Mrs. Niu - Mrs. Rzasa -
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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Weekly Review 10/29-11/2

We can't believe it is already November. Here is what we did in music this week......

In first grade, students added three percussions instrument to the song,"Thump, Thump, Thump."  A hand drum was played during the crescendo on the words, "Thump, Thump, Thump," a triangle was played on a quarter rest, and egg shakers were played on the spooky words, "Who's There?" Every student got a chance to play all three instruments.   We also learned a song and played a game called, "Flap and Fly." Bats are nocturnal, mammals meaning that they sleep in the daytime and are awake at night.  Bats were asleep while the lights were on, then a student (the Sun) turned off the lights so the bats could dance and sing!  When the sun came up, the lights were turned back on and the bats fell asleep. Here is Mrs. Burnham's class performing, "Thump, Thump, Thump!"

The second graders had so much fun playing "A Funny Little Lady" that we played it again this week.  We read a book, "Old Wind," and used various percussion instruments to create sound effects.  Here are the performances:

In third grade, the students repeated their "Funeral March of a Marionette" activity from last week and played a game called, "Pass the Broomstick" that reinforces steady beat. The song is in minor to prepare for this, they sang a minor scale. Rhythm sticks were given to each student to represent broomsticks. Then they learned how to pass a rhythm stick along to the steady beat.  On the last beat of the song, whoever had one more more sticks were out.

Fourth graders have finished preparing for the Veteran's Day Assembly.  The assembly is this Thursday, November 8th at 1:30 p.m.  Due to space limitations, ONLY the parents of fourth graders may attend.  As a reminder, if you would like your child to be dismissed with you, they must send in a note that day. The front office is VERY strict about this policy. Thank you in advance!

The fifth graders really enjoyed a unique listening activity this week.  They followed a listening map for "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint-Saens.   It's based off of a poem by Henri Cazalis and features a violin soloist.  Mrs. Rzasa played some of the themes on my violin so they could find them as we listened to the song.

Have a wonderful LONG weekend with your children!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Weekly Review 10/22 - 10/26

This week in music, all students sang the refrain to a silly story called The Tailor and the Mouse, sung to them by Mrs. Niu and Mrs. Rzasa. It is a folk song from over 300 years ago!

The first grade students added silly movements to "Skeleton John," with the help of our plastic skeleton dancer! Some also had a chance to move John themselves or sing solos. It was so much fun! We reviewed "The Bats Are All Asleep" too. Check out Mrs. Farrell's class singing it, complete with decrescendos:

They also helped create a spooky story to accompany the song "Thump, Thump, Thump!" We will add hand percussion instruments to this song next week!

The second grade students sang a cute song called, "The Funny Little Lady." After they successfully learned the song, they played a game where one student closed their eyes and sat in front of an imaginary door. Their job was to guess who the soloist was when a particular part of the song was sung. They also reviewed "Come and Follow Me" (along with the hand routine), and sang it as a two part round. Maybe next week we will try it as a three part round!

The third graders finished the song "9 Lives" from last week. Two different accompaniment parts were then added to the song on the Orff instruments. One was a simple ostinato, which was a repeated pattern alternating between the D and A bars. The other was a scale pattern, but skipping over the B bar. They also listened to "Funeral March of a Marionette," an amazing piece by French composer Charles Gounod.  (Some adults may recognize the tune as the theme to Alfred Hitchcock Presents). A few volunteers were able to manipulate a skeleton marionette as we listened. For their last activity of the week, the students learned a song called "Pass the Broomstick." Next week they will play a fun stick passing game as they sing!

In fourth grade, the students sang the partner songs "Black and Gold" and "Trick or Treat."  They sounded SO cool when sung at the same time!  We also rehearsed our national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," which will be sung at the Veteran's Day Assembly!

The fifth graders completed the fun song, "Halloween Night," which they started last week. Everyone had a chance to play the Orff instruments, the hand percussion instruments, and act out a graveyard scene. They also listened to an interesting piece of music by a composer named Henry Cowell. It is called "The Banshee," and the students tried to guess what instrument/s was/were featured. Ask your child to teach you about this has a surprising answer!

In chorus, the students worked on their grade level pieces and ran through the two combined songs. We can't wait for you to hear them perform in December!

We hope you have an amazing weekend!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Weekly Review 10/15-10/19

Friday is here again! An opportunity to rest, play and explore. Here is what we did in music this week:

As we are continuing to connect music and literature, our students listened and participated in the song book, " I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves." 

First grade students reviewed the following rhythms: quarter note (du), eighth note pair (du-de) and a quarter rest. Students took turns writing a four beat pattern for the class to clap. Other students represented the different rhythms. Here is a picture of Mrs. Gearin's class creating a four beat rhythm:

Students had so much fun playing "Looking for Dracula" that we repeated this activity again:

We also learned a song in a minor tonality called, "Have You Seen the Skeleton of John."

Our second grade students continued to learn more about our composer Beethoven by listening to "Fur Elise and performing their own dance with their partner. Students first listened to the composition with their eyes close and had to describe the music. Each student performed their own interpretation of the song with their partner. One student was the leader and the other student mirrored the movement of the leader. Partners came up with their own "secret code" and when the "secret code" was performed by the leader, the other student became the leader. It was so much fun!

Here are two students from Nelson's class:

They also learned a challenging new song called, "Come and Follow Me."  Each phrase is sung a little bit higher than the last.  Once the students were comfortable with the song, we added the body percussion!

The third graders completed their "Ding Dong Diggidiggi Dong" activity from last week, reinforcing our new rhythm (du-ta-de-ta, or sixteenth notes) on our classroom percussion instruments.  Then, they sang another song about a cat called "9 Lives."  Before we sang the lyrics, we sang the song with solfege syllables, starting on "la" - since the song is in minor tonality!  Then, we reviewed proper mallet technique for the Orff instruments.  Each student had the opportunity to play a simple melody on the xylophone, metallophone, or glockenspiel

Our fourth grade students continued to rehearse their Veteran's Day music. The assembly will be on Thursday, Nov. 8th at 1:30pm. We will be sending out a notice this week. We also began to sing a fall song called, "Black and Gold."

The fifth grade students had so much fun performing Halloween Night.  Some students played an ostinato pattern on the Orff instruments, while others played a scale-based melody.  Then, we had a group playing on hand percussion instruments.  The rest of the students pretended they were witches, skeletons, and goblins in a graveyard who came to life to spook the instrumentalists!  It was SO much fun to do each part, so we rotated to give everyone a chance to try them all.

Whatever you do this weekend, we hope you make some time with your amazing children. We are proud to know them!