Our 4th graders have been building their ensemble skills, reviewing how to read treble clef and playing a lot of music together this past month. Each piece that we learn and arrange is composed of small, repeating patterns. Each student learns every part and gets to practice each one alone and with the group. Once it's time to create a final arrangement of a song our students gravitate towards a part that they feel showcases their best playing. Here, a class is learning a 3-part arrangement of Viva la Vida by Coldplay. They make it look easy but putting the syncopated part together with the drums is quite challening!
First graders have been singing so many new songs this month! They have learned "Pierce is For People", "Five Fat Turkeys", "The Owl and the Pumpkin", "Peace Like a River", "I Love My Rooster" and a beautiful song about gratitude called "Deep and Wide". They've also been enjoying two song-stories in class: "Bear Snores On" and "Over the River and Through the Woods". Ask your child to sing one of their favorites from class for you. They have worked so hard to learn these new songs and sing them so beautifully. This video clip shows a class working on "Deep and Wide". They have mastered the chorus and are learning the verses below.
Students have also been honing their decoding skills with rhythmic patterns. They have been matching speech with rhythm and writing "mystery phrases" for partners to decipher. On this day, the theme was the weather. "I got struck by lighting" becomes a four beat pattern using eight notes and quarter notes. "Last weekend felt like summer" becomes ta ta-di ta--di ta-di.
Our kindergarteners have been so busy! This fall, they've been working on building classroom routines like beginning each class with a greeting song and differentiating between their singing, talking, whispering and calling voices. They have been exploring creative movement through a game we call "Magic Drum" and songs like "Blowing in the Wind" and "Falling Leaves". It's been wonderful to see them connect ways of moving their bodies to the words used in the song describing the movement of leaves. They are such expressive and joyful people!
Students have been practicing staying flexible, working with partners and taking turns through cooperative games like Pumpkin Patch and Apple Tree. Lastly, we are always working towards developing a sense of steady beat. This is a skill that any musician needs and it can take time to develop. Students have the opportunity to internalize beat through every game, song, dance or activity in kindergarten. Ask your child to sing you a song or teach you a game!
Students have been busy singing, playing, dancing and listening to music in each class. This month, they have been singing and playing the song "Autumn is Here". This is an additive song that combines many different verses and instrument parts. They love the challenge! They have also been playing a game called "Pass the Pumpkin". This game reinforces steady beat and allows students to practice singing in a minor key while developing their musical independence playing xylophone, glockenspiel, rainstick and vibraslap. Students have also been practicing a tricky body percussion routine set to "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg. We hope to share a final performance of it here soon.
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