Let's Sing 3 Column

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!