Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day - All You Need Is Love

Happiest of Valentine's Day to everyone.  What a sweet day to be in an elementary school.  So many darling students brought me flowers, Valentines, candy, cookies, doughnuts... it was endless!  Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays as an elementary school music teacher.  There are so many fun and cute songs, games, and activities that we get to do in the music room during the month of February.

By far one of my favorite is a 5th grade lesson where we use the song, "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles to talk breifly about the band, how they were received in the United States when they first came to visit (February 7th, 1964), how this song was really written to protest the Vietnam War, etc.  Musically, by studying "All You Need Is Love," students get their first chance to discover and experience music that is in a mixed meter. 

What is mixed meter?  Well, normally in songs the beats are grouped in sets of 2, 3, or 4.  So you might feel a piece of music as "1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4" or "1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3" and so on.  In mixed meter, the groupings of beats changes.  Changing the meter makes the music much more complicated.  In "All You Need Is Love," the verse of the song goes "1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3."  Just try to say that out loud, making the "one" have more emphasis than another beat.  It's tricky, right? 

Fifth graders learned a partner activity that they performed with rhythm sticks that goes along with the entire song.  It's challenging, but a ton of fun.  Plus the song is just so perfect for Valentine's Day.  Love is all you need!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Congratulations 5th Grade!

What an amazing performance, Fifth Grade!  Thank you for working so hard on our music program.  You sounded amazing.  Countless parents and teachers have given me compliments on your performance.  You sang in two part and three part music - something that isn't done until middle school in some situations.  You learned new notes on the recorder, some of which the 6th graders haven't even learned yet.  You tied your performance together with beautiful artwork and your knowledge of history.  You should be incredibly proud of yourselves!  Thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's Concert Time!

Fifth Graders: IT"S CONCERT TIME!!!!

The big show is tomorrow at 1:30 and 7:00 PM.  Parents are welcome to attend the afternoon performance if they would like.

Students should report for the evening performance at 6:45 PM.  We will line up in the music room while the audience is being seating in the Gym.  Please leave coats with parents so that personal items do not get lost.

Please dress in nice clothes and shoes.  Remember what we talked about with giving the respect deserved to the performance.  Show respect for yourself and your classmates by looking nice and acting your best.  Show respect for all the hard work that you have put into this performance.  Believe it or not, this will make the audience more interested in listening to you.  Most of all, enjoy yourself.  Take pride in your accomplishments.  We have learned some difficult music and are performing it well.  Sing with pride in your heart and it will show on your face.

I am looking forward to tomorrow!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How a Recorder is Made

Ever wonder how a recorder is made?  Check out this interesting video...