Friday, 15 December 2017

"Fa La La La La!"

The past few weeks in music class have been spent gearing up for the Christmas Concert (and practicing, practicing, practicing!), performing TWO Christmas Concerts, and gearing down from two great performances.

We spent a lot of time working on how to walk on and off the stage, projecting our voices all the way to the back of the auditorium, and choreography (all important parts of being a musician).

We also drew pictures inspired by our Christmas Concert songs. Even Melvil (our Library Slot who loves to come to music class got involved).


Christmas Concert was a great success!  Our little musicians put on a great show and we are so proud of them all.  I hoped you all enjoyed the show as much as I did. (as a side note: I missed the evening concert because I was in the Book Fair - if anyone got video or great pics of the JK, SK, and Mr. Foster's Grade 1s, I would love to see a copy. Thanks).

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Music & Report Cards

As it is report card time (and we have spent this week continuing to work on our Christmas Concert songs ... No Spoilers from me!), I thought I'd post a little bit about assessment in my music class and give you a little peek into my own music experiences.

You will see that there are three parts to your child(ren)'s music report:
Skills: Demonstrates and uses a variety of skills in a range of assignments
Creating: Applies creative process to create and perform
Responding: Communicates feelings, ideas, understanding

Skills means that they show an understanding of music elements like dynamics (volume), tempo (speed), rhythm (the pattern of notes), and more.

Creating is the actual making of music; the singing of songs and playing of instruments.  

Responding includes listening, repeating, and expressing their own thoughts and feelings about music.  Responding is moving and dancing.  Responding is drawing and writing.

All three of these areas are part of being a musician.  As a musician and music teacher, I believe, it is important to consider each area individually and together.  For example, in Kindergarten and grade 1, little musicians are still developing their skills while often quite enthusiastic at creating and/or responding to music.  It can take time for these areas to all catch up with each other.  

I am an example of this.
My Kindergarten teacher told my parents I couldn't carry a tune (though she did give me "satisfactory" on my report card) and apparently my sense of rhythm was just developing, too (though, I can honestly say, I can't think of any instances I've needed to be able to gallop as an adult).

from Ms.Hayward's actual Kindergarten Report Card
Fast forward "a number" of years later when my "Skills, Creating, and Responding" all came together and I took to the stage ...

Friday, 24 November 2017

"It's Beginning to [Sound] A Lot Like Christmas"

Hard to believe that the Holiday Season is upon us and that means time to rehearse for our upcoming Christmas Concert.  We have been working hard to learn our lyrics and our choreography.  We can't wait to share our performances with you.  We've got jingling bells, red-nosed reindeer, Christmas crackers, some rappers, a warning to be good and not pout, and even a porcupine in a pine tree!

Monday, 20 November 2017

"We Are Family"

Wow, the last few weeks have flown by and we have been busy, busy, in music.
In both Junior and Senior Kindergarten we have been learning about the Music Instrument Families.

    We've already played some Percussion Instruments.

 We've had a chance to check out some Woodwind Instruments.


And We've had a chance to check out some




We weren't able to play the instruments because we borrowed them from some of the musicians in Mr. Oliver's class, but we did try some brass musician music technique by buzzing into a "mouthpiece" we made with our hands. (Very fun ... and a little spitty!)

String Instruments are next! (everyone can hardly wait to get to try out Ms. Hayward's Guitar!)

In Grade 1, we've been working on Rhythm. (They'll even be able to show off some of their rhythmic skills with their Christmas Concert song).  They've been practicing reading, writing, conducting, and performing different rhythms.  They will have a little "Stomp Out Loud"-inspired project to do after the Christmas Concert (Stay Tuned!)

Friday, 3 November 2017

"We Did the Mash ... We Did the Monster Mash!"

There's been lots of dancing and moving to the music in music class this week.  Moving to the Music is a great way to demonstrate your response to the music.

We also finished learning about our first music instrument family:
PERCUSSION (instruments you hit and shake)
First, we listened to a piece of music performed on all percussion instruments.  As we listened we thought about how the song made us feel.  We thought about what colours and shapes we heard.  
Second, we listened to the piece again, this time putting the music into our bodies and moving however we felt the music move us.
Finally, we chose the colours we heard and put the music in our hands.  We "danced" our hands around the page drawing the sounds we heard.  

On Halloween, we performed our spooky Halloween song, Skin & Bones together.
Here, Mr. Foster's Grade 1s perform it for you.


Friday, 27 October 2017

"Fascinating Rhythm"

    Our Grade One Musicians continued their work as Composers.  This time they worked together to write a four-line rhythmic composition using quarter notes (ta), eighth notes (ti-ti), sixteenth notes (tika-tika), and rests (shh).

Our first presenters, performed their piece for the class and then led the class in performing their composition with them.  I can't wait to see our wonderful composers present the rest of their pieces next week!

In the Kindergarten classes we continued practicing keeping the beat with our percussion instruments.  Today we even played along to "We Got the Beat" by the Go-Gos and "Happy" by Pharrell.  [Video To Follow ... assuming I can figure out how to rotate it ...]




Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Feel the Rhythm!

This week our grade one musicians tried their hand at being composers - Rhythm Composers that is.
We have learned that there are names and symbols that we can use to write and read rhythms.
On Monday, we tried writing our own rhythms for the very first time using popsicle sticks.
We worked in partners to create rhythms.
Then we moved around the room reading the rhythms that others had created. 
Our grade one composers did a fantastic job and are going to continue making more rhythms!