Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shoo Fly, Fermatas, and Form!

2nd Graders have been learning about musical terms! In first grade, they learned about many different opposites in music (fast and slow, loud and soft, high and low, long and short) and now they are learning the real Italian vocabulary. So far, they have learned about dynamic markings such as forte, piano, crescendo, and decrescendo and now they are learning about fermatas!

The students learned the song, "Shoo Fly," and quickly discovered that there was a fermata in the song! Then they learned some choreography and performed a circle dance mixer together.

They started out working with partners...

And then we tried it in circle formation...

Introduction/Interlude/Coda - students pretend to play guitar, banjo, and harmonica
Section A - Students clap hand with partner on "Shoo" (R, L, R), point to self with thumbs
Section B - Students clap both hands with partner on "Feel"
Fermata - Students draw the fermata in the air

(Music Teachers: I am using the arrangement from the "Share the Music" curriculum.)

To create the circle dance, I had the students form two concentric circles. The inside partners remained in place while the outside partners rotated to the right on each fermata (Oh!).

Here is Ms. Cook's class performing "Shoo Fly" -

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Carols

Fourth grade students have been composing in music! We read (and sang!) the book, The 13 Nights of Halloween, by Rebecca Dickinson and discovered that she had changed the lyrics from "The 12 Days of Christmas" to create her book. The students really enjoyed finding all of the characters on each page:

Next, we had a sing-along using some other fun Pumpkin Carols! Pumpkin carols are familiar tunes whose lyrics have been changed to a Halloween or fall theme. We created one carol together and then the students worked in pairs to create their own. Once they had completed their work, they performed their song for the class. Here are some of my favorites:

Saturday Morning Club - UGA Children's Concert Series

The UGA Performing Arts Center (in partnership with Athens Regional Health System) has created a new series of concerts geared toward elementary students! Each concert will feature a performance group from the UGA School of Music and will provide a fun and interactive program for children and families to enjoy. The first performance will be this Saturday, October 26th at 10:00 a.m. in the Hodgson Concert Hall. The PAC has given 20 complimentary tickets to each music teacher in the area to hand out to interested students. The first 20 students who send in a request (via note, phone call, or e-mail) will receive one! The first concert will feature the UGA Wind Symphony and will include refreshments and an Instrument Petting Zoo following the concert. It is fabulous opportunity for students to see these instruments up close and even try them out! I hope you can support this wonderful community event!

Saturday Morning Club Schedule:
Saturday, October 26th @ 10:00 am - UGA Wind Symphony
Saturday, March 22nd @ 10:00 am - UGA Percussion Ensemble
Saturday, April 26th @ 10:00 am - UGA Hodgson Singers

Tickets are $6 for children and $10 for adults. Subscriptions for all three concerts are $14 for children and $24 for adults.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 706-542-4400, toll free at 888-289-8497, or online at

Saturday, October 12, 2013

StOmP TiMe!

It's Stomp time again! :) (a.k.a. the LOUDEST time of the year in the music room)

My 4th and 5th grade classes have culminated their rhythm review unit by composing and performing a project inspired by the percussion group, Stomp. I use this project as a way for the students to practice layering contrasting rhythm patterns. The students really enjoy this activity and look forward to it each year. Because I've done it for several years in a row, I've accumulated some really great "trash percussion" instruments. Here are a few of my favorites:

After each group performs their project, I have them answer a few questions about their performance, take each group's picture, and display their projects in the hall:

Here are a few clips from their performances:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thank You, PTO!

As a music teacher, this is VERY exciting to see coming through your door...

Thanks to our amazing PTO, our music room now has 1,500 dollars worth of brand new Orff instruments! We are so lucky to be able to add these to our growing collection.  The students will be so excited!  I know I am!  :)