Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

We had a great week capped today by a rehearsal of an excellent rehearsal of the musical version of "The Little Red Hen" the first graders have been developing the last three weeks. Here's a video of one of the musical numbers, which were all developed by the kids.

I thought the images of plants sprouting was a good way to wish everyone a safe and relaxing spring break.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Dancing at Wonderland #2

Here's the other. Bail รณ Dhia ort Wonderland!

Irish Dancing at Wonderland #1

Here's the first of two videos.

Mr. Wilson and the wearin' o' the green!

Strictly speaking not a music department thing, but what a wonderful assembly we had today, and what a nice job Starz did putting it together! Next year I'd like to talk about them about live music. I'm posting a couple of videos and this image of Don doing what I think he does best -- interacting with the kids. Enjoy!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

We had an excellent day today in second and third grade. Second graders continued their work using the pitched percussion instruments and as they did began to focus more on the principles of musical composition. Many Orff instructors do not do much with musical notation -- it is certain more tedious than free improvisation. However, I think teaching the basic concepts of how music is written down is essential and, fortunately, the Wonderland kids have the focus to engage with it.

For Third Grade we continued our work on Renaissance music and dance. That gave me an excuse to talk about the development of Irish line dancing (in advance of the fantastic presentation Starz put up -- see the videos posted above). We also spent a little time time talking about notation here and how reading music is especially useful when musicians are playing together polyphonically.

Ensemble rehearsal was cancelled because of the Irish dancing assembly, but a few players showed up and we made some progress on "D'aquel Fraire Flaco." Those of you who did not make it -- no worries. Just keep working on your parts.

2nd Grade "Rain Song"

On Monday with Ms. Lamoureaux's class (and last week with Weiss, McLeod and Hoffman) we began a process of transferring what we have been learning about rhythm and beat from unpitched to pitched percussion. This video shows the kids first "improv" on the Orff barred instruments.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"D'aquel Fraire Flaco" - part 3

Let's try everyone else on part 3. Remember the music is broken into two parts which repeat in an AABBAA pattern.

We'll work on this more on Wednesday.

"D'aquel Fraire Flaco" - part 2

Part 2 follows the same pattern -- AABBAA. Let's have Siena, Isiah, Dillon and David Lim on Part 2. Give it a listen and start to learn it.

"D'aquel Fraire Flaco" - part 1

Recorder Ensemble -- here is the piece of music I gave you on Wednesday (which is also being performed in the video below). As you can see it is in four separate melody lines. As you will hear (and can see in the video) the piece has a series of repeats. The first part repeats, then the second part repeats, then the first part is played twice again. We call this formula AABBAA.

I will be playing part 4 and the rest of you will be divded among the other three parts. Let's see how much progress you can make between now and Wednesday. Carson, Kaya, Ava, Briana, Deliah and Georgia -- why don't you take Part I?