Friday, January 29, 2010

4th Grade Lyric Sheet for Ms. Oasay, Mr. Oasay and Ms. Abu Bakir

Hi fourth graders. Here is the lyric sheet for you to complete your homework. It is due next Wednesday. You can either print it out and use it or copy it over onto a separate piece of paper. (If you click on the lyric sheet, it will make it bigger and easier to read.) It should also work with the smart boards in class.

Remember -- it is seven syllables per line not seven words. The first line should rhyme with one other line and the remaining pair of lines should also rhyme -- we call that the rhyme scheme.

If you have any questions you can post them here on the blog.

Have fun!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Upper Grade Songwriting and Composition

Where ever possible I try to let the kids compose their own material. The photo is the song Ms. Oasay's class came up with based on the rhythm pattern learned them today.

For homework, fourth graders, please construct a song of your own using the seven beat pattern. I will be providing the form you will need here shortly -- you will supply the lyrics.

As for fifth grade, they learned "Do Unto Others," a short song where the rhythm pattern follows the saying "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." We talked about some of the rules at Wonderland School and using these rhythm patterns began to develop our own song sections in small groups. We will be weaving these together next week.

Mi Cuerpo/Nu Whatan

This week had a very multicultural feeling. On Monday kindergarteners learned "Mi Cuerpo" a song from Mexico that teaches how the body can be used to make music. On Monday and Wednesday first and second learned the African waking song, "Nu Whatan." A waking song is a song used by parents to wake children up, a kind of reverse lullaby. In the process we had a chance to talk about the qualities that softer music has.

Wednesday we also had Third grade home school recorder (the magnet kids were on a field trip). The kids worked on their improv technique and continued to work on the California Indian tune "Cloud Song."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"Cloud Song" - performance speed

Here's "Cloud Song" played through twice. The second time through I added some trills. As you get better at playing this song feel free to experiment with embellishments of your own

For Third Grade -- "Cloud Song" -- Practice Speed

Hi Third Graders -- here is the score and words for cloud song as well as an audio clip to help you practice it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Recorder Lesson 5 - High "E"

Hey third graders -- I hope you will use this video and the one I posted last week on improvisation to review what we learned in class this week. I will also be putting up a desconstruction of "Cloud Song" so keep checking back.

Wet Wet Week!

The second week back has been interesting with a downpour every day. It has meant limitted access to the MPR and a lot of classroom music. Frankly, I was expecting a lot of "cabin fever," but the kids have been great.

On Wednesday second grade did an activity with chopsticks (pictured) where they composed 4 beat rhythms which were then combined into a performance piece. Third grade continued their work on "Cloud Song" (aptly named!), continued to develop their improvisational skills, and learned how to play E. Third Graders -- I will be posting instructional material here so be sure ahc check it out this weekend.

Today I was in the classrooms all day so we worked mostly on songs. Fourth graders learned "May You Grow in Your Own Sweet Way," a tricking canon in 3/4 time, whole 5th graders learned "One by One," a canon by Danai Gagne in 7/8. Very tricky stuff.

See you next week everybody. Stay dry!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Third Grade Recorder -- Improv in G Pentatonic

Hi Third Graders. I hope this video will help explain how to develop your improvisational skills in the G pentatonic scale. Next week we will combine your improvs with "Cloud Song."

The Market Place and "Molly Malone"

On Thursday 4th and 5th graders learned the Irish marketplace song "Molly Malone," as a platform for understanding compound meter. At the same time it gave us chance to focus on the way melody follows the rhythm of spoken language. The kids also seemed to have a lot of fun improvising their own marketplace calls.

Everybody enjoy the three day weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hungarian Dancing

It was a wet day at Wonderland this morning but we managed to put that pet up rainy day energy to good use. First the remaining second grade classes of Ms. Weiss, Ms. McLeod and Ms. Hoffman developed their understand of 8 beat musical phrases by doing some dance improvs to "Hungarian Dance #5" by Brahms.

In third grade recorder we discussed improvisation and focused on pentatonic scales as they occur in American Indian music. We began to learn a Northern California Indian piece taken from a wonderful book I use constantly -- "They Came Singing; Songs from California's History." The goal is to use the song as a platform for improvising in the G pentatonic that is so well suited to the Soprano Recorder.

I'll be posting a video lesson to more fully explain how to do this, so be sure and check back over the weekend, Third Graders.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Welcome Back and Happy New Year!

I hope everybody had a restful and joyous holiday break.

It was great to see all the kids, most of whom I had not seen since the holiday show. And while I'm on the subject -- let me say, again, what a wonderful job all the kids did on the show and how proud I am of them.

Today we started off with the bang with kindergarten learning a new game (pictured) "Ring You Must Wander." This gave us an excuse to talk about the other meaning of the word ring -- the thing that bells, telephones and metal Orff instruments all do.

First graders had a lot of fun "improvising" a song around what they did on their vacation using the "Sol-Mi" song "Icky Bicky Soda Cracker" as a platform, ( the "Sol-Mi" repertoire includes such other classics as "Rain Rain Go Away" and "Trick Or Treat; Smell My Feet.") Finally, second grade developed a series of 8 beat dances to Brahms "Hungarian Dance #5," a fun activity developed by my teacher, James Harding. It was a fun first day back!