Let's Sing 3 Column

Friday, January 25, 2019

Fifth "Week" (rotation) in Music December 17, 2018 - January 17, 2019

In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our fifth rotation together, (which starts the 2nd semester reporting period) here's what we did:

Kindergarten:
  • Kindergartners continued to experience and learn about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room.  In this rotation students were introduced to the Membranic instruments.
    • Hand Drums - we took a day to explore various ways to play and make sound on Hand Drums
    • Snare Drum
    • Buffalo Drum
    • Tubano
    • Bongos
    • Donno ("Talking Drum" from Ghana)
      • We played the Listen Game with these instruments of the Membranic Family
  • Singing Game:  Old King Glory of the Mountain
    • We used this singing game to re-introduce one instrument of each of the percussion timbre families.  As each student was tapped, they took an instrument and 'joined the marching band' going around the circle.  Once every student had an instrument we had student conductors to create music using colored dots matching the way the instruments are sorted in the music room.
      • Click - Rhythm Sticks (Red)
      • Jingle - Jingle Bells (Orange)
      • Rattle - Chiquita maracas (Yellow)
      • Scrape - Rigged Woodblock (Green)
      • Ring - Triangle (Blue)
      • Membranic - Hand Drum (Purple)
  • First Graders - Fifth Graders all took part in our all-school Sing-along Assembly Thursday, January 17th in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other difference makers.  They learned 6 songs for this:
    • Woke Up This Morning / O Freedom  - African American Freedom Song partnered with a 2-part Freedom Song from South Africa
    • Dream of Martin Luther King
    • Keep the Dream Alive 
    • Freedom Train - which we sang in Canon with 5th graders accompanying on Xylophone
    • What Can One Little Person Do?
First Grade & Second Grade: (focus on singing voice, song repertoire and vocal harmony)

In addition to the MLK sing-along songs, students continued to work on songs for the upcoming Parent performances.  We figured out our size order and added in practicing walking onto the steps for the singing.

Third Grade:  In addition to the MLK songs, we worked on learning the lines and space names of the treble clef in preparation for playing recorders in the next rotation.

Fourth Grade:  In addition to the MLK songs, students were introduced to some square dance calls and figures.  We learned that portion of the Symbol Song and an additional full square dance, Comin' Round the Mountain.  Square Dancing is the Colorado Folk Dance.

Fifth Grade:  In addition to the MLK songs, students in 5th grade reviewed the small percussion timbre families using a score reading activity - Colored Dominoes.  Students also created layered percussion ostinati (repeated patterns) suitable for different percussion timbres - with complementary rhythm patterns.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Fourth "Week" (rotation) in Music November 12 - December 14, 2018

In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our fourth rotation together, here's what we did:

Kindergarten: (continued focus on beat and timbre families)
  • Kindergartners continued to experience and learn about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room.  In this rotation students were introduced to the Scrape and Ring instruments. 
    • guiro
    • multi guiro
    • cabasa
    • rasp (Native American)
    • gourd scraper
    • sand blocks
    • frog guiro
    • cricket
    • ratchet
    • rigged wood block
      • triangle
      • finger cymbals
      • crash cymbals
      • suspended cymbal
      • Indonesian gong (fixed pitch)
      • Tam-tam
      • Chinese Bell Tree
      • Zhing (Chinese bell)
      • wind chimes
      • chime bar
    • Students were introduced to the names of the instruments and playing technique for each particular instrument.  We passed them around the circle, matching the beat.
    • Using the instruments of the timbre family - we played a game called, "Listen"
      • Students had to identify the instrument they heard - by sound only.
    • We read a musical "score" with graphic notation for instruments (rhythm sticks and triangles) playing on the beat, adding a song about Elves.  "We are Santa's Helpers".
    • All day Kindergarten classes extended their music experience by playing the game Jack in the Box and by drawing graphic notations of long (ring) and short (click) sounds.  All day Kindergarten classes also added instrumental accompaniment to Jingle Bells

    First Grade & Second Grade: (focus on singing voice, song repertoire and vocal harmony)
    • Students began learning songs for their upcoming Specials program - focusing on Honoring Diversity.  Check out the page on this blog called 1st and 2nd Grade Specials Program for details about the performance(s).
      • Circle the World with Peace
        • This song has a harmony part for the 2nd graders on the final verse
        • Different languages are heard on the word for Peace
      • All Over This World
        • This song has a chorus which will be sung in a round on the final time through
      • Dreams of Harmony
        • The piece includes the word for Good Night in many languages.  Students will sing in harmony - with the 2nd graders on one part of the song at the same time the 1st graders are on the other part of the song.  Prior to putting both 1st and 2nd grade together, students are trying to maintain their part while I sing the other classes's part.
      • No One Like You
        • This will be a piece in unison.  Originally sung by John Denver on a Muppets special, this piece talks about each person's uniqueness.
    • Movement
      • We explored sameness/unison through mirroring with partners and differences by doing movements which were in opposition to a partner.  We are experimenting with various musical styles as we explore with movement.
    • Singing for Enjoyment - in addition to working on our program repertoire, students chose songs to sing from a Winter SongFolder with over 30 seasonal song choices.
    • All classes had 5 days in this rotation.  We had our first "Talent Time" of the school year - meaning that students that wished to perform for their class had the opportunity to do so.  Any act appropriate to performing on the stage was excepted - not just musical acts.  Following our Talent sharing, students chose favorite singing and movement games. 

    Third Grade:
    • We reviewed pieces for our Rock Concert and added the final finishing touches to pull it together.  Students chose one special part -  narrator, stage crew or volcano with scarves.
    • On our 4th day in the rotation - we had our Rock Concert performance in the music room for a live audience.  A video of that performance can be found on the In the Spotlight page of this blog.
    • All classes had 5 days in this rotation.  We had our first "Talent Time" of the school year - meaning that students that wished to perform for their class had the opportunity to do so.  Any act appropriate to performing on the stage was excepted - not just musical acts.  Following our Talent sharing, students chose favorite singing and movement games. 

    Fourth Grade:  (Focus on Melody, Song Repertoire and Vocal Harmony)
    • Students worked on song repertoire for our Colorado Connection Concert.
      • Students were introduced to a new song for our Colorado Connection:  Cripple Creek
        • Students learned both vocal parts and then chose which part to sing.  The voice parts are layered (creating harmony)
        • Students learned the body percussion (stamp/clap) pattern that is the interlude between verses.
      • Symbol Song
        • Students reviewed the unison and small group voice parts as we sang the musical whole
    • Recorder
      • Students reviewed the fingering and technique for B, A, G and low E
      • As a whole group with played Stegosaurus Stomp in unison with the track - with hand signs as a reminder
      • Students worked further in small groups on the  4 different Railroad themed songs they chose in the last rotation.
    • Singing for Enjoyment - in addition to working on our program repertoire, students chose songs to sing from a Winter SongFolder with over 30 seasonal song choices.
    • Movement Sequences/Dances set to music
      • We experienced a long-aways set partner dance done with ribbons
    • All classes had 5 days in this rotation.  We had our first "Talent Time" of the school year - meaning that students that wished to perform for their class had the opportunity to do so.  Any act appropriate to performing on the stage was excepted - not just musical acts.  Following our Talent sharing, students chose favorite singing and movement games. 

    Fifth Grade: Focus on Rhythm - eight and sixteenth note patterns

    Our focus was on rhythms which included eighth note and sixteenth note patterns - even in combination.
    • Reading patterns with Body Percussion scoring
      • Students were introduced to 8 different 4-beat patterns - comprised of these rhythms
        • Reading rhythm with rhythm syllables, and naming the traditional note names
        • Adding the body percussion layers to the rhythm
        • Patterns were practiced separately, and then in combination, leading to the entire A section and B section of the piece.
        • Recorded music of Bach's Orchestral Suite #2 in B minor, movement 7:  Badinerie was added.
          • Students were given a "treasure hunt" challenge to try to discover the name of the piece.
          • Students could ask for one clue / give one guess per class period
          • By the 5th day, the piece had been discovered and winning students were rewarded with the pride of winning (and their favorite pizza)
      • Kaboom! - A Game for Rhythm Reading
        • Students were introduced to a rhythm reading game called Kaboom!
          • In each turn a student draws a stick out of a cup and has to correctly clap and say the rhythm on the stick in order to keep it.
          • In subsequent rounds the rhythm is cumulative. And in order to keep the new stick the whole rhythm must be performed correctly.
          • The player with the most sticks at the end is the winner.
          • There are some Kaboom sticks to add excitement and drama - if one of them is drawn out, all of the players sticks are returned to the cup.
    • Rhythmic Dictation
      • Using craft sticks and small coffee stir sticks, students wrote 4 beat patterns from dictation.  Rhythms included 4 sixteenth notes, one eighth / two sixteenth and two sixteenth / one eighth, as well as quarter notes and pairs of eighth notes.
    • Singing for Enjoyment - in addition to working on this body percussion rendition of Bach's Badinerie students chose songs to sing from a Winter SongFolder with over 30 seasonal song choices.
    • All classes had 5 days in this rotation.  We had our first "Talent Time" of the school year - meaning that students that wished to perform for their class had the opportunity to do so.  Any act appropriate to performing on the stage was excepted - not just musical acts.  Following our Talent sharing, students chose favorite singing and movement games. 

    Friday, November 9, 2018

    Third "Week" (rotation) in Music October 15 - November 9, 2018

    In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our third rotation together, here's what we did:

    Kindergarten: (continued focus on beat and timbre)
    • Kindergartners continued to experience and learn about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room.  In this rotation students were introduced to the Jingle and Rattle instruments. 
        • jingle bells
        • sleigh bells
        • cystrum (from the Middle East)
        • tambourine
        • caxixi (from Ghana)
        • Indian dance bells
        • jingle tap

        • maracas
        • chiquita maracas
        • shekere (from Ghana)
        • rain stick
        • vibra slap (patterned after the ancient instrument made from a donkey jaw bone)
        • shake it
        • multi-guiro
        • shaker eggs
      • Students were introduced to the names of the instruments and playing technique for each particular instrument.  We passed them around the circle, matching the beat.
      • Using the instruments of the timbre family - we played a game called, "Listen"
        • Students had to identify the instrument they heard - by sound only.
      • All day Kindergarten classes extended their music experience exploring musical opposite - loud and quiet.
        • Game:  Black Snake - played like "Hot and Cold" giving clues by singing volume.

      First Grade: (focus on rhythm)
      • Students revisited our greeting song, "Good Afternoon" - to start the class.  As we sang, we shook hands while building a line and then 'erased' the line
      • Reviewing sound / silence patterns
        • Using 8 paper plates to represent one beat each, students read patterns with the word "yum" each time an apple was on the plate.
        • The pattern changed each time as students were invited to "add or subtract" an apple from the pattern.  
      • Singing Game - Apple Tree - 3 versions (Sol-Mi-La song, introducing low Do)
        • We played this game in all 3 versions - a bean bag passing game, a version like London Bridges where the student that gets trapped at the end of the song switches place with one of the 'tree' makers, and a cumulative version where each person trapped makes a new tree in the 'orchard' for the traveling students to go under.
        • Students worked together to figure out the rhythm of the song
          • The words of each beat of the song were notated on one side of a paper apple and on the flip side the rhythm was written - tah or tee-tee (quarter note, pair of eighth notes)
      • Creating and Reading Rhythms
        • We read the book "Ten Apples Up on Top" by Dr. Seuss
        • The 'upset the apple cart' page was inspiration for creating new 4 beat tah tee-tee patterns with the rhythm/word apples from "Apple Tree".
        • Students created 4 different 4 beat patterns
        • We flipped the words over and read the scrambled sentences that appeared - and laughed about the silliness.  It's different each time.
      • Rhythmic Dictation
        • Students notated 4 beat rhythms using craft sticks - tah, tee-tee patterns
      • Classes which had 5 days enjoyed singing songs of their choosing
      Second Grade: (Focus on Rhythm) Tah, Rest, Tee-tee, and the new note Ta-ah
      • Using movement and response to listening, students stepped to the sound of tah (quarter note), tee-tee (eighth notes) and ta-ah (half note).  These were stacked (different sounds played at the same time) so that students could experience the relationships in note values.
      • We did a rhythm reading assessment Solo/Tutti where each student performed an 8-beat rhythm made up of tahs, tee-tees, 1 beat rests and ta-ahs.  One students performed alone and then the whole class read the pattern - clapping and saying the rhythm.  Students were assessed on steady beat, and rhythmic accuracy and given feedback for next steps.  This was a 1st "snap shot" in time. 
      • Pumpkin Patch
        • We played the traditional play-party (singing game/dance) Paw Paw patch as Pumpkin Patch - this is a long-aways set game which rotates around so that each person gets a turn as the leader of their line
      • Rhythmic Building Bricks
        • We sorted pictures according to the rhythm of their corresponding word (pie, pumpkin, strawberry, etc) - 5 different 2 beat patterns.
        • Students worked in groups to create a 4 'brick' pattern using at least one berry (so that there would be a tee-tee as the 2nd beat) and ending with pie.
        • Once created and practiced, the pattern was transferred to unpitched percussion instruments.  Students worked to perform their pattern with a steady beat 3 times in a row:  saying it, saying and playing it, then only played it while thinking the words.
        • We put these patterns together in a Rondo form using a poem "I Like Pie" as the A section of the Rondo.  
        • As an added challenge, all groups performed their patterns simultaneously while I played the rhythm of the poem on a drum.
      • Classes which had 5 days enjoyed singing songs of their choosing

      Third Grade:
      • We continued working toward our upcoming "Rock Concert" - a parent sharing that ties in with a classroom Science unit. 
        • Rock Concert - opener and reprise
        • Earth Changes
        • Rock Rap 
        • My Favorite Rock
        • Obwisana -  a rock passing game from Ghana
        • Rock Rondo
          • Students brain stormed rock words to fit 2 beat rhythms
          • Students worked collaboratively in groups to create a word chain
            • two phrases each made of 2 rhythmic building bricks - rock words
            • given an elemental form students worked to say their rhythm, then play their rhythm on rocks 
          • Students reviewed the A section on xylophones
          • We worked to put together a rotating rondo so that all students play the xylophone melody and also get to share their rock word chain
        • Classes which had 5 days enjoyed singing songs of their choosing
      In the next rotation we'll be adding in a few special parts to pull it all together and then share our Rock Concert with parents on Day 4 of the rotation (check your email for details) and then have an in class Talent Time on Day 5.

      Fourth Grade:  (Focus on Melody)
      • Students reviewed treble clef note names - from the b below the staff to the b above the staff
        • Students completed the 50 in 5 challenge - a 5 minute timed note naming challenge
      • Students worked further on a couple of pieces for their future Colorado Connection sharing
        • Symbol Song
          • students reviewed the parts all will sing together
          • students chose one of 5 verses to sing as a part of a small group
        • Cheyenne Hand Game Melody
          • Students reviewed the melody, which is in vocables
          • Students were introduced to the rock passing (hiding) game for team play
          • Accompaniment patterns on traditional Native American instruments (drum, rasp and corn rattle) were reviewed
          • We put it together with two teams - one playing instruments and singing, one passing the rock
      • Recorder
        • Students reviewed the fingering and technique for B, A, G and low E
        • Students chose between 4 different Railroad themed songs - working in small groups to learn them.  Each piece has the same 4 notes and are similar, but have different challenges.
      • Classes which had 5 days enjoyed singing songs of their choosing

      Fifth Grade: Focus on Melody including Layered melodies

      Our focus was on reading melodic notation and layering melodies.  We reviewed simple rhythm (2 eighths on a beat rather than the 3 in compound rhythms)
      • Students reviewed treble clef note names - from the b below the staff to the b above the staff
        • Students completed the 50 in 5 challenge - a 5 minute timed note naming challenge
      • Using a piece that I composed, called Quickie Quodlibet, students worked in 4 small groups to decode a 4 measure melody using this process:
        • Class and say the rhythm
        • Say the pitch names in order
        • Say the pitch names in rhythm
          • Once all groups were this far, we reviewed the recorder fingerings needed to play the piece
        • Add the fingering for the notes (chin practice) with recorder
        • Play
      • Students worked to play their part of the piece at the same tempo
      • Students were introduced to a layered form called a Quodlibet where each part is introduced alone and then layered with everything that came before:
        • I
        • II
        • I / II
        • III
        • I / II / III
        • IV
        • I / II / III / IV
        • Some classes were able to add an accompaniment as well, repeating the last tutti section to add a conga part
      • Student Compositions
        • Students were tasked with creating their own melody for recorder (also 4 measures long in an elemental form) using simple rhythms and the same pitch set we had been playing together.  
        • Students notated their compositions using a 5-line staff (rhythm and pitch)
        • Students heard each other's pieces and chose a partner with a contrasting / complementary melody to pair with for layering their melodies
        • We shared performances (volunteers only) and played a game called "Stand Up if you're the Composer" as a wrap up
      • Classes which had 5 days enjoyed singing songs of their choosing


      Friday, October 5, 2018

      Second "Week" (rotation) - September 10 - October 5, 2018

      In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our second rotation together, here's what we did:

      Kindergarten: (focus on beat and timbre)
      • Continued opening song / gathering routine to start each class period  "Such a Makin' a Circle
        • Exploring new verses with physical motions to show the 'heart beat' of the song
      • Finished giving individual student their turn to take a solo walk / run to the poem "Let's Go Walking" and adding their name to our class chart based on the number of claps (syllables) in their name.
      • Continued exploring the space with different locomotor (traveling) steps, without bumping into others - navigating through shared space
      • The All-Day Kindies also explored the space with a couple of directed singing games:  Look at How I'm walking and Back to Back/Face to Face.  We explored different step vocabulary for locomotor (traveling) motions.
      • 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 students were introduced to the Click instruments.
          • claves
          • woodblock and tone blocks
          • temple blocks and piccolo blocks
          • tap-a-taps
          • tongue drum or slit-log drum
          • whip / slap-stick
          • rhythm sticks
          • castanets
        • Students were introduced to the names of the instruments and playing technique for each particular instrument.  We passed them around the circle, matching the beat.
        • Using the instruments of the click family - we played a game called, "Listen"
          • Students had to identify the instrument they heard - by sound only.
        • All day Kindergarten classes extended their music experience exploring musical opposites - short and long; high and low.
          • We read Opposites by Sandra Boynton and then talked about musical opposites
          • We moved to high and low sounds and learned about notes going up and down with our voices in a story called "Wiggle and Waggle" who lived in a very hilly town.
          • After we had learned about the click instruments (a very short sound), students made an art piece by drawing in response to click sounds (short) and the finger cymbal (long).
      • Classes that had 5 days in this rotation (White, Gold and Red schedules) enjoyed a Folk Dance Favorites day- a chance to learn and explore some folk dances - including Jump, Jim Joe and Shoo Fly.

      First Grade: (focus on melody / pitch with experience playing the tonebars
      • Students learned a greeting song, "Good Afternoon" - to start the class.  As we sang, we shook hands while building a line.  As we got secure at this, we also 'erased' the line as we went to instruments.  
      • We turned the speech piece learned in the last rotation, One Two Tie My Shoe, into a Sol-Mi song and added some 4 beat accompaniment patterns on tone bars - xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels - reading tah/rest patterns
        • 4 different beat patterns - used as an ostinato to accompany the Sol-Mi melody
        • Then two patterns were combined - for an 8 beat ostinato
        • All 4 patterns combined for a 16-beat pattern
          • Students read the patterns while singing the song
        • We extended this with a B section melody using an ascending pattern - ABA form
      • Focusing on the pitches Sol - Mi and then adding La, students participated in an activity I call "Around the Instruments".
        • Students did echo singing of melodic patterns while also playing the melodic pattern on their tone bar instrument.  Students rotated to play on every size and type of instrument.
        • Additionally students sight-sang/played some patterns from notation and figured out some patterns by ear, rather from the solfeggio syllables or notation.
      • Melodic Dictation
        • Students notated sol-mi-la patterns on a two-line musical staff
      • Students learned a singing/movement game:  Willoughby in a long-aways set.
      • Some classes (White, Red and Gold schedules which had 5 days ) -  enjoyed a Folk Dance Favorites day.

      Second Grade: (Focus on Melody and beat accompaniment) Sol-Mi-La and Mi-Re-Do patterns
      • Students learned/reviewed a greeting song, "Good Afternoon" - to start the class.  As we sang, we shook hands while building a line.  As we got secure at this, we also 'erased' the line as we went to instruments.  
      • We turned One Two Tie My Shoe (speech piece learned in the last rotation) into a Sol-Mi-La song and added some 4 beat accompaniment patterns on tone bars - xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels - reading tah/rest patterns
        • 4 different beat pattern - used as an ostinato to accompany the Sol-Mi melody
        • Then two patterns were combined - for 8 beats
        • All 4 patterns combined for a 16-beat pattern
        • Students read the patterns while singing the song
      • Focusing on the pitches Sol-Mi-La and then Mi-Re-Do, students participated in an activity I call "Around the Instruments".
        • Students echo sang patterns while also playing the melodic pattern on a tone bar instrument.  Students rotated to play on every size and type of instrument.
        • Students also sight-sang and played some patterns from notation and figured out some patterns by ear, rather than from the solfeggio syllables or notation.
      • Melodic Dictation
        • Students notated sol-mi-la patterns on a two-line musical staff and then on a 5-line staff; notation of mi-re-do patterns on a five-line staff was introduced, too
      • Students learned a singing/movement game:  Willoughby in a long-aways set.
      • Some classes (White, Red and Gold schedules which had 5 days ) -  enjoyed a Folk Dance Favorites day.

      Third Grade:
      • This grade level began learning songs and pieces for their "Rock Concert" - a parent sharing that ties in with a classroom Science unit. 
        • Rock Concert - opener and reprise
        • Earth Changes
        • Rock Rap 
          • Students chose one of three parts that layer together and the corresponding verse
        • Obwisana -  a rock passing game from Ghana
          • Students have worked on passing rocks around a community circle to the macro (big) beat in different directions; the goal being that all start with one rock and end with one rock - trying to bring the same rock back to where it started
        • Rock Rondo
          • Students learned the A section on xylophones
          • In the next rotation we'll be creating some contrasting sections with speech (rock vocabulary words) and playing them on rocks
        • Some classes (White, Red and Gold schedules which had 5 days ) -  enjoyed a Folk Dance Favorites day.

      Fourth Grade:  (Focus on Meter and Time Signatures)
      This rotation the focus was on Meter - taught primarily by Mrs. Arbuckle for her teacher work sample.  Mrs. Arbuckle is finishing up the elementary portion of her student teaching with this week 2 rotation and will be moving on to her Secondary school assignment after fall break.  Thank you, Mrs. Arbuckle!
      • Students used an app called Plickers for both the pre and post assessment on Meter
      • Students were introduced to a couple of pieces for their future Colorado Connection sharing and learned a lot of things about meter along the way_
        • Sweet Betsy from Pike - a piece in a meter of 3
        • Stegasaurus Stomp - a piece for Soprano Recorder in a meter of 4
        • Symbol Song - a vocal piece in a meter of 4
        • Cheyenne Hand Game Melody - a piece in a meter of 2
          • Students learned to sing the melody, which is in vocables
          • Accompaniment patterns on traditional Native American instruments (drum and rasp) were added to emphasize the meter
      • Activities focusing on Meter
        • conducting patterns in 2, 3 and 4
        • moving to strong and weak beat patterns, matching drum and piano examples
        • defining meter as a grouping (pattern) of strong and weak beats
        • the purpose and placement of bar lines corresponding to a time signature or meter signature and what each number in the time signature refers to
        • vocabulary - time signature or meter signature, meter, bar lines, final bar line, measure
        • students practiced placing bar lines in various musical examples
        • listening to identify the meter of a piece
        • students played a game of Meter tag, moving only on the strong beats
      • Some classes (White, Red and Gold schedules which had 5 days ) -  enjoyed a Folk Dance Favorites day.

      Fifth Grade: (Compound Rhythms and Layering in a Drum Circle)

      Our focus was on compound rhythms (when there are 3 eighth notes falling on the macro beat - as in 6/8 or 12/8) and layering rhythms in a drum circle performance piece.
      • We began by reviewing basic strokes on the drum - Bass and Tone - using our classroom circle of tubanos
      • We did some echo playing and question/answer responses with text and only as a rhythmic response
      • Students were introduced to the drum ensemble piece, Jack Be Nimble (arr. by percussionist Jim Solomon) by listening to the main conga rhythm and 'finding' words to match it from early childhood remembrances.
      • After everyone was solid on the main rhythm, we learned additional, complementary rhythm / drum patterns 
        • One for the bongos and high drums (tri-ple-tee tahm / tri-ple-tee tahm)
        • One for the low drums (tahm, tahm, tahm, tri-ple-tee - bass, tone, bass, tone/tone/tone)
        • One for the bass drums / buffalo drums (tahm rest tahm rest tahm tahm tahm rest)
      • Students rotated to play every part.
      • Students were introduced to the traditional compound rhythm notation and read patterns in 12/8
      • We experimented with various ways of layering and starting and stopping - each class creating their own form for their final performance
      • On our fourth day, every class made a video recording which is posted on the In the Spotlight page of this blog.  Check it our!
      • Some classes (White, Red and Gold schedules which had 5 days ) -  enjoyed a Folk Dance Favorites day.
      In the next rotation 5th graders will come back to playing recorder with a focus on melody learning about another type of layered piece - a Quolibet.  Students will be creating and notating their own melody pattern to fit collaboratively with a partner's.

      Friday, September 7, 2018

      First Rotation in Music (August 13-September 7)

      In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our first rotation together, here's what we did:

      Kindergarten:
      • Opening song / gathering routine to start each class period  "Such a Makin' a Circle
        • Explored new verses with physical motions to show the 'heart beat' of the song
      • Over time each individual student has a turn to take their solo walk / run to the poem "Let's Go Walking" and we then added their name to our class chart based on the number of claps (syllables) in their name.  We'll finish with this in the next rotation, making sure everyone gets a turn.
      • We began exploring the space with different locomotor (traveling) steps, without bumping into others
      • The All-Day Kindies also explored the space with a couple of directed singing games:  Look at How I'm walking and Back to Back/Face to Face.  We explored different step vocabulary for locomotor (traveling) motions.
      In the coming weeks Kindergarten students will be introduced to the various un-pitched percussion instruments by timbre groupings.


      First Grade:
      • We began with a movement/listening game Move and Stop.  
      • We established some expectations for working together in the Music Room and did some Name Game activities so I could learn and re-learn everyone's names
      • Drum Game Song - alternating singing / stepping to a drum beat, traveling in the shared space
      • Speech and Hand Drum piece, One, Two, Tie My Shoe in an AB Form (look for a video clip on the In the Spotlight page)
        • Discovered that AB pattern of the piece by listening
        • Students spoke the rhyme (A) and the contrasting B section
        • Added locomotor (walk) on the A and non-locomotor (stationary) beat on the B
        • Added a hand drum pattern (tah, tah, rest, rest) playing on the numbers in the rhyme
        • Introduced the musical symbols [quarter note and quarter rest] for tah and rest in the hand drum part
        • Added 8 different unpitched percussion instruments to the B section - all students had turns to play them
      • Used music symbols (tah / rest) to practice Rhythmic Dictation with stick notation and Rhythm Reading patterns
      • Some classes (Black and White schedule) enjoyed a Folk Dance Friday
      In the coming weeks we'll turn One Two Tie My Shoe into a Sol-Mi song and add some accompaniment on tone bars reading tah/rest patterns.  Our focus will shift to melody.

      Second Grade:
      • We began with a movement/listening game Move and Stop.  
      • We established some expectations for working together in the Music Room and did some Name Game activities so I could learn and re-learn everyone's names
      • Drum Game Song - alternating singing / stepping to a drum beat the length of the phrase, traveling in the shared space - adding students playing the drums
      • Speech and Hand Drum piece, One, Two, Tie My Shoe in an AB Form (look for a video clip on the In the Spotlight page)
        • Discovered that AB pattern of the piece by listening
        • Students spoke the rhyme (A) and the contrasting B section
        • Added locomotor (walk) on the A and non-locomotor (stationary) beat on the B
        • Added a hand drum pattern (tah, tah, rest, rest) playing on the numbers in the rhyme
        • Added 8 different unpitched percussion instruments to the B section - all students had turns to play them
        • Extended the B section
        • Performed in ABABA form
      • Discovered the rhythm of the rhyme and the hand drum part
      • Used music symbols (tah / rest / tee-tee) to practice Rhythmic Dictation with stick notation and Rhythm Reading patterns
      • Some classes (Black and White schedule) enjoyed a Folk Dance Friday
      In the coming weeks we'll turn One Two Tie My Shoe into a pentatonic song and add some accompaniment on tone bars reading tah/rest patterns.


      Third Grade:
      • We began with a movement/listening game Move and Stop.  
      • We established some expectations for working together in the Music Room and did some Name Game activities so I could learn and re-learn everyone's names. 
      • We spent a week exploring a folksong, Wake Me, Shake Me
        • Students listed to the song and discovered the rests
        • Students worked collaboratively to create a partner movement sequence that filled in the rests and had a movement over a phrase - sharing ideas until a class choreography emerged
        • Students were re-introduced to the tonebars - reviewing care of the instruments and mallet technique 
        • Students were introduced and practiced two different accompaniments patterns to play while singing the song:
          • a broken bordun on the quarter note pulse, with an extension of a cross-over bordun 
          • a half note pattern in a cluster of two notes moving from high to low
        • These were layered together, students rotated to play both parts 
        • The piece was extended through improvisation - creating new melodies in the moment - using a pentatonic tone set with the rhythm of the song
        • Look for a video clip of the ABA form of this piece on the In the Spotlight page
      • Some classes (Black and White schedule) enjoyed a Folk Dance Friday
      In the coming weeks we'll get started on songs and pieces for the Rock Concert - a parent sharing that ties in with a classroom Science unit. 


      Fourth Grade:
      • We began with a movement/listening game Move and Stop.  
      • We established some expectations for working together in the Music Room and did some Name Game activities so I could learn and re-learn everyone's names. 
      • We spent a week exploring a folksong, Wake Me, Shake Me
        • Students listed to the song and discovered the rests
        • Students worked collaboratively to create a partner movement sequence that filled in the rests and had a movement over a phrase - sharing ideas until a class choreography emerged
        • Students were re-introduced to the tonebars - reviewing care of the instruments and mallet technique 
        • Students were introduced and practiced two different accompaniments patterns to play while singing the song:
          • a broken bordun on the quarter note pulse and a cross-over bordun 
          • a half note pattern in a cluster of two notes moving from high to low
        • These were layered together, students rotated to play both parts 
        • The piece was extended through improvisation - creating new melodies in the moment - using a pentatonic tone set with the rhythm of the song
        • Look for a video clip of the ABA form of this piece on the In the Spotlight page
      • One class (Black schedule) enjoyed a Folk Dance Friday.
      • There was an assembly to introduce Band and Orchestra instruments to the grade level

      In the coming week 4th graders will be introduced to a couple of pieces for their Colorado Connection sharing and learn some things about Meter.

      Fifth Grade:

      • We began with a movement/listening game Move and Stop.  
      • We established some expectations for working together in the Music Room and did some Name Game activities so I could learn and re-learn everyone's names. 
      • We spent a week exploring a folksong, Wake Me, Shake Me
        • Students listed to the song and discovered the rests
        • Students worked collaboratively to create a partner movement sequence that filled in the rests and had a movement over a phrase - sharing ideas until a class choreography emerged
        • Students were re-introduced to the tonebars - reviewing care of the instruments and mallet technique 
        • Students were introduced and practiced two different accompaniments patterns to play while singing the song:
          • a broken bordun on the quarter note pulse and a cross-over bordun 
          • a half note pattern in a cluster of two notes moving from high to low
        • These were layered together, students rotated to play both parts 
        • The piece was extended through improvisation - creating new melodies in the moment - using a pentatonic tone set with the rhythm of the song
        • Look for a video clip of the Rondo form (ABACA) with movement of this piece on the In the Spotlight page
      • One class (Black schedule) enjoyed a Folk Dance Friday.
      • There was an assembly to introduce Band and Orchestra instruments to the grade level
      In the coming week 5th graders will be introduced to a compound time (6/8) through a drum circle piece.

      Tuesday, August 7, 2018

      Ready, Set, Go!!!

      It's so exciting to be at the start of a new school year here at Gold Rush!
      I think it's going to be fabulous year - full of learning and making great music together.    
      I am so glad I can continue to be a part of such a great school community!

      Just to let you know what to expect, it's my plan to post a new blog at the end of each four week cycle to recap the highlights of those weeks in music - with details for each grade level.  
      Along the way I'll add pages with links to the work we're doing in class 
      (video, audio and photos), plus information about specific programs and events.

      If you want to brush up on our opening sing-along for the 1st day of school, 
      you'll find a practice track to This Land is Your Land on the Music to Practice page.

      In the meantime, cheers to a terrific school year.  Whoo-hoo!