PK (Monday & Wednesday)– SEPTEMBER: We have started the year with body recognition and movements through the use of echo and animal songs. Students start with music to learn the songs with small movements. We will also be adding songs about color, passing a ball in a circle, PB&J, and trying some songs about the fall season (apples). OCTOBER: 5 Little Pumpkins is our new theme. Students have learned the story and hand gestures. They are now singing through the story while using all movements. The final step is to use the gym space to act out the entire story in groups of 5 while their classmates sing for them. Pumpkin Rolls are one of the classes favorite activities. We are still, per student request, starting with our movement songs from last month. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER: We will be participating in some seasonal songs and games as well as practicing songs, concert rules and behavior for our concert on December 20. JANUARY/FEBRUARY: We are starting the new year singing through stories. We have 3 stories and songs related to those stories we will be learning. Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks, and The Wide Mouth Frog. Each story will also be reinforced through actions in the gym. Acting out the stories while performing the songs has proved to be a great way for the students to recall and retell the story with more accuracy. MARCH/APRIL: Jump Rope for Heart is now a focus and students learned some songs about body movement. They learned a routine for the performance. We used our frog song as part of our practice for the routine to help demonstrate the jumping skills we had previously learned. We also continued to work on story songs. We did take a break from stories to try our hand at simple rhythmic patterns around mid-March. We will continue our stories as well.
Kindergarten(Monday, Tuesday, Thursday) & 1st Grade (Monday & Thursday)– SEPTEMBER: The wonderful world of tempo has the students speaking Italian. With the co-teaching powers of Ms. Schenck, we have a unique perspective on our music and PE programs at the PK-1 levels. Students work on concepts individually in music and PE, and they are immediately reinforced by a cooperatively taught Music Gym class once a week. We are currently focused on Tempo and trying to be experts in the field by learning 5 tempos: LARGO: Super Slow or snail speed, LENTO: Slow or turtle speed, ANDANTE: Walking Speed or we’ve been using a dog for the Andante animal, ALLEGRO: Jogging Speed as in Rabbits or a Galloping horse, and PRESTO: Super Fast, Running Tigers or Cheetahs. I’m sure the children would be more than happy to show you the difference between a Turtle and a Tiger…Just make sure they do it in Italian…OCTOBER: We have added on new tempo to our vocabulary: MODERATO: Marching. Ask for a demonstration. We also discussed Spookley, The Square Pumpkin and sang about action words as our new theme. Students have learned the story and are now singing through the story while using all movements. The final step is to use the gym space to act out the entire story in groups of 5 while their classmates sing for them. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER: We will be participating in some seasonal songs and games as well as practicing songs, concert rules and behavior for our concert on December 20. JANUARY/FEBRUARY/MARCH: Rhythm is our next focus for the year. We will be learning note names and how to perform each note with our voices, our hands, rhythm sticks and drums. This will serve as a foundation for them to grow in their musical ability as they play more instruments and start to read/see music. They will be learning Quarter notes (One), Quarter Rests (Rest), Half Notes (Half), Half Rests (Hat), and 1st grade will also learn our Whole Notes and rests (O and Hole).
2nd Grade (Tuesday & Thursday)-SEPTEMBER:Students are starting the year with a rhythm review. We are working with 4 notes (notes make sounds) and 4 rests (no sound but they still fill music space). When the concept is reviewed, we are adding our first new concept of the year. TIME SIGNATURES!!! This will help the students learn to group our notes and rests together. OCTOBER: The area of Time Signature has been introduced, and students are starting to group their notes and rests into MEASURES (the space between 2 bar lines). You can ask if they remember the definition of a bar line. Our current Time Signatures are: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4. The time signature lets the students know how many beats to put in each measure. We will also be starting our concert songs this month. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER: We will be practicing songs for our concert on December 20 as well as concert rules and behavior. JANUARY/FEBRUARY: Rhythm is our next focus for the year. We will be learning note names and how to perform each note with our voices, our hands, and rhythm sticks. This will serve as a foundation for them to grow in their musical ability as they play more instruments and start to read/see music. They will be learning Quarter notes (One), Quarter Rests (Rest), Half Notes (Half), Half Rests (Hat), Whole Notes and rests (O and Hole). 2nd grade will learn the final rhythm;eighth notes (One and). We will also review Time Signatures and organizing music. MARCH/APRIL: Students will mastered the art of composition. They are able to create songs using time signatures and all of the notes learned throughout the year. The use bar lines to separate their music, and they are able to perform using clapping or rhythm sticks. With this knowledge, they were able to play a difficult rhythm BINGO, which requires them to watch and listen to figure our rhythmic patterns.
3rd Grade (Wednesday & Thursday)– SEPTEMBER: After review of some basic note reading skills, the time has come…wait for it…RECORDERS! Fitting that we start close to October, the beginning sounds of the recorder will fit right in to the season…Students will be working on 3 notes (BAG) and starting Recorder Karate. The program allows them to work at their own pace while they learn new songs and test for “belts” to add to their recorder. They are also starting to read music on a staff. Ask for a demonstration and show off your skills by reminding them to keep their left hand on the top to play the notes and right hand steadying the bottom. OCTOBER: Students have now Mastered 3 notes on the recorders and most students have tested for at least 2 belts. We are starting to play short songs and will be adding our concert song to our list of songs to practice. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER: We will be practicing songs for our concert on December 20 as well as concert rules and behavior. Students will also be adding one more notes to their playing (E) so they can continue with their Karate packs. JANUARY/FEBRUARY: Families of instruments will be our next focus. Starting with the Percussion family and making our way through the Woodwinds, Strings and Brass, students will learn how sound is produced and the basics of each family. They can also earn the opportunity to build some of their own instruments to take home and share with family. Students will also return to their “Karate” lessons and continue to earn belts for their recorders. MARCH/APRIL: We will be finishing our instrument discussion with a visit from a musician from the New Haven Symphony and follow up by going to see a performance by the symphony. We will reviewed our notes and rests and continue with the world of recorders.
4-6th Grade (4th Tuesday, 5th Wednesday, 6th Monday: SEPTEMBER: Opening ceremonies have taken place (although, no formal ceremony actually took place except that school started) and the Music Olympics are about to begin! We are preparing for our first challenge, and students have accepted the friendly competition. Our initial concentration is, as always, note, rests and values. OCTOBER: We have started challenge #2. The first challenge is now officially in the books. All teams studied extremely hard for this one. Teams had the opportunity to earn bonus points as well for sportsmanship and behavior. The standings: 5th Grade has the lead. 6th Grade is currently in 2nd place. 4th grade is keeping pace with their challengers, and in 3rd place, but they are falling a little behind in the midst of challenge #2 taking a little extra time with the task at hand. All classes will also be starting concert music towards the end of this month. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER: We will be practicing songs for our concert on December 14 as well as concert rules and behavior. Bonus Challenge: Attendance points will be awarded for anyone who attends the tree lighting this year. JANUARY/FEBRUARY/MARCH/APRIL: Students will review for the KEYBOARD entrance test. With a score of 100, they will be able to work with a partner on the keyboard (with guided help from Mr. C as well). They will have until April to complete a series of songs and keyboard challenges that will assist the Olympic totals. The basic keyboard will be explained and how to use 2 hands while playing will be the focus as they progress through weekly challenges. They will finish the unit by performing one song for the class. Audience expectations and performance expectations will be set and points will be awarded for the music Olympic totals.