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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Welcome Fall!

We have had a great time this week continuing our Unit 1 lessons: Music is a Language.

In kindergarten, we brought the story "The Very Busy Spider" to life by adding rhythms as well as including improvisation on unpitched instruments to add some sound color to our story.  Other students helped build a giant class spider web throughout the story and caught our "pesty" fly at the end.  Students demonstrated their ability to read, sing, and play quarter notes and 8th notes in music.  They also discovered how to tranlate the rhythm of language into musical notation.  We are looking forward to adding the quarter rest this week!

Our first graders continued to study rhythms and added a new symbol; the quarter rest!  We focused on the quarter rest with an exciting song and soccer game to the song, "I Love Soccer"!  They also got to preview form by identifying the sections of the song.  As an added bonus, first grade musicians were able to shake their "rah-rah" on the rests on the A section, while others passed a soccer ball back and forth on the B section.

Second graders are continuing work on our upcoming musical.  We began rehearsals Friday.  I just know that parents will be thrilled with the sound coming from these very talented musicians.  I look forward to what rehearsals bring this week.  Be checking for constant updates as we may include a live stream of our show for parents and family members unable to attend Thursday night's performance.  Glass Productions will also be attending the performance and offering a high quality DVD for purchase at the event.  It is definitely a wonderful keepsake.  In addition to the performance, students have been working on reviewing quarter notes, 8th notes, and quarter rests.  We will be studying a new note, half notes in the upcoming weeks.

Third grade students have dove headfirst (litterally!) into 16th notes with an exciting song and game of "Chicken on the Fencepost".  We divided our students into three groups to focus in on phrase structure and music rhythms.  While "Chicken on the Fencepost" is considered a play party, we chose to pass on the dance this year and add an exciting game.  The game is similiar to a chase or race, but through a maze of students.  Two concentric circles  move during the song, and on the last phrase selected students drop hands and opens up a path for our racers.  Two students race through the windows to be the first to grab the chicken in the middle of the groups.  We also are learning about play parties and 16th notes with song, "Tideo".


Fourth grade students have had a blast reviewing more rhythms including 8th notes, quarter notes, half notes, whole notes, dotted half notes, whole rests, half rests, and quarter rests through two part rhythmic accompaniments with song, "Soldier, Soldier". Perhaps the more interesting part is the lyrics!  Oh the drama!  But they have certainly enjoyed the challenge of putting together these rhythmic accompaniments with their new song.  To conclude the activity, we discussed variations, and had students compare and contrast "Lazy John" to "Soldier, Soldier".

Fifth grade students focused on dotted rhythms this week with "Ama Lama" and Quaver's "Hey Mister Beat Boy".  They were able to compare and contrast the differences between the uneven feel of dotted rhythms with the straight even sounds of beamed 8th notes and quarter notes with the "Sore Foot March" by marching around the room demonstrating the two separate feelings.  In addition students were offered the formula for the duration of dotted notes.  They participated in pairing various dotted rhythms through dictation and ended with adding 3 part rhythmic accompaniment to Ama Lama as well as a quick rhythmic dictation activity.  We are looking forward to learning about syncopation next week with Ella Fitzgerald's, "A Tisket, A Tasket" and "Lil' Liza Jane" (Thank you www.bethsmusicnotes.blogspot.com).  We hope this will prepare us for creating a rhythmic accompaniment for our story, "Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted To Dance".


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Last Week in Music....

We have had some fun developing lessons from last week through this week in class.  Our focus this 9 weeks is Music is a Language: Rhythm, Beat, and Meter.  We hope to end our unit with compositions!

Kindergarten:  This week we performed steady beat, with acting, and singing with the book, "Rumble in the Jungle".  The kindergarteners had a wonderful time making the connection between music and literature.  We discussed how music can enhance literature.  (Lesson from Mallet Madness)

First Grade:  First graders have also been studying steady beat and added acting and singing with the book, "Baby Bear".  We turned the book into a call and response, sol la mi, production.  It also served the purpose of allowing us to preview how well students sing sol la and mi to prepare us for our next unit, melody!

2nd Grade:  Our second grade students are working diligently to prepare for our upcoming second grade musical "Spaced Out".  Students completed auditions for special roles and have begun learning their stage dance movements.  Mark your calendars! The show is October 2nd.  In addition to our musical, students have been learning about music rhythms: quarter note and 8th notes.

3rd Grade:  In third grade, students have taken their knowledge of creating rhythms with "Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!"  Last week, we reviewed rhythms with 3rd grade students, and discussed how to transfer the rhythm of the words to musical notation.  This week, students created sentence about their day and added the musical notation following the specific rules for meter in 2. (Lesson from Mallet Madness)

4th Grade:  Again, our focus this unit has been on beat, rhythm, and meter.  We have spent several weeks working on meter.  This week we added to our lesson from last week and reviewed rhythms with the silly song "Fooba Wooba John".  (Thank you www.bethsmusicnotes.blogspot.com! The kids LOVE it!) This week students added instrumental texture by playing four parts on unpitched percussion to "Fooba Wooba John".  We concluded the activity by writing new silly lyrics to Fooba Wooba.

5th Grade:  In fifth grade, our students have been playing with meter extensively.  We started by listening to several examples and bounced tennis balls in various patterns (meter of 2: bounce catch; meter of 3: bounce-catch-tap in hand; and meter of 4: bounce-catch-tap-tap).  (Quaver's Marvelous World of Music) We then had students move around the room to music and when the music stopped, students had to quickly and quietly get into groups that matched the meter.  (Wonderful idea from John Feireband) This week, we added peacock feathers to Tanz, by Carl Orff and looked at how mixed meter looks in music as well as feels.  This was a valuable lesson to see how music can change meters, unlike music they hear in their everyday lives.  (A wonderful resource from Darva Campbell).  We concluded our day with rhythm hoop improvisational play and how we can enhance literature by "rapping" and adding instrumental interludes to the story, "Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance".  ~ Get the book here. (Wonderful ideas from www.bethsmusicnotes.blogspot.com)  Or goal is to add new rhythms each week and create their own instrumental interludes and perform.  See our motivation here!

Friday, September 5, 2014

What's Happening in the Music Room!

Our first week back we had a blast "showing" our students the do's and don'ts in the music room through a video special report.


To start the year, students in K-5 participated in various welcome back to school songs and an improvisational activity involving the Boomwhackers.

In addition, music students were asked what does music mean to you. check out some of the incredible answers students created below.

We are currently in the middle of our first unit, Music is a Language.  Our primary focus is on beat, meter, and rhythm.  Our students are having a blast incorporating children's literature and music during class.  More pictures and videos on their way!