Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I am so lucky to have teenaged daughters who can point me in the direction of all the cool stuff on the internet. For example check out this composition I made in five minutes at a site called I nudge. Want to try it yourself? Just click on the play button and then click above on the I Nudge trademark -- or you can access it through my links on the left hand column. It's really fun!
Friday, January 21, 2011
In 2nd grade music this week the students learned two songs -- "Bate Chocolate," from Mexico and "Ram Sam Sam" from Morocco. The goal was to demonstrate to the kids that musical rhythm follows the rhythm of language, regardless of what language that might be. We also continued our discussion about the relationship between rhythm and beat using chopsticks and paper and introduced the concept of rests.
This week in 4th grade music we began by playing some of the song lyrics the kids wrote last. They were instructed to create a 4 line seven syllable per line poem to accompany an existing melody -- as it turns "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." We do this every year and the results are always highly entertaining.
The the rest of the class was devoted to talking about how to adjust the melody to accommodate lyrics of more or fewer syllables per line. This gives us an reasons to discuss the subdivision of notes -- quarter notes to eighth notes or half notes as needed.
Homework -- complete the 2 measure puzzle box. I will post some examples from last year to give you some ideas,
Monday, January 17, 2011
The emphasis in 2nd Grade music will be on beat and rhythm, so it was appropriate that we began by discussion the difference between the two. As the children learned the beat is the steady pulse in music whereas rhythm can contain notes with longer and shorter gaps in between.
This does not mean that the beat is always the same. It can slow down or speed up, as we saw when improvised 8 solo dances to Brahm's "Hungarian Dance #5."
Both Ensembles also resumed this week. As before Orff Ensemble practices are in the morning on Tuesday and Recorder Ensemble meets on Friday. We began working on new material for our Spring show. With two new pieces from Music for Children (the five volume bible of Orff material) in Orff ensemble and a wonderful medieval Hungarian dance, "Ungaresca," in Recorder.
We also spent a little time experimenting with a blues improvisation (pictured) using "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters. Should be an interesting Spring show.
4th grade music began this week with one of my favorite activities using the Irish sailor's song, Molly Malone. The students analyzes the 6/8 meter for its sea ferring feeling and the text for clues about Molly's culture and way of life. The students also revised the lyrics with some ideas of their own as the passed a box to represent the offloading of cargo.
All this was intended to get them thinking about songs and song writing, which will be the main focus of general music for the next ten weeks.
Homework: Write a 4 line poem where each line has seven syllables (not words). Line 1 should rhyme with line 2, and line 3 should rhyme with line 4.