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Star Light Star Bright

Second Graders learned the poem "Star Light, Star Bright".

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

This poem was the starting point for a composition using unpitched percussion instruments.  Students added instruments for certain words in the poem.  Then performed the poem with sounds only.  Way to go second grade!

Peter and the Wolf-an Introduction to Instruments

In third grade we learn more about the instruments of the orchestra.  One of the fun ways we explore the instruments is to listen and watch the story of Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev.  Each character in the story is represented by an instrument or group of instruments.

In addition to watching and listening to this story we use our SmartBoard for some interactive lessons on the instruments and play a listening game from Ultimate Game & Activity Pack for Orchestra.  In the pictures below students listened to an example and then pinched the instrument they heard.

You can watch Peter and the Wolf here:  
Teachers:  You might like these Peter and the Wolf resources.

Caterpillar Rhythms

First Graders are learning to read and perform quarter notes (ta), barred eighth notes (titi) and quarter rests (shh).  To practice these skills we created caterpillar rhythms.  
1.  The head of the caterpillar stands for "one, two, ready go"
2.  Add one body piece and then perform the rhythm starting with "one, two, ready, go".  By starting each time this way the tempo is established.
3.  Next, add another caterpillar body part and repeat.
4.  The tail stands for "The End".

(Teachers:  You can get a version of this HERE).

Look What We Can Do with Boomwhackers!

We LOVE Music!

Recently students were asked "What do you love about music?"  Their answers could focus on classroom music activities like singing, dancing, playing instruments, etc... or they could focus on musical activities outside of school like piano lessons, singing at church, learning to play guitar, etc...  Here are a few answers:

School Bus Rhythms

The students on the bus say "titi ta, titi ta, titi ta!" :-)  That's the sound of rhythm readers!  Students listen to rhythms played and then find them on the rhythm school bus.  To challenge students we would try two rhythms in   a row...and even all four!  What great listeners they are!

Organizing Sounds=Music

Sometimes in music class its...well...its a very noisy place!  So, what's the difference between music and noise?  Organization and intent.  First graders organize sounds (sometimes silly sounds!) into Sound Songs to explore the art of composing.  Using a simple template that asks students to design a symbol and designate a sound for the symbol to represent, students organize their ideas and perform for each other.  Check out their creativity:
Students work on their projects by designing symbols and cleverly figuring out ways to spell the sounds they want to use.

Once the projects are completed they share them with a friend.  Its important that others can decipher our "music" so that we can share it!







I Know an Old Lady-Follow Up

A few weeks ago, first graders completed a project I call "I Know an Old Lady-the Remix".  During this project they find patterns in the story/song "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" and then re-write the lyrics in any way they like.  Below are some examples of our projects with illustrations.  Way to go first grade!

***Please note that students were encouraged to use "first grade spelling" which encourages students to sound out words and write them like they sound.  Its so important to focus on their amazing ideas at this time and help them express themselves in any way they can.