Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Show A Grand Success

Thank you all for coming to our holiday show, despite the cold and our leaky auditorium roof. Special thanks to our KDLP friends for helping out.  As for the ensembles, you both did a terrific job!

I'm posting some video clips here, partly to say thanks to all the kids and parents for participating in ensemble.  We will pick things up again in January the first week back with Wednesday recorder ensemble and Thursday Orff ensemble -- 7:20 start on both days.

Have a great holiday everybody!

Third Street Music - Holiday Show - Keetman Canon

Third Street Music - Holiday Show -- Ode To Joy

Third Street Music - Holiday Show - Ahri Rang

Friday, December 12, 2008

Final Week for Fourth Grade!

This week I said good bye to the wonderful fourth grade classes I had this year. We spent the final session arranging parts of some of the songs they wrote this year for the Orff Instrumentarium. The clip you see here is from "Christmas and Hanukkah are Here" by Ella and Christian and arranged by Ms. Yoon's class. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ensembles Week 6 -- Extra practice anyone?

Ensemble Cats -- we had an extra rehearsal of the Orff Ensemble on Friday where we worked on "Arabian Coffee" and "Keetman Canon" and I am scheduling another extra practice for anyone who can make it on Tuesday morning before school.  This is more necessary for Orff as the kids cannot take the instruments home to practice.  Recorder players I assume you are practicing -- if not, get to it.  The show is in ten days!

Here's the program of music:

Orff Ensemble -- "Canon #1," "Wise Old Owl," "Keetman Canon," "Arabian Coffee"
Recorder Ensemble -- "Bransle," "Ah Ree Rhan," "Good King Wenceslas," "Pentatonic Moon," "Ode to Joy"  

There are recordings of all of these songs for you to listen to on this blog -- you just may have to go back to November to find them.  Click on November to the left and look for the titles of the songs.

Mrs. Caruso's class plays "Jingle Bells"

In addition to the repertoire that all Third Grade classes learn, Mrs. Caruso's class learned "Jingle Bells" this year so they could use it in their upcoming production of "The Grinch." Having had two children in previous version of "The Grinch," I can tell you it's a terrific show. Check it out on Monday, December 15!

Here's a small sample to put everybody in the holiday mood.

4th Grade Week Nine -- arranging our songs

This week the 4th grade classes turned in their songs and we began arranging some of them on the Orff instruments (as Ms. Polacheck's class is doing here).  With so many wonderful collaborations, it will not be possible to play all of them in class, but we'll try to find a way to do at least a few.  I'll also be posting some audio clips as they become available on this blog, so keep checking back!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Adieu, Ms. Caruso, Ms. Limb and Ms. Birdy's classes!

It is hard for Jazz Cat and me to believe, but my ten weeks with the 3rd grade classes of Ms. Caruso (assisted by Ms Garcia), Ms. Limb (assisted by Ms. Lee) and Ms. Byham aka Ms. Birdy have come to an end.  I want to thank those teachers and the students for making the classes fun and, I hope, rewarding.

Today was spent reviewing some of the songs we learned and discussing how to accompany and arrange them.  To that end the kids got a chance to try out the Orff instruments they will be using a lot more in 4th grade.  Alas, the videos did not turn out.  I'll try to stop by some of the classrooms and snag some audio files later this week.

As the French (and good recorder articulators) are found of saying -- adieu, mes amis!  I hopw I see a few of you in recorder ensemble.  Ms. Caruso's class -- good luck with your Grinch thang!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More 4th Grade Work from week 8

4th Grade Upcoming Week 9 -- working on our songs

Last week there was no music for 4th grade, leaving you a little extra time to work on your songs.  Does everybody remember the formula?

Your melody goes on lines 1 and 3 of your "Our Song" worksheet.
Your partner's melody goes on lines 2 and 4.
You collaborate on lyrics for at least one of the versions.

Bring the songs to class this week so we can start playing them!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Ah Ree Rhan" -- 3 part Canon

Third graders and recorder ensemble -- in Ms. Limb's class today we talked about how well "Ah Ree Rhan" works as a canon or, as it is sometimes called, a round. You've all heard of "Row Row Row Your Boat?" Same thing here.

Anyway I made this recording of "Ah Ree Rhan" as a three part canon. Check it out.

Third Grade Week 9 -- musicianship & "Ah Ree Rhan"

I met with some the third grade classes today where we spent a lot of time talking about musicianship -- not just playing, but playing well.
This is an attitude students should try to bring to all their studies, not just music.

I'm posting some audio of the second line of  "Ah Ree Rhan."  You all have the music so try to practice this for next week -- and have a great Thanksgiving!

"Good King Wenceslas"

Recorder Ensemble Cats -- if you missed class be sure and get the music from me next week. See what you can work out from listening to this file.  The notes of the first line are G-G-G-A-G-G-D  E-D-E-F#-G-G

Recorder Ensemble -- week 5

Recorder ensemble had a very good rehearsal today as we continue to get ready for our holiday show.

I handed out some new music -- "Good King Wenceslas."  It sounded pretty good when we played through it the first time.  Let's all practice it over the Thanksgiving break.  Remember -- it's just a couple weeks to the show!

Orff Ensemble -- "Keetman Canon"

Orff Ensemble Week 5 -- Special Tuesday Edition!

This week Orff Ensemble met on Tuesday because of the holiday.  We had an excellent rehearsal and began work on the Keetman Canon, which will be our final piece for the holiday show.

I'm posting an audio clip above.  Orff cats -- be sure and listen and, as you do, visualize your mallet work. We only 2 more rehearsals before the show on the 17th.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ensembles Week 4 -- "Ah Ree Rhan" & "Arabian Coffee"

With culture day behind us (again, excellent job, Ensemble Cats) we are focusing our attention on the Holiday Show, which will be on December 17, at 5:30PM.  KDLP 3rd and 4th grade have agreed to participate and we we may get an extra special guest or two.

Recorder ensemble -- you should be working on your songs -- "Pentatonic Moon," "Bransle," "Ode to Joy" and our new song "Ah Ree Rhan" -- audio clips are posted below.  Practice please. 

Orff Ensemble -- as discussed we will be playing "Arabian Coffee" along with our other songs. Here's a sample of the two melodic parts or ostinati that make up our arrangement.  You may not be able to practice but you can listen.  Remember, if you can sing it, you can probably play it.

"Ah Ree Rhan" -- Complete

For recorder ensemble and third graders who want to move forward, here is "Ah Ree Rhan" played at performance speed.

"Ah Ree Rhan" -- first line

Recorder Ensemble Cats and Third Graders -- here is the first line of "Ah Ree Rhan" to practice with. Remember it is in a meter of 3. Also remember to take a breath at the end.

Third Grade Week 8 -- learning "Ah Ree Rhan"

This week in Third Grade recorder we began to learn "Ah Ree Rhan," a well known Korean folk song.  Recorder Ensemble is also learning this piece for the holiday show.  We also learned how to play "F,"thereby completing all the diatonic notes between C and high D.  Nicely done, Third Grade!

Homework -- Listen to the audio samples posted here and work on the first line of "Ah Ree Rhan."  I will quiz you on it next week.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Third Street Culture Day/Orff Ensemble

The 2008-2009 Orff Ensemble also debuted. Here's a brief selection:

Be sure and check out our holiday show December 17!

Third Street Culture Day/Recorder Ensemble

The 2008-2009 Recorder ensemble had its debut this weekend at Culture Day. Here's a sample:

Friday, November 14, 2008

4th Grade Bonus Audio -- "May You Grow in Your Own Sweet Way"

I used this tricky canon to illustrate a point about melody today -- and KDLP fourth grade did such a nice job, I decided to post it.  

More examples of 4th grade work

Fourth Grade Week 7 -- continuing work on our song

For a second week fourth grade worked on developing songs with original melodies.  The first part of the assignment, in which students create a melody along a line and then use that line to inspire a drawing, is for the most part complete.  Here's an example by Eunice.   Next they will be revising their melodies and transferring them to another sheet so that can collaborate with a songwriting partner.

Homework -- those who did not finish the melody strip or drawing finish please.  Everybody then needs to transfer the melody to the work sheets I gave you today.  Your lines are one and three and your partner's are two and four.
Add Video

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Ode to Joy" - Ms. Limb Version

Ms. Limb's class recorded this today and did a very nice job. Jazz Cat says, "check out KDLP's crazy Beethoven groove!"

"Ode to Joy" - Complete

Here's the complete version of "Ode to Joy" as we will be performing it at Culture Day and in music class next week

"Ode to Joy" - 3rd line (practice speed)

Third Graders and ensemble -- here is the third line (measures 9-12) of "Ode to Joy." The fingering is tricky so take your time!

Third Grade Week 7 -- Finishing up "Ode to Joy" and learning about performance anxiety

This week third grade learned the third and most difficult line of our "Ode to Joy" arrangement.  We also had our first performance test, which most of the students did well on. This seemed like a good time to talk about performance anxiety and how it makes playing in front of people different from practice.  Fortunately, Jazz Cat, a veteran club performer, was on hand to dispense advice.

Homework -- work on the third line of "Ode to Joy" and those who are ready can begin work on "Ahri-Rhan."  Remember -- you need to be practicing every day now.  If you don't, Jazz Cat and I will figure it out pretty quickly during the performance test next week.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fourth Grade -- more pictures of constructing melody

Fourth Grade Week 6 -- Melody lines and song writing

This week  fourth grade began one of my favorite projects where they collaborate in song writing teams to compose an original melody. The lesson was suggested by Mr. Bassett a couple of years ago and was recently modified with some suggestions from my Orff teacher, James Harding.

The process takes a few classes.  In this first stage, the students learn that melody is a line that rises and falls and almost always makes its way back to the home note.  They create a line on a 4 bar strip of music and then "plot" notes along it, using what they've learned about rhythm patterns.

Homework -- 4th grade teachers, I'll need your help with this.  Everybody needs to come to class next time with their 4 bar strip of music and a drawing based on the line.  What kind of rhythm patterns should you use?  Check your rhythm sampler for ideas.  What should you drawing be of?  Anything you want, as long as it incorporates your line.

"Pentatonic Moon" - parts 2 and 3

Third Grade and Ensemble -- in addition to the main melody for "Pentatonic Moon," which I posted in October, there are two other parts to this song which you need to learn. The good news is each is the same repeating pattern. Learn one measure and you've learned the whole part!

"Ode to Joy" - 2nd 4 measures (practice speed)

Third Graders, here's the second line of "Ode to Joy." Notice that it is almost the same as the first line -- and as you will see, it is exactly the same as the last line.

Third Grade Week 6 -- Dotted halves and more Ode to Joy

This week third graders continued to learn about how long different notes last.  As pictured, body percussion exercises are really great for teaching this...and a lot of fun too.

We also continued work on "Pentatonic Moon" and the second line of "Ode to Joy," but the highlight of the day may have been a personal appearance by Jazz Cat.  As Jazz Cat, himself, said about the experience, "it was a cool groove." 

Homework -- practice the first two lines of "Ode to Joy" and all parts of "Pentatonic Moon." Remember -- Jazz Cat and I are going to start testing you on your performance next week.

Ensembles Week 3 -- getting ready for culture day

Both ensembles had a terrific third week of rehearsal.  The recorder ensemble (pictured here at long last) continued work on the "Bransle" and "Pentatonic Moon" and took a run at "Ode to Joy," which the 3rd graders have just begun to learn in general music class.

Recorder Ensemble Cats -- you should be practicing 15 minutes a day.  Work on "Bransle," "Pentatonic Moon" and "Ode to Joy."  There are recordings of all of this music on our blog.  Simply click on the topic heading on the left hand side for the music you want to listen to.  Just remember some of them may have been posted in October.

On Thursday the Orff ensemble worked mostly on "Wise Old Owl," focusing on our arrangement for culture day.  We will be performing "Canon #1," "Wise Old Owl" and possibly one other piece in conjunction with the recorders.  We'll talk about that next week.

Parents -- both ensembles will be performing at Culture Day at approximately 11:45.  Their call time is 11:15 in the auditorium where we will warm up a bit.  I know that some children are in other performances.  Just have them check in with me so I know they are there.  For this performance there is no special dress requirements.

A letter will go home next week with all this information.

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Ode to Joy" - 1st 4 measures (practice speed)

Third Graders -- here's a recording of the first line of "Ode to Joy" for you to practice with for next week.

Other Fourth Grade work from week 5

work by (top to bottom) Melissa, Eunice, Eryn, Stella

Fourth Grade Week 5 -- Rhythm Rainbow Notation

sample work by Ryan K.

This week as part of our developing understanding of meter we learned a Halloween chant by James Harding  -- "Friday the Thirteenth" -- which is in the totally sinister and tricky meter of 13/8.

We spent the rest of the time adapting their Rhythm Rainbow Puzzles into melodic pieces for the Orff instruments.  Last week's homework assignment was to create Rhythm Rainbow Puzzles -- rhythmic ostinati using notation puzzle pieces that the children colored and cut out. Try clapping out the patterns they came up with.

Homework -- don't eat too much candy.  Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Orff Ensemble performs Canon #1

Here's a recording from rehearsal today of one of the pieces the Orff ensemble will be performing at Culture Day -- a little canon by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman from Music for Children Vol. I

Excellent rehearsal ensemble cats!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Halloween chant from Ms. Birdy's Class

Here's a spooky chant Ms. Birdy's class developed using beat substitution.  It is based on a cool lesson my professor from Cal State LA, Dr. Darlene Kretchmer, taught me this week.   There are two different rhythmic lines going on, but everybody ends up in the same place at the end.

Third Grade looks at American Indian Flutes

Third Grade Week 5 -- Beginning Beethoven

This week the third graders began work on "Ode To Joy."  We also continued our work on "Pentatonic Moon," a song that utilizes the American Indian scale.  I brought in some Indian flutes for the kids to examine.

The round things out in a Halloween mood we played a fun chanting game that taught note durations for half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes and quarter rests.  A wonderfully spooky experience!

Homework -- continue work on Pentatonic Moon and learn the first line of Ode to Joy.  Those of you who did not do your homework from last time -- developing your own sayings for the lines and spaces on the treble clef.  Ms. Caruso's class -- also do the first line of Jingle Bells.  Ms. Limb's class -- I look forward to reading your Indian compositions.

Recorder Ensemble Plays Live!

Sorry -- still no pictures yet, but I do have a recording of today's rehearsal.  Click on the play button to here the ensemble's rendition of "Bransle."  A very respectable job for the third session!

Ensemble cats -- listen to the recording carefully.  Can you find ways to improve your performance?  Let's talk about it next week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fourth Grade Week 4 -- Meter in the Marketplace

This week the fourth graders learned about meter in the Irish market place song "Molly Malone."  They had a lot fun passing boxes on the beats of two and singing or clapping on beats of three.  If a student happened to be holding the box when the lyric "cockles and mussels, alive alive-o!" came up, he or she had to make up their own market place cry.  Curiously, many of these had to do with "bananas."  Afterwards, we transferred the ideas about meter to the Orff instruments for a cool improvisation.

Homework -- complete the rainbow rhythm puzzle.  Remember -- don't just assemble it.  See if you can also clap it out.  

Orff Ensemble rocks in week 2!

Orff Ensemble had a terrific second week -- with a few more musicians from last year's group showing up to round out the roster.  The ensemble totally nailed Canon #1 and began work on "Wise Old Owl," based on the Mother Goose rhyme, with a lovely melody by my teacher, James Harding.

I'll bring my field recorder next week and put up some audio samples.  They sound great!

Jazz Cat says...

What was it that Jazz Cat says about making a "D?"

"Pentatonic Moon" - Practice speed

Third grade recorder players -- here is a recording of "Pentatonic Moon" with a click track to help you keep time.  The notes are E-G-A-B-D-B-A-G-E-G-A-B-D     E-G-A-B-D-B-A-G-E-G-A-G-E.  Remember to breathe before playing those long notes!

Third Grade Week 4 -- Lift that thumb, baby!

This week in recorder class, the students learned how to recognize whole notes, half notes and quarter notes.  We also learned about the names of the lines and spaces on the staff.

With the help of my assistant, Jazz Cat, we also learned a new note -- high D -- which is the only note on the recorder where we lift our left thumb.

Learning "D" allowed use to complete the American Indian pentatonic scale so we could begin work on a new song -- "Pentatonic Moon"

Homework -- practice our notes -- E, G, A, B and D and begin to learn "Pentatonic Moon."I'll post a recording here to remind you what it sounds like.   Also, don't forget to come up with your own phrase to help remember the lines -- E, G, B, D, F -- and spaces -- F, A, C, E.

Recorder Ensemble -- Bransle (Part 1 and 2)

Here's what part one and two of Bransle sound like together...

Recorder Ensemble -- Bransle (Part 2)

For any of you ensemble players who want to get a head start on next week, here's an audio recording of the other part of Bransle.  You can follow along on your sheet music, or try playing along on the first part to create a duet!

Recorder Ensemble -- week 2

We had a great practice on Wednesday morning.  We worked on the Bransle and talked about our practice approach -- remember to spend about 1/3 of your time warming up, 1/3 practicing your material (in the case Bransle), and 1/3 experimenting...or as Jazz Cat says, "doin' the mess around!"

At this point you should be practicing about 15 minutes a day. 

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy Chaos -- Take 1

This audio file is of an improvisation done in Ms. Yoon's class on Thursday.  It is the student's first attempt at using the Orff instruments...and my first attempt at recording them.  

Note -- the text you hear me reciting in the background is from two other student compositions -- "See Me Du" by Christian and "Black Stripes" by Ella

Fourth Grade Week 3 -- Orff Instrument Intro

This week the fourth graders got their first exposure to the Orff instruments.  These are the xylophones and metalophones of various sizes that were a gift from the Third Street parents last year. 

Because these instruments can be adjusted to limit the possibility of sour notes, children can become creators and composers very rapidly.  The result the first week was a little chaotic, but it was good chaos.

Homework -- the composition assignment last week seemed to give people trouble.  I'm afraid I may not have explained it very well the first time around.  So for those of you who didn't complete it, take another shot this week.  Those of you who managed to muddle through -- you're in the clear! 

B-A-G-E -- quarter notes

Here is the same B-A-G-E exercise using quarter notes.  Notice there are four of them for each note.  Remember -- left hand goes on top.

B-A-G-E -- half notes

Third Graders -- use this to help you practice B-A-G-E on half notes.  Use your fingering chart if you need help remembering how to make these notes.

Third Grade Week 3 -- Whole/Half/Quarter notes

This week the third grade was introduced to the concept of whole notes, half notes and quarter notes.  We learned that because half notes are half as long as whole notes, and because quarter notes are half as long as half notes, it is possible to play them at the same time in different combinations and still start and begin in the same place.

We also learned a new note -- "E" -- that requires us to use fingers from both hands.  Remember -- the left hand always goes on top.

Homework -- continue to practice "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and practice the fingerings for B-A-G and E.  You can go back to earlier posts to hear the audio for "Mary Had A Little Lamb."  For exercises on B-A-G-E, click on the audio samples entitled "B-A-G-E half notes" and "B-A-G-E quarter notes." 

Recorder Ensemble -- Bransle Audio Performance Speed

Here is a sample of lines one and two of part 1 of the Bransle played at normal speed.

Recorder Ensemble -- Bransle Audio Practice Speed

Here is the first line of part one of the piece by Claude Gervais.  Try to play along.  Remember the note pattern is - G-A-B-B-C-B-A-G-B-B-A-G-A-A:

Ensembles begin -- Great First Rehearsal!

The Recorder Ensemble and Orff Ensemble had their first rehearsals this week.  The turnout for both was outstanding!

On Wednesday for recorder ensemble (and I'm sorry I don't have a picture, I forgot my camera that day) we began to learn a Renaissance piece called Bransle by Claude Gervais, which I taught to Mr. Bassett's class last year.  

Recorder players -- you should be practicing 15 minutes a day on the Gervais Bransle and you can listen to it here on this blog.  Just click on the posting that says "Bransle Audio".

On Thursday the Orff ensemble met.  Despite the fact that most students were using the instruments for the first time, they performed a very nice version of Canon #1 written by Orff himself.

Although both ensembles are a good size, I will always try to make room for motivated musicians.  Additional sign up forms for both ensembles are available in the office.

Nice job, ensemble cats!  See you next week. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sing along with the 4th Grade!

Last week the fourth graders wrote new lyrics for a traditional melody I'm sure you will all recognize.  Here are a few of their "stanzas."  Click on the music track below and try singing along with their new lyrics.

"The Non-Cool Girl"
by Sarah

I will now walk to my school
They will think that I'm not cool
Till they see my new pink pool
I can now sit on my stool

"The Hard Lock, As Hard as a Rock"
by Anne

This is a very hard lock
It is as hard as a rock
You will never open it
Because any key won't fit

"Skateboarding with my Landlord"
by Jake

I really hate to skateboard
With my really fat landlord
I think he is so so weird
With his curly big red beard

by Taite

There were two big bad loud hens
In a very cramp - ed pen
They like - ed to sing and dance
And had very tiny pants!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Anyone for Orff Ensemble?

                      last year's Orff ensemble at Concert in the Park

In addition to the recorder ensemble we will be starting  an Orff ensemble that will meet on Thursdays before school.  What is an Orff ensemble, you may ask?  Well, it is a performance group built around the wonderful xylophones and metalophones Friends of Third purchased for the school last year.  Students are able to perform professional sounding music, improvise and compose right away with astonishing results.

Orff ensemble will be available for 4th and 5th graders this year.  Interested students can report to the Third Street School auditorium on Thursday at 7:20 AM.  Parents must sign the permission form that was sent home in backpacks today.  

Hope to see a few of you there on Thursday.  The rest of you keep checking this blog for concert details. 

More fourth grade week 2

Fourth Grade Week 2 -- untuned percussion improv

In today's special Friday edition of music, the students learned to re-interpret the songs they wrote last week as percussion pieces -- first using body percussion -- clapping and slapping (and grunting) and then in combination with untuned percussion instruments such as a drums, bells, guiros and shakeres.  The results were fun...and exhausting at least for me.

Homework -- create a percussion composition based on the rhythm of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  Use three different instruments and be sure and make the patterns different.  If I have a chance I will put up some audio clips of the instruments you can use, so be sure and check back.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Recorder Ensemble begins next week

I am delighted to announce that I will be starting the recorder ensemble next week for all interested 3rd, 4th and 5th grader recorder players.  The kids who did it last year had a blast.  It's a chance for them to improve their proficiency on the instrument and play some more challenging music.  All skill levels are welcome.

This year Recorder Ensemble will meet on Wednesdays before school from 7:20 to 8.  Students may be dropped off at the side entrance to the auditorium on June Street.  They must bring their own recorders.  Students are not allowed on the main campus before 7:45.  Therefore admittance to rehearsals will be limited to participating student/musicians, although we will try to accommodate siblings, should the need arise.

Our first meeting is next Wednesday, October 15.  After that we will meet once a week with the goal of playing at least two concerts in December and the Spring.  We have also been invited to participate in the Culture Day.  Since this is a voluntary activity, my expectations regarding practice and commitment will be somewhat higher than in general music class.  At the same time the goal is to have fun.

If your child would like to give ensemble a try, please fill out the permission form we will be sending home this week and return to the music box in the office.  And feel free to post any questions or comments here on the blog.

Mary Had A Little Lamb - "Bag" Version

Can you play along with me, Third Graders?

Recorder Exercise 2 -- B-A-G quarter notes

With this exercise we work on quarter notes which are much shorter tones.  Remember to use your tongue to interrupt the flow of air.  No puffing please.

Recorder Exercise 1 -- B-A-G long tones

Try this exercise first.  

Long tones are an excellent way to warm up, as well as a good way to improve tone.   We play them each for 4 counts beginning on B with 4 counts of rest in between.  Remember the fingerings?

B -- Left thumb on back hole and first finger on first hole
A -- Left thumb on back hole, first finger on first hole and second finger on second hole
G -- Left thumb on back hole, first finger on first hole, second finger on second hole and third finger on third hole. 

Third Grade Week 2 -- Recorders Arrive!

Today we distributed recorders to Ms. Caruso, Ms Byham and Ms. Limb's class.  Mr. Han and Ms. Tyler's students get theirs on Friday.  The kids seem pretty enthusiastic.  These excellent Yamahas are definitely an upgrade from the two whole flutes we worked with last week.

We will be learning the basics of this wonderful baroque instrument over the next several weeks. And for students who wish to take their learning a step further we will be starting Recorder Ensemble next week.

Check out the post regarding ensemble on this blog for more information.

Homework -- Practice your recorders 15 minutes a day and work on our song.  I will post some audio clips to help you.  Remember Jazz Cat's rule about practice -- 5 minutes warm up, 5 minutes working on exercises and songs, 5 minutes to do the mess around! 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ah Ree Rhan -- Test Audio

I plan to use the ability to mount audio on this blog to post examples of student work and record practice exercises.

Here is a recorder version of the well known Korean folk song, Ah-ree-rhan, which 3rd graders will be learning this year, and which I have posted as a test.  Does it work on your computer?  Let me know!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A few more pictures from week 1 of fourth grade

Welcome Back Fourth Grade! -- Week One

In fourth grade the students pull together what they have learned about rhythm and melody in previous grades and begin to compose songs.

This week their assignment is to develop a song lyric that is 4 lines long.  Each line must contain seven syllables.  And the first two lines and last two must rhyme.  The lyrics will then be added to an existing well known melody.

We'll be performing a few of their songs next week.  The results are always entertaining. 

Homework -- finish your song lyrics.

Other Images from Third Grade Week 1

Welcome Back Third Grade! -- Week One

Third Grade music classes began this week.  

Third Grade is when we introduce the concept of melody by teaching all students to play the recorder.  We also discussed how "aerophones" in general work.  The students had a lot of fun looking at examples of flutes from around the world as well as "improvising" on their two hole flutes.  Next week they get their recorders.

Homework -- for next week complete the aerophone worksheet and compose a song for the two whole flute.  This song will be sixteen notes long and will consist of the 4 notes the flute can make -- both holes closed, both holes open, large hole closed, small hole open.  Remember it is okay to repeat notes even in a row.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Music Starts Tomorrow with 3rd Grade

General music classes start tomorrow!  

First up will be 3rd grade.  In 3rd grade we will be learning to play the recorder, and in the process, learn to read musical notation.

4th grade classes begin on Thursday.  The emphasis will be on learning to write music and we usually try to have everyone write a song the first day.  We will also be breaking out the wonderful Orff xylophones to help us with our compositions.

Above are a few pictures from last year's classes.  I can hardly wait to get started!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Welcome, students, teachers and parents, to the Third Street School music program's blog site.

This year I will be using this site to provide additional information about what we are learning in class, homework reminders, extra composition assignments and much more.  You will be able to use this site to find up what is upcoming in general music class and when performances are scheduled.

I will also be putting up examples of students work and perhaps even a few audio clips.

First up in general music this year will be 3rd and 4th grade, as well as our new ensemble programs.   It should be a lot of fun.   I can't wait to get started!