Welcome to another wonderful year of music learning! It is great to be back and hard at work...
In all grades, our initial emphasis has been on music as the sum of its parts: if one is able to identify the individual elements in a given work, one can gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the work's value.
The vehicle we are using for this study is the MAGIC POT.
Ask your child about these elements...I bet you will be impressed with what he or she has to say!!
We have not just been talking about these ingredients...we have been performing them and using them to create our own compositions (already!!) In the upper grade classes, we have gone to the next level and practiced performing our compositions in order to record them. The recordings themselves are located below in the "Attachments" section. The first, "Yogi Bear and the Dark Night," is a work by the 5-6 class written in 4/4 time. There are three distinct parts happening at once: bongos, djembes, and the big drum. The second, "Boom Boom Crash," is a two-part work by the 7-8 class in 6/4 time. The bongos and djembes share a single voice with the big drum beneath. The recording process has been a wonderful opportunity for critique as well as collaboration. Enjoy!
In other upper grade news, the students will be having their first sightreading assessment this coming week. Students will be meeting individually with me to demonstrate their understanding of rhythm and pitch as it is notated. The examples have been provided for their practice and I look forward to regular meetings with all of the students to be sure that their reading skills are progressing.
The younger grades have been focusing on the elements of dynamics and tempo through djembe performance and rhythm reading. We will be incorporating pitch in the coming weeks as we move the rhythm patterns onto the staff. Composition is not far off for these students as well.
The bell choirs are underway and enthusiastically reading new selections. Each group will be developing its own contract for members to sign and share with their parents. Please let me know if there are any questions and thank you in advance for your support of these performers...
It is hard to believe but we are already beginning preparations for the Winter Concert. I will be incorporating practice recordings with next month's newsletter, so get ready for some singing at home!
Until next month --