Friday, October 21, 2011
Hey third graders and ensemble players -- as promised I am posting a video lesson (actually two lessons) on "Tune of thr Buffens." Part one focuses on the melody and the drone. I hope you will find it useful. Ensemble players, remember that this is one of the songs we will perform in 3 weeks at Culture Day.
This week in third grade music we focused on the durational values of various notes. This means focusing on the math in the music. While the prospect of using division skills and discussing fractional parts of a whole made some kids think their heads would explode (as seen here), most understood that the ability to read music is an important skill and essential to making music together in an organized way.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The focus of this week's 5th grade lesson was construction of melody. The kids were given an opportunity to develop an original line of melody to going along with 3 lines we developed as a class around the rhythm associated with Pepperoni Pizza Pumpkin Pie. All of this is a prelude for the composition project that begins next week.
This week the 5th grade lesson and Orff ensemble was pre-empted by the Back to School Breakfast, but Friday's Recorder went off as usual. The 3rd graders learned how to play the low D and this gave rise to a discussion of octaves. We played the song "Little Bird, Big Bird" which emphasizes octave D's and also introduces the lovely combination of Orff xylophones and recorder.
The rest of class we focused on "Tune of the Buffens," a good example of a medieval processional, and one of the pieces many of them will be performing on "Culture Day."
Saturday, October 8, 2011
This week in third grade music the kids focused on improvised solos to accompany last week's song, "Little Johnny Brown". Many people feel that improvisation requires a vast knowledge on music, but as the kids discovered cool improvs are possible with as few as one or two notes and a sense of swing.
In the second half of the class the students learned two more notes, high C and high D, that enabled them to perform the medieval sounding lament "The Legend of Adcaa Gaba" (pictured). Only the only most observant were able to solve the riddle of his mysterious name ;). The video posted below will help those interested in perfecting their technique on these two slightly more challenging notes.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Today we extended last weeks lesson to allow students to develop their own rhythm patterns based on school rules. Working in small groups with unpitched percussion instruments the kids created individual pieces that included a central rhythmic idea, steady beat and splashes of contrasting musical color. These were then strung together in a Rondo. Not every group was completely successful, but when it worked the results were wonderful.