I know you are all wondering what has been going on in the music rooms since we have returned from our break. We have requested some ipads for the music classrooms so that we can more easily document what the students are learning. :) We hope to be loading up some pictures very soon to satisfy your curiosity. We are so busy in music class!
In Kindergarten, we are learning to listen carefully to music and keep the beat. We are also introducing rhythm by clapping the words to songs and clapping the sounds in winter words. The students are getting quite good at playing our classroom instruments properly and at the right time. In our last class, we skated (by stepping on wax paper) around the room to music to celebrate the Olympic ceremonies opening. We have been singing all about winter with songs like "'Bogganin' Hill" and "Penguin Polka".
In grade 1 we just finished up our music centres where we created rhythms by rolling dice and building snow forts made of rhythm blocks. We practiced reading and playing rhythms by playing Rhythm Jenga and matching 4-beat rhythms on the Smartboard. We have learned that different notes and rests have different values (# of beats) and we can even do music math! We are now focusing on the different instruments in the orchestra and classifying them into their families.
In grade 2 we have been learning about pitch. We have been able to identify high and low pitches and have been practicing matching pitches with our voices and different instruments. We have been discovering why different sizes and shapes of instruments make different sounds. We have also been studying duration (note / rest values - # of beats) and will be continuing to learn about long and short sounds. In grade 2, we are now beginning to play Orff instruments and have learned a bit about playing the xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels. The students know how to hold their mallets properly, practice good posture while playing and help each other to remember proper technique while playing the instruments.
For music appreciation in grades 1 and 2, we paid particular attention to how pieces of music make us feel, what instruments we can hear in a piece, the dynamics (volume) and tempo (speed). The students were always encouraged to create a story in their heads to go with the music and think about what story the composer was trying to tell with the piece. They can continue to practice this at home with different classical pieces and should be encouraged to listen for and think about all of those elements. Students in grade 2 should be making connections to their own life when listening to music, such as thinking about what a song reminds them of and should always try to describe why they like or don't like it.
That's it for term 2 in Kindergarten and Cycle 1 music. Look out for more exciting things to come in term 3! :)