November 18, 2022
This week, our kindergarteners played a singing circle game that helped them learn about the ordinal numbers. Our grade one played a variety of music games that guided them to experience different tempos and explore the solfa-notes of the songs. Our grade two/three played a variety of non-pitched instruments while reading the notes of the different rhythmic patterns as they played along with the music, "Viennese Musical Clock". They also experienced playing along with different tempos. Our grade four/five played the singing game "Stella Ella Olla" and experienced singing and playing at different tempos, with accelerando and with ritardando. Some classes have figured out the solfa-notes of the songs and reviewed/learned to read notes on the treble-clef staff. Our grade six learned to sing a campfire song, "Chumbarra". They experienced replacing the three syllables of the words in the lyrics with their own three-syllable "nonsense words". They experienced playing the melody of the song by ear on their xylophones and creating their own melodies to continue the song using the notes of a diatonic scale. The classes also learned/reviewed their note-reading on the treble-clef staff and explored the relationships between the notes on the staff and the pitch and timbre of the notes on different instruments, such as recorders, pianos, xylophones and hand-bells.
**Reminder for grade six Hand-bell Club participants:
Please remember to come to Music Room for your next four to five hand-bell sessions. During the previous five sessions, the hand-bell club participants have learned to read the notes on the bass-clef and practiced playing the hand-bells using proper techniques. We will focus on practicing "damping" the hand-bells and practicing different songs.
November 10, 2022
This week our grade 4/5 students and grade 6 students practiced singing the songs that they were going to performed during the Remembrance Day Assembly, both groups were engaged in some rehearsal time. The grade 4/5s practiced singing the two-part harmony of "A Wish For Peace" during their rehearsals and the grade 6s focused on reaching the high notes of their song and singing in tune during their "a capella" part of the song. Some division II classes also learned to do round singing when they learned to sing "Dona Nobis Pacem" (grant us peace), and a grade 6 class experienced playing different rhythms using the non-pitched instruments while singing at the same time.
The grade 2/3 classes learned some drumming rhythmic patterns and played on their bucket-drums using drum-sticks (we used the rhythm sticks instead) while listening to "Nothing But Peace" playing in the background. The grade 1 classes learned to sing a song "'Cuckoo" and relate the melody of the song to solfa notes. They also played a fun singing game using the song.
November 4, 2022
This week our grade 4/5 students reviewed some singing techniques: such as proper posture for singing, breathing techniques in singing, and how to make their voice and how to sing certain sounds/words softer and smoother, as they sang a variety of songs during their vocal warm-up and as they practiced singing their Remembrance Day Assembly song. Some grade 4 to 6 classes played "Skin and Bones", a Halloween song that they learned last week, on the xylophone by ear with my guidance as they learned to relate the solfa notes of the song to the letter notes of the song and try to find the notes/the bars to play on their xylophones.
Our grade 2/3 students learned the different tempo: Largo, Moderato, and Presto when they play their rhythm/body-percussion game. They were getting familiarize with reading the melodic contour of music notes on a 5-line staff while playing their beloved singing game, "Poison Melody". The students also tried to figure out part of the "Skin and Bones" song on the xylophone by ear and by identify the solfa notes of the song. The kindergarten and grade 1 students sang a variety of songs and played some non-pitched instruments while singing the songs. The kindergarteners experienced using their actions to show loud and soft sounds while listening to a piece of classical music, and they played some movement and listening games.
Some older grades also watched a video, "We Remember", a touching Remembrance Day song which has some documentary photographs. The video sparked some sharing and conversations around the topic among the classes. Some classes also continued to watch the other parts of "Swan Lake" (mentioned in my Oct. 27 blog-entry).
October 27, 2022
This week the students watched part of "Swan Lake" performed by American Ballet Theatre. They learned briefly about Tchaikovsky's life and his style of music, and also about ballet dance. The students learned to interpret the story through the music, the dance moves and the expressions of the dancers. The younger grades learned to sing different Halloween songs as they did some acting in the singing games. They also experienced how different the songs became when the songs' major keys were changed to minor keys. The older grades learned to use their "theatrical voice" to sing a creepy Halloween song which they will either play part of the song by ear on the xylophones in the coming week or they (grade 4 to 6) will try to figure out the whole song by ear on the xylophones. Some of the older grades also played some challenging rhythm games, played their 3-part ensemble while improvising their rhythms, and listened to Schumann's "Hobgoblin" and learned about his life.
October 21, 2022
This week grade 4 to 6 students learned/reviewed the basic xylophone playing techniques and explored the differences of pentatonic scales and diatonic scales practically on the xylophones, so that they were able to relate their experience of playing/improvising with the theory that they learned. The students also experienced improvising melodies as a group on their xylophones which were set at C-pentatonic. Most classes have experienced improvising melodies in a two or three part ensembles:
Part 1. Bass xylophones kept the beat while playing on C and G
Part 2. The rest of the xylophones improvised their own melodies on C-pentatonic following a repeated rhythmic pattern
Part 3. Groups of students (the grade 6s) created their own rhythmic patterns with their group members using non-pitched instruments, or with the grade 4/5s, I improvised a melody on C-pentatonic to overlap with the students' melodies.
I wish I had time to film the students' ensembles, they sounded beautiful! Most students were able to hear each other's melodies while playing their own. They were happy about their learning and had fun!
Kindergarten to grade 3 learned to play different kinds of non-pitched instruments as they played a variety of singing games. The students also learned to move/dance with the beat/rhythm of different kinds of music. They sang songs about Fall and Halloween, they learned about "major" and "minor" in music, and tried different types of dancing: they followed me to do some simple lyrical dance while singing and acting their Halloween song, and they tried simple tap dancing while watching "Singing In The Rain by Gene Kelly". Most classes have listened to "Autumn - Movement III" of The Four Seasons by Vivaldi and shared their feelings about the music.
**All students can practice "A Wish For Peace" to prepare singing in the upcoming assembly as a school by clicking on my Google Classroom which is linked to this school blog. The song is under "Singing" in my Music Google Classroom. Grade 4/5 students can also practice the alto part for their performance in the upcoming assembly using the link and the video that I have posted under "Music" in their Google Classrooms.
October 14, 2022
This week, besides playing different singing games, note-reading games and rhythm/movement games, the grade 4/5 students learned to sing the two-part harmony of "A Wish For Peace", a Remembrance Day song for the upcoming assembly, which had a soprano part and an alto part. The grade 6 students practiced singing "Visiting Hours" by Ed Sheeran, they did a great job singing the song even though the song was quite a challenge for a group to sing as it had a complex rhythm and unconventional melody. The students sang the song quite well as they practiced singing it in their classes and in their Music lessons sometimes. The grade 4/5 and grade 6 students learned about the different kinds of xylophones and the basic xylophone playing techniques. They learned about the differences between diatonic scales and pentatonic scales. They also experienced that when the unharmonized notes, "fa" and "ti", were removed from a diatonic scale, they could jam music easily using a pentatonic scale.
The kindergarten to grade 3 students also learned about the different pitches in a scale. They learned to sing in tune, and learned to moved with the beat/rhythm/melody of music as they played a variety of music games this week. They learned to sing the beautiful tune of "A Wish For Peace" so that they would be able to sing the song with the whole school during the assembly. The students learned about melodic contour, some classes learned to play the different kinds of non-pitched instruments while playing their singing circle game. They also learned from the indigenous dancers on "Pow Wow Sweat" online to dance the "Chicken Dance".
October 7, 2022
This week, our Division Two students continued to learn about the relationship between solfa names and letter names, such as the ones in a C major scale, through listening and note-reading. Some grade six classes learned the differences between diatonic scales and pentatonic scales, and some grade 4/5 classes played the circle game, "Move The Ball" and played non-pitched instruments on the beat of the song while playing the game and singing the song. Some grade six classes also played some fun movement/music games, and a grade 4/5 class learned to sing their Remembrance Day song, "A Wish For Peace" and experienced identifying the two-part harmony of the song.
Our Division One students played a variety of singing/movement games that helped them to learn about different pitches, such as the pitches in a diatonic scale, and helped them to learn about the "melodic contour" of a song. The Grade 2/3 continued their Rhythm Imposter game in their level two of the game, they continued to experienced identifying different note-values in different rhythms through listening and note-reading.
Almost all the classes listened to "Thankful" by The Juicebox Jukebox, the students shared about what they learned from the song, such as how they could still be thankful for simple everyday-life things even when they were going through some tough times. The students also shared what they were thankful for personally as many of them were about to celebrate Thanksgiving.
September 29, 2022
This week our grade 4 to 6 students used six to seven notes from the scale to create their melodies as they did their vocal warm-up using the solfa names. Besides practicing reading notes on the five-line staff, the students continued to learn the relationship between the solfa names and the note names on the five-line staff and learn about "movable "do"", which meant that a melody could be sung in different "keys". The students learned that each note-name on the five-line staff had its own pitch, but the notes had different timbre when they were played by different instruments. The students continued to experience playing music as a group through learning to keep a steady beat as they played the circle game, "Can-You-Keep-A-Stea-dy-Beat-(rest)", in which they replaced one sound of the 8-beat rhythm sentence to a note-value in each round as they try to play their new rhythms smoothly around the circle as a group.
Our kindergarten to grade 3 students played different music games and learned different songs this week. One of the games that our grade 2/3 students played was the "mirror movement" game, in which the students created their own movement as they danced to the beat/rhythm of the music while their partner "mirror" their movement. Our grade 1 students learned to sing "Apples and Bananas". As they sang the song, they replaced some letters in the songs using different vowels to change the lyrics and make funny pronunciations. Our kindergarteners learned to use different voices: loud, soft, shouting, speaking and singing voice to say different sentences.
All the classes watched part of the video of the Orange Shirt Day fundraising concert 2021, which I posted on their Google Classroom under "Music". They listened to some of the music that the different indigenous musicians wrote and played during the "Children Are Sacred" concert last year. The students are encouraged to watch the concert with their family during the National Truth and Reconciliation Day.
September 23, 2022
During this short week, the grade 4 to 6 classes experienced using the solfa names to create simple melodies for their vocal warm-up in the beginning of their lessons. Then they practiced singing the 5-part harmony song, "Black Socks!" and the 4-part harmony camp song, "Fish and Chips and Vinegar". The students also enjoyed listening to the song, which was adapted from "Edelweiss" (from "The Sound of Music") by the Marsh Family to pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, and they enjoyed listening to the original "Edelweiss" song, which involved singing in harmony. The classes continued to learn new note durations and using the notes to create their rhythmic patterns. Most classes have started playing a circle rhythm game called "Can You Keep A Steady Beat", which helps the students to keep their beat while playing a variety of body-percussion rhythms as a group. The game can be played in different ways for the students to explore their creativity in making their own rhythms.
Besides learning to create rhythms using new note durations and create simple melodies using new solfa names, our grade 1 to 3 students also learned that music has high notes, low notes and medium-pitched notes. They experienced identifying whether the music was fast or slow. They practiced listening and identifying different rhythms through games. The K to grade 3 students learned to sing different songs, moved with the beat/rhythm of the songs and acted as the different characters in their songs.
September 16, 2022
This week our grade 4 to 6 students had a review on note values and learned some new notes. They experienced creating their own 4-beat rhythms using a variety of note values and designing their body-percussion (BP - clap, pat, stomp, snap) to play their rhythms. They learned that when a rhythm/rhythmic pattern keeps repeating, it is called "ostinato"; and when there are two or more rhythmic patterns repeating at the same time, it is called "ostinati". The students practiced listening to each other's BP while playing their own at the same time.
All the students had a review on the differences between "beat" and "rhythm". Our grade 1 to 3 had a review on note values and created their own 4-beat rhythms as well. The 1 to 3 classes played the "Rhythm Imposter" game in which they needed to be the detective to find out which characters in the game were/were not playing the rhythms they showed on the screen.
All the classes practiced singing using the solfege hand-signal. Some classes have learned to sing a simple five-part harmony song, "Black Socks!", which has very funny lyrics! Some grade 1 have learned to sing the song, "Beat Ball". They also played a circle game while singing the song and passing some balls on the beat around the circle. Our kindergarteners have learned to sing some children songs and move with the beat or the rhythm of the songs. They also experienced identifying the differences between music and environmental sounds, and identifying different kinds of environmental sounds.
Some classes played a Circle Name Game which helped many of us to remember each other's names.
September 9, 2022
This week our grade 4 to 6 students played the Cup Game (a circle game in which the students speak the poem while doing percussion on their cups and passing their cups around the circle). They will learn to sing Cup Song and try to combine the cup percussion with the song and with other music as well. The students also experienced using the solfege hand-signal and the solfa names to create some simple tunes for their vocal warm-up. Many students were able to reach the high G note on the piano with their awesome voice!
Our Kindergarten to grade 3 students experienced using some of the solfege hand-signals and solfa names to do their vocal warm-up. They also played many singing games which included Freeze Dance/Wax Museum, Number Concentration Game (students sing their name when their number is called) and Obiwisana (students sing the song while passing balls/sticks around the circle on the beat). We had lots of fun!
All the students learned about some techniques that help them to sing, such as sitting up tall with a straight back and relaxed shoulders, singing with their mouth opened wider and proper breathing, etc. Some classes also practiced "O Canada" before our first assembly. We have talked about the meaning of some of the words in the lyrics.
September 2, 2022
It was great meeting most of my students in Woodbine School last two days when their classes had Music lessons. We did a brief introduction of ourselves, shared some expectations on our Music learning and played some fun music/drama games.
Our grade 4 to 6 students played "Splat", a game that requires their focus and paying attention to each other. They learned that when they sing or act, they need to pay attention to their peers' singing and acting as well. The students also had a review on the differences between beat and rhythm through a game that some students volunteered to create their own rhythm and body percussion (BP - making music with one's body by clapping, patting (on leg, belly, etc.), stomping and snapping). After that, the class followed these students lead to repeat their BP rhythms.
Our grade 1 to 3 students played a name/body percussion (BP) game in which they used the syllable of their name to create BP. They also learned to sing "Hello Everybody" while moving around the Music Room to shake hands with different classmates and me. Some classes also had fun playing Freeze Dance while listening to Mozart's music.
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
Welcome back to school! I hope you have enjoyed your summer, and are ready for an amazing year of learning together. My name is Sau-fan Brocke, my students call me Mrs. Brocke. I will be teaching Music at Woodbine School. All the students will be getting two half-hour Music lessons a week with me. I look forward to getting to know all of you, and I also look forward to singing, dancing/moving, playing instruments and body percussion, listening to music and creating music with my students.
I will post some of the activities that the students have experienced each week on the Woodbine School Blog, so that you can see some of the things that the students have been learning in their Music lessons. Please feel free to contact me through email or phone if you have any questions.
I look forward to seeing you soon!