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:
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!
On Tuesday, December 20, we will be participating in a Winter Carnival all the students and staff at Grant Road School. Preparation has started with my classes (Kindergarten - Grade 2), as we get to put on a mini-performance for families in the gym!
Ms. Selimos' Grade 1/2 and Mrs. Pankewich's Grade 2 students have started learning a really fun rap song called, "SNIRT!". What happens when you mix snow and dirt together? You get snirt! A few students have been asking about a practice video to work on the song at home. Here it is:
The Grade 1 classes have two songs about snowflakes. Here is a video of our "peaceful" snowflake song. We listened to the song and then moved around the room like snowflakes - softly, gently, twirling...
One month until the performance! We can't wait to share our singing with you :)
This week we shared our Remembrance Day performances with the school. Mrs. Pankewich's Grade 2 students learned the bilingual version of 'O Canada':
Mrs. Rempel's Grade 1 class prepared a poem, "Little Poppy", a song called "Sing for Peace" and shared their thoughts on peace:
Over the last few weeks, two classes have been working on pieces for our Remembrance Day Ceremony. The ceremony at Grant Road is unique- we pre-record performances and prepare a PowerPoint slide show that each class watches at the same time in their classrooms. The service is led by two MCs who use the intercom to guide the entire school through the slide show.
Below, Mrs. Pankewich's Grade 2 class (left) is preparing to sing a bilingual version of 'O Canada'. We focused on proper singing technique and French pronunciation.
Mrs. Rempel's Grade 1 class (right) worked hard to present a poem called, 'Little Poppy' and a song called 'Sing for Peace'. Mrs. Rempel and I collaborated on a Remembrance Day video, and we can't wait to share it with you next week!
At the beginning of every class, we go through a series of warm up songs and routines. One of my favourite poems is called, "This is My Speaking Voice". It is an excellent opportunity for students to learn the difference between singing and spoken voices.
"This is my Speaking Voice" (from Music Play by Themes and Variations)
This is my speaking voice.
I use it every day.
This is my whisper voice.
It's quieter this way
This week, students are experimenting with singing a response to a song. This can be nerve-wracking (singing alone in front of the entire class!), so to make it less frightening, I always sing along with the student. Some children ask to do it alone, and then eventually the other students want to try it by themselves as well! These experiences are helpful to develop a child's singing voice and musical ear.
Next week, students will be introduced to "Melody the Elephant". I can't wait!
I can use my singing voice!
Arts Ed teacher for Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students at Grant Road School