breath control, holding the recorder, fingering and "Du" tonguing.  We reviewed the notes that we have learned so far - B, A, G, E and then used them in reading a piece from notation with two parts, "Entrance of the Dragon Riders".  Everyone learned both parts and on our final day students selected one of the two parts as we put both parts together.  This piece has a great accompaniment track.  Students were given a copy of the music and the accompaniment track is linked on this Blog on the Music to Practice page.  In addition, 3rd graders also had a 2nd take at a note naming challenge - 30 in 3 - naming 30 notes all using the lines and spaces of the treble clef staff.   Students also had the chance to enjoy some movement on Folk Dance Friday.
    • First and Second Graders reviewed the connection to basic core movement (locomotor steps matching note values) and transferred them over to the tonebars.  We worked on following a 'conductor' with simultaneous imitation, bubbles and scarves.  All of this was done with all bars on the instruments.  Two days were spent with the tonebars set in a Do pentatonic scale on C (Do, Re, Mi, Sol, La - with the Fs and Bs removed).  Students reviewed a song they had learned through singing and movement in the last rotation  - Move around and stop, float downward, Mi, Re, Do - based on a piece by Gunild Keetman in Erstes Spiel am Xylophone (small pieces for xylophone).  We learned it one phrase at a time, and began to double what we were singing until students could play the entire piece.  Then they played it independently while an accompaniment was added.  In addition, we spent one day focusing on melodic dictation (hearing a melodic pattern and writing it down) using a 2-line staff.  First graders focused on Sol-La-Mi patterns.  Second graders wrote Sol-La-Mi patterns as well as Do-Re-Mi patterns on the 2-line staff.  Then they changed to the standard 5-line staff with a treble clef and did a pattern combining all the possibilities of the pentatonic scale.  Students also had the chance to enjoy some movement on Folk Dance Friday.
    • Kindergartners met the tonebar instruments - the Glockenspiels, Xylophones and Metallophones.  This began by reviewing our basic core movement steps - walk, run, slow stretched step, jump and hop.  Then we transferred this to using the mallets on the tonebars.  Relating it to movement helps students to begin to alternate hands right away.  With all the bars on the instruments we explored playing walking music, running music, sliding (glissando), slow, jumping (2-hands simultaneous), and hopping - 1 hand then the other.  We put this improvised music into some stories.  Another day we returned to our melody for Engine Engine and added a pulse ostinato on the Bass Xylophones on a chord bordun (C and G).  Students took turns so that everyone got to accompany the song.  Kindergartners also learned a new song, "Bow Wow Wow" which has a movement game with it.  Learning this song gave students a chance to discover a new musical symbol - the quarter rest.  Tah (quarter note) is one beat of sound.  Rest (quarter rest) is one beat of silence.  We did some movement responses using these symbols.  In addition, Kindergartners got their first exposure to rhythmic dictation - hearing a rhythm and writing it down.  We used craft sticks to write the stems and shapes of tahs (quarter notes) and tee-tees (pairs of eighth notes).  Kindergartners were also introduced to the singing game, Doggie Doggie Where's Your Bone.   They also had the chance to enjoy lots of movement on Folk Dance Friday.

    Friday, February 18, 2022

    Week 6 in Music

    Here is a synopsis of what happened in music - during instructional Week #6.   With the specials schedule that we have at Gold Rush this year, four weeks equals 1 week of instruction in music for all of the students.  This covers the time from January 24 - February 18, 2022.

    Our "Enter with Ears and Imagination" protocol (introduced in the last rotation) brought the following musical examples to our World Music feature playlist:  

    • Coolbaroo Wungghee (Old Owl) by Woomera on the Traditional Aboriginal Music album - Australia (Aboriginee)
    • These Days by Thelma Plum - Australian Aboriginal pop singer on the album by the same name


    • Tarantella from Capri: Amore ca ce Struje on the album Italian Folk Music, Vol. 5: Naples and Campania - Tarantella (Dance music) from Southern Italy 

    In addition to World Music, I have added a composer of the month feature into the Listening Mix.  This month, our featured composer was American composer, Scott Joplin.  [Note - With the strange shortened week that the White and Black schedule teams had given the snow day and non-contact day, they will get this composer feature at the start of the next rotation]

    •  Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin 

     

    • Kindergartners returned to work with the poem, Engine Engine.  Students took turns as the leader of a short line of students - their trains - traveling to the beat and then playing the rhythm of the last phrase, "Yes, No, Maybe So" on the bucket drums.  We also discovered the number of beats or pulses in the poem and then used that to figure out the rhythm - whether there was one sound on a beat, or two sounds on a beat.  We used train icons (one big train and two small trains) for this notation.  Then students were introduced to the notes that these icons represented - the quarter note (known as a "Tah" in rhythm syllables) and a pair of eighth notes (known as "Tee-tee" in rhythm syllables.  Students experienced these note values through movement and reading notation.  We also took the poem and turned it into a song with our high and low pitches of Sol and Mi.  We notated our melody using a 3-line staff with sol and mi in the spaces.  Students also got to do some mallet exploration (some with balloons) to help in our preparation for meeting the tone bars.  In the next rotation we will meet the xylophones and add a pulse accompaniment to this song. 
    • First and Second Graders used creative movement to explore the musical qualities of a piece by French composer Claude Debussy, En Bateau - On a Boat.  Students moved through the space with a balloon as a prop, working initially alone, and then with a partner.  Students also incorporated two mallets with the balloon.  Moving freely this way leads to a natural mallet hold, suitable for playing mallet percussion instruments.  Students also learned a new melody developed from movement vocabulary and movement sentences.  This piece will be played using the tone bar ensemble in the next rotation.
    • Third Graders continued learning to play the ukulele, focusing on the C major chord and open strings.  Students were introduced to reading 3-note ukulele pieces with treble clef and tablature notation.  We revisited the song, "Hot Cross Buns" that students originally learned for recorder.  This brought the need to learn a second chord - the G major chord.  In addition to accompanying Hot Cross Buns, students also enjoyed a play-along video of the song "Ugly" and strummed and sang along to several two-chord folk songs.

    • The Fourth and Fifth graders also continued using the ukulele, focusing first on a review of open strings, adding a 3-mallet xylophone accompaniment and solos into the piece Open String Groove.  Students reviewed chord progressions learned in Week 5 and did more work with strumming patterns - creating and notating them and using them to accompany play-alongs.  Fourth graders reviewed the C and F major chords and added the A minor chord, experiencing many play-alongs to pop songs.  For 5th graders that meant a review of the C major, F major, and A minor chords.  Then students learned a 4th chord - the G7 chord.  Students chose from several play-along videos as we explored these chord progressions.  
    In the next rotation, our focus will be melody.  Third, Fourth and Fifth graders will get back to playing recorder and treble clef notation.  The 5th graders will be finishing up their compositions for layered melodies using recorder and the 3rd and 4th graders will use recorder with other Orff media (e.g. drums and tonebars).  Kindergarten students will be introduced to playing tone bar instruments.  First and Second graders will focus on playing the melodic percussion (xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels).

    Friday, January 21, 2022

    Week 5 in Music

    Here is a synopsis of what happened in music - during instructional Week #5.   With the specials schedule that we have at Gold Rush this year, four weeks equals 1 week of instruction in music for all of the students.  This covers the time from December 13, 2021  - January 21, 2022.

    Our "Enter with Ears and Imagination" protocol (introduced in the last rotation) brought the following musical examples to our World Music feature playlist:  

    • Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (IZ) on the Facing the Future album - Hawaii
    • Baikal Live (found as a video on youtube) all sounds made by ice - Siberia, Russia


    • Guadalajara Mariachi Music on the All The Best From Mexico album [Disc 2] - Mexico

     

    • Kindergartners continued learning about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room according to timbre or tone color groupings.  In this rotation they were introduced to the  Scrape instruments (guiro, frog-guiro, and multi-guiro, cricket, sand blocks, Native American rasp, rigged woodblock, gourd scraper from Peru, ratchet and the cabasa) and the Membranic instruments, or drums (hand drums in 5 sizes, tubanos, conga, bongos, snare drum, bucket drum, Taos Native American drum, Donno or talking drum from Ghana, and the Buffalo Drum. With each of these families students were introduced to the proper playing technique and the instrument name.   Each student took a turn playing every instrument as they were passed around the circle, or students moved from one spot to another around the circle.  Students were asked to match the beat as they played.  We spent a day with just the hand drums exploring different ways to make sound on them and sharing ideas.  In addition to playing the Listen game we also played a game called "No Parking" encouraging group awareness, trying to play when no one else is playing.   Kindergartners also learned a train poem, "Engine, Engine Number Nine", moving to the steady beat of the cabasa.
    • First and Second Graders focused on singing.  Students enjoyed some student choice in selecting Winter Songs from a menu of choices.  We also learned some songs that the whole school has sung together in the past - in years when we could gather as a whole school community - honoring Dr. Martin Luther King:
      • The Dream of Martin Luther King
      • Keep the Dream Alive
      • Freedom Train
        • The Second Graders experienced this piece in a round!  Such strong singers. ☺

    • Third, Fourth and Fifth graders began an Ukulele unit.  Using this instrument is allowing students to experience both melodic and harmonic performance.  Students are learning chord progressions and experiencing harmony in a new and interesting way.  In this first week of ukulele we have focused on basic technique and becoming familiar with the instrument:  playing posture and the correct hold, plucking and strumming, string numbers and pitches and finger numbers.
      • Fifth Graders learned the C major, F major and A minor chords and enjoyed some play-along videos using those chords
      • Fourth Graders learned the C major and F major chords and were briefly introduced to the A minor chord.  They also enjoyed some play-along videos
      • Third Graders learned the C major chord.  In addition to whole group work, students rotated in small groups through some stations focused on open string names, strumming patterns, treble clef review and C major chord play-alongs.

    Friday, December 10, 2021

    Week 4 in Music

     Here is a synopsis of what happened in music - during instructional Week #4.   With the specials schedule that we have at Gold Rush this year, four weeks equals 1 week of instruction in music for all of the students.  This covers the time from November 8  - December 10, 2021.

    Our "Enter with Ears and Imagination" protocol (introduced in the last rotation) brought the following musical examples to our World Music feature playlist:  

    • Loch Lomond by The Pipes and Drums of Leanisch on the  Spirit of Scotland - Essential Bagpipe Anthems album - Scotland
    • El PaƱuelo by Palomas del Sur  on the Folk Music From The Andes album - Ecuador


    • Hlonolofatsa (Live) by the University of Pretoria Youth Choir & Lhente-Mari Pitout on the South African Traditional Music album - South Africa


    • Binh ban va’n  Artist:  Truong Thi Quynh Hanh  (Dan Tranh) on Vietnam, Best of Traditional Vietnamese Music - Vietnam

     

    • Kindergartners continued learning about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room according to timbre or tone color groupings.  In this rotation they were introduced to the  Rattle instruments (maracas, chiquita maracas, egg shakers, West African nut rattle and shekere, multi-guiro, Japanese kokiriko / clatterpillar, handle castanets and the vibraslap) and the Ring instruments (suspended cymbal, sizzle cymbal, finger cymbals, crash cymbals, Chinese bell tree, tam-tam and zhing, the Indonesian gong, and the triangle). With each of these families students were introduced to the proper playing technique and the instrument name.   Each student took a turn playing every instrument as they were passed around the circle, or students moved fron one spot to another around the circle.  Students were asked to match the beat as they played, or, in the case of the Ring family - play a single long sound on a conductor's cue; students took turns as the conductor.  We also played a game called "Listen" which requires students to determine which instrument they are hearing without being able to see it and then name the instrument they heard.  Additionally, Kindergartners movements to the instrumental sounds of these timbres.  Kindergarten students also read a musical score with icons of the instruments to play - one from each of the 4 timbre families they have played so far - Click / Rhythm Sticks, Jingle / Jingle Bells, Ring / Triangle, and Rattle / Maracas.  Mrs. Petty created the score to align with the Winter classic, Sleigh Ride by LeRoy Anderson.  Students got to play each of the four parts as we rotated for turns.

      • First Graders were introduced to compound time this rotation through a nursery rhyme chant, Go to Bed, Tom.  Students learned the words through imitation, then were introduced to the musical notation.  We performed the piece with instrumental layers - rhythm sticks on the main rhythm, triangles in the speech rests, and a rhythmic ostinato (repeated pattern) introduced students to playing the tubano drums.  We did this in a circle, rotating so that all students got to play every part at least one time.  Some students were also able to take on the challenge of playing the rhythms without saying the text out loud, instead using their thinking voice to maintain the rhythm.  Additionally, students wrote compound rhythms from dictation.  Additionally students learned another apple related singing/movement game, Wind Up the Apple Tree.    All classes also had a Talent Time (sharing performances) in class, followed by a time of students choices of favorite music and movement games.

      • Second Graders experienced beat and rhythm this rotation with a Pie Theme.  Students learned a poem, I Like Pie, which became the A section of our final Rondo 'performance'.  We played some reaction games also with pie flavor responses, and students learned the first verse of the traditional singing game, Great Big House in New Orleans.  Students sorted pictures of pie flavors, e.g. apple, pumpkin, peach, blackberry, etc. into their corresponding 2-beat rhythm patterns.  Students worked in small groups to create a 4-rhythmic building brick Word chain.  Students said their pattern, clapped and said it simultaneously, and then thought the words while only clapping.  This was then transferred to an unpitched percussion instrument.  Each group performed their word chain as a part of the I Like Pie Rondo.  All classes also had a Talent Time (sharing performances) in class, followed by a time of students choices of favorite music and movement games.

      • Third Graders did further work learning to play the recorder.  In this rotation they reviewed B, A and G and were introduced to the fingering and notation of the note E.  We began with a new piece learned and experienced through body percussion transferred to recorder:  See A Pin.  After learning it using snap, clap and pat with B-A-G as the pitches , we shifted it down to clap, pat, step with A-G-E  as the pitches.  Students worked initially with partners - one doing the body percussion as the conductor and the other as the recorder player.  Later we worked from the notation of the music.  Eventually the two versions (Do centered and La Centered) were meshed into a 3rd version using one line of each.   Third graders also did a paper and pencil challenge of naming 30 treble clef notes (only the lines and space notes) given 3 minutes time.  This practice will help to increase note recognition and music reading fluency.  Students also experienced a 2nd piece with the new note E, Minka which is a Winter song from Russia.  We sang it and played the recorder part.  Students received the music for both of these new pieces to practice at home.  All classes also had a Talent Time (sharing performances) in class, followed by a time of students choices of favorite music and movement games.    
      • Fourth Graders focused on melody and pitch through two pieces for tonebars and a 2nd take at the 50 in 5 challenge.  Students reviewed the lines and spaces of the treble clef staff in preparation for the 50 in 5 challenge.  We reviewed the music alphabet and the way in which that pattern helps in figuring out notes  outside of the staff.  Students are learning all of the treble clef notes from the B below the staff to the B above the staff (15 notes in total).  Students took the 50 in 5 challenge for the second time this year.  This is a timed note-naming challenge.  Students also experienced melody and ensemble music making learning two pieces by Shirley McRae through echo imitation and listening:  Third Time A-Round Double and Barreled Canon.  All classes also had a Talent Time (sharing performances) in class, followed by a time of students choices of favorite music and movement games.

      • Fifth Graders focused on melody and pitch.  We reviewed the lines and spaces of the treble clef in preparation for the 50 in 5 challenge.  We reviewed the music alphabet and the way in which that pattern helps in figuring out notes  outside of the staff.  Students are becoming more comfortable with all of the treble clef notes from the B below the staff to the B above the staff (15 notes in total).  Students took the 50 in 5 challenge for the second time this year.  This is a timed note-naming challenge.  Students experienced learning a diatonic piece (all notes of the major scale) through body percussion transferred to tonebars - Syncopation Step-wise motion by Roger Sams.  We extended this by changing the toneset so that students were introduced to 6 modal scales:  C-c Ionian, D-d Dorian, E-e Phrygian, F-f Lydian, G-g Mixolydian and A-a Aeolian.  Students noted their favorite scales for future work.  After doing the 50 in 5 challenge students put their knowlege of treble clef notation to work.  They worked in teams to decode some written music and layer them together.  Each team had one or two measures to master and then they were layered together.  One piece was for metals - metallophones and glockenspiels, Carol On!, and one piece was for xylophones, Christmas Eve at Macy's.  Both pieces were written by Shirley McCrae.  All classes also had a Talent Time (sharing performances) in class, followed by a time of students choices of favorite music and movement games.
      In the next rotation, 3rd - 5th grades will use ukuleles to experience harmony and chord progressions.  Kindergarten will finish meeting our unpitched percussion instruments - Scrape and Membranic timbre families.  First and Second Grades will focus on melody and harmony using the tonebar instruments.  We will do some movement exploration leading to better mallet technique, too.


       

      Friday, November 5, 2021

      Week 3 in Music

      •  Here is a synopsis of what happened in music - instructional Week #3.   With the specials schedule that we have at Gold Rush this year, four weeks equals 1 instruction week in music for all of the students.  This covers the time from October 4 - November 5, 2021.

      We started a new entrance to the music room / beginning of class  protocol this rotation.  All grades levels were asked to "Enter with Ears and Imagination".  Music was playing.  After a bit of focused listening, we discussed the piece -  What was noticed and what we wondered in hearing it.  Then we look briefly at a map of where in the world the piece came from, particular performers and instruments, a lyrics translation if the piece has vocals that are not in English, etc.  This new routine may help us to become more aware of World Musics and help us to be more musically literate with improved listening and appreciation of diversity.  Here is our "playlist" from this rotation:

      • Batonga by singer/songwriter Angelique Kidjo. West African country of Benin  
      •  Mountain Song by Assaraimasko Dabdabhelio - Native Music of Nepal
      • No Luna E Ka Halekai No Ka Ma'alewa - The Rose Ensemble - Hawaiian Hula  
      • Ergen Deda - The Bulgarian Voices - Angelite. Vocal Music of Bulgaria  
      • Kabuki Gomen-Jyo! -  Wadaiko Matsuriza -  Japanese Taiko Music  

       

      • Kindergartners began learning about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room.  They are learning about them in timbre or tone color groupings.  In this rotation they were introduced to the  Click instruments (wood block, temple blocks, tap-a-taps, slap stick, rhythm sticks, claves, tone block, castanets, African claves and tongue drum, aka slit log drum) and the Jingle instruments (tambourine, cystrum, jingle bells, Indian dance bells, caxixi and sleigh bells). With each of these families students were introduced to the proper playing technique and the instrument name.   Each student took a turn playing every instrument as they were passed around the circle.  Students were asked to match the beat as they played.  We also played a game called "Listen" which requires students to determine which instrument they are hearing without being able to see it and then name the instrument they heard.  Additionally, Kindergartners matched steps and movement using instruments from these families.

        • First Graders used an Apple theme to focus on rhythm and review melody this week.  We reviewed familiar melodic patterns of Sol-Mi and discovered the note la through a new singing game, Apple Tree.  This song also introduced students to a lower pitch - Do.  We played the singing game three different ways - trading places with part of the 'tree' when trapped,  adding new trees into the orchard as an elimination game, and seated in a circle as a beat passing game.  We read and created new sound/silence patterns within an 8 beat frame - using paper plates to mark out the beats.  Those plates that had an apple on them, we said 'yum' on the beat and those that didn't have an apple had a silent beat (rest).  Students changed the pattern by adding or subtracting apples.  After we had played our Apple Tree game multiple days, we added a beat bordun reading some of those sound/silence patterns.  First Graders rediscovered the rhythm tee-tee (2 eighth notes sharing a beat) as we decoded the rhythm of Apple Tree.  Following a time that we read Dr. Seuss's Ten Apples Up on Top, we 'upset the apple cart' and used our apple/rhythm cards to create new tah and tee-tee patterns.  Then we flipped the cards around to read a scrambled/mixed up version of the lyrics.  Those classes that had 5 days in this rotation enjoyed a Movement and Folk Dance focused day, too.

        • Second Graders experienced beat, rhythm and hand drum technique as we moved to various note values and learned three pieces for hand drums.  We began by creating a 24-beat rhythm using randomly selected cards with quarter notes, quarter rests and pairs of eighth notes (tah, rest and tee-tees).  Once students were able to clap and say the rhythm accurately, we transferred the clapping to playing the hand drum.  Next we reviewed two pieces from last year,  Hear the Drum Beat and Big and Small, highlighting two sizes of hand drums.  This was an opportunity to introduce the half note in notation (ta-ah).  In a 3rd piece, Three Plus, students read and performed 3 different rhythms.  This included an introduction to the use of bar lines and measures.  In addition to the rhythms of the other piece, this one introduced a half rest (2-beat rest). Three Plus is played on 3 different sized drums and all parts are layered simultaneously.  It is a big challenge to stick to your rhythm while others are going on.  This was our first experience in multiple layers and the level of musical independence that requires.  We also practiced rhythmic dictation (writing patterns that are heard) using these newly discovered symbols.  Those classes that had 5 days in this rotation enjoyed a Movement and Folk Dance focused day on their last day.

        • Third Graders did further work learning to play the recorder.  In this rotation they reviewed some very important basics:  
          • How to hold the recorder - with left hand on top
          • The airspeed needed for a good sound -  using gentle, warm air like teasing a candle
          • How to tongue - starting and stopping the sound with a gentle 'd' 
          • Fingering and notation for the note B
          • Students were also introduced to two more pitches (notation and fingering) - the notes A & G
                    As I had told students they needed to know 3 songs with 3 notes in order for me to send their                     personal recorders home with them, they were excited for that.  They learned these songs in ways             that included reading/decoding traditional notation, by ear and quick notation (letter names and                 rhythm sticks above).  Merrily We Row Along (which sounds a lot like Mary Had a Little                             Lamb), It's in the Bag, Old Tom White, and a French Folk Song Au Claire de la Lune - A section.              At the end of the week the recorders parents purchased fees were sent home along with these                     BAG pieces in a packet with a fingering chart, some activities and additional BAG pieces,                         including Hot Cross Buns and Gonna Make Music.  Students were also shown how to log their                 practice time.  Students are encouraged to practice 10-20 minutes at a time a few times a week. 


        • Fourth Graders experienced ensemble music making with many layers with a piece by Jim Solomon called Toasted.  Students learned the soprano recorder part (with the pitches, B-A-G-E), the drumming part and the xylophone part.  After learning each part separately we put the whole piece together.  Some groups even used some improvisation (making something up, or "jamming" on the spot) for transitions as we rotated from one position in the ensemble to another.  Please check out videos of the piecer on the In the Spotlight page of this blog.  Those classes that had 5 days in this rotation enjoyed a Movement and Folk Dance focused day on their last day.

        • Fifth Graders reviewed the piece we worked on in the last rotation, Quickie Quodlibet, which has 4 different melodies layered together for soprano recorder.  Using that as a model, students composed their own 4-measure melody for soprano recorder.  "Play what you write, and write what you play." Composition is a big focus for our 5th grade learning.  Each student created and notated a melody, and also considered which other student's melody would pair well with their own for layering.  This project helped to reinforce music notation and performance skills.  Along the way we did the challenge of Stand Up if You're the Composer - drawing a composition out at random - Mrs. Petty played one of the pieces.  Students were asked to recognize what they wrote.  Those classes that had 5 days in this rotation enjoyed a Movement and Folk Dance focused day on their last day.