Music in May

Dear Families,

Wow!  I can’t believe we are already in the penultimate month of the school year.  Here are some highlights for May.

Kindergarten will continue to work on high and low.  We will place visuals on the board representing the beat as we chant using our high voice and low voice.   For improvisation, we will continue to create a motion demonstrating the beat of a known or unknown song using a high voice or low voice.  When listening to music, children will identify if a piece is high or low.  Students have already identified what animals they consider high pitched such as a mouse or bird and what animals they consider low pitched such as an elephant and a bear.  Towards the end of May, we will work on fast and slow.  Students will do similar activities with high and low, except we focusing on fast and slow.  For instance, students will get the opportunity to demonstrate a song in a fast tempo versus a slow tempo.

First grade is finishing up their unit on the quarter rest.  The students are experts at identifying the rhythms within the following songs: Snail, Snail, Cobbler, Cobbler, Seesaw, Rain, Rain, Doggie, Doggie, Hot Cross Buns.  Ask them to write the rhythm to any one of these songs and you will see which songs have rests and which ones don’t have rests.  After we finish the quarter rest unit, we will be focusing on the three note chant, which features a new solfege syllable (la).  Students will be able to read “Bounce High, Bounce Low” with hand signs, from steps, traditional notation with solfege, and then staff notation.  For improvisation, I will sing a question phrase written on the board and one student will answer a phrase that is written on the board using rhythm syllables.

Second grade has started their unit on four sixteenth notes.  We recently learned when there are four even sounds on a beat we call this sixteenth notes.  During the first three lessons of sixteenth notes students practice the previous musical element they learned, in this case re.  Students will be able to read Hot Cross Buns with hand signs, traditional notation with solfege, and then staff notation.  We will also analyze the song Paw Paw Patch.  We will analyze its rhythm with solfege syllables.  For improvisation, I will sing a question phrase written on the board; students sing an answer phrase that is also written on the board.

Third grade is finishing up their unit on the concept of two sixteenth notes followed by an eighth note.  We have discussed the concept of three uneven sounds on a beat is identified as two sixteenths with an eighth (taka di).  The first three lessons also address the previous musical element, in this case low la.  Students use their ears to identify the solfege of songs such as Phoebe in Her Petticoat.  We have also been singing songs that contain two sixteenths with an eighth.  Students have been reading traditional rhythm notation of certain phrases within the song.  We will continue to read rhythms of various songs.

Fourth and fifth grades have been working hard to prepare on their pieces in orchestra.  With fourth grade, we have already started sitting in orchestra formation to accustomed themselves for the big day on stage.  We will be putting the small details into work as students practice announcing the tunes, going from rest position to play position, and following the conductor.  We are now in the month for the event you have all been waiting for the Orchestra Concert.  There are a lot of fun elements in each piece that I think you will all enjoy on May 15th.

Musically yours,

Ms. Waldman