Get Kids Moving, Learning, Behaving
Researcher Terrence Dwyer is one of many who have conducted multiple studies suggesting that exercise supports success in school. His research found that exercise improves classroom behavior and academic performance (Dwyer, Sallis, Blizzard, Lazarus, & Dean, 2001). An excellent article – Move Your Body, Grow Your Brain – is found here: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/move-body-grow-brain-donna-wilson.
A very quick exercise that can help focus your students is Superbrain Yoga. In research doing this simple exercise improved test scores of ADHD children by more than 20%. It takes about 3 minutes of class time – a small amount of time if it will help your students to pay attention! Find Info Here
In Musicplay, there are many movement activities. I added many new movement activities to Musicplay for Kindergarten in the 2013 revision. (Updated lessons are online at www.musicplayonline.com. If you have a pre-2013 version, send a photo of your guide and I can send you the new guide as a PDF. email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Movement Activity 1 – Move and Stop (Musicplay for Kindergarten)
The Jig Jig Jiggles is a great movement break and is great for reinforcing steady beat, and for teaching about fermata.
I got the hop hop hop hop hoppin. I got the hop hop hop hop hoppin.
WATCH a MOVIE of Jig Jig Jiggles
MUSICPLAYONLINE.COM – NEW MOVEMENT SONGS
There are some great movement songs for older students in Musicplay! Some of my favorites:
Musicplay 3 #37 We Come From Pluto. (Also in Action Songs Children Love Vol. 2)
Movement Songs Children Love is an old favorite collection of movement songs. – some of the songs are in Musicplay – if you don’t have Musicplay, this is a collection you’ll love! One Green Jellybean is a great song for Easter.
Movement to Classical Music –
Moving to music is an essential part of your music classes. Use movement breaks to help the kids maintain focus and to wear them out enough that they’ll sit and listen for you.
The online resource is www.musicplayonline.com
Current subscribers – To thank you for subscribing, we are going to give you an extra month on every one year subscription! (online renewals only) When you’re ready to renew your yearly subscription, email email@example.com for your discount code.
New at www.musicplayonline.com .
New activities are being posted every week at www.musicplayonline.com
Dynamics Lesson Plan for K-5 Music Classes
Lesson is from the Musicplay 2 curriculum. For info visit www.musicplay.ca
1. Find the Easter Basket Song #75 Musicplay 2
2. Dynamics printables, Pop Quiz, Sort the Dynamics activities at musicplayonline.com
1. The students will identify when the music is quiet and when the music is loud
2. The students will define crescendo and decrescendo
Songs can be taught in one of three ways: rote, reading, or immersion. Choose the best method for teaching your students and teach the song and play the game.
ROTE: When teaching by rote, you teach the song phrase by phrase. You sing a phrase – the children echo. You sing the next phrase, the children echo. Then you combine phrases: you sing two phrases – the children echo. Finally, you sing the entire song, the children echo.
IMMERSION: When teaching very young children, teaching by immersion is effective. You have the children listen while you sing the song several times. They might listen and pat the beat, listen and move like you do, listen to answer a question you’ve asked. You might choose to teach Sleepy Bunnies by immersion with your youngest students.
READING: When children are able to read rhythms and/or solfege, you can begin having them sight-read a song. What a great skill for them to have! Many adults can’t look at a piece of music and sing how it goes, but if taught carefully, our children can do this.
Have the children read the rhythms using whatever rhythm names you use.
Sometimes after reading the rhythms I divide the class into two groups and have one group read the rhythms while the other groups reads the words of the song. This helps some children “connect” that rhythm in music is the way the words go.
In Musicplay, reading songs are indicated by a small staff on the upper right hand corner of the song. In the song “Find the Easter Basket” the pitches indicated are s, m, l that stand for so (or sol), mi and la. If children have learned these solfa notes, do some solfa warmups that use so, mi and la. On musicplayonline.com, you can use the Solfa Practice Section and have kids echo patterns, play poison melody, Read and Sing, or Listen and Sing so-mi-la patterns. If you don’t use musicplayonline.com you can purchase melody flashcards and do the same kind of solfa warmups with flashcards. LINK to Flashcards on USA SITE Melody Flashcards Canadian Site
Whether you use reading or rote to teach your students a song depends on If you’ve labelled the rhythms and solfa with your students. If you haven’t taught so-mi-la yet, you’ll introduce the song as a rote song. If you have labelled so-mi-la, then you can have the students sight-sing the song.
Teach the song and play the game.
Game Directions: One student is the “hider” and one is the “finder.” The “finder” closes eyes while the “hider hides the Easter Basket in plain sight. (not under or in something). The “finder” opens eyes and is guided to the basket by the dynamics in the singing. If children sing quietly he is far away. If the children sing loudly, he’s closer.
2. After playing the song, discuss the dynamics that were used in the song. There is an excellent interactive activity at www.musicplayonline.com attached to song #11. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt in Musicplay Grade 2. Sort the rhythms from quietest to loudest.
You can also play the Pop Quiz activities on Dynamics at www.musicplayonline.com to teach or practice dynamics terms.
3. Talk about what it’s called when the singing starts quietly but gets louder. (crescendo) or when the music starts loud and gets quieter. (decrescendo)
There are dynamic symbols printables with song #11. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt in the teacher’s guide and musicplayonline.com that you can print out and package for your students to use. I package these in paper CD holders. It’s quick and easy to make a class set of them, and then I can use them for assessments of dynamic awareness with Gr. 2-6.
Give out a set of cards to each child.
Have them sort them from quietest to loudest. Check answers.
Quiz them on the dynamics shown.
hold up the card that means quiet
hold up the card that means very loud
hold up the card that is the symbol for mezzo forte
Have the students be leaders, and come up with questions for the class.
Follow this activity with a listening activity that has students listen and point to the dynamic card they hear in the music. In the Listening Resource Kit 1, #29 Contradance is a great example to use to have children respond to dynamics. The Listening Resource Kits are now online at www.musicplayonline.com. The Listening Section is found on the left side menu.
Select Kit 1, then scroll down to #29. Select the Listening Map. (Many choices are available so you can use the same example in several lessons)Hand out the dynamics cards, and play the recording. The students point to the dynamic Level (card) that they hear. Other good examples to use would include Listen 2 – #26 Summer, Vivaldi or #24 – Hornpipe. Listen 3 – #5 Entry March of the Boyars or $10 Bouree is very good or #17 Intrada, Listen 5 – March of the Dwarfs.
This lesson is from Musicplay 2. Musicplay is a standards based K-6 music curriculum with songs and activities that students LOVE! Musicplay is an award winning music program for K-6 schools. Each grade level includes 40 weekly lessons that clearly outline concepts and skills taught in each grade. Musicplay includes seasonal songs, fun songs, rounds, partner songs, folk music, multicultural music and choral music. In the Musicplay curriculum students sing, play instruments, move to music, listen, create and learn to read and write music. Important concepts are taught through play. Each week in Grades 1-5 a new singing game is taught. Children love music games making this a text that will have your students really excited about learning music! The program uses Kodàly and Orff sequencing, with lessons that have students creating their own music. Students are taught to read and write music through careful sequencing of activities. Orff arrangements are included for many songs. Extensive listening lessons, maps, activities, cup games and intercom scripts are included in the Listening Resource Kits 1-5, and the included listening examples in Musicplay K and 6. Reproducible song storybooks and Alphabet songs for K-1 teachers integrate with and support early literacy programs.
The Digital Resources replace and greatly enhance the material that is in the student books. The music and lyrics are specially formatted to fit a computer/projector screen. Quicktime movies and PowerPoints of the music and lyrics for each song are included as well as slides to teach note names, solfege, beat, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, form, and cultural context. Smart notebook files are included for teachers with Smartboards. Our new online resource, www.musicplayonline.com includes all the material in the Digital Resources, plus many interactive activities. Purchasers of packages will receive a 1-3 year subscription to the online resource.
For Information visit www.musicplay.ca
Peter and the Wolf Lessons
Peter and the Wolf is a timeless classic. There are many musical concepts to teach using this wonderful composition. If you’re done teaching for this school year (lucky you!) this is a great time to plan your units for next year. If you’re still in class, these movies could be your lessons for the last month! Visit www.musicplayonline.com to find all these wonderful ideas!
Identify the instruments
In Peter and the Wolf, Prokofiev uses different instruments to represent the characters. This is a great opportunity to teach children about the instruments of the orchestra. In the Listening Resource Kit 1, Denise wrote words to sing with many of the themes. Stacy Werner illustrated them in the Listening 1 Digital Resource, and Shannon Machtans has turned them into short movies that are now part of the musicplayonline.com resource!
In the movie “The Duck” the little song teaches about the tempo of the music, and the instrument that plays the theme.
Identify the Expressive elements
The duck theme is played by the oboe. It’s a very short listening example. The students are asked to listen and point to slow-medium-fast, pitch: high-medium-low and dynamics: quiet-medium-loud.
Students are asked what instrument represents the duck, and information about the oboe is given.
The Cat song is one of my favorites. The melody is memorable (gets stuck in your head) , and the melodic contour is illustrated as the students sing.
The Wolf is used to teach about crescendo.
The entire story of Peter and the Wolf is given on the musicplayonline.com website. After you’ve taught all the themes, the story will be much more meaningful to the students than it would be without the preparation!
This worksheet comes from the Listening Kit 1 and will be made into an interactive activity on the musicplayonline.com website. Use it to assess how well the students have learned which instrument represents which character.
We are still editing the listening movies and creating interactive activities to accompany them, but even as a work in progress, the listening selections on the musicplayonline.com website are a wonderful resource for teachers!
New at musicplayonline.com
- Staff tool for writing melodies! 1, 2, 3 and 5 line staff
- Rhythm composition tool
- Form Tool – outline ABA or rondo form
- Peter and the Wolf listening themes and story!
We are surrounded with sound all day every day. But are our students actually listening? Every teacher in your school would like to have students in their classes that are better listeners. Here are some ways that music teachers can really help the students improve their listening skills.
Make students more aware of sounds in their environment. The first activity in the Listening Resource Kit 1 is listening to sounds around us and identifying them. This activity is now a movie at www.musicplayonline.com. (The Listening menu is on the left-hand tool bar, and this movie is in Kit 1) The movie is only 90 seconds long. Students hear five sounds and they point to the sound they hear. The answers follow.
Follow this actitvity with a classroom listening exercise. Have them close their eyes for 30 seconds, then write down all the sounds that they can hear in the classroom.
I do a lesson on long and short sounds with preK – Gr. 2 using unpitched instruments. Play a sound on a finger cymbal and then play a sound on rhythm sticks. Ask the students which instrument made the short sound and which made the long sound. The finger cymbals produce a sound that sustains for a long time! Ask the children to close their eyes, and tell them not to open their eyes up until the sound of the finger cymbal has disappeared. Play the finger cymbal and watch to see how long your students keep their eyes closed.
There are 4 additional “sound” identification movies at musicplayonline.com. These are:
What Keeps a Beat, Fast/Slow, Loud/Quiet and High/Low. After watching these movies, start a classroom list of sounds that keep a beat and sounds that are fast/slow etc. Give the students a homework assignment. Ask them to listen at home for sounds that keep a beat and add them to your list the next time you see them. My little ones in PreK don’t fully understand these concepts, especially high/low, even after 10 lessons. Revisit this often so that all your students understand these basic concepts.
Another resource that will help your students be more aware of sounds around them, is the first of the So-me stories by Stuart Manins – So-Me Goes Missing. In this story, the main character, So-me, can’t be found. His mother, father and brother look for him all around the house and the neighbourhood, but he can’t be found. As they look, they hear many sounds such as a clock ticking, a dripping tap, the wind in the leaves, and a fly caught in a spider’s web. In the end, So-me wasn’t lost at all – he was laying behind the couch with headphones on listening to music.
Stuart Manins has very graciously given permission to post movies of the So-me stories on www.musicplayonline.com. We’ll be posting the movies in the Listening section next week. If you prefer to have a print copy of the stories (and they really are a treasure) we still have them available. Go to musicplay.ca, then scroll down the left menu until you see Storybooks.
We are still doing final edits to the Listening Kit 1 movies that are on musicplayonline.com, but the 41 listening selections that are posted provide you with a wealth of listening activities to use with PreK – Grade 3. For each selection there are 1-7 movies: Listening Map, Composer, Movement, Play Along and Kids Demos. All movements from Carnival of the Animals, the themes from Peter and the Wolf AND the entire story, and 12 additional selections by Mozart, Handel, Chopin and more! The movies teach and reinforce many concepts. One of my favorites is “Galliard Battaglia” that teaches call and response using finger puppets! Enjoy using these movies at www.musicplayonline.com and get your student’s listening!