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!
It is hard to believe it is already December! One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is celebrate the diversity of our school populations by looking at holiday celebrations around the word. There are lots of songs, dances, games and stories that guide this exploration.
Kindergarten - Grade 2: we will be looking at celebrations within our school community and have some fun with the music that makes this time of year so great!
Grade 3-4: Last week, we started working on a traditional Iroquois lullaby, "Ho, Ho, Watanay". We are taking the piece one step further on the barred instruments, by learning how to read music on a musical staff and transfer it to the barred instruments.
Grade 5-6: This week, M. Ingola's class completed their final guitar class with some performances from students. Both French and English 5/6 classes will focus on a study of rhtyhm vs. beat this week. Beat is the steady pulse and rhythm is long or short sounds grouped together.
Grade 7-8: Both French and English classes will complete their guitar unit with final performances and assessment. As a mature student, we are working on how to set goals and improve instrumental skills. For example, if the guitar string is not sounding correctly, how can we fix it? Try pushing down harder on the string, or make sure you are not muting the string with another finger.
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!
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.
Lucky me! I teach arts education to all K-8 students :)