Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It Rained on Anne

Second graders at HSES are really enjoying our study of Italian musical terms. They love learning the vocabulary of "real musicians!" ;) This lesson about fermatas is one I learned from my mentor teacher years ago and it has become a favorite!

First, I teach the students the following poem. After they are comfortable, I like to add a simple steady beat (pat, clap). After the students can perform the poem well, I ask them to listen as I change something. I read the poem again, this time adding a long pause on the word, "huge." The students then perform with me.

I introduce the fermata symbol and definition and have the students practice drawing the symbol in the air. We perform the poem again, this time drawing the fermata in the air on the word, "huge." We then move the fermata to different words in the poem and perform the fermatas.

Next, I have the students get into small groups and experiment with the fermata on a variety of words. Once they have their poem like they want it, they practice it together. This gives them a chance to practice drawing the fermata as well as discover where fermatas might naturally fit in a piece.

Each group then performs for the class and the other students have to locate the words that had a fermata. The students pick volunteers to come to the board and put the symbols in the correct place.

At this point, we typically discuss how there are not usually many fermatas in a song and how some songs don't have any at all. The students enjoy looking through their music book to find songs that utilize a fermata. I usually follow up with another one of my favorite lessons, Shoo Fly!

There is also a great Orff lesson using the song, "It Rained on Anne," in Konnie Saliba's book, "A Musical Adventure." You can check it out here.