Sunday, November 4, 2012

Concert in the Park - "O Menussis"

Both ensembles did a nice job with this Nina Stern piece, which they had not performed together before the day of our show.

Thanks for coming everybody.  Rehearsals for our next Concert in the Park begin on November 27.

Concert in the Park - "Pumpkin Jam"

Concert in the Park - "Intery Mintery"

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Come Let Us Gather" for recorder

Recorder ensemble members -- here's one additional video that should help you with our new song.  You will really need to know the melody well to perform it as a Canon so practice, practice, practice!  Don't forget -- our show in on November 2nd.

Three Minute Recorder 9 - F# and Bb

Hi musicians -- I am jumping ahead to lesson 9 here because it focuses partly on the
F#, a note we will be using a lot in row next few weeks.  As for the Bb, ensemble members will be using that too eventually so give it a try -- it's all good!

Three Minute Recorder 6 - Low D

And here's a review of the low D, so go ahead and review.  From here I am going to skip over a couple of videos to get to some other notes we need right away.

Three Minute Recorder 5 - High C and D


Hi 3rd Graders and Recorder Ensemble -- I have been remiss (as one of you pointed out in rehearsal) in updating my three minute recorder videos, so let's get caught up.  Lesson 5 focuses on the high C and D.  Most of you are doing this pretty well, but take a look anyway.  Remember -- your sound can always get sweeter.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

5th Grade Week 5 -- Beginning our compositions

The remaining weeks in 5th grade music will be spent on our compositions -- each student will get a chance to apply what they have learned about melody, harmony and rhythm in creating a four part 8 measure piece, which we will hopefully get to play in class.  

The first goal, and this weeks homework assignment, is to create 4 measures of melody.  To that end I am posting a link to a cool online keyboard you can use.  Remember we are not using F and B's or any of the black keys.  Remember also the three elements successful melodies include:

They have contour.

They have repeating rhythm pattern.

They resolve to the home note (more on this next week).

To use the keyboard click on the link below (Note -- the keyboard can be played with your mouse or by using the middle row of keys from A to ":

Cool interactive keyboard!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Three Minute Recorder 4 -- "Improvisaton"

Here's a second video that will show how to use the four notes we have learned to improvise.  We'll do a good deal more with this on Friday.  Go, jazz cats, go!

Three Minute Recorder 3 -- "E"

Hi third graders and ensemble members.  Here is the first of two videos I would like you to review before class on Friday.  This one has to do with making the E, a note that will allow us to play songs in a minor mode.

Constructing melody tutorial

Hi fifth graders.  As promised here is the keynote presentation we saw in class so you can  review the elements of melodic construction.  It should help you with the homework.

Fifth Grade Week 4 -- Constructing Melody

Today in 5th grade music we continued our discussion about how melodies are constructed.  We talked about three characteristics of conventional melody -- that they are made up of repeating rhythm and pitch patterns, that they have contour (rising and falling), and that they resolve to the home note.  Each class had an opportunity to create a melody -- something they will be doing individually in a couple of weeks.  They were also given a worksheet in which they are asked to guess the missing measure of music from 8 well known songs.  The goal is not that they be able to figure out what the songs are (although I am curious to see if they are able to do that) but to deduce which measure goes with what songs based on the conventions of melodic construction.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Three Minute Recorder -- Lesson 1 and 2

Hi Third Graders -- as I mentioned in class, I will be using my blog to provide instructional videos you can use at home to improve your recorder playing.  Lessons 1 and 2 focus on the basics of how to hold the recorder and cover the first three notes I'd like you to learn -- B, A and G.  As the name indicates, all the videos are about three minutes long, so I hope you'll find a few minutes between now and next week to give it a try!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fifth Grade Week 2 -- The rhythm of our school rules

This week in fifth grade music we continued our discussion of rhythm pattern as they relate to notes and rests,  In order to complete our final composition project, the students will need to develop at least a basic understanding of rhythm, melody and harmony.  I always begin with rhythm because it is the most accessible of the three concepts -- we practice it whenever we speak.  And as the kids learned spoken phrases like the rules at Third Street School can be easily manipulated into something musical.

For next week each class will, working in small groups, develop several spoken words and percussion pieces, that will be organized in a "rondo" around the central musical idea pictured above.  Should be interesting.  Video is a possibility.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Third Grade Week 1 -- Introduction to Aerophones

On Friday we had our first meeting of third grade music.  The focus in third grade is on melody and note reading, and to help facilitate this each student is give a recorder and instructions on how to play.

Recorders are fun to play but are also an excellent introduction to aerophones in general.  Aerophones, as you might have guessed, are instruments that produce sound when blown into and includes brass instruments such as trumpets, reeds like saxophones and clarinets and, of course, flutes.  This means the kids will have a foundation should they choose to take up one of these instruments in orchestra next year.

Third graders also have an opportunity to join either the Orff Ensemble, which meets on Tuesdays before school and Recorder Ensemble, which meets on Fridays.  A number of third graders have already expressed an interest in joining one or both.  Should be a good year!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Note Tree Tutorial

Hi Fifth Graders -- here is the tutorial we looked at in class.  It should help you with the homework that is due next Tuesday.  You can make it full screen size by clicking at the center of the arrows icon on the bottom right corner.

You can also post any questions you have here -- to post you will have to become a follower of my blog, so make sure you get your parents permission.  I will try to follow up within 24 hours.  Note that my answers will also be posted here.

Nice job today -- see you next Tuesday!

5th Grade Music Week 1 -- "Hey, You, What?"

Welcome back musicians!  The 2012-2013 year in music got off to a great start today with the fifth graders learning "Hey, You, What?" -- a body percussion exercise by Keith Terry.

The goal in fifth grade this year will be for each student to compose an original piece of music in 4 parts.  To do this they will need to develop some music notation skills -- see the tutorial posted above -- but also develop their sense of aesthetics.  To that end we will be reviewing many different styles of music and discussing what sort of mood they produce.  The mood in 5th grade music today -- happy!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Concert in the Park - "Two Pieces for Dancing #2"

This very tricky piece by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman involves both duple and triple meter. Very challenging but the kids did great. Another excellent year for ensemble. Returning players - see you next year!

Concert in the Park - "T'suki"

This Japanese folk tune about the moon is something the kids put together literally this week. It's always hard to say good bye to our 5th grade musicians, but our 3rd and 4th graders form a very talented core group going into next year.

Concert In the Park - "Star Wars Fanfare"

We had a terrific show on Friday night (finally warm enough to hold Concert in the Park in the park). Here's the first of three video clips. Great job everybody!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fifth Grade Culmination - "Come So Far (Got So Far To Go)"

Hi Fifth Graders -- as promised here are the lyrics and a recording of our culmination song "Come So Far," from the musical "Hairspray." Give it a listen!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Recorder Ensemble - "Zemer Atik" - Part B

Here's the second half of "Zemer Atik." Don't forget to make a note of our final concert date -- June 8, one month from now.

Recorder Ensemble - "Zemer Atik" - Part A

Hey Recorder Ensemble -- sorry to be getting this up a bit later than planned. I hope you will find this video useful in learning both the new piece (ironically the name means "old melody") and the Egyptian scale.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Culmination Song #1 - "In My Life"

Hi Fifth Graders. Here is the first culmination song we will be learning -- some of you may already know this famous Beatles tune. Use this blog to get a head start on memorizing the words. Play the tune by clicking on the play button.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Recorder Ensemble - "Star Wars" - Second Recorders

Finally, here is the second recorder part (with music) to accompany the first. Some of you who are newer to the ensemble may find this more manageable. Remember, we will need plenty of players on both parts to get the best overall sound.

Recorder Ensemble - "Star Wars" First Recorders Part 2

Here's the second half of the main theme. Once again, the music is attached to the part 1 posting. The descending scale with F natural and E and B flat will take a little work, but the rest should give you no trouble. Use the force if you have to. ;)

Recorder Ensemble - "Star Wars" First Recorder Part 1

Hey there Recorder Ensemble Cats -- here is the first of three videos showing how to play the theme from Star Wars along with the music. Get started learning this for Friday and may the force be with you!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Recorder Ensemble - "Water Come A Me Eye" Part 2

Here's the second part. Note that the rhythm is almost exactly the same. You should be comfortable playing both parts (they are not hard at all). Later this weekend I'll put up Star Wars! :)

Recorder Ensemble -- "Water Come A Me Eye" Part 1

Hey Recorder Players -- here is the top part of "Water Come A Me Eye." We've got two months before our concert, but that will go by fast so go ahead and dive into this!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Art in the Park - "Pick a Little, Talk a Little/Good Night Ladies"

One collaboration we're especially pleased with with working with Mr. Bassett and Mr. Pratt on their songs from "The Music Man," which the 4th grade is putting on later this year. This arrangement of the partner songs "Pick a Little, Talk a Little" and "Good Night Ladies" was something we put together the day of the show. Enjoy!

Art in the Park - "10 Short Pieces #1"

We also always try to do one piece from the traditional "Music for Children" repertoire. The music is always beautiful. The titles on the other hand...

Art in the Park - "Falling Water"

Here's another student-composed piece entitled "Falling Water". IN developing this piece one of the kids suggested that putting the mallets between the openings in the bars and trilling on the sides might make for an interesting "water" sound so we put it in. In Orff anything goes.

Art in the Park - "Dream"

One of the things we have also started doing is developing into performance pieces some of the compositions our fifth graders wrote in general music class. Here's one example entitled "Dream."

Art in the Park - Shepherd's Hey

The ensembles very successful evening concert on Friday night, but we also had a lot of help. Art in the Park is something we started to do in conjunction with the PTA Reflection's art show and it has become a really nice community collaboration -- this year we had short films, a traditional Korean dance, musical theater presentations from the after school group Art of Third and from Mr. Pratt and and Mr. Bassett and, of course, a showing of the reflections art. It was a wonderful program.

In this video the Recorder Ensembles plays a traditional English tune "Shepherd's Hey" using Alto and Soprano recorders for the first time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

4th Grade Week 9 -- Adding Melody to our Songs

This week in a somewhat shortened class we began to construct melodies to fit our our existing lyrics and rhythm patterns. To do this we are revisiting the idea of melodic contour -- this idea that melody is like a line that rises and falls. As we saw in class, successful melodies tend to have subtle contour without large jumps and repetition is a good thing.

I can not, unfortunately, allow students to take home a xylophone to work on the melody but here's link to an online xylophone.

You can also use a piano at home, if you have one, or the online piano on the left under links, if you don't. White keys only and don't go any higher that an E.

Blog Back Online!

I am pleased to announce after a nine week absence that Third Street Music is back. A combination of technical difficulties and time constraints have been settled, so I hope to get back to regular posting for the rest of the year.

Here's a couple of pictures of what we've been working on lately: