Saturday, September 29, 2012

First Grade Bug Music

As we explore un-pitched percussion instrument families (the woods, metals, shakers, scrapers, and drums) we added some bug movements, matching the movement and the sound. I explained how I saw dragonflies landing on top of each other to rest after flying on a lake. We tried to recreate these "sculptures". Later we listened to instrument sounds that described how bugs moved and tried out all the movements. Finally students got into teams of 4 to create sounds with instruments and had the other teams guess which bug they were depicting with their sounds.
Mrs. Ricke's First Grade dragonfly sculpture
Mrs. Hucka's First Grade dragonfly sculpture
Mrs. Henely's First Grade dragonfly sculpture

Mrs. Wuebker's First Grade dragonfly sculpture

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Week of Patriotic Songs

It's been a couple weeks filled with songs that represent our country or our flag. Each grade level learns a patriotic song, so over the years they get a collection of songs they know by heart.
  • Kindergarten will learn America (My Country Tis of Thee) *
  • First grade learned America the Beautiful *
  • Second grade learned You're a Grand Old Flag
  • Third grade learned God Bless America *
  • Fourth grade is learning The Star-Spangled Banner  (National Anthem)
* These songs are often sung in place of or in addition to the National Anthem at public events.

Here is a link to information and recordings of the Star-Spangled Banner from the National Association for Music Education webpage for National Anthem Day.

While we studied patriotic songs we also reviewed the song that stands for our school and its teams: The SCC Titan Fight Song. Students are encouraged to stand out of respect for the school and teams, sing along with the band or cheerleaders, and clap the beat. Here are the words in case you'd like to join them.

Titans, Titans, all cheer for thee.
To our colors loyal are we.
Strong, united, victorious to be.
Rah, rah, rah for SCC.
Titan, Titan loyalty.
Onward to victory.

If you'd like some history (along with an Iowa connection) or want to hear the tune, here's a link.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Patriotic Musical Moment

Last week in music class we listened to a popular patriotic march in honor of Patriot Day and National Anthem Day. It is called Stars and Stripes Forever composed by the "March King" John Philip Sousa. We activated the listening experience with a flag waving routine. The instructional focus included Steady Beat and Form. You may share a musical moment with your child by downloading this exciting piece of music and listening to it together. To purchase and download the recording we used in class, go to and click on Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My!

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Good Beginning

It's been a good beginning in the Music Room this year! Kindergarten through third grade classes are working on showing the pulse (or steady beat) or making patterns to the music using the body as an instrument (stomps, pats, claps, snaps—we call it body percussion). They also learned that everyone can sing, and part of our work is to learn to use voices well. This week we made class recordings of familiar songs so we can see how much improvement there is by the end of the year.

Second and third graders are reading rhythms, and half of the third graders have finished their rhythm composition that we will use next week with Oki Na Taiko, our Japanese song about drums.

Fourth Grade has had a bit of a slow start, but they're working on compound meter rhythms and will begin using their recorders the week of September 17 (Homecoming week).

September 14th is National Anthem Day, and we'll be celebrating by having the fourth graders learn 
  1. when and why Francis Scott Key wrote it
  2. to sing verse 1 from memory
  3. why we don't sing verse 3
Choir is taking awhile to get set up, but we'll get started in October when 3rd and 4th grade football is over. Some of the boys out for that team want to sing, and we'll wait until they're available. I'll get out the specific date when we have everything ready.