Dec 13, 2013

The House that Drac Built

MBES fourth and fifth grade students worked on an instrumental activity for a few weeks leading up to Halloween. Instrument parts were written to go along with the repeating phrases of the book The House that Drac Built, which was based on the book The House that Jack Built

This activity incorporated our Orff instruments, which includes xylophones, glockenspiels, and metallophones. (Thanks to the hard work of the PTO and fundraising by our students and community, we raised enough money to buy some more Orff instruments! Yay!) Then, we added some classroom percussion instruments along with the Orff instruments. Each instrument would enter in succession until all instruments were playing together. It sounded really cool with all those instrument sounds going at the same time! Students were learning simple rhythm/tonal patterns on the instruments, instrument technique, and playing in an ensemble. They loved playing these instruments, and I can't wait to add to our collection!

The Children - glockenspiel and woodblock

The Mummy - metallophone

The House - boomwhackers

The Bat - glockenspiel

The Werewolf - xylophone

Pumpkin Carols

During the Halloween season, our third, fourth, and fifth grade students re-wrote the lyrics to familiar tunes to fit a Halloween theme. They worked in groups and had to choose a tune, work together to rewrite the lyrics, and perform their song for the class. The standout Pumpkin Carols were displayed in our hallway outside the music room. I was very impressed with the song-writing creativity of our students!

Second Grade: Music Terms

Our second graders have been learning the definitions of different musical terms. First, we learned about all the dynamic levels used in music (loudness and softness) by creating a rainstorm with classroom percussion instruments. We did several movement activities to experience other musical concepts like legato (smooth and connected notes), staccato (short and separated notes), crescendo (gradually getting louder), and decrescendo (gradually getting softer). We also learned the musical symbols for these terms and how to identify them in a piece of music. Then, we reviewed all of these concepts/terms with centers. Students are split into groups, and each center has a different activity that focuses on the concepts we learned. Here are some students hard at work (and having fun!) at centers:
Playing different dynamic levels on classroom instruments

Excited about matching musical terms!

I think it's a match!

Simon Says Symbols on the SMART Board

More instrument dynamics

Nov 1, 2013

Karaoke Parties

Music classes at MBES have been working towards earning karaoke parties for good behavior. As their note moves up the music staff, they get closer and closer to their party. When the note reaches the top line, it's party time!

 At this point in the year, all classes have participated in their first karaoke parties, and I have heard some wonderful singing! The students enjoy singing familiar songs and listening to their friends perform. While they are having fun, they're actually meeting national music standards! The first NAfME standard says "Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music." I have enjoyed hearing the students sing, and I look forward to the next round of karaoke parties!

Mrs. Cotter joins her class in karaoke!

"Shake, Rattle, & Roll"

Singing brings us together :)

Composer of the Month

Every 4-6 weeks, our third, fourth, and fifth grade students will learn about a new composer in  music class. So far, we have learned about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Scott Joplin (1868-1917). We begin by reading the composer's biography from Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times, (And What the Neighbors Thought) to learn about his/her life, what was going on in history at the time, his/her most famous works, etc. We listen to and analyze pieces of music by the composer (Georgia Performance Standards: Music 6 & 7) as well as watch some recordings of performances. We end each composer study by playing a game of Jeopardy to review what we've learned. Through these composer studies, students will be exposed to music in many different styles and genres throughout history. So far, the students have learned a lot of important facts about these composers and can even identify some of their music! The next time you hear an ice cream truck playing "The Entertainer," hopefully, your student can tell you that Scott Joplin composed it!

Oct 31, 2013

New Music Rug!

I can't tell you how excited I was when this was delivered to school recently...

It was like Christmas morning! Not only will it help with classroom management, but it's a great teaching tool! It made me proud to hear kids saying things like, "Hey, I'm sitting on a fermata!" :) We can't wait to put it to good use this year!

I think they like it :)

Oct 11, 2013


Our third, fourth, and fifth grade students just completed Boomwhacker composition projects. Boomwhackers are colorful, pitched plastic tubes, and they're a lot of fun to play! Students were responsible for creating rhythm patterns, selecting the boomwhackers they wanted to use, and putting together a performance of their composition for the class. I was very impressed with the performances! There was a lot of creativity and great teamwork from our students in these projects. After all the groups performed, we watched the performances of our class. Each group reflected on their performance and completed a critique worksheet. I believe it's important for students to learn from their performances and discuss what went well, what they could have improved upon, etc. Overall, our students put a lot of thought and effort into their projects, which was evident in the performances. Well done, students!

Oct 3, 2013

First Grade is Moving to Music!

Our first grade students are learning about opposites in music. We have learned about fast/slow music, high/low sounds, and long/short sounds. Scarves provide a great visual for kids when learning these musical concepts. Here are some first graders in Mrs. Soni's class moving their scarves to music to demonstrate long and short sounds: 

After our first graders learn about long and short sounds, they are introduced to some basic rhythms. Pretty soon, they were creating their own rhythms and reading rhythms like experts! Students worked with a partner to create and notate rhythm patters with bendy straws. Mrs. Hilley's first graders were hard at work on their rhythms today:

Our first grade musicians are learning so much in music class!

Sep 20, 2013

Welcome to Music!

Welcome to Music at Malcom Bridge Elementary!

The 2013-2014 school year has gotten off to a great start! Our MBES musicians are learning so much and having a great time in music class. I wanted to give everyone a peek into our music classroom so you can see all the fun things we get to play with! Here are some pictures of our music room at MBES:

Welcome to the music room!
For good behavior, classes can move their notes up on the music staff.
When their class's note reaches the top line, they earn a karaoke party!
Our music standards are displayed in a bowl of ice cream :)
Students will also learn about different music composers each month.
Boomwhackers are so much fun to play with!
We have an awesome collection of instruments! Students have already enjoyed
playing lots of different types of instruments in music class.
Music is a universal language!
Thanks for visiting our music room!