We are busy learning!
Please follow along with our progress!
Ask your student to share what they are learning in class.
The activities below are highlights from our month!
January and February
We are working on learning the instruments of the orchestra as we listen to Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint Saens. We've learned that composers write music and as they write they make many decisions. We listen for high/low, loud/soft, short/smooth, etc. We have begun talking about forte and piano - musical terms for loud and soft. Students love to play a musical version of "hot and cold" to practice singing with dynamics. Around valentine's day students were able to chant rhythms patterns individually. Students have gained so much confidence in this area and are steady beat keepers.
We have read Peter and the Wolf and have been reviewing instruments of the orchestra as we are looking at and listening to the instruments that Sergei Prokofiev used in this orchestral piece. We've been working on singing larger melodic patterns and now know the whole musical scale. Do Re Mi from Sound of Music is helpful in remembering these syllables and we love to sing it! We also will learn a "wacky" version of Do Re Mi. We have learned a couple of folk dances and are learning to work cooperatively with a partner during a dance, but also how to work as a group to perform a mixer - a dance where our partner changes several times during one song.
Our folk dance event was so much fun! Thank you to everyone who came out to join us! Everyone did a fabulous job and I hope that good memories were made! Third graders have moved on to a unit on rhythm. We are learning sixteenth and sixteenth/eighth note combinations. We discussed improvisation and have experienced rhythmic improvisation using the rhythms mentioned above. We also have discussed musical form in more depth and can identify different sections of the music, including the introduction, interludes and coda. It's also fun to use lego bricks as a way to show musical form. We have just started a unit on the science of sound. We will be discussing how each type of instrument (string, brass, woodwind, percussion) makes a sound.
We have been working hard!
We travel to Hope College on March 25th for our LINK UP event with the Holland Symphony Orchestra. This event is for Lakeshore area students. We will be singing and playing pieces along with the professional musicians from HSO. The orchestra will be seated on stage and the entire audience will be filled with fourth graders from around this area. We will sing some pieces and play recorder on others. The snow days these past weeks have cut into our learning time, so please encourage your students to spend some time practicing at home. I have help times posted in both classrooms and students are welcome to stop by for a little extra help.
If your student uses the musicplay site the password and username has changed. They will now enter "love2" and then "sing" to access the materials on the site.
LINK UP materials can also be accessed on the internet. Just google "carnegie hall link up the orchestra sings"
Our trip to the Grand Rapids Symphony was wonderful! Prior to attending we listened to and discussed music written by Bach, Beethoven, Sousa, Rossini, Rimsky-Korsakov and Gabby Frank. We reviewed the instruments of the orchestra and discussed proper audience etiquette. Students also created art work to accompany one of the pieces and several were shown on the big screen at the actual concert! Students will travel to the middle school soon to hear the band, choir and orchestra. They will be bringing home a music sign up sheet for next year. The music programs at the Middle School are outstanding.
November and December
We now know "La" and are better able to communicate the relationship between musical notes. Students can discuss whether notes step, skip or repeat. We are focusing on reading rhythmic notation and can even hear a simple song and then be "detectives" to figure out what the rhythm is! We have played simple ostinatos on boomwhackers and xylophones and we enjoyed listening and moving to selections from the Nutcracker. We were able to sing and dance a Hanukkah song, as well as some Christmas favorites. Another highlight was a music station day where we practiced rhythm and pitch concepts with a variety of fun manipulatives.
We continue to practice Sol, La, Mi, Re and Do. Musical stations gave us new ways to practice "writing" these notes. We continue to read rhythms and have discussed musical form. Music has different parts and we are able to show form by moving differently to each part of the music. Students love the opportunity to lead movement for the class. We had lots of fun playing three different instruments to accompany a piece from the nutcracker. We learned what it means to audiate and practiced the concept when we learned The Dredyl song. It was also fun to sing holiday favorites!
We cannot wait for our dance event in January! We have learned five different folk dances and are working on teaching them to you! We have sent two notes home with information about this event. Look for another note to come home the week of January 8th. We've had many good discfussions about teamwork and being a good partner. It's fun to ask students which is their favorite dance - many like different dances for different reasons. We all seem to enjoy "peeling the banana!"
I hope you are hearing playing at home! Recorder is challenging without some extra practice time put in outside of school. I keep stressing to students that I am here to help them, but that they need to stop by at the appropriate time! Please don't forget about musicplayonline.com. This is a fabulous resource for your student. The username is "student" and the password, for now, is "music18"
We have added high C and D to our repertoire! We also know low D and E - this allowed us to play two Christmas songs...Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Jingle Bells! We read a musical score and sang in three parts! We have also started learning "Oye" a piece that we will sing with the Holland Symphony in March!
C, C7, F, Dm, Am, and G7...this means we can play and sing a large number of songs! Students are tuning their own instruments and the strumming and chord transitions continue to improve! We spent a couple of classes learning about a piece that the Grand Rapids Symphony will play for us in February. It is the Scheherazade Suite by Rimsky Korsakov. We now know the stories that the music is based on and will be creating artwork to accompany one of the stories. Holiday Boomwhacker Play Along was another fun activity. Most classes took a peek at a number from the band, orchestra and choir concerts at the middle school. We are getting closer to this next step in music! We have great music programs at both middle schools. Fun musical adventures ahead!
We used several books to work on voice exploration. We enjoyed Happy Birthday Moon and Pout Pout Fish.
We continue to work on reading, chanting and playing rhythms...quarter note "ta" and quarter rest, and eighth notes "ti ti."
We are using our singing voices to sing "skipping notes," SOL and MI
We had fun playing boomwhackers...going up the scale and down the scale.
We know that the smallest instruments make the higher sounds and the bigger instruments make the lower sounds.
We enjoyed some Autumn and Halloween songs and chants.
We have continued to work on half note and half rest. We learned about triplets (three sounds on the beat). The students are able to hear a song and then "discover" the rhythm and notate it.
We enjoyed watching a Broadway Clip from Mary Poppins and discussing this fun genre.
We've learned where DO and RE live on the staff and practice patterns with DO, MI, SOL and LA.
We are beginning to review dynamics.
We are discovering different ways to sing in harmony. We can perform a melody with multiple ostinatos.
We've improved at singing rounds with confidence.
We played Orff instruments along with the fun Halloween book, "Shake Dem Bones."
It was fun to listen to Fugue in d minor by Johann Sebastian Bach.
We have been studying tonality and can describe the difference in sound when hearing major and minor.
A fabulous resource for practicing at home is musicplayonline.
Students can use their username and password to access songs and accompaniment. A note will go home with the username and password the week of November 5th.
We are making great progress on notes B, A, G and E and are ready to add low D!
We had fun learning BA Dancing Zombie!
A few short sessions of practice time at home will really help your child be successful at school. Meeting once a week does not allow students ample time to become comfortable with note name recognition and fingering. Practice at home is necessary and a little bit will go a long way. Please encourage this!
We've learned to tune our ukuleles.
We've can play C, F, Am and Dm chords.
Fun Play Along songs include "Best Day of My Life," and "Can't Stop the Feeling."
We've continued to focus on counting rhythms. Students are gaining confidence with this important concept.
I will normally post at the end of the month, but for September I have given a "preview" of what we will focus on!
We will be working on keeping the steady beat in many different ways.
We will learn about quarter notes - which we label "ta."
We will explore ways to use our voice. Vocal exploration activities are fun...we will use giant pipe cleaners, yarn, bean bags, and even a laser light!
ASK YOUR STUDENT TO DEMONSTRATE SOME DIFFERENT VOCAL SHAPES FOR YOU!
We will work on melodic direction - listening for notes going up and own.
It will be fun to play glockenspiels and drums this month.
We will review steady beat and discuss the difference between steady beat and rhythm.
We will review Sol, La and Mi on the musical staff.
We will sing "Bill Grogan's Goat, and"No More Pie" and we will discuss musical form when we learn a welcome song, called "Funga Alafia." It is fun to drum and dance to!
ASK YOUR STUDENT TO TEACH YOU THIS SONG!
We will learn about the half note, which receives two beats.
We will learn to sing and move to "Gypsy in the Moonlight."
We will also sing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" It will be fun to watch a clip from the Broadway show and we'll discuss tempo and dynamics while learning this song.
A big focus this month will be learning the history of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.
ASK YOUR STUDENT ABOUT THE STORY BEHIND THIS SONG!
They will learn the vocabulary in the song! Please sing this together!
We will review the whole note, which receives four beats.
We will also work on creating harmony by singing a canon, "Make New Friends."
We will be working to learn note names on the musical staff. We will focus on the treble clef as we prepare to learn recorder.
The lines are E G B D F and the spaces are F A C E!
ASK YOUR STUDENT THEIR PHRASE FOR REMEMBERING THE TREBLE CLEF LINES!
A note will come home about purchasing a recorder to have at home. Orders are due by Sep. 21.
We will play a fun music review game with a beach ball.
We will learn a folk song from Israel, "Tzena" and will sing and dance it.
ASK YOUR STUDENT TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU!
We will start to play ukulele! We will learn C7, C, and F chords.
Another big focus will be on counting rhythms with numbers. We will review time signatures and will work to understand how each beat is divided by number. These concepts will help students be successful in band, choir and orchestra next year!