Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dancing Snowflakes

To celebrate winter, Fourth and Fifth grade classes have been working on an Orff piece called, "Dancing Snowflakes." It is very appropriate that we've been working on this song because we've had two snowstorms so far - unheard of in this part of Georgia! This is one of my favorite pieces to teach because it incorporates so many difference elements: mallet technique, improvisation, playing on special words, ABA form, and poetry. After learning the song and instrument parts, students work in groups to create haiku poems that describe snowflakes. Then, we use these poems to create the contrasting sections in our performances. Here is a video of one of the 4th grade classes performing the song:

I also created a display in the hall using their haiku poems and some snowflakes that one of my classes made. Check out some of my favorites:

(Music Teachers: This song and arrangement is located in Gameplan Curriculum - Grade 3)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Folk Song Unit

Third grade is currently working on a Folk Song unit in music centering around folk songs originating in the United States. They learned that folk means "of the people," that folk music has been passed down from generation to generation, and is usually handed-down orally. We have also discussed how the lyrics or verses of these songs can change over time similar to the "telephone" game. They have also been discussing the similarities and differences between folk songs and folk tales.

Our unit on folk songs is giving the 3rd graders a chance to brush up on their mallet skills. The focus has been learning the cross-over pattern and playing on special words. All students get a chance to learn each instrument part and the folk dance, and then we divide into two groups for our final performance.

Here is a video of the 3rd grade ABC class performing Tideo.