Creation and Composition were the theme in 4th grade last week! We reviewed the song "Hot Cross Buns" on our recorders, as well as the 3 notes in the song. Next, I showed the students the song with one measure missing. Then, I told the students they were going to fill in that missing measure on their own!
Before diving in, I asked the students, "What was the first thing God did in the Bible?" They thought for a few seconds before eagerly proclaiming, "He created everything!" We talked for a few minutes about how we see God as the Creator in Genesis 1. Later in the same chapter, He tells us that he created us to be like Him. And, He even gave us the task to be creative! (See Gen. 1:27-28. In theology, this is known as the Creation Mandate.)
Then, I shared that a person who writes music is creating something new. In musical terminology, people who create music are composers. And, you don't have to be a famous, old dead guy to be a composer! I reminded the students that they were going to participate in the very work of God--creating--even thought they were "only " composing one new section of the song.
So, why only one measure instead of a whole new song? In the Genesis account of creation, even God created within parameters (the 6 days, one focus a day, etc.) We have to begin somewhere! In the Orff-Schulwerk methodology, the focus is on the elemental aspects of music. These concepts are referred to as the building blocks of all music. Elemental components are foundational patterns of rhythm and melody that are easy to produce and manipulate. In the next few lessons, we will move from one measures to two measures, then to a full Question and Answer form.
After we got the parameters of the composition project laid out, the students worked in groups of 2 or 3 to create their own version of Hot Cross Buns. Then, we played them for each other, showing off our creations. The neat thing was that even using the same set of notes and rhythms, each group created a distinct version of Hot Cross Buns!
Here are several examples from Mrs. Rabun's class last week:
It's March Madness in the Music Room! Around here, though, that means Grandparents Day, not basketball! All the grade levels are working hard to get ready for our programs. Our theme this year is "Ocean Commotion." We hope you can join us on Friday, March 24th at 9am and 10:30am for our performances. Below are a couple of videos of the students preparing their pieces.
1st Grade on the drums for "1,2,3,4,5""
Our Brand New 3rd and 4th Grade Ensemble, The FPD Treble Makers, with "Balafon"
Quaver Music is a phenomenal music education curriculum that we use here at FPD. We have videos of Quaver, the quirky music store owner and music laboratory mad genius. We use SmartBoard enriched activities to learn songs, rhythms, solfege, recorder pieces, and on and on. The student section of the website has been updated to include several games, music theory lessons, and even play at home recorder pieces. Here is how to sign up for a free account! There is also an app for smartphone, iPod, or tablets called "QStudent." Students can download the free app and log on with their same computer log-in and access these materials a second way.
3) Create a username and password you can remember. Put in the firstname.lastname@example.org email address for sign-up (This is monitored by Mrs. Krejci) OR use a parent's email. Check gender box and the Agree box.
4) You'll be asked if you have a "Special Quaver Code." You need to email Mrs. Krejci and ask for this code. Put "Secret Code" in the Subject line. Write your name and your grade in the body of the message. I'll send you back a 6 digit code to type in here. This allows you access to more student games.
5) And now you can begin creating! Click on your Avatar to change clothes, hair, shoes, and more! Click on the "Student" tab to be taken to all student content. Click on the "Student Interactives" to be taken directly to the apps.
Mrs. Krejci ran into Quaver at a Music Teacher conference last week. He has a special message for the kids at FPD!
The Elementary Christmas program, “Christmas in Central Park” is only a few weeks away! Performances are Thursday, December 10th at 1 and 7pm. All students in 1st – 5th grade will be involved. Also, check out the FPD Music Room blog at www.fpdmusic.com where all song lyrics are under the “Special Programs and Events” tab.
All students 1st-5th grade: Students should wear blue jeans or black pants, a long-sleeve top in red, green, or white (small print is fine, but no logos, please), and a winter scarf (any color is fine.) They are going to be dressed as neighborhood kids at an outdoor Christmas party. Please wear this to school on Thursday, December 10th.
§Shoes: Everyday school shoes (tennis shoes) are fine.
In 3 short weeks, the FPD Elementary students will present their annual Christmas program! This year's theme is "Christmas in Central Park." The students are children at a neighborhood Christmas party where the snow is falling and the music is rocking! We will present two shows on Thursday, December 10th at 1pm and 7pm. Below are two video previews of some of the songs the students are working on. The 3rd graders added the Stick Stations to a traditional carol from Sussex, England. The 4th graders have been working hard to learn "Coventry Carol" on their recorders. Enjoy these "sneak peeks," and be sure to join us on December 10th!
Preview of our "Christmas in Central Park" backdrop!
In Kindergarten and PreK this week we are starting to celebrate Thanksgiving through some fun turkey songs. We learned a song called "Five Smart Turkeys" about five turkeys who evade the cook by hiding in a tree. We used our imaginations to act out the story of the song. Then, we added in the instruments! The five "turkeys" got to play on the soprano xylophones. This was our first exposure to playing on the barred instruments! We used the note F on the xylophones. The students played an F on each of the rhyming words in the song--we, tree, and see. We talked about mallet rest position (on our shoulders) and bouncing the mallet on the "belly button" of the bar for the best sound.
Below are some pictures and videos of a Kindergarten class in action!