Here is some of what we did in first and second grade music last week. Check back for updates about the other grades later in the week!
1st grade: In first grade this week, the students are continuing to learn about beat vs. rhythm and delve a little more into the rhythm side of things. We wrote the rhythm to a favorite chant: “Miss White Had a Fright” and figured out which beats had two sounds (a ‘short-short’) and which beats had one sound (a ‘long’).
These ‘short-shorts’ and ‘longs’ are the beginning of learning actual music notation--but much in the way children learn to read, they must hear and speak before they can connect a visual, written word to what they already know. This is very similar to the way they learn to read music--we know what one sound on a beat sounds like, and we know what two sounds on a beat sound like--so we can finally start to add symbols that represent those things. The first graders are doing a fantastic job with this!!
We also read a book from the “Miss Hoop Music Library” titled Llama Llama, Time to Share. The first graders were shocked to find out that a book they had already heard of ALSO had longs and short-shorts in it! We kept the steady beat during much of the book, and I also had individual kids raising their hands to tell me what the rhythms were for different lines. I love using children’s literature in my classroom in ways like this--it’s another way for kids to hear and feel the rhythms, it connects my love for music and reading, and it’s a wonderful way to incorporate literacy in the music classroom!
2nd grade: Second graders are continuing to sing and play many music games this week. The songs we focused on this week were “Great Big House” and “Rocky Mountain”. Playing these music games not only gives the kids a physical way to connect to our musical concepts we’re learning, reviewing, and prepping, but also works a lot on interpersonal relationships between students! Skills like these, which were once so natural to most people, are often lost in our social-media obsessed society (which has its benefits, don’t get me wrong!). I love seeing kids able to interact positively with each other. Check out the video of Ms. Bauman’s class singing and moving to “Rocky Mountain”. We also sang this with solfege later--we are still working on reinforcing ‘la’ in second grade (the highest solfege we know so far!)
Hello and welcome to fall!
We've been hard at work in the music classroom this fall (even though it's felt still summery with these temperatures!) Here are some updates in Miss Hoop's Room within the past few weeks!
Letterboard: The music room letter board has continued to be a hot topic in my classroom with its ever-changing quotes! Weeks four and five included lyrics: the first from a country song by Rascal Flatts, and the second from one of my favorite childhood musicals, Annie!
We have a new composer of the month! Head over to the 'Composer of the Month' tab (under 'more') to find out more about him!!
World Map: We have been busy adding things to our world map in the music room. We've now got two composers and several songs and instruments that the kids have sung and played in the music room. This will continue to change as we learn more each week! Check out the picture below!
Kindergarten: The kindergarteners have been learning SO much these past few weeks. They have done a great job learning so many new songs and chants! We've had a ton of fun playing and singing the "Grizzly Bear" song and "Lucy Locket" while practicing being loud and quiet. We've also started working on the next 'Kindergarten Opposite', fast vs. slow with fun songs such as "Engine, Engine, Number 9". Ask your kindergartener if they can sing these (or more of our songs) at home for you!
Below is Lucy Locket's Pocket, that we use when we play the game. It helps us practice singing loudly and quietly (plus it's really fun!)
1st Grade: The first graders are reviewing the difference between beat and rhythm and learning about one sound on a beat versus two sounds on a beat. In our early stages of prep, one sound on a beat is called 'long' and two sounds on a beat is called 'short short'. We have been decoding a lot of our favorite songs and chants and figuring out what their rhythms are! They are doing wonderful with this.
We also read a story in first grade this week called "Scoot" and had the chance to move around the room like all of the animals in the story. It's a wonderful book with beautiful illustrations--check it out if you can! (See picture below).
First graders also got the opportunity to practice keeping a steady beat on our xylophones. Everyone sang "Apple Tree" while kids took turns on the instruments! We added an extra challenge by having the kids switch from steady beat to rhythm and back again sometimes. :)
2nd grade: The second graders are continuing to refine and practice the relationship between so, mi, and la. We are singing patterns, reading and writing patterns, and figuring out how some of our favorite songs have these patterns in them! We also worked on putting these patterns and what the 'rules' are for doing that (the second graders know: 'if so is on a line, MI is on a line!' and 'if so is on a space, MI is on a space!' See below for our notation of "Apple Tree"--we played the game (a favorite) and then figured out first the rhythm, then the melody, and then we put them together on the staff. They're really catching on quickly!
3rd Grade: The third graders have been working especially hard at singing with do, mi, so, and la. They are getting VERY good at decoding patterns that I play or sing on a neutral syllable (like 'loo' or 'oo'). We practiced that this week in some classes by playing "Melody Bingo: So/Mi/La/Do edition". I would play a pattern on my recorder, and they had to work together in their small groups to figure out what the pattern was that I was playing. Below is a picture of a class working on this, and also some pictures of the bingo sheets that they use--they have been doing a REALLY great job listening to those intervals and patterns!
4th Grade: The fourth graders continue to learn about songs from around the world while practicing their low so and low la patterns. We also used our German song (Lachen, Lachen from last week) to work on our newest rhythmic patterns (ti-tika and tika-ti!). See if your kids can draw you what these look like!
We are learning a new song this week with a really fun rhythm stick/clapping game that goes along with it. The song is called "Makoair" and is a Maori folk song (from the northern tip of India). It's been added to our map as well. Those fourth graders continue to impress me with how well they sing (and how well they sing with a new language!)
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).
This past Tuesday, our 1st & 2nd grades and 3rd & 4th grades put on some FANTASTIC concerts! 1st and 2nd grade sang some animated nursery rhymes put to music in different styles. Their show was entitled "Gettin' Down with Mama Goose"! It was so much fun to rehearse with my younger el students and SO much fun to perform! 3rd and 4th grade sang "A World of Music", a compilation of songs from or about other parts of the world. They did an awesome job, especially considering that many of the songs were in other languages! I am so proud of all of the hard work they've done. Videos of the concerts (recorded by BCTV) are below!!
Recorded March 22nd, 2016. ©2016 BCTV. Blu-Ray and DVD copies of this and other events are available by visiting us online at www.byrontv.com.
This upcoming weekend, our ever-so-talented high school students are putting on four fantastic performances of Shrek the Musical. I have the incredible opportunity of directing the pit orchestra (all of the live musicians down below the stage who provide the music during the show)! It's been a busy few months preparing for this weekend but all of the kid's hard work has definitely paid off. This show is HILARIOUS and you should not miss it!! Come and down to the Van Singel Fine Arts Center in Byron Center and check it out!!! Shows are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday--February 25, 26, and 27--at 7pm. There is also a Saturday matinee at 2pm. Call the Van Singel box office today at 878-6800 to reserve your tickets!!
Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE to read. My home is filled with more books than I can count, and I love bringing literature into my music classroom as much as I can. Early in February, I did a lesson with my kindergarteners and my CI class that incorporated the book "Pouch!" by David Ezra Stein. This is a story about a little Kangaroo named Joey, and his trials and tribulations as he tries to explore the world. He gets easily scared and keeps hopping back to his Mama's pouch, but might meet a new friend along the way!
I started out the lesson by reading the story and having the kids listen for words or phrases that are repeated often in the story. After we read it, we wrote down the repeated words/phrases on the board and the kids came up with sounds on a drum to represent those words. Each class was SO creative with how they represented the words in sound! (For example: "hop!" was a hit on the drum for one class. For "Who are you?", one class decided to scrape the drum with their fingertips. They had some great ideas!)
We re-read the story and this time, the whole class would play each sound when they heard the appropriate words. They loved this activity (because who doesn't love playing drums?) and so did I--it focused on creativity (the beginnings of music composition!), listening skills, proper drum technique, language, and so much more. On top of all that--it was FUN!
Below are some photos of the CI class and I during our "Pouch!" sound story.
It's now February, which means we are even closer to our fabulous spring program which takes place on March 22nd. The 1st and 2nd graders will perform at 6:30, and the 3rd and 4th graders at 7:30. They're bound to be fantastic shows with the hard work that these kids have put in so far!
The 1st and 2nd graders will be performing a show entitled "Getting' Down with Mama Goose". Their songs are fun twists on the original nursery rhymes, and the kids are having SO much fun learning them!
The 3rd and 4th graders have been working especially hard at their music. They'll be doing songs from around the world for their show, which means some of the songs are in languages other than English! One of the first songs we learned, titled "Amigos" has Spanish, English, French, Hebrew, and sign language in it. The upper elementary students are doing a FANTASTIC job learning how to pronounce words in other languages (which can be tricky!) I'm so proud of the work they've done so far, and so excited for the show in March!
The Brown and Marshall Elementary 3rd/4th grade choirs presented a FANTASTIC Christmas Concert on Thursday, December 10. I was exceptionally proud of how well our kids sang--even with the iTunes goof in the 7th track! They didn't let it phase them and sang with such joy. (I think they even enjoyed the fact that they got to sing most of the song over!) As I've told the kids before--sometimes things happen in live performances, and you've got to be ready to roll with it! They were! They also loved the "snow" at the end of our concert, and I think our audience did too. Another successful concert in the books! Way to go Marshall and Brown Elementary Choirs!
Please enjoy the video below!
Attention Marshall Elementary Choir Families!
There will be NO early morning choir the week of Thanksgiving (Tuesday, November 24th). I will be out of the country for the Thanksgiving Holiday, so no choir! Enjoy sleeping in!!
Your kids are doing SUCH a great job with all of their choir music. I recently sent home a lyric packet with the kids so they could practice remembering the words at home. There are extras in my classroom if your child needs one!
Our Christmas Concert will be Thursday, December 10th, at 6:30 pm in the VanSingel Auditorium. We will be performing with the Brown Elementary Choir as well. I look forward to you all enjoying the hard work that the kids have put into getting this show ready!
In Kindergarten Music, we spend a lot of time in the beginning of the year exploring things. We explore our voices and how they work--we've learned about our singing voice, our speaking voice, our whisper voice, and our shouting voice.
We also get the chance to explore instruments. One of my favorite ways to do this in music class is through what I call a "sound story"--taking a story, whether new or familiar, and adding sounds to it in a fun way.
This week in Kindergarten music, we read the story "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams.
This story is perfect to add instruments to--it's a beloved story that the kids know, and it's very repetitive (perfect for getting LOTS of chances to play those instruments!) I love that this kind of activity exposes kids to literature, incorporates playing instruments, uses the natural sequence of the story and helps develop their listening (so they know when they play!)
Check out a video of one of the kinder classes during this activity:
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. :)