Looking forward to getting Beat 4 Peace going again. This year, in hopes of meeting the needs of more students, we will be meeting two days each week: Mondays and Thursdays from 3:15-4:00 pm. Students may attend on one or both days. Registration forms are due by Monday, October 6, 2014 . Fill out the on-line form and submit, print out the PDF, complete and turn in to Ms. Wakeen's mailbox in the office, or stop by and grab a registration form from the envelope on my door (Rm 214). Thank you! We are anxious to get started!
Happy Hello! Mrs. Todd and Ms. Schneider's Hamilton K-1 Classes!
Miss Anna's SOTA I K1 class adds a robust greeting as well!
Discovered this site over the weekend: Online Music Theory Flash Cards
The cards are organized into specific categories (note names, key signatures, intervals, triads, piano note names, reading piano notes, guitar note names and reading guitar notes) and are easily accessible and interactive. Have fun!
I challenged the students of Mrs. Todd and Mrs. Wettstein to sing our Hello Song using an appropriate singing voice. They really tried to do their best. What do you think?
Every day we sing songs to warm up our voices and bodies. The K1 students of Miss Karen sang this with a great energy today! I can tell by listening to their recording exactly which parts are their favorite. Can you?
This year our district wide Elementary General Music PLC (Professional Learning Community) has decided to follow second grade students in rhythm. I just completed one of the pretests yesterday. I was happy to see that many of my students from last year remembered quarter notes/rests and two eight-notes beamed together. We are adding two new things this year: half notes and half rests. About 50% of the new students nailed the rhythms (except for the half-notes and rests) and the rest seemed uncomfortable, but familiar with the symbols.
My immediate concern is the the lack of consistent tempo. I started each students with the words, "one, two, ready go" in hopes of helping them establish a beat before they started performing the rhythm. About 90% of the students demonstrated an understanding of the note values, but did not acknowledge the beat provided to them, therefore not performing the rhythm accurately.
My goal for the next test (the second of three) is to instill the importance of establishing a beat tempo internally before beginning. This week students will begin counting the rhythm in their heads before they begin to perform. In addition, I will designate a student to be the "beat keeper," (an honored position in our classroom) to help students hear and feel the beat tempo as we practice.
We have 6 new ukuleles in our classroom, similar to the one on the right. The students love them!
There are a few things I have noticed in these first weeks. I have found that word cues are needed often, such as "hide the thumb behind the neck, 1st finger on the first string behind the 1st fret, right hand thumb behind the pointer's first joint, the back of the ukulele touches your belly, strumming down means to strum away from you, etc." I've also noticed that the students LOVE "teaching" the next student what to do. Peer teaching is such a valuable tool because it boosts their confidence and provides an opportunity for students apply their new knowledge. Since we do not yet have enough ukuleles for the entire class I just pass out the ukuleles to every other student, or every third student. Students then play and pass to be sure that all students have the opportunity to play during the class period.
Until next time....
So great to be back in school! I notice students are very excited this time of year. How can I keep this momentum going? My plan is to balance our focus between new and exciting content and opportunities to practice. While students enjoy learning something new, they often do not understand the amount of time and energy it takes to improve and develop a skill. I believe that students who do this work, "pay their dues," so to speak will begin to develop a special relationship with their desire to learn about music and how to make music.