Our 5th graders have been very busy learning a digital composition program called Noteflight. This program allows them to compose music, play it back, edit and revise, and ultimately share their final result in a printed score. Today as I worked with students, I heard a project in which a student was recreating a piano piece they are learning. Another student was composing for a brass quintet. Another student was experimenting with a Jazz drum kit and how to create a percussion accompaniment that complimented their vocal line. This type of individualized and personal music making can be hard to manage in a tradition general music class setting, but Noteflight makes this possible. Our PTO helped make this possible too! They generously funded a set of 24 new headphones for my classroom. These headphones allow our students to tune out the world around them and drop into the musical one they are working to create. Thank you Pierce PTO!!!
3rd graders continue to work hard on their music literacy skills and their recorder playing skills. They have mastered our newest note and are working through a few new songs that feature low D. They are also practicing improvisation as we warm up each day and they are getting more comfortable and more creative with the patterns they choose. For the past few classes, they have had the opportunity to transfer this knowledge onto the xylophone! They have been working in pairs to play recorder and xylophone at the same time. It's harder than it looks!
1st graders have been loving this traditional dance called "The Noble Duke of York". Students can practice finding a partner, remembering the sequence of the dance steps, moving to a steady beat, following the musical cues and working with a partner. It also gets them moving, singing and giggling!
Kindergarteners love to dance and they love the surprise of a new partner in each turn of this dance called "Heel and Toe". I love watching them practice being flexible and inclusive as they welcome each new friend for a turn. These kids are such a delight to teach each day!
Our 4th graders have been so excited to finally begin learning recorder. They are doing an amazing job! In just 3 short classes, they have learned how to play a number of songs and are working to produce a consistent, gentle and musical sound. Their excitement is contagious and we have decided that they will perform a few recorder songs at their concert on May 23rd at 8:15 am in the Pierce School Auditorium!
5th graders have been exploring form in music through a piece called "The Viennese Musical Clock" by Zoltan Kodaly. This piece of music is in rondo form. This means there is a repeating "A section" of music after each new section is introduced. Students experienced this pattern through tap charts (see below) that had an icon for every beat in the music. This visual map is really helpful for giving students a more concrete view of an abstract idea. Students worked in small groups to create original choreography for each different section of music. Their movements were inspired by mechanical, automated and robotic machines. Putting this all together required a lot of collaboration and cooperation. I was so proud of the final results!
After completing their movement project as a class, they began to work in pairs using the xylophone to decode the main theme of "The Viennese Musical Clock" piece by ear. We introduced notation and began playing it as an ensemble. This week, they are composing original music in pairs to create a class composition in the rondo style. Looking ahead, students will begin learning the notation program "Noteflight". This program is free and will allow our students to create scores of their compositions to print our and bring home!
Kindergarteners have been decoding quarter note and eighth notes patterns. They really enjoyed using the animals of the Chinese Zodiac to create these rhythmic patterns. You can see some students "building" these patterns with popsicle sticks below. In addition to this rhythm work, we have been singing, dancing and sharing some special stories around celebrating Lunar New Year as well.
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