A look inside Music at FPD

A look inside Music at FPD

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Welcome to Mrs. Krejci's Music Room!

Welcome to the FPD music room blog!  Some of you are new, and for those returners, thanks for stopping by again!  I thought I'd give you a little intro to the content here and how to find it.

Home Page:  Here is where you will find all the posts about the goings-on in the music classes. You'll find videos, pictures, and descriptions of lessons.  I try to rotate the classes that are featured. 

Grade Level Tabs:  The only ones up and active at the moment are 4th grade and 5th grade.  PreK-3rd grade will have information coming soon.  This is where grade level specific information shows up.  Such as: 
  • 4th Grade Tab: This is your place for all things recorder!  Come here to find exercises, links, and information about the Recorder Karate workbook
5th Grade Chorus Tab:  This tab is useful for everyone that would like to take a look ahead of time at the songs for the upcoming chapel.  Songs are posted as YouTube video links.  (Note: sometimes there are commercials before the videos that I have no control over.)  

Etc. Tab:  Come here for the "extra scoop" on the music room and Mrs. Krejci.  Here you will find Mrs. Krejci's bio, a list of our wants/needs for the music room, and other fun things!  Currently, there is the first part of post on how to make a yarn ball.  We use a yarn ball in the music room as a prop for lots of games, and it is surprisingly easy for students to make them at home with a little bit of parental help.  Be on the look out for the culmination of this post (as soon as I finish the one I'm working on so I can take the rest of the pictures!)  

Thank you for taking an interest in the Music Room at FPD!  I'm making it a professional goal this year to keep this blog alive and informative.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  It is truly a pleasure to create music with your children at FPD!

Mindy Krejci 

Earning the White Belt

I am so impressed with the way the fourth graders have taken off with their recorders!  We started recorder about 6 weeks ago, and we are making substantial progress.  (So much so, there will be a recorder feature in the Christmas Program!).  I tell the students, we are not just learning to copy a pattern, but we are learning to read music at the same time as learning a new instrument.  Their brains are in overdrive,  but they maintain their enthusiasm!  With our workbook, Recorder Karate, the students work on a song until they are ready to test for a belt.  When they are ready, they play for me individually.  If they play with minimal mistakes, they receive a belt for their recorders!  As a group, we have been working especially hard on the White and Yellows belts in class.  The white belt song is "Hot Cross Buns."  Below is a video of a fourth grader class masterfully playing this song!  

Down to the Baker's Shop

First grade is just beginning the fun process of adding instruments to our their singing.  They are a great example of how the Orff-Schulwerk method approaches learning music.  First, we learn the song, then we add in movements with our bodies, and finally we transfer the movements to different instruments.  By doing this, the song is ingrained in our minds and bodies, reaching all different types of learners.  And, of course, the real fun for the kids comes when they get the chance to play the instruments to accompany the singing!  Just like the older kids, the first graders all learned every part and had a chance to play every part.  Here is one class's rendition of "Down to the Baker's Shop."  The students standing on the risers are demonstrating the body movements that got transferred to the instrument parts. 

Major and Minor

October is a great month to talk about minor music, with the dark evenings, cooler temperatures, and the falling leaves twirling about.   Major keys, just like the Major Leagues in baseball, are much more important in the musical world, but minor keys have their place! Songs in minor keys have a sound of sad, unsettled, or even a little spooky. A great example of a minor piece is Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata in D Minor" for organ.  Look it up as a family and set the mood for October! 

Third graders worked very hard on an Orff arrangement of a song called "Pass the Pumpkin."  This is a minor key song, so the "spooky" sound is from the musical tonalities.  They played a passing game and added players to the instruments.  Here are two videos of a third grade class playing and singing!  Again, they are accompanying themselves with the instruments as they sing.  Oh yes, and everyone in the class got to play every part!  With the Orff process, everyone learns every thing.  Enjoy!

Naughty Kitty

In Kindergarten, we have been exploring our singing voice and also various percussion instruments.  Last week, we learned a song about a "naughty kitty."  The words are: 

Naughty kitty cat, 
You are very fat. 
You have butter on your whiskers, 
Naughty kitty cat--SCAT!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Grand Old Duke of York

Second graders have enjoyed learning about their singing voices.  The beginning of the month, we worked on a "silly song" called "The Grand Old Duke of York."  He was in charge of some military men and made them participate in various training endeavors.  We also experimented performing this song with various tempos--or speeds.  Below is a video of a 2nd grade class performing the song with the zany motions added in!  

Making Our Own Music

In 3rd grade we are diving into the Orff instruments.  Orff-Schulwerk is a music education method that emphasizes singing, movement, and instrumental playing.  We are blessed to have a huge assortment of these wonderful instruments at FPD!  We started the beginning of October with an American folk song called "Tideo."  First, we learned the song, then we added movements to key words.  Finally, we replaced the movements with instrumental parts.  At the end of the process (over two class periods), the students were able to sing and play all the parts themselves.  I pointed out that I was not helping--I was not playing piano for the accompaniment, there was no CD playing, it was all them.  The Orff process of singing and playing music definitely requires higher order thinking skills--for the students and for the teacher!  Below are two performances from the same class.  Notice that the students switch parts in each video.  In the Orff process, everyone learns every part!