October 2, 2019
Welcome to the second month of school. October is one of my favorite months, because I enjoy seeing students getting accustomed to the routines, and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There are a lot of fun Halloween songs and musical activities we will be working on this month to learn concepts.
Kindergarten is off to a great start learning tuneful singing and developing musical skills. We have worked on mirroring motions and creating our own motions to the beat. In addition, we have learned multiple songs/chants. I think Kindergarten’s favorite activity is copying my motions as we move to different genres of music. We will take that one step further by creating our own motions to the music. We will also start our next unit on loud and soft.
First graders have picked up where they left off last year. We talked about fast and slow. In addition, students picked a chant or song we learned last year along selecting to perform at a fast or slow tempo. Next we will learn high and low melody. Students will learn to listen to a chant/song and identify if it is high or low and will improvise a movement showing high and low in a known song with two pitches.
Second graders have finished their unit on the three-note chant. They are excellent at listening to a song and determining the solfege (musical singing alphabet) to songs containing la, sol, and mi. This month we will learn about strong and weak beats and analyze repertoire that has two beats per measure. Students will also write songs in traditional rhythmic notation and staff notation with a time signature and bar lines.
Third graders learned about a pentatonic scale. They learned how the pentatonic scale consists of five notes (do, re, mi, sol and la). We have been singing a lot of songs containing the pentatonic scales. In addition, we have identified the solfege to these songs. Students have also been given choices of four beat patterns, individual students volunteer to clap a pattern, and the class guesses which pattern their classmate has clapped. In addition, students have a blast singing the song Money Honey and doing the hand game movements with a partner to the song. Our goal is to begin recorder at the end of the month to prepare for our Winter Sing.
Fourth graders have learned how to read and play two notes open D and A strings. We also worked and will continue to work on right hand and left hand positions. Students have learned how to pizzicato. This is an Italian term for plucking the string. For this month we will learn how to finger G and F# on the D string.
Fifth graders are learning more advanced skills. They have learned about 2/4 time signature and what it means. We are also constantly evaluating our playing on a scale from 1 to 10 to become better musicians. In addition, we will learn about slurs, fourth fingers, and first and second endings. All of these skills are really necessary within string playing.
All the best,