RDS Music Notes!

Ravine Drive School Music Newsletter, #2, February 2016

Bounce High "La" introduction

First grade students have been exploring "la" in music through their memory song Bounce High. We are even able to sing it in various musical keys! We practiced the song by singing and bouncing a ball to one another after singing their name. We discovered that "sol" and "mi" are "copycat" notes but "la" plays alone. Ask your child to explain more about this concept and to sing "Bounce High" for you.

Click below to hear some first grade classes sing Bounce High.

Mrs. Barry/Fisco's first grade class: http://mfi.re/listen/72ehq77e9wg0xk0/2_Barry_Bounce_High.m4a

Mrs. Fico's first grade class: http://mfi.re/listen/9dvzlimk1lrguji/2_Bounce_High_Fico.m4a

Mrs. Kapadia's first grade class: http://mfi.re/listen/2bphs7r783t8u8j/2_Ferrara_Orange_Gr_3.m4a

Mrs. Buchanan's first grade class: http://mfi.re/listen/o3anudh5fnduvz6/2_Buchanan_2.m4a

First Graders meet the Nutcracker!

First and Second grade students studied the music of Tchaikovsky. First graders performed the "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" in ABA form, performing on triangles reading rhythms during the A section of the music and dancing with scarves during the B section of the music. They also listened to the "March" from the Nutcracker and colored a Nutcracker based on the elements of music they heard in the piece. They marched like soldiers during the "marching" music and scurried like mice during the faster eighth note patterns played by the strings.

Second Graders explode over Tchaikovsky!

December and January's composer study was Russian composer, Peter Tchaikovsky! Second graders explored Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture", complete with live cannons! We colored a listening glyph to show elements of music heard throughout the piece and watched an orchestra demonstrate various sections of the 1812 Overture. Then, we watched in awe as the Army Band performed the piece with cannons, just the way Mr. Tchaikovsky had originally intended. This version was a bit hit with the Second grade!

Second graders also studied the "Overture" to the "Nutcracker." We composed our own rhythm patterns after accompanying the "Overture" on rhythm instruments in ABACD form. We practiced placing 4 beats in each measure using quarter notes and rests, beamed eighth notes, and half notes. Once we composed our own rhythm songs with our groups, we performed them for the class using various rhythm instruments. We also discovered the form of the "Russian Dance" from the "Nutcracker" by acting it out with movements before performing rhythms on rhythm sticks. We learned about repeat signs and "coda" in music, the musical ending.

To view more photos of students at work, head to: http://www.marsd.org/Page/7099

3rd Grade Choral Concert Success!

Congratulations to the 3rd graders for a beautiful choral performance! Thank you to all of the families who attended the concert to support your children in their musical endeavors. I'm so proud of the hard work and dedication of the third grade class during rehearsals and the concert. I hope that all students will continue performing with the chorus and band at Lloyd Road school and beyond. Keep making beautiful music!

Kindergarten Celebration!

Kindergarten students are learning a few songs to perform on stage at the end of the year in June. We are also learning sign language to accompany a few of the songs. Here you can hear Mrs. Lenihan's Kindergarten class beginning to learn the song "One Small Voice" with sign language: http://mfi.re/listen/6et0xkqrs843l3s/2_Lenihan.m4a

Kindergarten lines and spaces

Kindergarten students have begun learning about the music staff and its 5 lines and 4 spaces. We practiced identifying each line and space by jumping to the line or space called on our large floor staff. We also raced in teams to place beanbags on the correct line or space. This music staff practice led us to our very first memory song, "Andy Pandy". We sang the song and played the movement game to "Andy Pandy" and learned to find sol and mi on the music staff. We discovered that other songs use "sol" and "mi" as well, such as the song, "12 Buckle My Shoe". Kindergarten students are already off to a great start reading music!

Rhythm reading and half notes

First grade students have been working hard to learn about half notes. Half notes are held for a duration of two beats in music in common time. First graders have jumped and clapped half notes through a partner game called "Quiz Quiz Trade" and have experienced half notes in various music that we have sung or studied. To view more photos of "Quiz Quiz Trade" head over to: http://www.marsd.org/Page/7099

Kindergarten students have also been practicing rhythm reading "beamed eighth notes", "quarter notes" and "quarter rests". We had some fun clapping and reading rhythms to "Angry Birds", "Angry Birds Star Wars", and "Super Mario Brothers". We used rhythm sticks and jingle bells to read rhythms to "Jingle Bell Rock". Students asked to change "titi" and "ta" to "santa" and "elf". You can hear Mrs. Doyle's class with their rendition below.

Mrs. Doyle's Kindergarten class: http://mfi.re/listen/5qc4bp12p1jskv9/2_Doyle_Jingle_Bell_Rock.m4a

High and Low and Up and Down

The terms high and low are often confused with loud and soft, even among adults! This is perhaps our trickiest concept in music classes. Kindergarten students identified high and low sounds by listening to pitches of different animals, vehicles, and items around the house. All students internalize pitches moving up and down a scale through solfege and using Kodaly hand signs gives them a concrete focus to finding pitches in the air. Here are some classes demonstrating a few types of warmups we frequently begin each class with.

Mrs. Fico's first grade class: http://mfi.re/listen/o6yz6le3rvma3js/2_Solfege_Fico.m4a

Mrs. Barry/Fisco's first grade class: http://mfi.re/listen/46ggktd1m6a2a11/2_Solfege_warmup_Mrs._Barry.m4a

Mrs. Morrissey's Kindergarten class demonstrating a warmup. One student plays sol and mi in any pattern or rhythm on the xylophone and students echo the pitches and assign note names to the pitches while using Kodaly hand signs.



Mrs. Sullam's second grade class singing the solfege scale: http://mfi.re/listen/f5wltu7tz8avm7u/2_Sullam.m4a

Mrs. Sullam's second grade class watching my hand signs before applying pitch and vocalizing the pattern that I signed: http://mfi.re/listen/55l0abghnum8n28/2_Sullam_2.m4a

Kindergarten students learned a song about a snowman, as we turned our bodies into pitch ladders beginning with "low do" at our feet and ending with "high do" above our heads. This was a great way to learn about high and low and up and down. We then transferred our knowledge to the xylophone while we performed the song on the xylophone. We had fun playing down the xylophone as the snowman melted!

First grade students also practiced up and down movement on the xylophone and keeping a steady beat with rhythm instruments through our sound story, "Mortimer." In the story, the main character, Mortimer, didn't want to go to sleep! His noisy singing aggravated everyone in the family, but not to worry, there is a happy ending for Mortimer and his family. Ask your first graders about this fun story!

Solfege Karate Black Belt Masters

Several classes have achieved the highest level solfege sightsinging/sightreading; the black belt! Once a class earns the black belt, they move to a higher level, which introduces a new note on the music staff. Below, you can see our second grade student leaders for the day leading their class through rhythms and notation on the Level 2 orange and purple belts.

Mrs. Donovan's second grade class demonstrating the Level 2 black belt: http://mfi.re/listen/56zmcz3wo15ugc2/2_Donovan_Black_Belt.m4a

Mrs. Pisano's first grade class demonstrating a Level 1 solfege karate:


Mrs. Ferrara's second grade class demonstrating Level 3 yellow belt:


Mrs. Ferrara's second grade class learning Level 3 orange belt. Once we analyzed the song, you can hear that they aced it on the last try! Great job!


King's Land "do" and dynamics

Second grade students have been studying dynamics (volume) in music. In fact, our new memory song "King's Land" not only practices the "do" note that we have been focusing on this year but it allowed us to practice our dynamics as well! While learning a new memory song, we usually play a game or complete an activity designed to help us to practice the song repeatedly in order to learn pitch intervals well. Then, we write the memory song on the music staff using rhythmic and melodic dictation. "King's Land" is played with one king (or queen) who hides their eyes while the "peasant" hides the "comb" somewhere nearby. Students help the king find his comb by singing with various dynamic levels. If they haven't done so yet, ask your child to sing it for you!

Stringing Along the Orchestra

Kindergarten through Second grade students explored string instruments of the orchestra. Second graders enjoyed viewing a song by the Piano Guys that used the inside of the piano to create a variety of unique sounds. Even Kindergarten students had their opinions of their favorite string instrument. The cello seems to be one of the most popular among Kindergarten students.

Second graders in computer class who are finished with their Powerpoint projects have been listening to and playing an interactive orchestra game called, "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" which is designed to introduce the instruments in each of the four families of the orchestra. Each student has a secret name and password (their login names and passwords for their school computer) and is able to play the internet program at home as well.

Meet Ms. Walliczek!

Ms. Terri Walliczek teaches vocal music and 2nd and 3rd grade computers at Ravine Drive School. Ms. Walliczek attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University as an undergraduate music major with a concentration in instrumental music education. Her specialty instrument is clarinet. Upon graduation, she moved to Florida where she attended Florida State University to complete a Master's in Music Education degree. Ms. Walliczek is an avid Florida State Seminoles football fan, an accomplished photographer, voracious book reader, and enjoys traveling and creating new projects. Ms. Walliczek enjoys teaching music at Ravine Drive School and feels blessed to work with such a warm and supportive staff and such eager and willing students.