At the beginning of the school year, a student in Grade 2 French asked if he could bring his harmonica and perform for the class. I love when students share what they do musically outside of school, so of course I was open to the idea! The best part about the talent sharing is that the students took it upon themselves to remember when they have music class and get permission from their parents to bring their instrument to school. #shareyourtalent is completely student driven! It is also a great opportunity to discuss appropriate audience behaviour and practice what we do before, during and after a performance (most importantly, we clap to show our support!).
Here are some photos of one the Grade 2 students playing a few pieces on violin. She also showed the class different parts of the instrument and explained that she has to practice every day. At the end of class, the students were buzzing with excitement! In the coming weeks, we will have a singing performance, dance and some more violin.
It was an exciting day in Grade 3/4 this week! We had our first class using the barred instruments, practicing a "bordun" accompaniment. The bordun pattern follows the words: "Will you, be my friend?".
We started by watching a video of how to properly use the barred instruments, then practiced the bordun rhythm pattern on our legs. Next, we used finger tips on the instruments, and once we mastered THAT, we got to use mallets! The students are still working on instrument technique, like no pointer fingers on the mallets, but rather holding the mallets like you are riding a bicycle. Next week we will add a voice part to go along with the bordun accompaniment.
This week we started guitar in all Grades 5-8 classes. Our first class involved learning the parts of the guitar, string names and how to read a fret diagram. Our first chord was the D Major chord. For extra practice at home, here is a great YouTube lesson!
Here are the Grade 7/8s from Ms. Hampton's class working on their hand position for the D chord!
K-2: Non-pitched percussion instruments
Grade 3/4: Introduction to Orff instruments (barred instruments like xylophones, metalaphones and glockenspiels)
Grade 5-8: Introduction to guitar
On Thursday night, we had a potluck dinner with many families at ÉCCS. Everyone brought a dish to share and we gathered for great food and conversation. A highlight of the evening was a performance by the Grade 3/4 students singing, "Things I am Thankful For". Both French and English students performed, and we had a great turnout of 15 students - impressive, considering it was a very cold and snowy evening! I am very proud of how hard the students worked to prepare for performance. We had a short preparation time - only two classes - and it was evident that these students love to sing! I am looking forward to more performing opportunities in the future.
Here is a short video clip of the performance, captured by Mrs. Daelick.
In the grade 5/6 classes, we just finished working on soundscape stories. In groups, students chose a fairy tale story and created background music using percussion instruments. Each group experimented with traditional and non-traditional ways to use the instruments and make sound effects for their stories.
On Monday, M. Ingola's class shared their stories and entertained the class with their unique ideas and dramatic reneditions of the fairy tales.
On Friday, September 30, the Connaught Comets celebrated Orange Shirt Day. The entire school came to the gym for a special assembly that included at procession led by Terrance Littletent and an opening prayer by Life Speaker Noel Starblanket. Two students shared their writing about what Orange Shirt Day means to them and how they are rewriting history with their families.
One of my favourite parts of the day was in the morning. The entire school went on a walk (two laps around the school) with posters, banners and our orange shirts to emphasize that every child matters. As we walked along the school fence, lots of cars on the Lewvan honked their horns in support. It was a very special moment to see every student in the school gathered together for the same reason!
Every Child Matters
Lucky me! I teach arts education to all K-8 students :)