Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016-17 Elementary Concert Dates

It’s been an exciting first quarter! We’re working on pitch and melody with ear
training, reading, and playing on barred instruments. Students have accomplished 
a great deal! I continue to be wonderfully amazed by their progress!

Elementary Concert dates
Fri., Dec. 16         Fourth and Fifth Grade Concert         7:00 pm Middle School Gym
Mon., Mar. 6         1st Grade Concert                     5:30, 6:15, 7:00 pm Elementary Gym
                       (times for specific sections will be announced later)
Tues., Mar. 21      Kindergarten Concert               5:30, 6:15, 7:00 pm Elementary Gym
                       (times for specific sections will be announced later)
Mon., April 3         2nd & 3rd Concert                       6:30 pm Middle School Auditorium

                                             Hope to see you there!

Tuneful Singers, Wonderful Beat-keepers, and New Instruments!

New xylophones at the Elementary building
What a way to start the year! I've been pleasantly surprised by what children remember from last year—and what beautiful singers we have! Every level has some amazing individuals, but there are whole classes singing lovely songs already.

Audio recording of Kindergarten singing Ten in the Bed (no video, but great sound!)

This year I see Transitional Kindergarten through Third Grade twice a week and have time to fit the morning sessions of 3-year and 4-year old preschool in both Rockwell City and Lake City. Our focus at the beginning of the year is to get back into singing tunefully and making our rhythms come together on a common beat. Here are some second graders creating machines to fit the beat. Making music is all about working together to make things happen!

Machine 1                                        Machine 3                             Machine 5

Machine 2                                        Machine 4                             Machine 6

 We've played games and a few instruments, so there's been a lot of fun happening in the Music Room.

Here Kindergarteners create short and long sound compositions with balloon pictures. Next they will add triangles and rhythm sticks.

Singing, Stories and Orff Instruments at the Middle School

At the Middle School we're enjoying new carpeting and paint in the music hall. Even more exciting is the addition of bass bars! Fifth Graders tried them out this week (along with autoharps and Boomwhackers), and they are really excited to add them to the concert.

Although they have music only once a week, we're planning an interesting performance. Students voted on a story and chose The Bakers' Dozen. Now each class is preparing to play one piece of music and move to another piece to make the story come to life. We'll have actors and narrators, too. Their concert is Friday, December 16 at 7:00 pm.

Titan Orff Ensemble with our new bass metalophone in the lower right of the photo

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Titan Orff 2016-17

We had our first meeting today for Titan Orff, a fifth grade ensemble that prepares a piece or two for the concert. They meet during recess time on Tuesdays from the end of September through the concert.
What a great group of kids we have! I'm looking forward to seeing their work this year. They were so excited to get started. 

We got some new instruments last spring, so the kids are really excited to put it all together. Here are some photos of students hard at work learning a tricky accompaniment for a piece by Carl Orff, the teacher and composer for whom the instruments are named.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Still Playing . . .

It's been a wonderful year in the music room—too busy to keep up with my blog postings unfortunately!

We have been playing a great deal this year. Today the second grade played Fiddlestix, a card game for identifying instruments of the orchestra. It's been a fun way to explore the different instruments.  Third graders will play an online game called Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, where they can explore Benjamin Britten's theme and variations and search for instruments. Here's the link if you'd like to play at home.

Fifth graders are exploring with theme and variations. They watched a video of Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and described all the variations as they happened.  They created some "visual variations" of Hot Cross Buns which we will play with Boomwhackers. Here are a few of their really incredible ideas. I can't wait to hear what they'll sound like with accompaniments they create in teamwork time.

The fourth graders are learning the names of  lines and spaces. We read flash cards, have staff rug races, and play other games like Sneaky Snake pitch puzzles. We also read melodies to play with recorders.

Our concerts this year were quite successful. Students wrote reflection paragraphs. At the end are the class paragraphs for first and second graders. The third graders wrote their own, in rough draft form. They did a wonderful job!

We just finished two little performances: first grade went to Sunny View and second grade went to Sunny Knoll. We asked both groups to sing America with us, and it was wonderful to share the music in that way!

Kindergarten are playing patterns on barred instruments. It's been an amazing journey with this class. They are so ready to learn and have accomplished so much this year. I'm really looking forward to all the fun we'll have learning to read music next year!

Kindergarten playing aabb patterns on barred instruments

First graders are working up to playing melodies on barred instruments. I'll post video soon if we get something good.

In addition to all the games, the elementary students have been folk dancing this year. It's wonderful to see students perform them independently—they're doing a great job of working together making great music!

Class Concert Reflections

Mrs. Case’s Second Grade
We had a great concert! In the Clock Store Story we all got to our spots at the right time. In Order in the Court, we did our ostinato correctly. We all sang well with the third graders for You’re a Grand Old Flag. We should practice being more quiet and polite on the risers. Unfortunately, the mikes weren’t working, so we didn’t hear much from “the Mamas” in Buy Me Chocolate, but we sang well together. It turned out as the best concert ever!

Mrs. McAlexander’s Second Grade
We had a great concert! Flying away in the Syncopated Clock part of the Clock Store Story was fun, and there were no bumps, even though we didn’t have much space. Buy Me Chocolate was good because everyone stayed together on our ostinatos. We watched the director but could have done a better job. We could have done a better job staying quiet on the risers, too. Our concert turned out really great!

Tick Tock, Here We Come
by Mrs. Gutshall’s Second Grade
We had a great concert! We sang well on You’re a Grand Old Flag. The “children sound” was heard every time in the Clock Store Story. The children were good at acting, too. We should practice watching the director. We had fun!

Mrs. Henely’s First Graders Reflect on their Concert
We had a good concert. Ladybugs was good because everyone played when it was the right time. Pumpkin Stew was good because everyone knew what to do. I’m Growing Up was good because the boys knew when to sing to the girls and the girls knew when to sing to the boys. If we did the concert again, we could fix our movement. We could use more high/low and close/far away. We had the best concert ever.

Mrs. Hucka’s First Graders Reflect on their Concert
We had a good time at the concert! We started with Four Shapes, and we had good poses. I’m Growing Up was good because the solo singers sang beautifully and the whole class sang beautifully, too. If we did the concert attain, we would fix the Chinese Dance. We would practice to get rid of our nerves. We would fix Bow Wow Wow  by choosing good manners. We loved our concert!

Mrs. Ricke’s First Graders Reflect on their Concert
We had a good concert. We sang together on America the Beautiful and My Country ‘Tis of TheeFor Ladybugs we played our instruments together at the right time and listened while Mrs. Panning sang the verses. The cardholders put the cards up at the right time for Pumpkin Stew. If we did the concert again, we would like to sing the words better for I’m Growing Up. We liked our concert and were glad to see our families at the end.