It is hard to believe that there is only about one month left of school! Here is what we have been working on in the music room at ÉCCS.
Maternelle - The students are busy planting seeds and growing veggies. Our focus has been on cute songs like "Watch the Garden Grow", which go through all the steps to make a beautiful garden!
Grade 1/2 - After a few weeks with the classic, 'Peter and the Wolf' (or Pierre et le loup"), we are moving into 'Carnival of the Animals'. This has been an excellent study of different instrument families and understanding the qualities that make each instrument unique. In addition, we are reading different stories about each animal in 'Carnival' to help us make predictions about the elements of the songs (high/low; fast/slow; long/short; loud/soft)
Grade 3/4 - Students learned about each instrument family (Strings, Percussion, Woodwinds and Brass) and demonstrated their ability to categorize each instrument.
Grade 5/6 - Earlier in the month, we started with a music and movement study. In groups, students were required to create a class warm up. We are currently heading into our final project: creating a product and commercial to advertise the product. This project pulls all the arts education strands together: Music, Dance, Drama and Visual Art.
Grade 7/8 - The past month has been a very exciting (at least in my opinion!) study of the jazz and more specifically, the 12-Bar Blues. First, students completed a web quest that had students research different types of blues songs from all decades. Next, students learned the call and response form of the blues and made their own lyrics. Finally, we went through the 12-Bar Blues form on the barred instruments with some jazz backing tracks. Students demonstrated their ability to hear the chord changes while playing! It was a really awesome class that brought all their knowledge together!
Looking forward to a fun and exciting June. We will be getting outside in the sunshine with some folk dancing and more!
Today was an awesome day in Arts Ed with M. Ingola's Grade 5/6 students! We put together a six-part Orff arrangement for one of our West African folk songs, "Funga Alafia". It was wonderful to see how the step-by-step model of learning different instruments and rhythms worked when we put everything together. Students took turns playing different parts: Soprano Xylophones, Alto Xylophones, Bass Xylophones/Metallophones, drums, shakers and singing! Here is a clip of when we really started to get into the groove:
During the month of March, we studied music from around the world in all grade levels. In particular, we looked at music from Western Africa.
This month, we are using one of our folk songs and creating different arrangements using Orff and non-pitched percussion instruments. Each grade level will experiment with improvising using set melodies and learning to read to sheet music. We hope to put everything together for the "Farewell to Connaught on 4th" potluck at the end of the month!
Welcome back after a delightful February break. Over the next 7 weeks (until Easter break), we will be exploring music and dance from around the world. We start our study with world drumming and songs originating from Western Africa.
Kindergarten - Grade 2: The main goal is to keep a steady beat while drumming, perform 2-beat echos and start creating repetitive rhythmic patterns (also called rhythmic ostinatos)
Grade 3/4: We extend our skills by adding syncopated rhythms (off-beat rhythms) on the drums and begin adding more layers with the use of non-pitched percussion instruments.
Grade 5/6: We are currently building our repertoire of drum patterns through technical practice. Eventually we will use these patterns in improvising.
Grade 7/8: The goal is perform an ensemble piece with multiple layers - different rhythmic patterns, non-pitched percussion instruments, singing and dance.
Here are some photos of our Grade 1 and 2 students working through body percussion stations. In pairs, one student was the "pointer" or conductor, and the other students was the performer.
Grade 1-2: Students are creating their own body percussion compositions. We have practiced different snapping, patting, stomping and snapping patterns. Now we make our own patterns!
Grade 3/4: The goal this week is to learn two chords - C and G7 (modified single string chords). When we master this, we can start playing well known folk tunes, like Skip to My Lou and Happy Birthday.
Grade 5/6: We are continuing our STOMP projects. Two more work periods before we perform during the last week before the February break.
Grade 7/8: This week we are working to create a positive classroom culture so we can take risks during improv exercises in drama.
This week, the Grade 5/6 classes started working on their STOMP projects. Each group had to come up with "instruments" (any school or household item!) and a main theme or "A section". The students were guided to choose items that have different kinds of sounds like: low (a drum), metal and "colour" (mimicking a shaker instrument). The goal is to have some sound variety in the presentations. The students were also asked to make sure every group member has a role while maintaining a steady beat. Here are the students in action:
Here is a video of one group trying out some different ideas for their main theme:
Happy 2017! January is one of my favourite times of the year because students (and teachers!) are refreshed from a nice break and routines are set in place. For the next 6 weeks, we have a few exciting things planned in Arts Education at ÉCCS!
Grade 1-2: We are exploring a unit on body percussion - which is basically using your body (patting, snapping, clapping, stomping, etc) to create different music patterns. The goal at the end of the unit is to create our own compositions that show an understanding of beat and rhythm.
Grade 3-4: Guitar! These students have patiently waited for this unit since they saw the guitar wall at the beginning of the year. We will begin with a basic study of the instrument, and begin learning modified chords on the guitar - perfect for Grade 3/4 sized hands. By the end of the unit, we will be playing some well known tunes, like "Happy Birthday"!
Grade 5-6: STOMP - using found objects within our school and homes to create sounds compositions that show an understanding of form. We started our unit by watching this film for inspiration: STOMP Out Loud
Grade 7-8: We are changing our focus to the drama strand of arts education. In particuluar, we are exploring humour and how it is used in improvisation, story telling and everyday life. The unit will include lots of fun exercises to build confidence and trust in a drama setting.
Lucky me! I teach arts education to all K-8 students :)