It's been a long while since I've updated this page, but I am making it a goal to keep this updated this year better than I've previously done.
We've been working on a lot of awesome things in the music classroom for the last three weeks. I love this time of year--getting back in to my regular schedule, getting to see all my students again, and meeting the new ones!!
I also have some new additions to my music classroom (and have rearranged a bit!) One of my FAVORITE new things is my letterboard on the top of the small instrument shelf when you walk into my room. I've changed it each week, and below are the photos of what we've seen so far:
We've been doing a lot of singing these first few weeks of school. Ask your kids about what we have been learning!
Kindergarten/DK: My youngest friends have done SO much awesome work in these few short weeks! They've learned lots of new chants and songs that we sing, move to, keep a steady beat, and more! We also met two of my friends, Sir Squeaks-A-Lot and Leo (see photos below). Each of these friends only comes out when we are using a very specific voice--Sir Squeaks-A-Lot's ears are so tiny, that he only wants to hear your whisper voice! Ask your kids what kind of voice Leo prefers. :)
First Grade: My first grade friends have been practicing and learning the difference between the steady beat and the rhythm of a song or chant. We learned that the steady beat doesn't change (it's like the heartbeat of a song) unless we change the speed! We also learned that the rhythm is 'the way the words go' and makes different patterns that we hear. We have clapped the rhythms, tracked them on the board, listened to them, and moved! We've been using some well-known songs and chants from last year in kindergarten to start this concept, but we've also learned some knew ones. One of the favorite first grade games (and let's be honest, second and third and fourth grade too) is Apple Tree. Our feet keep the steady beat while we sing and play! Ask your first grader to sing it for you!
Second Grade: Second graders are working on a new solfege (the syllables we use for the melody of a song). In first grade, we learned 'so' and 'mi' (or 'high' and 'low', as they were first known) but this year we've added 'la'.....it's just a little bit higher than 'so' but doesn't follow any of the same rules when placed on our music staff!
We have been singing lots of songs and figuring out the melodic patterns in our favorites. We've also been studying how they look on the music staff. Ask your second grader which is highest....'so', 'mi', or 'la'? (LA!) Which is lowest? (MI!) What do the hand signs for these look like? (In the photo below, I'm covering up a solfege we haven't learned yet!)
Third Grade: Third graders have been hard at work using much of the same solfege they did in second grade (see above photo) but we have added 'do' (pronounced 'dough') and are prepping to soon add 're' (found in between 'do' and 'mi!') We have also been reviewing our old rhythms by singing and playing a fan favorite game: "Dance Josey" (the kids often remember this as "Chicken on the Fencepost"--ask them about it!!!) In this game, we sing lots of 'tika-tika's' which the third graders know as 'four sounds on one beat'. See if they can draw you a 'tika-tika'!
Fourth grade: The fourth graders did an arranging project last week, where we sang a beautiful song titled 'Who Has Seen the Wind' and the fourth graders had to decide together which instruments they'd like to add, where they would add them in the song, and why. We discussed which types of instruments fit with the mood and the style of the song, and why some of the ones we tried just didn't sound quite right. They did a FANTASTIC job working together and gently critiquing each other--I heard a lot of "well, I like that instrument choice, but maybe if you played it like this instead...." which was some awesome collaboration! Below is a video of one of the fourth grade class's arrangement. (They also chose to perform with the lights off which I thought was fitting!)
This week fourth grade learned a song in German titled 'Laughing, Laughing' and within ONE class period could sing it well in both German and English!! I was so proud of how quickly they learned this! See a class below performing (first German, then English).
About Miss Hoop
My name is Meghan Hoop and I am a K-12 certified music educator. I love teaching at Marshall Elementary, where I get to make music with DK-4th graders every day!
Miss Hoop, as drawn by one of her former 5th graders. :)