Saturday, September 22, 2012

Little Johnny Brown for Third Grade

Hi Recorder players.  Because of the power failure on Thursday I was not able to make copies of this music for all of you.  Actually this is a greener solution anyway.  practice this piece for next week and don't for get to make it swing when you play.

I will be posting a couple of videos to help you with the idea of swing and improvisation, not to mention making an E, later today, so be sure and check back later.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Three Minute Recorder - Lesson 1 and 2

Hi Third Graders -- as I mentioned in class, I will be using my blog to provide instructional videos you can use at home to improve your recorder playing.  Lessons 1 and 2 focus on the basics of how to hold the recorder and cover the first three notes I'd like you to learn -- B, A and G.  As the name indicates, all the videos are about three minutes long, so I hope you'll find a few minutes between now and next week to give it a try!

Ensembles Begins!

 This week we began the ensemble program with Orff Percussion ensemble.  The turnout was unprecedented -- so much so that I will be scrambling to put together a few more instruments.  However, that is a happy problem.  What I was particularly impressed with was how serious the students took the ensemble contract we are asking them all to sign this year, that calls for them to keep up with their school work.  Several of them asked if they could take it home to think about the commitment they are being asked to make.
 On Thursday we began a new dance project in 5th grade music that began with the kids learning to mirror a partner.  This was then extended to groups of 4, in which "the leader" continually changed and was determined by the direction the group was facing in -- north, south, east or west.
Thursday was also the day we began to give out recorders to third graders.  We'll be spending the next several weeks focusing on recorder as a way of introducing the subjects of melody and note reading.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Week 2 - getting into our basic skills unit

This week in general music we continued to develop an understanding of the theme or "big idea" for each grade level.  In 4th grade that meant focusing on melodic contour.  The kids learned that melody unfolds in a line that rises and falls like the pieces of yarn seen here.  Pitches can be seen as fixed points along those lines.

Second graders had fun performing an improvised dance sent to Brahams's "Hungarian Dance #5."  Like several of my favorite activities, I learned this one from my teacher, James Harding.   The kids each get eight beats to dance across the circle with the goal on tagging the next dancer on the eighth beat.  In the process they learn a little something about phrase length.

In third grade we are currently focused on beat and rhythm as well, but with an emphasis on subdivision of the beat -- four sixteenths equals two eighths equal a quarter and so on.  We use the syllables "ta," "te-te," and "taki-tiki" so that kids can speak the rhythm while they read the notes.

I just realized I haven't put up any pictures of 5th grade yet this year  -- something I will have to remedy this week!