Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thanks Dramarama and KDLP!

As I mentioned we had two other groups helping us with the show last night. Dramarama, a Friends of Third-funded theater program, performed a short "teaser" as a prelude to a longer show in January. The program included singing and movement and acting, and it was clear the kids had a wonderful time. Stay tuned for details about the January show.

KDLP presented an encore of the their Korean-language adaptation of "Polar Express". I was particularly pleased that they used some of the music we created in 5th grade this year as transitional material.

This kind of mutual support and cross-pollenation of creative skills and ideas is something I'd like to see more of at Third Street.

Great Holiday Show Everybody!

The ensembles performed their Concert in the Park last night and everybody did a fantastic job. I'm posting a video of one of the songs here. Despite some recorder malfunctions it sounds great.

I want to also thank the kids from Dramarama and KDLP 4th and 5th grade for participating in the show. Working with other groups gives us a great opportunity to see how others tackle creative projects and always makes for a rich and varied show.

Going forward there will be no recorder ensemble practice this Friday. We will resume both ensembles after the holiday break, but I will send you an e mail reminder about that.

Have a happy and restful holiday everyone!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

American Indian Flute Lesson

As promised here is a short video demonstrating how to play the minor pentatonic scale on an American Indian flute. I am also providing this fingering chart. Remember -- the beauty of the pentatonic scale, as far as improvisation goes, is that all the notes sound good together. So learn the notes and get to creating some beautiful improvs!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Third Grade Week 8 -- "Completing our scale"

Friday's schedule was a little light, with two classes away on a class trip. Those who remained did some of the best playing I've heard yet. We learned how to make an "F", which completed our C scale and also allows for playing with "F" recorders -- the sopranino, the alto and the bass. About the half the class was spend just playing and arranging some of the music we've been learning. This will be the emphasis for the remaining classes. Perhaps we may get in a holiday tune or two as well.

Concert In the Park on December 15!

I am very excited about the upcoming Concert in Park (which like last year will actually be in the auditorium). The date is December 15, a Tuesday and our two ensembles will be joined by the kids from Dramarama who will perform a short preview of a longer program they will be presenting after the break and KDLP, who will be putting up an encore presentation of "Polar Express." It should be quite a show.

The show begins at 6PM. Recorder and Orff Ensemble members should report the the auditorium at 5:30 to warm up. As always I am asking people to wear white or light tops and dark pants and discouraging dresses for girls (Orff players sit cross-legged). Recorder players -- don't forget your recorders!

There are also a couple of extra rehearsals to know about. The remaining rehearsal schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, December 8 -- Orff Ensemble
Friday, December 11 -- Both Orff and Recorder Ensemble
Tuesday, December 15 -- Both Orff and Recorder Ensemble

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Recorder Lesson 3 -- F#

...and lesson 3 for F#. Please note that you will probably not be able to access these videos on school computers and smart boards, but you should be able to view them on home computers.

Recorder Lesson 2 -- E, low D, low C

Here is lesson 2. You'll need these notes for "Bransle" and "Ahri-rang.'

Recorder Lesson 1 -- G,A,B,C & D

Hi Third Graders and Ensemble Members. This is something new that I am trying -- online recorder lessons. With the Thanksgiving holiday it's been two weeks since we've seen each other, and I thought a little refresher on the fundamentals might be useful.

Watch this short video and see if it helps.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Beautiful" by T. Galindo

Fifth Grade Week 8, 9 & 10 -- Final Composition

The last three weeks in fifth grade music have been devoted to completing our compositions. Each student was asked to complete an eight measure composition that included a percussion line, a bourdun (bass), a melody line and an accompanying ostinato. The results from one student in Dr. Fulton's class are posted above. The song was composed, transferred to a notation software program and then learned, arranged for the instruments we had on hand, and performed today by the class. Check out the audio post -- they did a nice job.

My hope is to collect all songs from fifth grade into a booklet which we can make available and which will give us some music that the ensemble can perform. Students have until Friday to turn in their revised compositions.

I have mixed emotions about this project. I think some of the students found it a bit challenging and it was hard to give them feedback when I see them only once a week, and when their access to the instruments is limited to my time with them. On the other hand, despite the limitations, several quite extraordinary pieces of music were created. In music education having high expectations is not necessarily a bad thing.

Check back on the blog to see how the fifth grade song book is coming along. And in the mean time enjoy reading and listening to "Beautiful" by Tristan Galindo.