Recorder cats -- here's that video I promised you of the biggest recorder in the world.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
On Friday the second graders learned the Yugoslavian beat passing game. I have used this game for a couple of years now and I never cease to be amazed at how excited the kids get. In "Son Macaron" the kids sit in a circle and sing a song while they clap each others hands on the beat. Anybody who is "caught" when the music stops has to leave the circle, but gets to become part of the band. The objective is to reinforce what they are learning about the relationship between rhythm and beat.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Hi Recorder Cats -- One of the songs we will be doing for our spring Concert in the Park is the beautiful Appalachian folk tune "Pretty Saro." Like many songs the basic melody is 4 lines long with each line having two parts or "phrases." The best way to learn it and practice it is one phrases at a time, so that's how I'm going to publish it here. As you listen to the audio, try to get used to reading the notes as well. You'll need to use the high "E" we just learned -- you can go back to the video lesson I posted last week. The rest of the notes you know.
One of my favorite songs to do in second grade in "Bate Chocolate," a children's rhyme/chant from Mexico that happens to be a recipe for mole. Besides being fun to say, it also provides an opportunity to talk about the relationship between syllables in spoken language and rhythm in music. as well as beat and rhythm in the abstract. This knowledge is key to understanding musical notation.
Here the kids in Ms. Pak's class are substituting syllables of the song with chopsticks representing "tas" (quarter notes). Later we talked about dividing those into two smaller beats or "ta-tes" (eighth notes).
Homework -- complete the Ta/Ta-te worksheet
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
My camera was on the fritz today so Mr. Bassett was good enough to let me snag this image off his blog. This week the kids turned in their first lyric writing efforts, after which we spent a lot of of time talking about the relationship between beat and rhythm. I used chopsticks on paper to illustrate this, something I do with many grade levels. Here the students are walking the beat represented by the sheets of paper while "clapping" the chopsticks, which appear on top of the beat as eighth notes (2 chopsticks), quarter notes (one chopstick), or in the case of no chopsticks, a rest.
Homework -- develop a simple 32 bear percussion piece, 4 lines with 8 beats each, where Line 1 is the same as Line 4, and Line 2 & 3 match as well. The worksheet explains what to do.
Hey there Orff Ensemble -- here's audio of new piece we're learning -- "Tumbling Down" -- along with some unconventional notation. Take a few minutes to listen and look. Notice how this type of notation emphasizes contour (up and down) in the melody and length of phrases. In some ways I think it is easier to read.
Between now and next week I hope you'll spend a little time with this piece. If you have a piano see if you can figure it out. If you don't own a piano you can use the online piano posted under "my links." Remember to use good crossover technique. ;)
Friday, January 15, 2010
Today we kicked off second grade music with what is becoming one of my favorite activities. First the kids improvised some dances to the eight beat phrases in "Hungarian Dance #5" by Brahms. We then looked at the way rhythm lies on top of the beat as a series of long and short notes. The lesson ended with kids composing their own rhythms using chop sticks on sheets of copy paper that represented the underlying pulse.
Homework -- none this week. We'll start composing music next week.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Week 1 of Fourth Grade Music started of with one of my favorite activities. The kids learn the Irish marketplace song "Molly Malone" and then develop new lyrics including some highly unique products to sell. The passing of the boxes represent the off loading of cargo and helps keep the time.
All of this was designed to help the students understand that lyrics usually follow the rhythmic patterns and accents of spoken language. This week's assignment is to come up with a four line lyric where each line contains seven and only seven syllables. These will be added to a traditional melody in class next week.