A little bit about the music classroom:

In music class students will sing, move, listen, imitate, explore, experience, analyze, classify, create, share, perform, notate, read, improvise, cooperate, and most importantly HAVE FUN!!!! We strive to create innovative, engaging lesson plans which include singing, playing instruments, and moving in each of our lessons. Music is important here at Dolvin Elementary. Studies show that students who receive music perform better on tests involving reading, math, problem solving, and logical thinking.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Quaver's Marvelous World Of Music!

Students are WILD about Quaver! 

Fulton County School Systems recently purchased a new program to aid in teaching music curriculum; thus welcoming Quaver.  Through Quaver's Marvelous World of Music, students are able to learn about music in a whole new light, provide the opportunity to easily compose music online, and connect to music outside the classroom.  Read more about Quaver's music program by clicking here. See a special shout out video from Quaver to Dolvin!

Students are given free access to the website to compose, play games, and truly explore music right at their fingertips.  For usernames and passwords, please e-mail me at endicott@fultonschools.org.  Students are encouraged to visit Quaver and complete various tasks for music tickets.  Music tickets earn students prices!  Simply go to www.quavermusic.com to let the fun begin.

Challenge yourself with music quests below...
(Thank you Catie Dwinal from Laconia, NH and the Quaver team at http://quavermusicblog.com!)

4th / 5th Grade Students:  Meter
3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 2/4? I'm all confused! How about you? follow these directions to learn what all these numbers have to do with meter!
  • Jukebox: To figure out meter you have to really listen to the music. Head to the shop and click on the Jukebox. Play three songs and try to figure out whether they are in 3/4, 2/4, or 4/4. Write down your guesses on paper.
  • Metro:  Now it's time to bring your meter knowledge to the streets. Head to the Metro and choose a stop. Listen to the music, how many songs are in 4/4 there?
  • QMeasureUp: Here is the icing on the cake. Head to the QArcade in the Music Room and play a round or two of QMeasureUp. I challenge you to play either medium or hard!
3rd Grade: Pitch
High to low, low to high, up and down it's worth a try! Did you know without pitch, melodies would be quite boring? Follow the steps below to discover the meaning of the musical word: pitch!
  • Clown pitch game:  Head to the lab and click on the organ. You will travel to EarIQ - a carnival full of games to test your ear training! Practice listening for high and low pitch on the first game. All you have to do is read the directions and poke the right clown on the seesaw.
  • Bell game:  There is a hidden bell game in the shop! How exciting! Find the game and play it. Read the directions carefully, it's not about size - it's about sound!
  • QComposer: Here's your chance to get creative! Create a melody using at least 4 measures.... Go!
 K-2nd Grade: Form
It keeps the chaos at bay, it organizes music so it's nice and neat for our listening pleasure. Follow these steps to learn more about form.
  • QDancer: form is everywhere, not just music.  Check out QDancer in the studio to choreograph some awesome moves. Watch for how perfect each move is, when a move looks great in a dance, that is called having great form.
  • QGrooves:  ABA, ABACA, AABB. All of these are different forms - each letter is like a pre-packaged little box of music. Head to QGrooves in the Studio and create a song with form ABACA using the boxes of music in there.
  • QComposer: Alright, now head to QComposer in the Studio and write me four measures of melody with the form ABAB. If you have to write in ABAB, how many measures are going to be different?
Let me know how it goes!!!!!!

Marvelous Music Creations...

Music Room Business!  This is a long one... I promise to post at the end of October to cut down some length next time.

A lot has been going on in the music room since we started in August.  All students began the school year learning the ins and outs of steady beat.  Students moved to music with and without a steady beat with the song "All in One", and played the steady beat on various classroom instruments.  They even had fun taking turns leading their classmates in dance moves to a steady beat with the "Steady Beat Montage"; a compilation of a large variety of genres and tempos.  With the help of a new class "friend" Quaver, students connected the steady beat to their heart beat.  Older students were able to turn their own beat into a challenging math quest for free music tickets! 
      The heart beats about 130 times per minute in newborn babies and about 70 times per minute in teenagers.  The heart muscle contracts to push blood to the lungs and the body.  By checking the pulse, the number of heart beats per minute can be determined.  Check your pulse by counting the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiply by 6.  What happens after you do 20 jumping jacks.  Compare your heartbeat to the newborn baby and the teenager.  Where do you fit in?
4th - 5th Grade Students:  These students have been working hard to prepare for their recorder unit.  We began by taking what we learned about the steady beat and moved into a discussion on meter.  Students found that most music is grouped in sets of 2, 3, and 4.  Through the bounce catch patterns of tennis balls, rhythm stick passing games, and conducting patterns, students began to feel the different meters and the impact it has on music.  They were able to transfer their knowledge to a new computer program, "Quaver's Marvelous World of Music" and create a backbeat using rhythmic percussion.  The objective was to create at least 2 measures showing that beat one is strongest followed by 3 weak beats.  Students were able to compose any variety of instrumentation as long as there was the obvious downbeat.  They really had fun completing this task!  To continue our studies of meter; students have been preparing for a performance of "Tongo" in class.  "Tongo" is a song in duple meter.  Students were able to sing and perform 3 ostinati under the vocal line!  I could see the surprised looks in their faces and sense of accomplishment when listening to their class perform.    Finally, we have began our study of the staff to prepare for recorders.  The staff has five lines.  Students have learned that the space names are easy to remember (FACE) while the line notes are more difficult (EGBDF).  Through the use of mnemonic devices, students are able to remember the line notes.  (Every Good Boy Does Fine).  We held a brief discussion on mnemonic devices and their uses and how they could be helpful in everyday life. (Spelling test!) Students were challenged this week to create their own mnemonic device for EGBDF and draw an interesting picture related to their sentence.  On the back side they are to use their name OR a friend's name and create either an acronym or acrostic.  They will recieve music tickets for completion!  (See below for a video of Ms. Stansbury's class and Ms. Townsend's class performing "Tongo")

3rd Grade Students:  Third grade students each year participate in a county wide assessment.  These students completed their pretest the second week of school and performed better than I expected.  They really retained information from last year and seemed to be clued into third grade material.  Way to go!  Following the assessment, our focus has been on melodic direction and studying pitch and melody.   Students have had fun moving to melodies that go upward and downward with the parachute to Tchaikovsky's Chinese Dance from the Nutcracker and "I Don't Care if the Rain Comes Down" as well as dancing and playing melodic direction with "Flight of the Bumblebee" and "Rocky Mountain".  To help visualize matching high and low pitches we played a fun ball game where students sang and tossed the ball to match their pitch choice.  I was surprised to see how many tackled the really high pitch just to have the chance to throw a really high toss!  Speaking of high pitches... Did you know an opera singer can break glass by singing a loud and high-pitched note?  Fact.  If a sound wave resonates with a glass at a certain pitch called resonant frequency, a glass can vibrate and smash!  Third graders learned about sound waves, resonant frequencies, and harmonics in a brief discussion with the "Myth Busters" to solve the myth.  Of course you would need to use a particular glass to pull off this type of stunt... 

2nd Grade Students:  Second grade students have begun work on their musical.  We are currently finishing up auditions now.  Please look at the tab labeled "Spaced Out" at the top of this page for lyrics so your child may begin practicing their songs at home.  To kick off our musical, I was pleased to show the students pictures of some of the famous and influencial people in our musical as well as share stories about each individual.  It was a treat to see how each student reacted to seeing what some of these people looked like.  Especially the ones from 190 BC!  Relating to students that there were NO cameras back then is shocking to them.  And their favorite of course was the discussion of Newton and how he created the law of gravity.  Each week I hope to teach students about their musical which will aline with their classroom curriculum.  The students had fun sharing their knowledge of the sun and moon before we confirmed their answers correct as it is stated in their new partner song, "We're As Different As Day and Night".  As most popular music, our musical song selections have a verse refrain form; therefore, our music concept has focused mostly on form. (organizing music into sections).  Students had fun connecting form to music outside the classroom with "September" from Earth, Wind, and Fire.  They had so much fun creating a parachute movement, that some of them told me they bought the song on iTunes!

1st Grade Students:  First grade students focused mostly on steady beat and played the barred instruments (xylphones, glockenspiels, and metallophones) with story, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Eric Carle.  Following their performance of singing and playing "Brown Bear, Brown Bear", students created our own version of the song through the use of finger puppets.  It was fun being able to take the time to allow each child to sing their own sol-mi pattern. The kids really enjoyed it too!  We played steady beat on various unpitched percussion instruments.  Students focused on learning how instruments fit into the percussion family and how the percussion family was by far the largest family.  So with the simple 3 S rule (strike, scrape, shake), students could identify percussion instruments.  But how do we classify instruments within the percussion family?  Students were given a wide variety of instruments they have played before and some that they have never seen before and were asked to classify instruments into 4 hula hoops based on their own observations.  Each student had the opportunity to share why they placed their instrument in the hoop.  I found it interesting to hear why students placed instruments in particular hoops.  Some said, "Because most of the instruments in this hula hoop are metal", while others said "I picked this hula hoop because red is my favorite color"!  With more guidance students categorized instruments into metals, woods, membranes, scrapers/shakers.  We were even able to create a large "hula hoop" Venn Diagram to show those instruments that could fit into more than one group.  Following this activity, students were able to use the hula hoops and conduct each group by simply jumping in and out of the hoops showing rhythm.  They had a blast!

Kindergartners:  Kindergarten students have been really focusing on steady beat.  I find that it is a process that takes time to really feel.  We have played instruments to the steady beat with "Johnny Works with Hammers" and "Two Little Apples" as well as moved to the steady beat with the "Steady Beat Montage" and "One Green Jelly Bean".  We have even taken stories and made them musical to practice singing and playing steady beat with "Rumble in the Jungle" and "Fall is Here".  We have added form to our lessons.  As students in class are learning about fall, scarecrows, and weather, so are we!  We have taken a song "Autumn Leaves" and had students create a beatiful movement to match the words to the song.  I then had students play a steady beat bordun on the barred instruments and a separate group play the finger cymbals on the rhyming words.  We then played with the form and created a rondo form (ABACA).  Students were able to sing and play on the A section, move and play on the B section, and improvise movement and instrumentation on the C section.

Check out one of our Dolvin kindergarten classes as they perform "Autumn Leaves".  I had a kindergarten student volunteer video tape... I'm amazed at how well they know their technology!

4th and 5th graders had fun playing a 3 part ostinati with song Tongo.  I love seeing their facial expressions after they finish a performance.  One student said, "That was awesome!"