RDS Music Notes!

Ravine Drive School Music Newsletter #3, June 2015

Which Famous Composer Wrote "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?"

1st & 3rd grade students explored a couple of the great works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & analyzed elements of music in each piece. 1st graders were surprised to learn Mozart composed the children's song, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and wrote "Variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." 3rd graders hummed along to Mozart's very popular piece, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," which translates to "A Little Night Music," in German. We listened for elements of music such as, staccato (short)/legato (smooth) sounds, skips & steps, forte (loud) & piano (soft) as well as various instruments of the orchestra. We then colored listening glyphs based on what was heard. We love Mozart's music!

Class performances (sound clips)

Click on the links below to hear each class singing.

Mrs. Buchanan's 1st grade class sight singing the Purple Belt from "Solfege Karate":


Mrs. Forgie's Kindergarten class rehearsing the song "What a Wonderful World" during the Spring:


Mrs. Doyle's Kindergarten class rehearsing the song "Kindergarten Wall" during the Spring:


Mrs. Alvarez's Kindergarten class rehearsing the song "What a Wonderful World" during the Spring:


Mrs. Morrissey's Kindergarten class rehearsing the song "What a Wonderful World" during the Spring:


Kindergarten Music Students are Super Singers!

RDS certainly has talented Kindergarten classes this year! We have accomplished so much since September and worked quite a bit on finding our "head voice" when we sing. A favorite vocal warmup this year were hand drawn "squiggles" to practice moving our voices between high and low sounds. Each student was so eager to lead the class through their hand drawn designs!

Kindergarten students also completed a unit on Saens-Saens', "Carnival of the Animals," which let us listen and move to music with various musical elements such as, high/low, short/long, fast/slow, up/down. We became excellent rhythm readers and can now read & perform rhythmic patterns using quarter notes, quarter rests, and eighth notes. We especially love the game "Poison Rhythm" and take turns playing the leader in this "Simon says" style rhythm game.

The Kindergarten also read a sound story about a king who loved music but wasn't able to hear it. We identified characters in the story and chose instruments or body percussion we could use to match those characters. Students took turns performing their sounds while Ms. Walliczek read the story.

Finally, we have become amazing singers and are able to sightsing melodic patterns using "sol" and "mi" on the music staff while using our solfege hand signs. We had fun playing the "Bee Bee Bumblebee" game while we sang our first memory song and afterwards we performed and read the beat, rhythm and solfege on the music staff. We are super music readers!

Kindergarten Celebration

Friday, June 19th, 10am

170 Ravine Drive

Matawan, NJ

Where has time gone? Kindergarten students are ready for 1st Grade! Kindergarteners will perform 3 songs on June 19th. Some students have requested the music to practice at home. The first two songs, "Kindergarten Wall," by John McCutcheon, and "What a Wonderful World" are available online. "See you Later" is available here: http://www.musick8.com/html/current_tune.php?songorder=2&numbering=65

(click the link to view in your web browser).

First Grade Students have come a long way this year

First graders have been very busy learning and creating in music class. We practiced our solfege scale and upward and downward pitches with a silly song about a man named "Ebeneezer Sneezer." We sang and imitated each other in the song, "Punchinella" and trapped foxes in "A Hunting We Will Go." First graders spent some time learning about form in music and the song "Gilly Good Morning" introduced us to ABA form. We discovered that patterns are prevalent throughout all music! Once we were sure about ABA form, we moved to Call and Response form where we laughed and sang the echo song "My Aunt Came Back" and sat down and stood up for our parts in the song, "Ham and Eggs." We are finishing the year by composing our own songs! First we composed rhythms before transferring them to the music staff in the form of "sol," "mi," and "la." We even wrote our own song titles and can't wait to perform them for you! (CLICK ON THE PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)

2nd Grade Accomplishments

2nd graders have been practicing ear training through notation and rhythmic dictation by singing a song and writing both the rhythms and the solfege on the music staff. Our most recent memory songs were "Naughty Kitty Cat," which we performed with our own movements, and "Mouse Mousie" which we had a good time singing as we played the associated game before notating it on the music staff. 2nd graders learned about canons and rounds and enjoyed singing the traditional children's song, "I Love the Mountains," in a 4 part round with the class. We also experienced a new piece by the composer Kodaly, titled, "The Viennese Clock." We learned that some European cities have clocks in their city square that play music to mark the hour. We played the cup game as we practiced performing our own movements to "The Viennese Clock" which is performed in a rondo form pattern. We then created our own movements for each section of the song's rondo form and students individually led the class in imitating their song section when it was played. These are just some of the many musical activities we have experienced in 2nd grade since February.

2nd Graders Meet Peter and the Wolf

2nd grade music students listened to and watched the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra guide them through Prokofiev's imaginative story of "Peter and the Wolf." As we watched and listened, we identified "motifs" (short lines of music played by an instrument that matches a character in the story). Each time we heard the flutes playing their motif, we knew the little bird was in the story. The cat appeared in the clarinets and the duck in the oboes. We followed an interactive listening map as we listened to identify various elements in the story. When we were finished studying the piece, we watched the Disney cartoon version of "Peter and the Wolf" and realized that musical stories can be interpreted differently.

3rd Grade Music Students are ready to shine in 4th grade!

Since the chorus concert in February, 3rd graders have been exploring families of the Orchestra: Woodwind, Brass, String, and Percussion, and how to categorize instruments into each family. We explored major and minor keys with the song, "Ghost of John," which helped us to practice our high singing voices as well. Our most recent memory song was "Closet Key" where we learned a new note, "re." We enjoyed passing the "key" on a string around the circle and singing while the person in the middle tried to guess who had the key. Once we had learned "Closet Key," we practiced our ear training and rhythmic, pitch and notation skills while we dictated the song on the music staff. 3rd graders also learned about time signatures and various meters including meters of 2, 3, and 4. Our favorite song to help us understand meter was, "An Old Austrian," which is in a meter of 3. We met a new composer, John Philip Sousa, nicknamed the "March King," who wrote over 100 marches (usually in a meter of 2). We enjoyed his song, "The Stars and Stripes Forever March" as it was played by the President's Own Marine Band and were surprised to find out the song is our country's National March. 3rd graders have been very busy this year and are finishing the year reviewing half and whole rests with the song "Fooba Wooba John." We are very excited to write our own verses to the song!

A Message from Ms. Walliczek

It's hard to believe that another school year is almost finished! I know that your children are eager to share their activities and songs with you, their families, so I will be sending home music journals with each student during the next two weeks. Music journals are a compilation of just some of the activities that we have completed during the school year in music class. I would like to wish all RDS music students a safe and relaxing summer vacation. I would also like to wish our very musically talented 3rd grade class the best as they adventure to Lloyd Road School in September. Remember to keep music in your heart! What are some ways that you will use music this summer?

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