Thursday, December 20, 2012

2nd Grade discovers rhythmic dictation

Last month, the 2nd graders worked with rhythmic dictation (listen then write what you hear). Each student had a partner and a page to work with while we listened. We listened to the 4 beat rhythm twice before trying to write it down. It was tough to work together, but everyone worked out a system to complete their work quickly and easily.
 Working together to get the job done!

 Waiting for others so we can share!
When students completed their listening, one of the teams was invited up to the SMART board to present their work to the class.  The fun part of this listening exercise was tapping the black rectangle on the SMART board, which revealed if the team had listened really well!

Showing our work to the class! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

1st Grade Snowman Dances

First Grade has been listening to selections from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker this month.  Over the last few music classes, we have composed a snowman dance to the 'Trepak' movement of this piece.  Using music educator Tracy King's snowman designs, the children created a series of movements to accompany this piece of music.  Classes had the opportunity to choose their motions from the pictures shown in class.

Here is what Ms. Conrad's class chose:

and what Ms. Kotarba's class chose:

We talked through the form (order) of this piece which follows an ABAC pattern.  Enjoy the 1st grader's Snowman Dances!

Ms. Kotarba's Class

2nd Grade Composes

2nd grade has been hard at work composing and practicing a song about Fairy Tales.  We all had the opportunity to work in groups to create parts of our song.  Each class was divided into 5 groups and given a snowman outline.  Students worked together to use the bottom part of the snowman to write their rhythm and lyrics for their part of the song.  After our first day of work, most of our projects looked like this:

 During our second day of work, students gave their snowman a melody in the snowman's midsection.  Each group had a soprano glockenspiel in which they could experiment with three pitches, So La and Mi to create the melody for their part of the song.

 The finished product included the dynamic marking in the top part of the snowman.  Not many groups reached this part of the project but all groups worked hard to complete as much of their part of the song as they could.
Here is a finished product:

I took the completed student projects and pieced them all together, adding a beginning and ending to help the piece feel complete.  We have practiced and will perform our song this week!

Students performed their song at the Holiday Sing on December 21.  It took two takes before we were able to capture this video of the 2nd grade singing their creation and you can hear how difficult we made our song- we had no idea!  I hope you all enjoy their composition!

It's always a Good Time in Music

5th Grade has been working on a project that we hope to show soon!  All I can say is that we are having a Good Time!  Check it out!

Friday, December 14, 2012

1st Grade performs "Romper, Stomper and Boo"

The 1st Graders had a glorious time performing "Romper, Stomper and Boo", a story from our series Spotlight on Music.   We worked on Piano (soft sounds) and Forte (loud sounds) and worked with different instruments.  We took several music classes to get everything just right for our video performances to share with our families at home.  It was so much fun and the singers really took a lot of pride in their work.
Unfortunately, my video camera has failed and did not allow me to load the videos into a format you can see at home.  Don't worry!  Many more creative videos are to come- maybe even before Winter Break!  Fingers crossed!

Kindergarten Acting

Kindergarten has been learning many things in the Music room.  We have been focusing on following the heartbeat on paper and on the board (tracking) and on fast vs. slow.  Fast and slow have been loads of fun!  We have learned several songs including 'The Old Gray Cat', a song from our series, Spotlight on Music. 

We learned 'The Old Gray Cat' first by using our visual literacy skills to talk through the story and the challenging vocabulary words found in the song.  For example, the cat does not come sneaking, he comes creeping and the mice are not eating but rather nibbling the cheese.  So if your Kindergartner has been telling you that he or she is nibbling dinner and learned that word in Music class, it's true!

One of the last things we did with this song was to act it out.  We had such a BALL!  I was able to take a few videos of their acting skills, but unable to post them due to some glitches with my video camera.  The singers and I will take some new videos to share with you soon.

4th Grade Foley Art

4th Graders are currently working on a project in Art, Music and Literacy centered around tall tales.  In music class, students are adding the sound effects to accompany the tall tales written in class and the shadow puppets made in art to create a performance piece to perform in the music room.  We have spent some time watching how the professionals recreate sounds for movies and television.  Here are some of the videos we've watched.

LA Times

Gary Hecker

We have been amazed by their work!  It is giving us lots of ideas for our performaces.  Students have been using the music room instruments to experiment and create the best sounds to accompany their shadow puppet plays.  I can't wait to see the final production!  Look for some videos after Winter Break of their amazing work!