As November wraps up and the holiday season approaches, we have been discussing various holiday traditions in the music room. Music is such an important part of every culture, and students are enjoying learning about traditional songs, instruments, and celebrations around the world. Here’s a look at what each grade level has been focusing on this month:
Our kindergartners have been learning about different pairs of opposites in music this month. We’ve continued to listen for when music is high or low, but now we’ve also listened for music that is fast and slow, as well as loud and soft. They have been using their singing voices, instruments, and movements to show the difference between these pairs of opposites. We also started learning about long and short sounds in music, called "ta" and "ta-di", as well as silent sounds called "rests". Ask your child about one of our favorite songs that uses long and short sounds, "BINGO!" We will continue to use these opposites in music as we sing a wide variety of holiday songs in December!
Our 1st graders have also continued to learn about pairs of opposites in music. Our focus this month was on long and short sounds. Students learned to recognize, sing, read, write, dance, and play all kinds of different songs using "ta", "ta-di" and "rest!" We also learned about the music staff and how this can show us high and low notes. Ask your child to show you the hand signs we learned for "so" and "mi!" Finally, we learned how to recognize and feel the difference between songs that have an even walking beat and an uneven galloping beat. We even learned a pair of Thanksgiving songs that had even and uneven beats - ask your child to share "Pumpkin Song" and "Five Fat Turkeys" with you!
Our 2nd graders have been working hard to perfect their speaking parts and songs for our concert on December 11th! We even took some time in class to record a few songs and listen to ourselves. It’s amazing how much our sound improved after we were able to hear and reflect on our own voices! I am looking forward to a fantastic performance by these students – they have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into this performance!
Our 3rd graders have also been working very hard on their concert songs this month! When I first chose the theme and songs for this concert, I knew that these songs would present a huge challenge for these students, but they have proven that they are capable of not only singing difficult songs, but singing them very well! After all, it’s not very often that you can find third graders who are able to sing in English, Spanish, AND German! I am excited for your students to share the culmination of their hard work with you on December 11th!
Our 4th graders have had a lot of fun learning about traditional Native American music this month. We discussed many characteristics of ceremonial music and dances – ask your child about different traits of Native American music that we learned about in class! We also added our own voices, instruments and dance movements to some Native American folk music. We also had the opportunity to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and another patriotic song, "One Nation", for the students and staff at DES at our Veterans' Day Assembly on November 9th. The students sang wonderfully, and I was extremely proud of their performance!
This month, our 5th graders wrapped up our recorder unit with a final composition project. Students had the opportunity to write their own melody for recorder and then perform their piece for one of their peers as well as for me. I was impressed with the melodies that students came up with, but even more impressive was the level of proficiency that students demonstrated with their instruments. It takes a lot of skill to write a new song and then to sight-read a piece of music accurately without help from the teacher. Ask your child to share their projects with you - they have much to be proud of! As December approaches, we have started to shift our focus back to singing and have had a lot of fun learning songs from a variety of musicals!
As report cards are sent home next week, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns about your child's musical development or behavioral skills!
2nd/3rd Grade Concert!
Tuesday, Dec. 11th 2012 at 6:30-7:30pm
340 West Quarry Street
3rd Grade - 7:30-8:00 PM
Both concerts are free and open to the public!
Hope to see you there!
5th Grade Band News
- As December approaches, our band students continue to make a lot of progress! Many students have now learned the first five notes on their instruments and are able to play several familiar songs out of their book! Way to go!
- The lesson schedule for December will look slightly different than it did in November. Now that students are more knowledgeable about putting their instruments together and producing sound, I will be shortening the lesson times so that I can see students more frequently. Please be sure to mark your calendars and remind your students to bring their instrument and lesson book on the days that they have lessons.
- I will also be sending home a practice sheet with your student for the first time. Please encourage them to practice 4-5 times per week and help them fill out their practice sheet honestly and accurately. Practice sheets are important in helping me determine the pace and curriculum of the students' lessons. Practicing their instrument at home will help students become better players and musicians and will help our whole band sound great!
- Reminder: If you have a contract for a school-owned instrument or if you have purchased items from Ward-Brodt that have not yet been paid, please return your forms and money as soon as possible so that we can continue offering these services to our students!
Upcoming Music Dept. Events
- Thursday, December 13th - DHS Holiday Dessert Show
- Tuesday, December 18th - DMS Holiday Concert
- Thursday, March 21st - 1st/4th Grade Concert
- Thursday, May 16th - Kindergarten/5th Grade Concert