The Grade 5/6 English students were busy creating and performing their cup song performance this week. The focus was on MUSICAL FORM - using an A section (in our case, everyone did the "regular" cup song pattern) and a B section (something different!).
The Grade 5/6 French students ended the week by rehearsing their chosen guitar songs. Each group picked a song and filled out a fret diagram to use for their practice sessions. Next week we will share some of the performances during class!
In both French and English Grade 3/4 classes, we started learning a traditional Iroquois lullaby called, "Ho, Ho, Watanay". We added a tremolo (quickly repeating one note) using the bass metallophone, a steady drum beat and a simple rhythmic pattern on the alto xylophones while singing the melody. Next week we will learn how to play the melody on the barred instruments. This will include looking at musical staffs and reading notes and rhythms.
I always love this time year of year at school because we are starting to get into a steady groove in all classes. The first couple months are about developing routines and working on the basic skills (reading rhythms, focusing on our singing voices, etc). The end of the year goal is get students improvising and creating music on the spot. As we head towards the middle of the year, we are working on understanding form in music and how to rehearse compositions.
Kindergarten - Grade 2: Using our voices to add sound effects to stories and poems. This allows students to experiment with their voices and instruments and explore elements of music like dynamics and tempo.
Grade 3-4: Students learn a song through the Orff method. They will incorporate singing, movement and instruments and learn how to work collaboratively through music. This week we will focus on exploring the different tone colours of instruments and how they can be used to create a specific mood. Stay tuned for a video of their work!
Grade 5-8: Students are working on guitar songs of their choice and preparing fret diagrams with the chords from each song. One of the classes is also putting together a rhythmic performance using cups (based on the "Cup Song") and showing their understanding of form. At this level, students learn how to troubleshoot and figure out ways to improve their performance. Lots of collaboration takes place!
This week in guitar with the Grade 5/6 French students, we practiced chord changes AND singing a well-known song at the same time. We started with "Happy Birthday", a song everyone has done a million times. To give the students a little extra push, I told them it was my big sister's 40th birthday that day, and that it would be really cool if we could record the whole class playing guitar and singing 'Happy Birthday' to my sister, Mary. After just 3 classes of guitar, here is a video of the students creating the perfect birthday present for my sister! Happy 40th Birthday, Mary!
Lucky me! I teach arts education to all K-8 students :)