Thursday, November 16, 2017

Woods, Metals, and Skins - Oh My!

Our Kindergarten students have been learning all about the classroom percussion instruments. They've learned their names and how to play them with correct technique. Recently, they learned that we can categorize these instruments into 3 groups: Woods, Metals, and Skins.

After learning to categorize the instruments, I show the students how we can use a shape to represent each group. I pass out the instruments and they have to group themselves according to their instrument and shape.

Next, I show the students these Aleatoric Maps, created by my friend Charlotte, and they play their instrument as I trace the line. You can also trace from each end point as well as point slower or faster. We do several of these together and then I have a few students come to the board to make one collaboratively. 

Finally, I have the students work in groups to create their own maps. They take turns creating their line with a piece of yarn and then place the shapes (cut out on the die-cut machine) wherever they want. The student who created the map gets to be the pointer while the other students play. The students really enjoyed this and I loved seeing all of their creativity. It also gave me a chance to work one-on-one with any students who were still struggling with technique or playing on cue. Here are a few pictures of them hard at work in their groups:

Ukulele Strumming Exercises

Fourth and Fifth graders have been working on their ukulele skills in music class. After learning F, C, and G7 chords, we used these YouTube ukulele exercises to practice chord changes:

Then, I had the students create their own exercises using the notation provided in the videos. After they created their own and practiced it, they switched papers with another group and had fun trying to play their composition. Here is the worksheet I provided if you'd like to try this with your students: Ukulele Chord Practice.