Our first music class has come and gone. This month has been spent going over rules, expectations and diving headfirst into making music.We begin each class speaking about our composer of the month and do an active listening activity with one of their compositions as the feature. Students have been working heavily with George Gershwin and two of his most famous pieces, Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris. We also learned a cup routine to " Turn the Beat Around" by Gloria Estefan to segway into our rhythm unit. In addition, we've been reviewing rhythms by using cups to perform simple quarter, half, whole, quarter rest, and eighth note rhythms with tricks to accompaniment tracks which require us to have a steady beat at all times.
Next up: Sixteenth notes, Percussion ensembles (using pitched and unpitched percussion), and a new composer of the month!
We used our rhythm skills to set up a series of percussion ensembles. Each week we worked on a rhythmic poem to help practice our foundational skills of quarter, eighth, half, whole and syncopation! In addition we learned how to use a variety of percussion instruments in a safe and respectful manner to create music in class. We also learned all about Camille Saint Saen's Organ Symphony, Danse Macabre and more.
November was spent learning sixteenth notes and composing! Using our new note we composed songs by taking our favorite pizza toppings and discerning their rhythmic value through the syllables in the word. We also took a good amount of time to learn about a famous American composer, John Phillip Sousa. Children learned about his formation of the US Marine Corp Band, and his legacy as the March King.
December was a month filled with exciting work being done, featuring our composer of the month Peter Illych Tchaikovsky. We examined the Nutcracker indepth, relating both to the classic children's story and the famous ballet. The children learned there are actually 2 versions of the story, and how Tchaikovsky created the music to accompany the ballet. This included play along features, instrument study, and getting to see clips of the ballet itself.
January and February 2017
When we came back from break we spent a solid two month practicing our music literacy skills. This included reviewing note reading in both treble and bass clefs, rhythm reading, and rests. Students worked from identifying simple lines and spaces to naming notes on the staff. The students also practiced drawing eighth, quarter, sixteenth notes and their corresponding rests.
March and April 2017
March and April encompassed a rather large musical project to relate music to students' every day lives. Students worked in groups to design their own commercials. They were responsible for designing a product, creating a script, adding an original jingle to lure customers in and performed it for the class.