Friday, May 29, 2009

"Alleluia" -- B section a tempo

Here's that same piece of music at the speed we'll be playing it.

"Alleluia" -- B section slow

Orff cats -- as requested here is the "B" section of "Alleluia" which we began working on this week, slowed way down so you can pick it out on the piano.

Mr. Lawton overtaken by the spirit of the moment

Week Eight Second Grade -- Introducing pitched percussion

This week second graders continued to work with their drums and also began to learn how to "transfer the beat" to pitched percussion. This gave us an opportunity to work with the wonderful barred Orff instruments Friends of Third purchased last year. We'll be continuing with this next week so everyone gets a chance to play them.

Homework: No worksheet, but a letter went home inviting everybody to be part of the drum circle on June 11. Parents, I know things have a way of disappearing in backpacks, so if you did not get a letter please let me or your child's teacher know.

Week Eight Kindergarten -- Long and short sounds

After playing two of my favorite games -- "Ring May You Wander" and "Cross Cross Apple Sauce," this weeks class focused on how some musical sounds and long and some are short (we covered high/low, loud/soft and fast/slow earlier). The students then got a chance to improvise on instruments that do one or the other. They sounded pretty tight!

Homework: Don't forget to do your circle map definitions of music

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Last but not least -- recorder animal sounds

Ensemble Cats -- will also be adding some of out recorder "effects" to "Zuni Song." Here's a few ideas, but feel free to invent some of your own.

"Zuni Song"

Here's a reposting of "Zuni Song" written by R. Carlos Nakai. I'm putting it up here again for our soloist, but it would be a good idea for everyone to know how it goes. Orff ensemble -- I'll be developing a part for you too.

Recorder Ensemble - "E" exercise

Here's an exercise that will help you with making the octave "E" in "The Tailor and the Mouse" and also "Zuni Song". Listen and follow the instructions.

"The Tailor & The Mouse" complete

Here's the complete song at concert speed

"The Tailor & The Mouse" Line 4

Here's line 4 -- similar, but not exactly the same as 1 & 2. For one thing there's no pick up note.

"The Tailor & The Mouse" Line 3

Here's line 3 of the same song.

Orff cats -- you might want to listen to this too, just so you get the melody in your head.

"The Tailor & The Mouse" Line 1&2

Recorder Cats -- here is the first line of "The Tailor & The Mouse" slowed down so you can practice it. Note that tere is a pick up note or anacrusis so that we count off three to start instead of four. Also note that I only play the line once, but the heading says lines 1&2. Can you guess why?

Week Six Kindergarden -- variation and beat substitution

In a special Friday edition of kindergarten music we used our homemade instruments along with kazoos to construct an arrangement of "The Wheels On The Bus." The students had an opportunity to see how the music sounded when performed using different instrument to "substitute" for notes in place of singing. They also got to perform what I assume for most was their first instrumental break.

Week Six Second Grade -- beginning our drum circle

This week in music the second graders began to use the drums we completed last week. Classes were doubled up again due to testing, but this gave us a good excuse to talk about community, communication and working for a common purpose -- three important concepts that drum circle is great for illustrating.

A heads up for second grade families -- we are inviting the second grade to make their drum circle part of the Concert in the Park on June 11 at 5:30 in Dermoudy Court (the lawn next to the lunch tables). I'll be sending a letter home next week, but you can also check back here for details. I hope many of you can make it!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Week Five Second Grade -- putting on drum heads

This week the second graders completed their gourd drums with a lot of help from parents. I want to thank everybody who turned out, and especially Shelly Josias and Donna Kishibay for helping spread the word. It was a lot of fun!

Parents -- we are talking about adding a short second grade percussion performance to Concert in the Park on June 11. I'll be posting details here and you can also check with your child's teacher.

One More from Kinder Week 5

Week Five Kindergarten -- Horns and Halves

This week in Kindergarten we studies that concept of halves, a math idea that has a lot of application in music. The students also made another instrument -- a drone horn similar to a small didgeridoo (hence the name midgeridoo).

Homework -- complete Midgeridoo/Halves worksheet

Final Concert in the Park June 11

Ensemble Cats -- just a reminder to you and your families, our final concert in the park is June 11, a Thursday. That doesn't leave us much time to get ready, so I urge everybody to come to all the remaining rehearsals. We'll probably schedule a few extra ones as well.

Later today I will be posting some music for the recorder ensemble to listen to and practice. Please check back later today, and I apologize for the delay.

Friday, May 8, 2009

More pix from yesterday's drum making

Week Four Second Grade -- Gourd Drums!

The drum making in second grade is always one of the highlights of the year, for me anyway. In addition to creating a functional instrument that each kid can use in class and take home at the end, the gourds also are an excellent vehicle for talking about the life cycle of plants and also about community. I tell the kids the gourds are like them -- no two are exactly alike and each one is special.

Homework -- Develop your body percussion piece to the beat of "Mary Had A Little Lamb"

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kindergarten Week 4 -- Dynamics, Tempo and Pitch

This week the kindergarteners experimented with ways to alter the sound of our voices and instruments by playing or singing louder or softer (dynamics), faster or slower (tempo) and higher or lower (pitch). To this end we adapted a cool lesson my colleague Jen Winston teaches based on the Dr. Suess story "Sing with a Ying."

Homework: complete the fast/slow, loud/soft, high/low worksheet.