Sep 24, 2014

Making Music at MBES!

We have been busy in music at the start of the new 2014-2015 school year! I'm so glad to be back at MBES and making music with our students!

Our first graders are learning about musical opposites: fast/slow, high/low, long/short.

First graders use scarves to explore fast/slow tempos
Mrs. Soni's class uses kites to learn about high and low sounds
  Fourth and fifth grade students have been working in groups of 4 to create a Boomwhacker composition. They created all the rhythm patterns and performance elements from start to finish. I was proud to see students working so hard to create their own music!
Fourth and fifth graders work on Boomwhacker compositions in groups.

 Second grade is learning different music vocabulary words. Here, they use a poem to learn about the fermata symbol, which means to stop and hold a note.
Second graders learn about music symbols.

Third, fourth, and fifth grade students have been practicing rhythms. Here they are playing rhythm games during centers and creating rhythm patterns.
Fifth graders play rhythm games during centers.

Kindergarten is busy experiencing music, moving to music, and making music as well! We are all learning a lot and having fun making music at MBES this year!

May 11, 2014

Recorder Karate

Recorder Karate was a huge success this year! Our fourth and fifth grade students participated, and they worked hard to earn their belts! Recorder Karate is a curriculum that uses "belts" as motivation for students to learn and play increasingly difficult pieces on the recorder.
A recorder with belts
The students will practice and practice to earn those belts! I allowed students to come and test for belts in the mornings this year, and I had a long line pretty much every morning. I was very impressed with our motivated musicians here at MBES! When students earned their belts, they got to sign their names on our display in the hall. We ended up with quite a few signatures!

We had several students earn their black belts this year - the most difficult of all the belts! Congratulations to our black belt students. Way to go!!




Weather is Full of the Nicest Sounds

Our 2nd and 3rd graders have created sound poems! In this activity, we used our reading, language arts, and art skills - not just music! (Credit to the creator of this lesson: Ashley Queen, who has a great blog for music educators!) First, we read the poem "Weather is Full of the Nicest Sounds" by Aileen Fisher, and watched this YouTube video for inspiration. Next, each student was assigned a verb from the poem, and he/she had to draw a picture of that word, using its sound for inspiration. After we assigned an instrument sound to each word, our 2nd and 3rd grade classes performed their sound poems. I recorded them, and used the app Aurasma to make a display in the hallway where you can see each performance come to life! What a fun way to use different disciplines and incorporate technology into music!

Mar 14, 2014

Gym Dogs Meet

Earlier this year, I received an invitation from the UGA Athletic Association asking if our 4th and 5th grade chorus would sing the national anthem at a UGA gymnastics meet. I couldn't wait to accept! What a great opportunity for our students. The meet was this past Saturday, March 8, and I couldn't have been a more proud music teacher! The students sang so well, and they were very patient waiting for a long time before they performed! I hope we are able to make this a yearly tradition. Thanks to all the parents and teachers who helped out. We couldn't have pulled it off without you!

Gathering before the meet

Massage train! Even Mrs. Payne can't pass up a free massage! :)


Patiently waiting in the tunnel

Beautiful singing!

Mar 7, 2014

Winter in Music

In the cold month of January, our Kindergarten and first grade students learned all about cold weather and snow in music class! This unit was perfect timing with all the snow days we've had this year! We sang songs about snow, like Five Little Snowmen. After we read the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (one of my favorites!), we added movements and moved around the music room just like Peter did in the story.

We used our brand new bass xylophones (Thanks PTO!!!) to add an Orff accompaniment to the song "Snowy Day." Using some paper plates and our imaginations, we transformed the music room into a winter wonderland and ice skated around while we listened to "Waltz of the Snowflakes" from The Nutcracker. We had so much fun with winter in music class!

The Nutcracker

During December, music classes studied "The Nutcracker," by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. We read the story of The Nutcracker together.

We did a lot of fun movement activities to the songs of The Nutcracker! We were able to discuss the form of the song using visuals on the SMART Board, and then we added the movements. The kids had a great time using one of their favorite things, the stretchy band!