Friday, November 4, 2016

Week 4 - October 17 - November 4

In the GRE specials schedule we have a  3 week rotation - 3 weeks equals 1 instructional week for me with all of the students.  That's why this post is called - Week 4  (October 17-November 4)

Here's what happened In our fourth week together___
  • Kindergartners began learning about the small percussion (unpitched percussion) instruments we have in the music room.  They are learning about them in timbre or tone color groupings.  In this rotation they were introduced to the  Click instruments (wood block, temple blocks, tap-a-taps, slap stick, rhythm sticks, claves, tone block, castanets and tongue drum, aka slit log drum) and the Jingle instruments (tambourine, cystrum, jingle bells, Indian dance bells and sleigh bells).  With both families students were introduced to the proper playing technique and the instrument name.   Each student took a turn playing every instrument as they were passed around the circle.  Students were asked to match the beat as they played.  We also played a game called "Listen" which requires students to determine which instrument they are hearing without being able to see it and then name it.
  • First Graders used an Apple theme to focus on rhythm and review melody this week.  We reviewed familiar melodic patterns of Sol-Mi-La and discovered a new singing game, Apple Tree.  We played it two different ways - trading places with part of the 'tree' when trapped, or adding new trees into the orchard as an elimination game.  When we played it in the elimination version, the last one became the first farmer in a new game, Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow.  We read and created new sound/silence patterns within an 8 beat frame - using paper plates to mark out the beats.  Those plates that had an apple on them, we said 'yum' on the beat and those that didn't have an apple had a silent beat (rest).  Students changed the pattern by adding or subtracting apples.  After we had played our Apple Tree game multiple days, we added a beat bordun reading some of those sound/silence patterns.  First Graders rediscovered the rhythm tee-tee (2 eighth notes sharing a beat) as we decoded the rhythm of Apple Tree.  Following reading Dr. Seuss's Ten Apples Up on Top, we 'upset the apple cart' and used our apple/rhythm cards to create new tah and tee-tee patterns.  Then we flipped the cards around to read a scrambled/mixed up version of the lyrics.  On Friday classes enjoyed a Talent Time (chance to share performances) and then chose music/movement games and activities.   
  • Second Graders learned two new Americana singing games with a Pumpkin Theme - Great Big House in New Orleans and Pumpkin (PawPaw) Patch.  Pumpkin Patch is a  singing game in a long-aways set.  Each student got a turn at being in the lead (head couple) spot.  With Great Big House in New Orleans we learned all three verses and traditional movement and then extended our learning and experience by adding instrumental accompaniment parts including a cross-over pattern.  We extended the form with a contrasting speech section - "Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pie!  I just love that pumpkin pie.  Love the whipped cream piled up high.  I just love that pumpkin pie!"  Students used the rhythm of this speech pattern to improvise melodically on glockenspiels as we created a longer form.  In addition we played a response game with the names of different kinds of pies.  On Friday classes enjoyed a Talent Time (chance to share performances) and then chose music/movement games and activities.   
  • Third Graders learned the rest of the new songs that will be shared in their Rock Concert sharing for parents - Rock Rap and Earth Changes.  In the next rotation we'll be having a parent sharing during a music time to showcase the music connections with the corresponding Science Unit.  We continued working on the pieces we started last 'week' - Obwisana (Rock passing game from Ghana), This is My Favorite Rock and Rock Concert.  On Friday classes enjoyed a Talent Time (chance to share performances) and then chose music/movement games and activities.   
  • Fourth Graders worked further on the Colorado Connections music - adding two new pieces into their repertoire:  Cripple Creek and a Native American piece, Cheyenne Hand Game.  Cripple Creek is a piece we are learning to sing in harmony - so we divided into a Red team and Blue team.  We used those same teams for the Cheyenne Hand Game which is a stone passing guessing game where one team tries to pass a stone around the circle in a beat pattern in view of the other team without getting caught.  The guessing team plays Native American instruments (corn rattles, rasps and Taos drums) and sings.  At the end of 4 times through the song - sung with vocables - the singing team has one guess.  If the stone passing team is not caught they get one point.  If they are caught, the teams trade places so that the other team is in scoring position.  On Friday classes enjoyed a Talent Time (chance to share performances) and then chose music/movement games and activities.   
  • Fifth Graders learned the vocal canon Old Abram Brown by Benjamin Britten.  Rather than singing it in a canon, though, we sang it in the original way with a quarter note pulse, and then stretched it out to a half note pulse (augmentation) and also sang it twice as fast at an eighth note pulse (diminution).  We divided into 3 groups and tried doing all 3 versions simultaneously with enough repetition of the original and diminution to make it come out evenly with the augmentation.  We used this as a model to launch us into another collaborative composition (this time in groups of 3).  Each group created or choose a 4 beat rhythm pattern and then doubled note values for the augmentation and cut each note value in half for the diminution.  Once the building blocks were figured out, each group structured their performance by deciding on a form/structure and choosing sounds or timbres for each voice.  Each group shared their performance with the rest of the class and we reflected on the compositions and performance using our 3 starts and a wish reflection.  On Friday classes enjoyed a Talent Time (chance to share performances) and then chose music/movement games and activities.   
    • Except that the Red Group (5Hawk and 5Lautenbach) switched week 4 and week 5 instructionally since I was out of town for a good portion of their week 4 attending the American Orff-Schulwerk Association Professional Development Conference and I wanted to be there for this project.

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