Easter Egg Fun and Games

Did you know Musicplay Online has a new Easter Unit AND a new Spring Unit?

Easter Egg Games with songs

Gr. 2 #79 Hide the Easter Eggs – piggyback tune

Gr. 3 #79 Hide Those Eggs – original song

1.  Teach the children the song by rote.  (choose the song you like best!)
2.  Game Directions: Choose 3-5 students to hide Easter eggs in the classroom while the rest of the class hides eyes and sings the song. Eggs must be hidden in plain sight.  (not under something or in a drawer) . The rest of the class hunts for an egg.  Limit them to finding one egg per student.    Choose new students to hide the eggs.
For an interesting variation that will help you assess rhythm reading, write rhythms on the eggs that you use in the game.  When the child finds an egg, they bring it to you and tell you the rhythm.  If you want to print/use the activity instead of making plastic egg rhythms, I’ll post these printable PDFs at www.musicplayonline.com on Monday in the Easter Unit.  If you don’t already know about Musicplayonline.com, it’s an affordable subscription website with a wealth of resources for teaching PreK-6 music.  ($149.95/year for ALL grades! – all the school can use it, and students can use a student login)

Compose a word rhythm using Basket/Egg 

I did this activity with my PreK classes last week.  You can do this with PreK-Gr. 3.  I brought two Easter baskets and two egg shakers out and made a pattern with them.  This pattern is:  Egg-Egg-Basket-Basket.  We said and clapped the pattern.  Then, I invited a child to make a new pattern.  We did several new patterns, saying and clapping them.  As an ear training activity, I told the children that I would clap “basket” or “egg” and they should point to what I had clapped.  To my delight, even my 3 year olds could point correctly to what I’d clapped.
It’s a short jump from clapping word rhythms, to labeling one sound on a beat as “ta” and two sounds on a beat as “ti-ti” and this is what I’d do with late K or grade 1-2 students.

Easter Egg Word Chain – how to play the game! 

This game is online at www.musicplayonline.com.
1.  When you click “start” the first egg rhythm appears.  Have the students clap this rhythm several times, and ask them to remember it.  Tell them that they will clap this rhythm AND the next one that appears.
2.  Click on the egg rhythm, and it disappears, while a new one appears.  Have the students clap rhythms one (that they can’t see) and rhythm two (that they are seeing).
Practice rhythm one and two a few times, and  ask them to remember them.  Tell them that they will clap both of these rhythms AND the next one that appears.
3.  Click on the second egg rhythm, and it disappears, while a new one appears.  Have the students clap rhythms one (that they can’t see) and rhythm two(that they can’t see) and rhythm 3 (that they are seeing).
Continue adding rhythms to the rhythm chain as far as your students can go.
Alternatively – if this is too hard for your students, just use the activity as a rhythm reading exercise.  There are 8 levels of rhythm practice and there’s a cute surprise at the end!
There are 8 levels of rhythm practice.  And there’s a cute surprise after reading all the rhythms.
This Egg Shaker Matching game is one that I’ve used with K-5.

K-1 students:  Shake the egg and see if they can guess what’s in it.  I used an interesting variety of materials in the eggs including popcorn, rice, dried peas, small screws, tums, pennies.
Gr. 2-5 students:  Give each student one egg as they come in your classroom.  Have them find the matching egg by listening carefully to the sounds their egg shaker makes.

To make it easy to check if students have found their match, I marked the pairs — but most students don’t notice the markings the first time they do this.  I also made a Key of what’s in the eggs, because it is hard to tell!

There are many great games for Easter in musicplay!  Here are notes on just a few of them:

Find the Easter Basket

Gr. 2#75 – practice dynamics, sm l while playing a hiding game
If you use the interactive Beat and Rhythm activities for Find the Easter Basket, you’ll see that our team has now created a menu for the activities.

Now you can jump right to the activity that you want to do with the students.

The new Beat Chart (activity 2) is new.  Turn “off” the beats you want children to put “in their heads” and they sing out loud only for the beats that are “on.” Developing audiation is fun!!!


John the Rabbit in PreK

The game is simple and fun!  Kids make a line on one side of the room.  Each time they sing “Yes Ma’am” they take a little jump toward you.  (You’re Farmer Brown) . When you get to the end of the song, shoo the bunnies out of the garden.  Print the vegetable cards and use them in the song.  Then, clap the word rhythms.  I put out 4 cards on the floor.  My PreK closed their eyes and I clapped “sweet potato.”  They correctly identified the vegetable I’d clapped.  Sweet!

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

A shout out to Dana Herro who performed this in her concert, having the students act it out.  Instead of doing the fingerplay, when little Rabbit Foo Foo was hopping through the forest, they hopped.

Hurry Easter Bunny

This is a great song to practice so-mi-do.  Kids love chase games and they learn the interval because they’ve sung it in the game so many times.

The Easter Unit at Musicplayonline.com also includes

– Music Match projectable (so you can teach/assess)
– Listening Glyph for Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks
– Compose an Easter Melody using s-m, mrd, or ls mrd or CDE GA.  (choose the level for your students)
– Color by Note worksheet

Did you know MusicplayOnline has a new Easter Unit AND a new Spring Unit?

Related Songs 

There are lots of Easter and Bunny/Rabbit Songs:

    

Compose a melody for Easter or Spring! 

There’s a so-mi version, a do-re-mi version and a drm sl or CDE GA version.

     

Easter Egg Hunt

Practice Rhythms as you go on an Easter Egg Hunt!  There are 8 levels of rhythm practice.  And there’s a cute surprise after reading all the rhythms.

Music Math

Want to have your students practice note values?  There’s a projectable Music Math activity with corresponding downloadable worksheets.  There are multiple levels so you can choose the level that best suits your students.

Egg Shaker Matching Game

K-1 students:  Shake the egg and see if they can guess what’s in it.  I used an interesting variety of materials in the eggs including popcorn, rice, dried peas, small screws, tums, pennies.

Gr. 2-5 students:  Give each student one egg as they come in your classroom.  Have them find the matching egg by listening carefully to the sounds their egg shaker makes.

To make it easy to check if students have found their match, I marked the pairs — but most students don’t notice the markings the first time they do this.  I also made a Key of what’s in the eggs, because it is hard to tell!

Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks

To introduce the piece in PreK-K-1 I have the children pretend they are chicks in the shell pecking their way out.  It’s hard work, so when the long note comes, that’s when the chick is resting.  View the kids demo! After active listening, have the kids complete the listening glyph.  Enjoy!

There are many great games for Easter in Musicplay!  Here are notes on just a few of them:

Find the Easter Basket

Gr. 2#75 – practice dynamics, sm l while playing a hiding game

If you use the interactive Beat and Rhythm activities for Find the Easter Basket, you’ll see that our team has now created a menu for the activities.

Now you can jump right to the activity that you want to do with the students.

The new Beat Chart (activity 2) is new.  Turn “off” the beats you want children to put “in their heads” and they sing out loud only for the beats that are “on.” Developing audiation is fun!!!

John the Rabbit in PreK

The game is simple and fun!  Kids make a line on one side of the room.  Each time they sing “Yes Ma’am” they take a little jump toward you.  (You’re Farmer Brown) . When you get to the end of the song, shoo the bunnies out of the garden.  Print the vegetable cards and use them in the song.  Then, clap the word rhythms.  I put out 4 cards on the floor.  My PreK closed their eyes and I clapped “sweet potato.”  They correctly identified the vegetable I’d clapped.  Sweet!

Little Rabbit Foo Foo

A shout out to Dana Herro who performed this in her concert, having the students act it out.  Instead of doing the fingerplay, when little Rabbit Foo Foo was hopping through the forest, they hopped.

Hurry Easter Bunny

A great song to practice so-mi-do.  Kids love chase games and they learn the interval because they’ve sung it in the game so many times.

The Musicplay Team hopes that you enjoy the new Easter activities as much as we enjoy making them for you!!!

Ukulele Resources on MusicplayOnline:

Did you know Musicplay Online has resources to teach ukulele? This week on the blog and newsletter, we will share with you what is available online and in our print resources for ukulele.  

Introduction Video

Here is a short introduction to the ukulele. It includes the history, explains the different types and sizes of ukulele, the parts of the ukulele, playing position, how to read chord charts, and how to strum. 

 

Tuners

Three different tuners are available.   

Projectable Materials and Recordings 

The Easy Ukulele Song book is available for you to project in your classroom in both C and D tuning (32 songs in each section).  Click the tabs at the top of the ukulele section in the website.  There are also links to POP SONGS in both C and D tuning. 

 

Printable Chord Chart 

This is available to download with your subscription to Musicplay Online.

 See the video below for a tour of the UKULELE section on MusicplayOnline:  

UKULELE PRINT RESOURCES:

Click the picture below for print resources available on the Musicplay Store.

 

To purchased the EASY UKULELE SONGBOOK click the cover below:

Recorder Solo Assessment Rubric

As teachers are approaching the end of their recorder units, we wanted to share a rubric to use for solo assessments.  This rubric is available to print, or you can download a fillable PDF.  This is a great option if you want to save paper and quickly type in comments. Click the links below to download the rubrics.

 

Click here for the printable rubric!

Click here for the fillable rubric!

St. Patricks Day Lesson Ideas

We are LOVING the new St. Patrick’s Day unit on Musicplay Online. There are so many amazing lessons, projectable materials, worksheets, movies and games.  This week to get you started we will share a teaching process for using the melodic composition lesson.  There are two lessons available on Musicplay Online and many options are provided to meet the needs of your students!

Catch a Leprechaun:

St. Patrick’s Day Unit on Musicplay Online 


Grade Level: 

Grades 1-5. Options are provided in the online material to meet the needs of a variety of grade levels. 

Objectives:

  • Compose a melody (individually OR as a class) using solfa or standard notation (note names).
  • Sing a melodic composition OR transfer to pitched percussion instruments.
  • Write a melodic composition on the musical staff.

Materials Needed:

  • Projectables materials from Musicplay Online Subscription.
  • Worksheet printable (included in the link below).

 Process:

  1. Select a tone set or notes appropriate for your students. The online lesson has the options of so-mi, do-re-mi, do-re-mi-so-la, C-D-E, and C-D-E-G-A.  If using solfa, warm-up by singing solfa echoes and handsigns using the tone set you have selected.
  2. Teach the poem by rote, having students echo you one line at a time.
  3. Keep the beat using various levels of body percussion (snap, clap, pat, or stamp) and say the poem.
  4. As a class, use the online projectable to create a melody using the words of the poem.  Drag the solfa or notes into the boxes above the rhythmic notation.
  5. Practice singing your creation as a class.  Add movement or solfa hand signs to show how the melody moves high and low.  Make changes as needed.
  6. Once students are comfortable with the melody, transfer to pitched percussion instruments. You can do this by passing around a few glockenspiels or other barred instrument in a circle, therefore having only a few students trying at a time.  If you have enough instruments for a whole class, you can all try at the same time. Suggest students play with the tips of their fingers first or use the back of the mallets (so it isn’t too loud).  Remind students to sing while they play.  

Extension Activities:

Student can try the above activity on their own.  If students are able to write notes on the musical staff, they can complete the worksheet below. 

Click here to download this worksheet for free!

Assessment:

Video students playing their creations.  You can also use the worksheet provided as an assessment tool.

This and so much more in the NEW St. Patrick’s Day Unit on MusicplayOnline:

1. Fun Fact Concept Movies: 

2. Compose a Melody – Ireland:

3. Compose a Melody – Leprechaun:

4. Improvise a Melody:

5. Phrase Rhythm Writing: 

6. Irish Jig:

7. Rhythm Erase Game:

 

8. Leprechaun Hunt Game:

Click here for more information about MusicplayOnline! Thanks for reading this weeks blog post! Click here to be added to our biweekly newsletter.

Ideas for Advanced Recorder Players

The last few weeks at Musicplay we have been focusing on teaching tips for recorder. We posted many videos on our Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts on how to teach hand placement, make a legato sound, and a recorder warm-up.  This week we will share some strategies for your students who need the added challenge. See below for some ideas, tips and resources from Musicplay for your advanced recorder students: 

Add a “Soprano 2” Option:

Have a second melody line available for students to play. This option is available in the Recorder Kit Level Two.  Those students who are ready and can read the second line can give it a try.  The students also enjoy hearing the different harmony this creates.

Recorder Duets:

Did you know there are duet parts available for the Recorder Kit Level One resource?  If you already own this resource, send the Musicplay Team an email at tvinfo@telus.net and we will send you a copy!

Alto Recorder:

The Recorder Kit Level 2 has a transposed alto recorder option. Students can use the same fingering as the soprano recorder, but play on the Alto.  Again – this creates some fun harmony for the students.  Themes and Variations also has a NEW Alto Recorder Resource and Alto Recorders available to order (alto recorders only available in Canada).

Ensemble Groups:

Give students an opportunity to play as a group with others. Students can be assigned parts at their level, giving those students who need more challenge an opportunity to try something new.  This can be in class, or do a recorder group/club over a lunch hour.  Below are some ensemble resources available from Themes and Variations. Click on each cover to learn more about these great products! 




RECORDER RESOURCES USA STORE

Valentine’s Day Unit on MusicplayOnline

With less than two weeks until Valentine’s Day, the Musicplay Online team has been busy preparing some NEW activities available on the site. The great thing about these activities – they are so versatile. This week we will share with you some ways to integrate these activities with a variety of songs and how they can be used in different grade levels. 

Valentine’s Song Database 

Here you will find all the songs related to love, friendship, and Valentine’s Day available in Musicplay.
 

 
 
Valentine’s Word Composition

This is an activity that can be used in many different ways and for a variety of grade levels. Only use the rhythms that are appropriate for your students.  It never hurts for your students to see some more challenging rhythms. 
 

 
 
Some different ways to use this activity include:

  1. WARM-UP – Practice known rhythm patterns. Students can then transfer the patterns to body percussion or non-pitched percussion instruments.
  2. CREATE A “B” SECTION – Use this activity to create a B section or Rondo with other songs from Musicplay – Some songs that would work well for this include “I Like You” (Song #68 from Musicplay Grade 1) and “Love Somebody” (Song #60 from Musicplay 3).
  3. CREATE AN OSTINATO – Create a 4 or 8 beat ostinato to play with the songs “I Like You” (Song #68 from Musicplay Grade 1) or “Love Somebody” (Song #60 from Musicplay 3).  Transfer the ostinato to body percussion or non-pitched percussion instruments and try it while you sing the song at the same time.
  4. ASSESSMENT TOOL – Use the worksheets below (available on MUSICPLAY ONLINE) to assess reading, writing, and creating rhythm patterns.
 
 
 

Valentine’s Day Matching Game – INCLUDES FLASHCARDS!

 
 

Recorder Mad Minutes:

 
 
 

For more information and a tour of the new Valentine’s Unit check out the video link below:

 

All this and MORE available with your subscription to:

www.musicplayonline.com

Mother’s Day Activities

Mother’s Day 2018  is May 13th

There are some great songs for Mother’s Day in Musicplay:
Musicplay for Kindergarten #143 Moms are Special
– there is a class Big Book template available for this song in the Printables section at Musicplayonline.com.
Musicplay 1 – #97 That’s My Mom
Musicplay 2 – #83 Mom, You’re the Best .  – there is a class Big Book template available for this song in the Printables section at Musicplayonline.com.

There is a new song for PreK, Mom is the Sunshine, that is written, but not yet recorded.  This will become song #121 in PreK atMusicplayonline.com I wrote it last Thursday, and our wonderful arranger got me an accompaniment track in time to teach it to my PreK class the same day.  The kids and I added movements, and they can sing and do the movements (will have kids demo soon too!).  My PreK class seemed to get that “Mom is the sunshine in my world” is a metaphor (without using that vocabulary), and I invited them to create new verses.  One thought of, “Mom is the Butterflies.” and that was lovely.  Then a hand went up, and this child suggested “Chicken.”  Chicken?  I asked her if she really liked chickens a lot and she said she did, so we sang, “Mom is the chicken.”  We won’t record that verse, but you can sing it with your PreK – Grade 2 students if you like!

This is the printable for the new song.

We thought that teachers might want to have the children color and illustrate what they think the song is about.  In PreK, this is responding and connecting in the USA national standards:  a With substantial guidance, talk about personal and expressive preferences in music.  MU:Cr3.2.PKa With substantial guidance, share revised musical ideas with peers.  (chickens or butterflies?).     MU:Pr4.2.PKa With substantial guidance, explore and demonstrate awareness of musical contrasts.   – should we sing it quiet or loud?  Why?

For your older students, we’ve created a poem/body percussion activity in the UNITS section in Mother’s Day at  Musicplayonline.com.

 

Objective:  The students will create an accompaniment for a Mother’s Day Poem.

Teaching Process:

1.   Project a copy of the activity, and discuss possible ways to fill in the blanks.  If you like, you could create a class composition, or could have students do it individually. If doing this individually, give each student a copy of the Mother’s Day Activity printable.  If you have very little time, you could use the exemplar that is given for the activity.

Say each line of the poem in rhythm.  For example:  M is for meals that my mom makes.
3.  When you’ve decided on a rhythm, create body percussion to accompany the word rhythm.  For example:  M is for meals that   my  mom makes
pat pat-pat pat pat   clap  clap   clap

4.  Discuss the performance and decide if you like it.   Try it a new way and decide if you like it better.

5.  If you wish, and if time permits, transfer the body percussion to unpitched instruments.

For example:
stomp – large drum
pat – small drum
clap – rhythm sticks

6.  Discuss the performance and decide if you like it.   Try it a new way and decide if you like it better.
The lesson plan that’s posted online, includes alignments to the USA national standards for Gr. 3 – Creating.   To all the teachers who are mothers or care-givers, you are busy, busy people and I hope your families celebrate you on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Find all the activities in this post at Musicplayonline.com in the UNITS section. (left menu)

 

Want a great PD workshop this summer?    Come to the Artie and Denise Summer Symposium #9 in Herndon, VA (near Dulles and Washington DC). It’s an awesome workshop with teachers from many states, provinces and countries attending!

Engaging Activities for Gr. 4-6 Music Classes

Every music class is different. The song that might be the favorite of one class of Grade 4 students, another class might not like. If I introduce a song or activity and the students really dislike it, I’ll put it aside for another year.

What do I do with the (fortunately very rare) student who says that they don’t like music. Does every student like math? reading? art? Music is a required part of the curriculum, just like math, reading, and art. There are skills that they are expected to learn, even if it isn’t their favorite subject. As a teacher, I’m expected to write report cards, do outdoor supervision and attend staff meetings — even if those aren’t my favorite things to do. This is life.

What do you do with the kids who want to listen to pop songs and don’t want to sing folk songs? In language arts do the students read Archie comics? No – they read literature that has been selected because it’s “quality” literature. In music class will I teach pop songs? Sometimes, for a specific purpose, I will. But I would never teach just pop music, any more than I would feed a child junk food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Folk songs have survived for hundreds of years because there is something in them that is timeless and they teach us not just musical skills, but teach us about our past.

There are some games and actitivities that are always favorites! If you start the year with activities that the students really enjoy, you’ll have more success introducing new activities.
Find all of the singing games listed below at www.musicplayonline.com . There will be song videos AND there will be kids demo videos available to help you learn how to play the game.  Get more information on the Musicplay curriculum at http://musicplay.ca/.

 

Favorite Games
Musicplay 4
* Wake Me! Shake Me!  – create a B section
* Good Morning (#5) – what my students liked most about the game was introducing themselves
* Cut the Cake (#28) – every student I’ve ever taught loves chase games
* Sarasponda (39) – kids love the stick game, especially the toss
* Ma Ku Ay (#22) – kids love the stick game – they’d borrow rhythm sticks at recess to practice
* Pass the Pumpkin (26) – the challenge of doing the rhythm chain keeps kids engaged
* Stella Ella Olla (#34) – my students would play this game every music class from Sept – June! Loved it!
* Categories (#64) – this game took a few classes until they “caught on” but we’d often use it after that.
* My Bonnie (#35) – going up and down each time there’s a B is fun!

Musicplay 5
Concentration (#2)
Ickle Ockle (#8) – the song is simple, but the kids love the chase!
Four White Horses (#10) – the clap pattern is tricky to teach, but not really that hard and the kids like the challenge.
Button (#13) always engaging – they have to see if they can guess
Our Old Sow (#28) my students favorite game!
Green Sally Up (#33) – this is a clap game with a handshake. The creating was fun too!
Old Maid (#46) – fun stealing partners
Waddally Acha #88 – fun with the Boomwhackers

Musicplay 6
Dollar #19 – played like Button, it’s an engaging game
COFFEE #46 – try the tennis ball routine with the round – fun!
Hanky Panky #30 – this is played like Stella Ella Olla
Un Elephant #117 is the same kind of game with French words.

Creating Activities – Using the singing game song as a theme, have students create a B section.  If you have Orff instruments, teach the Orff arrangement, then have students improvise melodies using a tone set from the song as a B section.  If you don’t have Orff instruments, create ostinatos using ideas from the song and try song + ostinato.  Or, create word rhythms with ideas from the song, transfer to body percussion or unpitched instruments as an introduction/ending to the song or as a B section.  The Orff Source vol. 1-2-3 (or the Orff arrangements at musicplayonline.com) have many creating ideas for most of the singing games listed above.

Listening Activities
Listening Logs A teacher from St. Michael’s boy school once wrote and told me that her 5th grade classes favorite activity was to do listening logs. It wasn’t what I would expect, but it was this class’s favorite!
Cup Games – In the Listening Kits 3-4-5 (also listening section at musicplayonline) there are cup games. I like to teach one or two patterns, then have the students make up their own. The only patterns they can’t use are ones that they’ve learned somewhere else – has to be brand new!
Rhythm instrument play alongs – kids love to play rhythm instruments!
Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes – From Listening Fun book.
– kids loved this when we did the videotaping. They really liked all the tennis ball routines as well!

Favorite Songs
Musicplay 4:
This Little Light of Mine – this is familiar, so is easy to teach. I find a sing along song at the beginning of the school year gets the kids singing. It might be that it’s familiar, and they have confidence singing it.
Bats – Kids love the balloon sound effects in this song
Chester – Kids love the challenge of doing the actions as tempo increases
Scotland’s Burning – this is a round that is easy enough for your students to have success in 2 parts. I found adding the actions made it even more appealing.

Musicplay 5
Little Tommy Tinker (#3) – very successful round
Ronald McDonald #17 – fun action song
We Love to Sing #95 – great warmup – stand up each time you sing “We love to sing!”
Shalom #23 – great for Remembrance Day, we added sign language for part 1.
Jack was every Inch a Sailor – #14 – this is a fun folk song and easy to accompany with I and V chords.  There are lots of songs in Musicplay 5 that use just two chords – accompany with ukelele, guitars or . Boomwhackers!   There are too many favorites to list them all! Same with Musicplay 6 – lots of excellent choral pieces!

Activities
beat/rhythm with sticks – Yankee Doodle Stick Game in Musicplay 4 works well If you’ve found other favorite songs in 4-5-6 for doing beat/rhythm switch, please let me know!
Beat Boards – drumming along with pop songs. Get the students to create their own pop song playalongs!
Review note values: draw a whole, half, quarter, eighth on the board. Kids play what you point to.  Do this with a fun pop song in 4/4 time – Sugar Sugar works well. Try this with tennis balls!
Creating rhythm compositions – use the note squares that are in Musicplay 6, or give students a template and have them create their own rhythm compositions. Turn the composition into 2 or more parts by adding an ostinato or playing it as a canon.
Composing piggyback and raps – this unit is part of Musicplay 6. Rap tracks are on CD#4. If you haven’t tried this unit, copy the reproducibles (in the back of the binder worksheets 17-22) and get your kids creating rhythm compositions, verses, then piggyback songs, then raps and rhythm and blues songs.
Pop Song Assignment – Musicplay 6 pg 6-7
Guitar or Ukelele – Many of the songs in Musicplay can be accompanied with instruments. Musicplay 5 includes many songs that can be accompanied with just 1 or 2 chords.
1 chord minor #20, 21, 33,
1 chord major #6, 8, 24, 62,
I-V #2 Concentration, 3 Little Tommy, 10 Four White Horses, 15 Alabma Gal, 25 El Torojil, 26 He’s Got the Whole world, 27 Peace is FLowing, 28 Our Old Sow, 38 Winter is Here, 45 Early to Bed, 54 I’ve a Car, 75 Funga Alafia, 77 Old Woman, 79 John Kanaka, 89 Play that Rhythm, 91 Clementine, 92 I Let Her Go, 96 Boll Weevil .  If you don’t have guitars or ukeleles, you can accompany with Boomwhackers.

Create accompaniments for poems or simple songs: Use word highlights or ostinato to create accompaniments for poems or simple songs

Does music class have to be fun? Practicing scales on the piano or a trumpet isn’t something that I’d call “fun” but I know that I have to do the technique to improve my skills on my instrument. I think that students get a great deal of satisfaction from doing something well – singing well, accurately playing a part on their instrument, creating a movement that looks neat, learning to read a new rhythm. It’s not always “fun” – but it’s very satisfying – and that makes me want to keep doing an activity.

Coming Soon – Ideas for Earth Day!

 

Artie and Denise – in Dulles, VA .  July 17-18, 2018

Join Artie Almeida, Denise Gagne, and Katie Grace Miller for a 2 day elementary music conference that will give you a wealth of ideas and inspiration for teaching elementary music classes. Close to Dulles airport – -GREAT workshop and close to Washington DC for sightseeing! Workshop registration includes a one year subscription to musicplayonline.com – it’s like a free workshops!!!   Register: http://musicplay.ca/

 

Easter Dynamics and Composition Lesson

Find the Easter Basket

A fun lesson for the week before Easter, would be to teach your classes, Find the Easter Basket.  This has always been a favorite lesson for me to teach before Easter.  It’s a great opportunity to review dynamics, including crescendo and decrescendo or diminuendo.

Process:

  • if teaching to K, teach the song by rote
  • If teaching to Gr. 1-5, read the rhythms for the song by projecting the digital resource or musicplayonline.com, read from the student books, or write them on the board.
  • Teach the melody by rote, or if your students can read la so mi, have them read the melody.
  • Explain how the game is played. Don’t let the students shout. If the sound is harsh, have them clap the rhythm of the song softly and getting louder to show where the basket is, instead of singing.
  • Play the game.

Game Directions: Choose one child to hide the Easter basket and another child to look for it. The child who is going to hunt for the basket leaves the room while the “hider” hides it. When the finder returns, the class sings the song, singing softly when he/she is far away from the basket, and singing louder as he gets closer to the basket. The basket must be hidden in plain sight. The game continues until everyone in the class has had a turn to hide the basket or to find it.
If you have a really large class, and kids are getting wiggly waiting for their turn, play the game over two classes. Keep track on your class list of all the students that have had a turn to hide or find the basket. In my classes, the kids get to hide OR find — not both.

Teaching Purpose/Suggestions: This song is included to teach or review dynamics.  Show the dynamics projectables.  (These are in the digital resources, or at musicplayonline these are in the concept slides.  If purchasing as a TPT activity, the slides will be a projectable.)
Older classes still like playing games!

  • For an older class, show them how a simple game song like Tisket a Tasket can be turned into a jazz classic.  Search on YouTube for Ella Fitzgerald’s version of the song.
  • Discuss how the Ella Fitzgerald version differs from the game song given here.
  • Make a Venn Diagram that shows how the versions are similar and how they are different.

Extension:  Create an EASTER RONDO
1.  Teach the Orff arrangement, starting with the bass part and adding as many parts as your students can handle.

This arrangement is from The Orff Source by Denise Gagne
2. Have the students make a pattern using Easter icons
K-1-2:  For the little ones use one sound/two sound cards:
Bunny Chick Bunny Chick.  Bunny Bunny Bunny Chick

2-3-4: For older students use two beat rhythms:
Easter bunny, Easter Bunny, Basket, Chick . (ti-ti ti-ti,, ti-ti ti-ti, ta ta ta rest)

3. Have them play the patterns on body percussion or non-pitched instruments.  Or, improvise melodies based on the rhythm of the patterns on barred instruments. Use the patterns as an introduction to the song, or as an interlude between repetitions of the song.

For the little ones, make a pattern with one and two sound cards.  With your older students, give them cards with two beat rhythms.  I use white CD envelopes to store my cards – then I can easily see with set of cards I have in them.  A tip from Christie Noble and Tracy Stener (authors of Making Music Fun series)- copy sets of cards onto different colored cardstock. (that’s why I used black and white drawings) . Then the kids are less likely to mix up the sets.   I’ve made the cards so they are quick and easy to cut out – make a set of cards for your class in minutes.
I’ll post the word rhythm cards at musicplayonline.com in the printables for Gr. 2 #75 Find the Easter Basket song tomorrow when I have my technicians to help me.
To view The Orff Source visit www.musicplay.ca
To view the printables visit: musicplayonline.com