Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Good King Wenceslas" - Rosner/Mason Practice

Here's a small taste of what's in store tomorrow, from today's dress rehearsal of 3rd grade home school. If you listen closely you can here the lunch bell ring and the MPR filling with hungry kinder and first graders. Mr. Rosner and Ms. Mason's students never lost their composure. Good job!

Holiday Show Tomorrow!

cover art from tomorrow's show

After a week of dress rehearsals the big holiday show is tomorrow. I'm very excited to be working with such talented kids. It should be a great time. Shows are at 8:30, 10:30 and 1. I hope everybody can make it!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ms. Oasay's Class - Recorder Intro for "Pat-a-pan"

Hi 4th graders -- a couple of you are playing this little fanfare at the beginning of "Pat-a-pan". Here is a recording and the music. Practice it for next week. Note that I have only indicated the fingerings the first time a note appears in the music.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Ahri-rang" -- measures 11&12

Measures 11 and 12 complete line 3. The note pattern is B-A-B-G-E-D-E-D.

"Ahri-rang" -- measures 9&10

Here's the first part of the third line. The pattern is D-D-D-B-A (note that the first D is actually two quarter notes tied together).

"Ahri-rang" -- measures 7&8

Measures 7&8 complete line 2. The note pattern is G-A-G-G.

"Ahri-rang" -- measures 5&6

Here's the first two measures of the second line. The note pattern is G-A-G-A-B-A-G-E-D-E.

Mr. Earl & Mr. Hall's classes -- "Ahri-rang" continued

A couple of weeks ago we began work on "Ahri-Rang," a beautiful Korean folk tune which we will also be singing. I'm posting the lines two and three here (you can review line one by clicking on the blog archive for "November"). Please listen to the audio clips and follow the instructions. I'd like to get as many of you playing this by next week as possible.

Incidentally you may wonder why I do not also post line 4. It's because it is exactly the same as line 2 (measures 5-8).

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ms. Lopez & Mr. Anderson's Classes -- Lyric for "Zum Gali Gali"

Fifth Grade Magnet -- here is the lyric from our other song, "Zum Gali Gali." As with "Hitotsu Toya" I've given the teachers recordings and pronunciation tracks to help you practice. For our performance will sing the song as it appears here -- with two verses in Hebrew and one in English.

Zum gali gali gali
Zum gali gali
Zum gali gali gali
Zum gali gali

Hechalutz le ‘man avodah;
Avodah le ‘man hechalutz;
Avodah le ‘man hechalutz;
Hechalutz le ‘man avodah.

Zum gali gali gali
Zum gali gali
Zum gali gali gali
Zum gali gali

Hechalutz le ‘man ha’ b’tu lah
Ha’ b’tu lah le man hechalutz
Ha’ a mim le ‘man ha’ shalom;
Ha’ shalom le ‘man ha’ a mim.

Zum gali gali gali
Zum gali gali
Zum gali gali gali
Zum gali gali

We are building, building a land;
Out of rock and desert and sand;
Men and women labor in pride;
We are working side by side.

Although we have been working with the lyrics on poster paper in class, I would rather not have cue cards for our performance. In other words you need to memorize the song. The Hebrew words are not hard, however, as they repeat quite a bit.

We will discuss all this in class on Thursday.

Ms. Lopez & Mr. Anderson's Classes -- Lyric for "Hitotsu Toya"

Hi Fifth Grade Magnet. As you know, we are doing two songs for are part in the show. The first one is Hitotsu Toya. I have given your teacher a recording in Japanese and in English. We will be performing one verse in each.

Here are the lyrics as we will perform them:

Hitotsu toya,
Hitoyo akureba.
Nigiyahka de.
Nigiyahka de.
Okazari tate taru

Temple bells will chime, oh
Chime for the bright new year
That comes to us tonight;
Comes to us tonight.
Now on ev’ry door their hangs
A spray of lovely pine;
A spray of lovely pine.

Remember, as part of this song we will be performing our dance/Orff instrument improvisation.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Still, Still, Still" Intro Cello

Here is the cello part (played on tenor recorder).

"Still, Still, Still" Intro Violin 2

Here is the second violin part.

"Still, Still, Still" Intro Violin 1

Here is the first violin part.

Ms. Abu-Bakir & Mr. Oasay's Classes -- "Still, Still, Still"

Hi 4th graders -- as discussed we will try to add a little string intro to vocal performance of "Still, Still, Still". The music is posted here and I will post audio clips of each part above, so you can here how it sounds. Since I don't play violin, I have recorded these on recorder.

Remember, if you are interested in being part of the strings section bring your instrument on Monday and we will have auditions at lunch time. Have a great weekend.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mr. Albert's Class -- lyrics for "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

A couple of students in fifth grade home asked me to post the lyrics for "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Here they are:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
By Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light.
From now on all troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Make the yuletide gay.
From now on our troubles will be far away.

Here we are as in olden days;
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years we all will be together,
If the fates allow.
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough,
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recorder Lesson 3 -- F#

...and lesson 3 for F#. Please note that you will probably not be able to access these videos on school computers and smart boards, but you should be able to view them on home computers.

Recorder Lesson 2 -- E, low D, low C

Here is lesson 2.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

For All Third Grade -- Recorder Lesson 1 -- G, A, B, C, D

Since a few of you are having trouble with the basic fingerings I am reposting the video review clips I had made last week. I hope you find them useful.

Mr. Rosner/Ms. Mason - "Good King Wenceslas" Vocal

As discussed today here is a vocal track for "Good King Wenceslas." Remember -- we are doing it as both a vocal and instrumental piece so you need to learn the words.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Bransle" - Part 2 complete

Here's the complete second part. Try to play along. Or just for fun try to play the Part 1 melody against it.

"Bransle" - Part 2 (Measure 7 & 8)

Last two measures and you're there -- the pattern is D-F#-G-G

"Bransle" - Part 2 (Measure 5 & 6)

Measure 5 and 6 -- seems like we've seen these 4 notes before!

"Bransle" - Part 2 (Measure 3 & 4)

Measure 3 and 4 -- the pattern is D-D-F#-F#

"Bransle" - Part 2 (Measure 1 & 2)

As always I'll play the pattern and you'll play it back -- accompanied by my trusty metronome. The notes are D-D-E-E.

Mr. Rosner and Ms. Mason's classes -- Deconstructing "Bransle"

Hi Third Graders -- to continue our work on "Bransle" I have broken out the 2nd part, which accompanies the melody. Sometimes in instrumental music there will be 2 or more parts on the same instrument to create some pretty harmonies, but it can be confusing to look at a musical score with multiple parts -- "Bransle" also has a triangle and drum part -- and figure out what you are supposed to be playing. If you want to look at the whole score, check our posts for November in the archive.

The second part of "Bransle" is super easy, but presents a few challenges because the notes are low and because the part contains a few F#'s. If you worked on F# for "Good King Wenceslas" it should be a piece cake for you here.

Listen to the audio posted above and follow my directions.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ms. Lamoureaux's Class -- "Snowflake Song"

Over the Thanksgiving break I drove through the desert where there was a light dusting of snow on the mountains. It reminded me of this song, which was sung by the Mono Piaute Indians to honor the first snowfall on the season.

Ms. Lamoureaux and Ms. Hoffman's classes will be performing it at the Holiday show in three weeks. Here is a recording from today's rehearsal.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Ahri-rang" -- 2 part Canon

..and here it is again as a two part "Canon." That's where the melody is played (or sung) in two parts with one of the parts entering later. Try playing along!

"Ahri-Rang" -- Complete

Here is a recording of the entire melody...

"Ahri-rang" Measure 4

Here's measure four -- note that it is very similar, but not exactly the same as measure one. Can you say how?

"Ahri-rang" Measure 3

Here's the third measure -- a different rhythm pattern this time.

"Ahri-rang" Measure 2

Now try measure two -- same rhythm pattern on G and A instead of D and E.

"Ahri-rang" Measure 1

Third Grade Magnet -- Listen to the audio clip and try playing along.

Mr. Earl & Mr. Hall's classes -- Deconstructing "Ahri-rang"

Hi Third Grade Magnet -- Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and found time to practice "Ode to Joy"

The other piece we will be performing is "Ahri-rang," a very beautiful Korean melody with words in English and Korean. The music is posted above.

Part of what's great about "Ahri-rang" is that it is a "pentatonic" song, meaning, among other things, that any part of the melody sounds great with any other part. You can hear this in the two part Canon version I have posted here.

The part we're going to focus on this week is the first line, also posted above with note names. Listen to the audio clips above and try to master the fingerings and rhythm (in 3/4). How far we take it after that depends on you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ms. Oasay's Class -- "O Come O Come Immanuel"

Here's your other song, 4th graders. We will sing all three verses.

Ms. Oasay's Class -- "Pat-a-pan"

Here is the first of two audio clips for you to practice with. Try singing the words in French and English and also tapping out the pattern of the drum.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mr. Albert's Class -- "Peace Round"

Here is a recording of "Peace Round" from the Making Music Series. I am posting it here for listening purposes only.

5th graders -- think about some simple movements we can canonize to go along with this song.

Mr. Albert's Class -- "Le Carillon"

Mr. Albert asked me to repost this as well as "Peace Round" so his fifth graders can practice in class and over the holiday -- so here it is.

This is actually a fun canon that anyone can try. The words are:

Entendez vous Le Carillon dari don don don don don don don don don!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Good King Wenceslas" - complete

Here is a recording of the piece in its entirety. Now that you've worked on the piece in shorter sections, try playing along!

"Good King Wenceslas" - Measure 9 & 10

The next completely new musical idea doesn't occur until measure nine. Listen to it here. The pattern is D-C-B-A-B-A-G.

"Good King Wenceslas" - Measure 3 & 4

The next two measures contain the first F# so take some time with this clip. The pitch pattern is E-D-E-F#-G-G

"Good King Wenceslas" - Measure 1 & 2

Here are the opening two measures of "Good King Wenceslas." The pitch pattern. as you can see in the sheet music below, is G-G-G-A-G-G-D.

"Good King Wenceslas" - making F#

In order to play "Good King Wenceslas" you will need to be able to play F#. This audio clip will help you (checking the fingering picture below as well.)

Deconstructing "Good King Wenceslas" -- Mr. Rosner & Ms. Mason's classes

Third Grade Home School will be performing "Bransle" as an instrumental piece and "Good King Wenceslas" as an accompanied vocal. How much accompaniment will depend on how much of the song you can learn to play on recorder by December 17.

I have posted the sheet music here with some of the note names filled in. One useful exercise would be to figure out the names of the remaining notes on your own. I am also providing the fingering for F#, which you will need to know to play this piece. If you notice the key signature, it indicates one sharp meaning that we are in the key of G. Get comfortable with this, as "Bransle" is in the key of G as well.

Above I have posted audio clips which should help you learn the song piece by piece.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Ode to Joy" Line 3/ExtraPractice

One more recording, Third Grade Magnet -- this audio will help you really focus on the tricky fingering you'll need in measures two and three. Remember -- when you practice you should always work a bit more on those sections that give you the most trouble.

"Ode to Joy" Line 3/measure 4

...and measure four may be the easiest of all.

"Ode to Joy" Line 3/measure 3

Measure three is almost identical to measure two...

"Ode to Joy" Line 3/measure 2

Now try measure number two...

"Ode to Joy" Line 3/measure 1

Here's the first measure...

"Ode to Joy" - A closer look at line three

The third line of "Ode to Joy" is the one that gives everyone a little trouble, so let's take a closer look. I've taken the liberty of indicating the note names. The challenge here, however, is not the individual notes but coordinating our fingers and tongues on the eighth note sequences.

One way to take this problem is to work on one measure at time. Above I'm posting some instructional audio that focuses on each individual 4 beat measure. Take some time to work on these small sections and then we can put it together or "reconstruct" it in music class.

"Ode to Joy" - Complete

Here's the complete version of "Ode to Joy." Notice that lines 1 and 2 are almost exactly the same and lines 2 and 4 are identical. That means if you can play the first line you are 75% of the way there!

Decontructing "Ode to Joy" -- Mr. Hall & Mr. Earl's classes

One of the two songs Third Grade Magnet will be performing for the holiday show is "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. I've posted an arrangement for recorder here as well as a recording. Give it a listen and see if you can following along .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back on the blog

Some may have wondered where I've been for the last week and a half. I've had my technological hands full putting together listening CD's for the the various classes to practice for the holiday show -- exactly one month from tomorrow.

I hope to more than make up for my absence in the next few weeks using the blog as a classroom extention. For example the audio clip posted here is for Mr. Albert's class. They can access it for practice purposes on their Smart Board or individually on their home computers.

Give this round a try yourself. The words are:

Entendez vous Le Carillon dari don don don don don don don don don!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Bransle" - Performance Speed

As you get more confident with the fingerings you can try playing both lines of the melody with this recording. As you can here (and see in the score) both lines are nearly identical.

"Bransle" (First Line) Practice Speed

Third Graders -- here is the first line of "Bransle" seriously slowed down so you can play along.

"Bransle" by Claude Gervais (16th Century)

Preparing for the holiday show

I was out sick on Monday, so today was the day we began putting together our holiday show. I worked with 3 of the 4 second grade classes learning the back beat pattern that is essential to gospel music and with in 3rd grade we focused on learning "C" on our recorders. "Good King Wenceslas" is a good song to use for this as it features the distinctive G-C-G pattern at the end of each verse (as in fu-UU-el).

I also distributed a french dance for recorder by Claude Gervais called "Bransle" (sometimes called "Champagne Bransle.") The music is posted above as are a couple of practice track recordings. This something new we're trying. Since so many Wonderland teachers have smart boards, I am asking them to use the blog in their classroom to help the kids practice. If it works we can post practice tracks for vocal music as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ooo ooo ooo ooo!

Today second grade continued developing a dance/music piece around "Skin in Bones." Back in the MPR, we had the added benefit of the haunted house decorations, which went up throughout the day.

3rd graders, working with recorders for a second week, learned another note -- "E" -- which gave them everything the needed to play, you guessed it, "Skin and Bones" -- at least the ooo ooo ooo ooo part.

Halloween week begins

This week I wanted to do something with a halloween theme, since it is such a key date on the kid calendar. The trick was finding material we could do in every grade level.

We started in kinder with "Spooky Ghost," a chant featuring a ghost, a witch and sneaky cat and a creepy spider. The kids were asked to develop their own movement pieces around each of the parts.

For first grade we used the book "Inside the House that is Haunted," a halloween-themed version of "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." The kids used a variety of percussion instruments to develop an effects track.

Finally, second grade used glockenspiels to create music and movement around "Skin and Bones." All in all, a very spooky day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Delayed Update/Recorders Arrive/6 part canons?!

My apologies all. I had some problem with internet access and so I wasn't able to update the blog until this weekend.

Last week was a busy week for 2nd through 5th -- to recap:

2nd grade continued their work on the "Hotaru Koi," the Japanese firefly song. Due to the "green assembly" on Wedneday I had to double up on two of the classes (pictured). Good practice for the concert in december.

Also on Wednesday the 3rd graders recorders arrived. The kids were very excited and played remarkably well for the first time. As with the singing I think we have a few ringers in each class. Anyway, I'm encouraged that we may be able to put something together for the holiday show.

Thursday the 4th and 5th grade classes performed an elaborate 3 part canon, actually two different songs which can be sung on top of each other as 3 part canons, for a total of 6 parts. The goal was too see how good they are in anticipation of selecting holiday material. The answer was -- pretty darn good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Japanese Monday

Monday's lessons for Kinder, First and Second included two Japanese songs -- "Kaeru no uta (the Frog Song)" and "Hotaru Koi (Come, Firefly)".

Kindergarteners learned the Frog Song and got to recreate frog noises using a variety of shakers and other percussion instruments. They also used the Orff glockenspiels, which as can be seen in the picture, can be adapted for them with only a few playable notes -- the better for making harmony.

First and Second graders used the glocks as well to accompany a dance they created around the movement of fireflies. The round ends of the extra mallets represented the fireflies seeking to attract each other. The music and movement were lovely.

Ms. Baker's Class -- "Apples, Peaches, Pears and Plums"

We recorded this last week, but I was unable to post it due to technical difficulties. No matter -- take 2 was just as sweet.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Continuing to develop our instrumentarium skills

Thursday was the day of the big Earthquake drill, but with some quick juggling (thank you teachers) we were able to get in all of the 4th and 5th grade classes. Both groups continued learning how to use the Orff Instrumentarium. 4th graders began to learn a canon by Carl Orff himself (like most Orff pieces it is untitled). 5th graders worked on a Mother Goose poem "Wise Old Owl" set to music by my teacher James Harding.

The key to both of these pieces (and to the entire Orff system) is to encourage students to develop improvisational skills. As I have observed with their singing, many of the Wonderland kids have a real knack for this already.

It's giving me some interesting ideas for the holiday show, which I can now tell you will be on December 17. Stay tuned for more details!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mr. Rosner's class playin' the blues

It rained all day today and the kids were a bit restless. Fortunately we had a couple of dances to learn that kept our feet and hands busy. Second grade continued learning "Somebody Waiting for Me", a play party dance from the 1870's the ritualized making friends.

3rd graders learned a 19th century piece as well, a blues song and dance with improvised movements called "Little Johnny Brown". In the process we discussed moving the accented beats to 2 and 4, something that occurs in many jazz and blues songs. It was great to see them getting in this groove.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Apples, Peaches, Pears and Plums

It was very cold and grey at the school today. I was actually glad to be in the snug confines of room 5 instead of the MPR.

All three grade levels did good work today. In kinder we developed hand movement pieces -- sometimes they are called jives -- to be used with the song "Fuzzy Caterpillar." The theme for the day was transition -- very appropriate for a song about caterpillars and poliwogs.

First grade learned a dance and a chant -- "Apples, Peaches, Pears and Plums" -- associated with the months of the year and we talked about how a steady beat can be used to keep things together musically. Ms. Baker's class -- I am sorry to report that the audio we recorded did not turn out. You did such a nice job I'll try to re-record you next week.

As for my Monday 2nd graders -- Ms. Lamoureax's class -- they did an outstanding job with the play part song and dance -- "There Is Somebody Waiting for Me." They really managed to warm things up.

Friday, October 9, 2009

4th and 5th Grade Develop their chops

Thursday both Fourth and Fifth grade had an extended lesson on the Orff barred instrumentarium. This is the 20 instrument collection of xylophones, metalophones and glockenspiels that Wonderland owns. In the past these have been used as part of the children's training, but it is my hope that we will be able to incorporate them into the Holiday show. They sound wonderful!

Woodchuck Chuck!

Wednesday's highlight was Third Grade's performance of "How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck" -- a hip hop version of the well known tongue twister. The kids did a great job learning all three parts of the chant and the accompanying body percussion and managed to get it up and running in 30 minutes.

2nd Grade continued working on "El Juego Chirimbolo" -- this time singing and playing to accompany the dance. Everybody got a chance to work the barred instrument as well. Overall a very good day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Things are turning cooler

It was great to be back with Kinder and First after week off.

To accommodate upper grade theater classes we relocated to Room 5, which worked great for us, but was a little tough on teachers on lunch break. Teachers -- thank you for your patience.

In kinder we developed a body percussion piece based on "Crisscross Apple Sauce." The aim was to help the students begin to develop a sense of contrast between high and low, loud and soft, playing and saying. Best moment -- one of Ms. Brier's students pointed out that pomegranate apple sauce had a more interesting rhythm than crisscross apple sauce and requested a change.

First graders got to work with frame drums, which they used to develop individual improvisations to accompany the song "Vil Du?" (Will You?) The emphasis here was teaching them to echo each other, an important part of learning how to make music together, not to mention learning music in general.

Second grade might had the most fun, as they got to use the Orff xylophones and metalophones to accompany the dance they have been working on the last couple of weeks. We'll be using these instruments more and more as the year goes on. They are a fantastic learning tools.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mirroring in 2's and 4's

Slowing our movement down

Notwithstanding the zippy recording of "Left, Right" posted below, both fourth and fifth grade classes focused this week on slowing things down.

The fourth graders continued to arrange "Los Ninos en EspaƱa Cantan," a lovely slow song we began last week, with all classes developing an original dance which could be performed in canon. The results were outstanding. So was the job they did accompanying themselves by playing the harmony on the barred instruments.

Fifth grade developed some improvisations based on "mirroring," a process in which students working in pairs copy each others movements. From there we moved to groups of four where the leader changed each time the group turned to one of the compass points. The students who were not performing provided improvised music in a Dorian mode.

How did the pieces turn out? The film crew that was at the school today managed to capture some of the performances, so I guess we'll see.

Ms. Lopez's class "Left, Right" Take 1

I will put up more of an update for Thursday's class later but I wanted to get this recording of Ms. Lopez's kids up right away. The gimmick here is that the kids are marching and every time they sing "left", they are stepping on their left foot, and singing "right" on the right foot. Parents, you can try this at home -- but can you do it canon style?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chirimbolo Redux

Today I arrived at the school to find photographers setting up for picture day in the MPR. After we a bit of scrambling we relocated to Room 5 where we were accompanied most of the day by the construction going on in Ms. Lamoureaux's room next door. I have to hand it to the kids -- they really did a good job keeping their concentration.

Second graders continued working on the Ecuadorian singing game "El Juego Chirimbolo." After learning the steps to the point where they could do them to the melody without words, we went back to the text to find interesting rhythms that could be turned into accompanying pieces, or ostinati. By the end of the class we had begun to transfer these repeating patterns to xylophones and unpitched percussion -- something we will be doing a lot more with next week.

Third graders also used last week's song-- "Ding Dong Diggydiggy Dong" to spend some time talking about musical notation and how it helps keep our music organized. I am posting a link on this page for any students who wish to know a bit more about notes and how long they last. To see more click on the word duration.

We rapped things up with a hip hop version of "How Much Wood Could a Woodchuck Chuck." Overall, an excellent day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Wibbleton to Wobbleton" - Mr. Oasay's class

Here's what I hope is the first of many classroom recordings I will publish here. I have already observed that Wonderland is loaded with talented singers.

Just click on the play button.

Getting into Canons

Both 4th and 5th grade began what I think will be at least a few weeks focusing on canon singing. Sometimes called "singing in rounds," canons are great tools for teaching children to sing in parts and recognize pitch. Canons can also be used to make movement pieces more interesting. As pictured here, the fifth grade classes did a very nice job developing a canon around the Keith Terry body percussion piece we learned last week.

Notation anyone?

On Wednesday second grade classes tried out strategies for combining rhythms with different numbers of beats. Using the names of different dinosaurs, we explored the notion of accented beats and and long and short beats as a prelude to discussing rhythmic notation.

Meanwhile the third grade classes began working with notation as well. Songs like "Ding Dong Diggy Diggy Dong" are great for teaching how quarter note beats can be subdivided into eighth and sixteenth songs. The students began to "compose" different combinations of four and eight beats, an exercise I hope to spend more time on next week.