To complete our Peter and the Wolf unit, we did two different literacy based activities. The students demonstrated their understanding of the story, and most importantly, they showed that they can recognize different instrument and character themes. We spent a lot of time discussing the qualities of each instrument and how they relate to the characters in the story.
Wolf- french horns
This week we started listening to Prokofiev's, "Peter and the Wolf". We followed the recording using a listening map, and next week we will watch the video. Students were challenged to listen carefully to the different instruments and themes so they could understand the mood and actions of each character. We used this recording:
This listening map was borrowed from the Cincinnati Orchestra's "Classics for Kids" program. It is very interactive and requires students to really think about the music and story.
Welcome back after our Easter break! It is hard to believe there are only two months left in the school year. From now until May long weekend, we will be studying different instruments of the orchestra and the classic orchestral piece, "Peter and the Wolf".
During our first few classes, we sorted instruments into different families: Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion. We are lucky to have an online subscription to "BrainPop Jr." at Grant Road School. There are lots of fun videos and activities to teach students about a variety of topics. We used the website to play instrument sorting games and learn more about the instruments of the orchestra.
This week students will also learn about the different musical themes for each character in Peter and the Wolf!
During the month of March, we explored music and dance from around the world. We began our study with Ghana and Western African music then moved to Ireland to look at traditional Irish dancing in honour of St. Patrick's Day. Over the last week we explored music and dance from Italy, specifically opera.
My younger sister, Emily is currently completing a post baccalaureate in opera studies at the University of Manitoba. This week we video called Emily in Winnipeg and she told us about the singing voice and how she learned to sing. She also gave us a mini-singing lesson and told us about why it is important to warm up our voice before we begin singing. We had the opportunity to ask Emily questions about opera (like "how do you learn to sing in other languages?"; "why do the singers wear costumes?"; "how do you make your voice go so high?"). Finally, Emily performed two different Italian arias and delighted the students with her beautiful singing!
Here are a couple pictures of our video call sessions:
It is hard to believe it is already March! We are back after a nice February break and gearing down for the final few months of school. Here is what we have planned for the next few weeks.
World Music: We started our study by looking at a fun song from Ghana called "Kye, Kye, Kule". It is an echo song that is very catchy. We explored life in Ghana and how it is different from life in Canada. We also watched a great video about the importance of rhythm in Western African culture and how special instruments like a djembé (drum) are made.
In the next few weeks, we will be looking at music and dance from all over the world. Stay tuned for some Irish jigging close to St. Patrick's Day!
Below is a video some school children in South Africa singing "Kye, Kyle Kule" (also called "Che, Che Cooley"). Notice how the leader changes the song using his body to lead the group.
This week our Grade 1 students had the opportunity to create their own body percussion compositions and practice with partners. The students were very focused during the entire process! Check out the pictures below
Grant Road students were very lucky this week because we welcomed four Regina Pats hockey players. Sam Steel, Adam Brooks, Chase Harrison and Josh Mahura came to the school to read to students in a few classes. In Ms. Selimos' Grade 1/2 class, the players came in to join in our dance of the month. Here are some photos of the students and players having fun!
Here are some photos of the Grade 1-2 classes practicing body percussion compositions and making their own songs. I had the students work in small groups with one student as the "pointer" or "beat keeper" (they point to each square and keep a steady beat) and the other student as the "performer"
Welcome back after a restful break for an exciting 2017. We have lots of fun units planned in the next few months, and we are starting January off with one of my favourite units: Body Percussion!
What is body percussion?
Body percussion is using your body as an instrument. This includes snapping, stomping, patting, clapping, voice, etc.
Our goal with this unit is to practice different body percussion songs and emphasize a steady beat and accurate rhythms. At the end of the unit, students will create their own body percussion compositions and share with the class.
Here is a great body percussion video that I used to get students excited about the possibilities of making music with our bodies!
Last night we had the first ever Grant Road Carnival! It was a wonderful evening filled with hot chocolate, crafts, dancing and music. In the gym, we put on a mini-concert with Kindergarten to Grade 2 students and then another mini-band concert featuring Grades 6-8 students.
Here are some student reflections from the concert:
Best wishes for a restful break and a happy and healthy new year!
Arts Ed teacher for Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students at Grant Road School