You can hear classical music everywhere. A few years ago, a commercial for a cell phone made it's way around the web that was beyond amazing. It utilized a well known piece by J.S. Bach (who our Bluffsview Sixth graders have recently studied) called "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." Here is a version transcribed for string quartet:
And here is the unconventional version... just think about all that it took to pull this off!
Where have you heard classical music in your everyday life? How do you think Bach would feel about his music being used in this way?
THANK YOU to the Williams family for donating three sets of Boomwhackers to the Bluffsview Music room! We promise to put them to good use!
Boomwhackers are plastic tubes that are pitched to the C Major diatonic scale. They are helpful in learning to read music notation on the treble clef staff, and they are just plain FUN to play around with. Tap them on your hands, your feet, your legs, the floor, with another boomwhacker - you name it! (Just not your face or anyone else's body!!)
By now, I'm sure you've seen or at least heard about the amazing things that The Ohio State Marching Band has been doing this season. Every week they put together a complicated halftime show that is full of brand new music, new marching drills, and fresh and exciting new movements. I have had the pleasure of seeing several halftime shows live in The 'Shoe, but last week's show was simply beyond words. If you haven't seen it yet, here is one version I found on YouTube:
Have you also heard how the band has saved thousands of dollars in printing costs by "going digital" and putting all their drills on iPads instead of paper? Click here to read an article about how this green initiatve came about. Hats off to these outstanding musicians, and to their directors. Just think, sixth graders, who knows, one day YOU might be a member of this amazing marching band!
It's likely that within the first few bars of listening to J.S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor that you will recognize this famous piece of music. It's a classic example of "spooky" music. But I bet you did not know that this song is a superb example of contrapuntal music, where two or more voices or instruments share portions of the melody and weave in and out of one another.
Check out this video, visually representing the song, and see if the visual connection allows your ears to better understand the concept of contrapuntal music.
How does this music make you feel and think?
Bach spent the majority of his lifetime working in churches in Germany, which is why so many of his pieces of music are written for the organ. Imagine that your job is to write all the music for the church services every single week - the number of songs that he wrote in his lifetime was massive, with many of the songs not "saved" for more than those single church services.
Another example of contrapuntal music by Bach is demonstrated in his "Little" Fugue in G minor. As you watch this video, see if you can answer the following questions:
What colors do you see?
What do you think the colors represent?
What happened when the colors went up/down?
Why are some lines longer than others?
Now watch a musician play the same piece on an organ in a church that Bach actually worked in. Pay attention to the organist's feet!
Fourth grade students have begun a short unit on instruments of the orchestra and started their study by listening to "Peter and The Wolf" by Sergei Prokofiev. It is a lively and exciting piece of program music, that tells a definite story and has each character of the story represented by a different instrument of the orchestra. Part of my lesson plan is to share this video with students once we have finished listening to the original version, partly for entertainment, but also to point out that music is used all around us. For some reason, the video I have saved on my computer would not play with the sound. So here is the commercial we were trying to watch.... enjoy!
Fourth graders will begin learning how to play the recorder this year! Fifth and Sixth graders will continue to have the recorder weaved into their music learning. If your child does not have a recorder or his or her own, it's time to order one! At just a $5.00 investment, your child is getting at least three years of use out of what may be their first musical instrument. Playing the recorder will teach them to read music, to improvise, and to develop the disciplined skills needed to master a musical instrument.
Yellow letters are in the folder on the outside of the music room door, and include all the details needed to placed a recorder order for this school year. I will be taking orders until September 27th, 2013. Thanks!
Welcome back to Bluffsview for the 2013-2014 school year! It is so exciting to be starting a new school year. I hope that your summer was fun and relaxing.
One of the major things that I did this summer was complete my Orff Schulwerk Level 2 certification at Baldwin-Wallace University. It was a challenging two week course but very rewarding to complete. I can't wait to implement some of what I learned into my teaching this year.
How was YOUR summer? I can't wait to hear all about it as students return to my music room this week!