Friday, 4 November 2016

November Music News

After Halloween and Faith Day, I feel refreshed and ready to begin new units
and concepts as this beautiful season of fall continues.
Here is a summary of what we have been learning:

Kindergarten
  • Always important for the first few months is establishing classroom routines and expectations. Students are following the leader using different locomotive movements and responding to color cue cards (i.e. blue - jump, green - walk, red - stop, pink - skip, purple - hop)
  • Students are using their 4 voices (i.e. speaking, singing, whisper and a calling voice - no shouting please!). Finding and using a singing voice for call and response questions can be a challenge. Please encourage your child to vocalize at home by imitating sounds such as: owl hoots, wolf howls, sirens etc., (anything that lifts their voice out of the basement and into the attic!)
  • Students also have been exposed to playing several non-pitched instruments to maintain the beat and to add sound effects to our story telling (i.e. The Big Apple).
  • Beginning this month, we will start a unit on Farm animals and begin learning our songs for the K/Gr. 1 Christmas concert on December 20th. We will need to memorize lyrics, incorporate actions, follow a conductor and stand on the risers with very quiet feet.
Grade 1
  • Like Kindergarten, we have spent time establishing routines and reviewing our 4 voices. 
  • Our focus thus far has been on maintaining a steady beat on our laps and on instruments while singing or reciting poems. 
  • I have noticed that most Gr. 1 students have found their singing voice and so we are sharing our talents by singing responses to simple questions such as: What are you wearing for Halloween? 
  • Movement involving The Flight of the Bumblebee and Wind up the Apple Tree have been seasonal favorites.
  • In Hymn Sing, we have been preparing songs for our upcoming liturgy on November 10th. Please join us in the school gym at 9:15a.m. 
  • This week we are starting songs for our mini-musical "Touch of an Angel".  Student readers and soloists will be chosen in the weeks to come and parents will be notified in regards to rehearsing with their child at home.
Grade 2
  • We have been reviewing the rhythm concepts of ta, ta rest and titi. It has been accomplished through rhythm card practice and creating our own compositions using the fall colours: red (ta), yellow (titi). They rehearsed these pieces on non-pitched instruments; completing 8 different stations set-up around the music room.
  • We have also reviewed where so and mi live on a 3-line staff and tossed some bean bags on a large felt staff to name line, and space notes on a 5 line staff.
  • A more challenging skill has been to add sound effects and accompaniment on the Orff instruments to the piece, "Two Little Apples". It takes a lot of concentration and focus!
  • Students have also started to sing a few songs for their Winter Musical. In Music class, we learned about 7 feet of Snow and in choir we sang about Hot Cocoa and a Winter Hoedown.
Grade 3
  • The focus is Gr. 3 thus far has been on partner games and group work. We have completed 2 group projects: a Name Game where they were vagabonds travelling around the world and another had to do with changing the lyrics to a familiar song (i.e. Are you Sleeping?), adding body percussion for interest. Working in a group is an important skill and we are learning how to share ideas, thank people for their ideas and to make good use of their time.
  • We have also been singing ostinato patterns, singing in canon (one group enters a phrase behind) and trying partner songs (2 different songs sung at the same time).
  • Students have been listening and responding to a variety of instrumental music such as: The William Tell Overture, The Flight of the Bumblebee and Turkey in the Straw.
  • This month we are learning how to square dance and will begin to practice songs for our Winter Musical, "The Big Chill". With this lovely fall, it has been difficult to even think about winter.