Thursday, September 15, 2011

Making sense of music with our senses and with movement

Like last year our music days are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, but this year we managed to group the grade levels closest together on the same day. This will definitely simplify things planning-wise.

On Wednesday Kindergarten focused on how we use our senses -- primarily hearing, but also sight and touch -- to understand music and the sounds around us in general. The students used "soundcatchers", a kind of paper amplifier, to study the sounds around them. The goal here is to also get them to understand the importance of focused listening. First Grade and K-1-2 had a lot of fun with the song "Everybody born in January Skip Around" and the chant "Apples, Peaches, Pears and Plums," both of which emphasize the importance of steady beat.

Today fourth graders were introduced to the concept of melody contour using a lesson I learned from my Orff teacher James Harding, while fifth grade focused on polyrhythm and syncopation using a Keith Terry Body percussion exercise "Hey, You, What?" Alas, I was too busy jumping around to take pictures.

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