Let it rain, let it rain,
Sunshine melts the winter snow,
Raindrops makes the flowers grow,
Up they spring! Up they spring!
This month we are working on the comparative slow and fast as well as spring based movement and action songs.
Grade 1 News
- Slow and fast is being introduced through games such as Snail, Snail (windup song), The Old Gray Cat (who chases mice at the end), The Roller coaster (slow up and fast down) and the story of The Tortoise and the Hare.
- For spring, there are so many lovely songs to sing such as: Puddles, Listen to the Water, Robin in the Rain and May There Always be Sunshine by Charlotte Diamond. She is a Canadian singer song writer whose music I have always loved for her catchy melodies and easy to learn lyrics.
We are studying shorter and longer sounds, pitch using proper hand-sign names and a variety of spring songs.
- The students have recently learned that soh is the higher pitch in our greeting and mi is the lower pitch. Next, we looked at songs using just these 2 pitches such as: Rain-Rain, Engine-Engine, Cobbler- Cobbler, The Bluebird and The Flower Song.
- We have had a lot of fun studying the names of flowers and how many sounds each flower has.
- Then we recorded the number of sounds with fruit flavored Cheerios on a sound map.
- The students are enjoying singing songs spring such as Puddles and Each of us is a Flower by Charlotte Diamond.We are also doing movement/choreography to The Winds of Spring (a Taiwanese folk song) and Spring from the Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi (a personal favorite). If you would like to listen to this beautiful music by Vivaldi, please use the following link: https://youtu.be/e3nSvIiBNFo
Grade 2 News
The Gr. 2s showed much practice and preparation for our Marian Liturgy. They led the gym in our opening and closing song, sang The Hail Mary beautifully on their own and recited a choral speech poem titled Our Guardian Angel. Many moms/grandmothers were touched by their lovely tribute to Mothers and by Deacon Tom's lovely song, "Holy is His Name".
- This month we are also focusing on dynamics (forte/loud and piano/quiet), identifying (ta-a) as a half-note worth 2 beats and where the note-doh-lives on our 5-line staff.
- Spring by Vivaldi is an excellent vehicle to examine movement, dynamics and story telling without words. Students love acting out the season of spring with playing outside, flying like birds, hiding during the thunderstorm and returning to play after the storm breaks.
- In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg is great for teaching about how a composer can create suspense during the troll chase.
- Here Comes a Bluebird was a favorite game in Gr. 1. Now, we can break down the rhythm to discover longer notes such as the half-note on the words "Heh" and "day".
- Who's that? is a new song to Gr. 2 and is demonstrates a lot of half-notes and the kids will have fun playing the Orff accompaniment and adding drums.
- The new note doh has been introduced through the song, Here We Come. It will be reinforced through the game Mouse, Mousie. The kids will have fun being the cat and chasing the mice around the room.
Grade 3 News
This month, we are looking at all kinds of M-R-D patterns, playing and identifying the families of Orff instruments, clapping 8 beat rhythm patterns, discovering more dynamics as well as how mood can affect how you sing a song.
- In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edvard Grieg is an excellent piece to study rhythm, dynamics and tempo. This piece describes Peer Gynt’s adventure in the underground Kingdom of the Trolls. Can you hear the trolls creeping up on Peer? They are coming faster and faster! Whew...luckily, Peer Gynt gets away from the trolls by the skin of his teeth. The main them repeats 9 times with only a slight variation and a coda. The students had fun creating their own variation of the theme by either: adding body percussion, making it louder or softer, faster or slower. They also illustrated the piece and I have included a few samples.
- You can watch an orchestral performance of this piece using the link: https://youtu.be/dRpzxKsSEZg