A look inside Music at FPD

A look inside Music at FPD

Friday, October 30, 2015

Musical, Minor, Percussive Pumpkins

Since we're in the final days of October, we used a fun pumpkin song to round out this week. We learned the song "Pumpkin Stew," which is another song in a minor key.  (Remember from a previous post, minor music has that "spooky" or "sad" sound to it--perfect for windy, dark nights).  

I tried something different this week and used the same exact song in grades PK-4th, however, we added in more complex musical ideas and components as the grades went higher.  In general, the classes learned the song "Pumpkin Stew" by listening to me perform and sing it on the Bass Xylophone.  Then, after they could sing it without me, we added in percussion instruments and formed the Pumpkin Stew Band.  

We talked about how to play the various instruments in the percussion family and how musicians work like a team.  In 4th grade, we added our recorders to the song, along with a new recorder note.  (Unfortunately, I didn't get a video of 4th grade playing!) We also used our imaginations as we became "Musician Chefs" and added ingredients to the stew pot in the lower grades.  We even used wind chimes as a sound effect for the kitchen timer!  

Below, are videos and pictures from various grade levels performing their version of the song "Pumpkin Stew."  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Stew Instrument Set-Up

Pre K



1st Grade 

2nd Grade 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Major vs. Minor Sounds

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. I've put in a video of the Toccata being played on organ.  You are probably familiar with the piece, even if you don't know the name! 

Second grade this week learned a minor song called "Pass the Pumpkin."  Since it's a minor song, the "spooky" sound is from the musical tonalities.  We played a passing game and added lots of instruments.  Below are a video and some pictures of a 2nd grad class playing and singing! It was a lot of fun to talk about how music can convey different emotions or feelings just with sound!