Moving into November

Dear Families,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween.  Now it’s time to give November a welcome.  Here is an overview of what each grade will be doing this month.

Kindergarten is now on their loud and soft unit.  Instead of saying the words loud and soft constantly, we use the words daytime voice to represent loud and nighttime voice to represent soft.  We will sing songs we have learned loud and soft.  In addition, individual students will receive opportunities to select whether they want to sing parts of a song in a daytime or nighttime voice.   In this unit, we also discuss new vocabulary such as phrases, singing voice, talking voice, and yelling voice.  This ensures students are learning the language of music and are using their voices safely.

First grade will begin their unit on beat.  Students will learn how there are different ways to keep the beat.  They will also get opportunities to select a way to keep the beat as we sing songs.  In the music world, we call this improvisation.  Improvisation is defined as creating music spontaneously.  In addition, we will figure out the number of beats we tapped for songs.

Second grade will start their unit on “do”.  We know sol, la, and mi well.  Now we will internalize a pitch that is a skip lower than mi.  We will use the song Bow Wow Wow as an example of a song containing do.  Students will sing a section of Bow Wow Wow containing do, using solfege syllables, and hand signs reading from notation.  Another activity students will complete is writing a four-beat melodic motif with solfege syllables underneath the traditional notation of Bow Wow Wow.  

Third graders are finishing their unit on quadruple meter.  We used Are You Sleeping also known as Frere Jacques, as an example.  We clapped the first and fifth beats and tapped beats two, three, four, six, seven, and eight.  Then we discussed how the first and fifth beats are strong and beats two, three, four, six, seven, and eight are weak.  Then students identified this as 4/4 meter because each clap represented a new measure.  Soon we will learn our unit on an eighth note followed by two sixteenth notes.   In this unit, students will learn when we have three uneven sounds on a beat we label it as ta-di-mi.

Fourth graders are continuing to learn notes.  They have already learned the fingered notes on the D string.  Now we will play different pieces that have different combinations of these notes learned.  We will also learn notes on the A string.

Fifth graders are learning several advanced concepts such as a pickup and how to play with a fourth finger (violins/violas).   This month we will begin working on our concert pieces which are A Vivaldi School Year and Gypsy MoonGypsy Moon features a slide from one note to another, which will take some time for us to master.   Another feature Gypsy Moon contains is accents.   We will learn how to emphasize notes more than others to portray the accents within the piece.   A Vivaldi School Year contains a new bowing and rhythm we will learn as we warm-up at the beginning of class.

Thank you for reading.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

All the best,

Ms. Waldman