Monthly Archives: June 2019

Review, Request and Song Logs

Review and Request

The last week of school, I really enjoy doing review and request.
I ask the students to brainstorm a list of their favorite songs, singing games and activities from the school year.   If they forget what songs they’ve done, scroll through the song list at Musicplayonline.com to help them remember — or if you’ve kept a song log (see below) use the song log to help them remember all the songs/activities learned.

We write them on the whiteboard.  If I have enough classes left in the school year to be able to do all the songs/activities we can work through the list.

If time is limited, you might have to do a poll to see how many want to do each song/activity.   I suggest having students close their eyes when voting so they aren’t influenced by their peers.   Say – “Hands up if this is your very favorite song.”  And remind them that they’re only supposed to have one favorite. Work through the list and you’ll have a good indication of what their favorite songs/activities through the year were.   And they can’t argue about the results because their eyes were closed.

EVEN BETTER – As children propose their favorite songs/activities go to
https://wheeldecide.com and type the choices in the list.  Spin the wheel and it randomly selects a song.  No arguments or votes needed!

I’ve discovered by doing this that kids don’t remember songs we did back in September very well.  So review and request time is a really great review of the year’s work.  It’s also a really good way for you as the teacher to learn what your students really enjoyed, and it’s an informal way to assess some of what they’ve learned in the year.

Each year is different – and I always get some surprises, like the Kindergarten class who’s favorite song of the year was “Germs.”  Who would have thought?

Song Logs

A song log can be a useful tool, for keeping track of all the songs that your students have learned.   It can help the teacher remember which songs the Grade 2s have learned, and if one class gets ahead or behind, it can help remind you of the songs they’ve missed.  If you have space to post a chart for each of your classes, you could do this as part of a bulletin board.  If you don’t have space, you could keep the song log on your class computer, project it to show the students and have them help enter the new songs as they have learned them.

This is the information that I like to have on the song log:
Song Title
Where from?   The second column could include the country or continent that a song comes from or the composer if it’s a composed song.
Purpose or context – tell why or where this song was used.
Date – or month when you learned it.

I’ll make the song log available as a fillable form in the Musicplay Teacher’s Group on Facebook.

Review and Request Classes are FUN – share your ideas, photos and videos  at Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!
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Campfire Songs

Lots of your students will spend some time in the summer camping.As the weather warms up and you’re thinking about summer, campfire songs make a nice unit.  In my view, campfire songs are songs that are familiar, that you may have sung at summer camp, and that are easy for all ages to sing along with.  There are lots and lots of songs at www.musicplayonline.com to use as campfire songs. And don’t hesitate to use Kumbaya in K, with a Grade 3 class.  These songs are timeless and ageless.

There are many songs in Musicplay that you could use as part of a campfire songs unit.  And it’s even better, if your students can accompany their singing on ukulele or guitars.

ALL of the songs in Musicplay are arranged for Ukulele and Guitar, so youdon’t have to go hunting for arrangements.

If you don’t subscribe to the online site, the Musicplay Ukulele/Guitar arrangements are available in print as well!

Make a fake campfire to add even more fun to your unit!

Musicplay K

6. You’ve Got to Sing
42. Kumbayah
77 Sailor Song
99 If You’re Happy
113 Michael Finnigan
150 Old MacDonald
152 Peanut Butter
157 Listen to the Water
165 A Boy and A Girl
174 She’ll be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain

Musicplay 1

11 Apples and Bananas
18 Ten in the Bed 1 chord F
26 Today is Monday
38 Goin on a Bear Hunt
42 Down by the Bay
62 Miss Lucy
67 Aikendrum
106 Five More Days till Vacation

Musicplay 2

3 Ridin’ that New River Train
9. I’ve been Working on the Railroad
19 I am a Fine Musician
31 Peace Like a River
35 On Top of Spaghetti
50 Boom Boom
53 Haul on the Bowlin’
59 The More We Get Together
61 Ham and Eggs
62 Cat Came Back
63 I’se the B’y
70 Ain’t Gonna Rain no More
81 Oh My Aunt Came Back
87 Row Row Row Your Boat
93 Swimming
94 Goin’ on a Picnic
98 Christopher McCracken

Musicplay 3

9 Rocky Mountain
25 Nothing But Peace
29 I’m an Acorn
51 Cindy
62 Austrian Went Yodelling
69 Old Blue
74 Alouette
77 I Love the Mountains
81 Waltzing Matilda
99 Feller From Fortune

Musicplay 4

2 Hey Lidee
3 This Little Light of Mine
6 Chester
30 Land of the Silver Birch
51 We’re on the Upward Trail
53 My Gal’s a Corker
59 Nobody Likes Me
60 Grandpa’s Whiskers
84 Flunky Jim
95 Camping Song

Musicplay 5

1 Mama Don’t Allow
26 He’s Got the Whole World
68 Click go the Shears
83 Drunken Sailor
84 Ship Titanic
87 Neath the Lilacs
91 Clementine
93 Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Musicplay 6

1 Barges
16 Fish and Chips
24 Oh My Darling
32 Hagdalena
39 Who Did
58 Hi Ho the Rattlin Bog
71 Gypsy Rover
78 She Waded in the Water
79 Corner Grocery Store
120 Home on the Range

Campfire Songs are FUN – share your ideas, photos and videos at Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!

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Outside Games & Recorder Composition

Outside Music Classes

For those of you in the south, you’ve had nice weather for a while now.  But up north in Alberta, the last snowfall was May 5th.    After a long winter, when nice weather finally arrives everyone wants to be outside – students AND teachers.  
 
I really enjoy taking music class outside.  Singing games, especially chase games, are better played outside than inside.  Inside, you have to find ways of slowing down chase games, but outside you can let the kids run!

Singing Games – Chase Games in Musicplay

Lucy Locket
Mouse Mousie
Charlie Over the Ocean
Tisket a Tasket
Let Us Chase the Squirrel
Cut the Cake
Ickle Ockle
Our Old Sow
Hill Hill Come Over the Hill
Kye Kye Koolay
Turkey Lurkey
King’s Land
Frog in the Middle
I Like Turkey
Built My Lady
John the Rabbit

Frog in the Middle 

This is a seriously fun game!  And if your students are finding frogs outside, this is a great game for spring!

 

Game Directions: The children form a circle. Choose one child to be the frog in the middle. The “frog” stands with eyes shut and arms outstretched. While the children sing the song, the “frog” turns. At the end of the song, the two children closest to the frog’s hands step out of the circle and race in the same direction. The first one back to tag one of the frog’s hands, wins. 

Teaching Purpose/Suggestions: This song is great preparation for low la and low so.  Your students should be able to read the rhythms in the song. 

Ickle Ockle

Musicplay 5
Fun chase game – and so much more fun outside than inside.
Great reading song – ls m and ta, ti-ti
View the kids demo video at www.musicplayonline.com
 

  
Hill Hill

Musicplay 2
View the kids demo video at www.musicplayonline.com
We played the game outside because it’s way more fun outside where you can run, than inside.
Teaching Purpose:  great reading song – so-mi, and introduces half notes.
 

Directions, music and kids demo movies for all the games are found at www.musicplayonline.com.

All of these songs can be found in Musicplay and in the 

Singing Games Children Love Collection!

 

Volume 1 with lots of chase games

Volume 2 clap games, movement

 

Volume 3 games for K-3     

 

Volume 4 games for Gr. 3-6

 

Recorder Composition

30 recorder players composing at the same time could drive you crazy in the classroom. But outside, students can improvise and compose melodies in their own space and using the template in the Recorder Resource Kit, they will create compositions that are playable and musical.
 
Limit students to the rhythms ta, ti-ti, rest
Limit the notes the students can use to BAG or BAG E or BAG ED (depends on their playing ability) . If using BAG E they should end on G or E.  If BAG, end on G.
1.  Have students create a rhythm pattern under the hearts.  Check it.
2.  When rhythm is successful have them improvise melodies on that rhythm using the notes BAG or BAG ED.  When they have a melody they like, write the letters in.  They should then play their melody for you.  If it’s successful, they should write the notes on the staff.
3.  Accompany melodies that end on G with a G-D bordun on a bass metallophone or xylophone.  Accompany melodies that end on E with an E-B bordun.
 

This is the template that I use for composition.  It’s in the Recorder Resource Kit 1.  it’s also in the files at Musicplay Teachers Group on Facebook.

 

This is an example of a 4th grade student composition – ends on E, so accompany with E-B bordun, sounds great!

 
 
 
Boomwhacker Composition

Divide your students into groups, give them pentatonic Boomwhackers and invite them to create a rhythmic composition with movement. (Melodic composition is possible, but takes longer) My students really enjoyed this and all groups were on-task, engaged, and successful. We did this for 2 periods, then groups performed for each other.  

 
 
Drumming or Bucket Drumming

I’ve been teaching bucket drumming in several elementary classes this month. It’s tons of fun, but would be fun to teach outside. You wouldn’t have the ability to project music to teach, so you’d have to plan to teach everything by rote.  More bucket drumming ideas will be coming to musicplayonline.com
Easy Bucket Drumming is an excellent resource.
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Playground Balls

Plainsies Clapsies

This is the best game ever with playground balls.  In the classroom, I use beanbags, but this game would be fun to try with playground balls.  Are you old enough to remember playing with playground balls in elementary school?
View the kids demo video at www.musicplayonline.com
This game is way easier to figure out from the kids demo than directions.
Great teaching piece:  ls m and ta, ti-ti
And kids LOVE it!!!
 

 
 

Skipping Rhymes in Singing Games Vol. 1

Cinderella
Bluebells
Had a Little Crate
On a Mountain
Miss Lucy
Oliver Twist
Skipping is another playground activity that might be lost unless music and PE teachers encourage it.  Miss Lucy and Oliver Twist are in Musicplay and are traditional skipping rhymes.

 

Outside Music Classes are FUN – share your ideas, photos and videos  at Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!

Watch this week’s teaching tip:

 
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Performance Assessments

Are you doing assessments for your end of the year report cards?  One of the areas that I want to assess is how well children perform music in choirs, Orff ensemble, on unpitched instruments, recorder, ukulele or guitar.

Assess a Choral Performance

When you’re conducting a choir, it’s almost impossible to assess the performance of an individual child during the performance.  But you can video the performance, and use it to assess some aspects of performance.
* are students watching the conductor?
* do students use good posture in performance?
* are students singing with an open mouth?

Discuss the Performance with your Students:  (Musicplay 3, song#1)

– “Did we use good diction?”
  “What could we do to help the audience hear our words more clearly?”
– “How can we sing softly and stay in tune?”
– “Did we all breathe in the same places?”
– “Did we sing the phrases the same way?”  “Did we start and end phrases together?”
– “Did we match pitch?”
– “Did the voices sound nicely blended, or were there individual voices that you could hear?”
– “Were the vowels pure?”
– “ Was the tone pleasant, open and resonant or was it sometimes “shouty”?”
– “Did the class maintain a steady beat and perform rhythms accurately?”
– “Could you hear the dynamic contrast at the end of the song?”
Ask the students to think of compliments and comments about their own performance.   

I NOTICED………..    I WONDER……….

Brian Burnett suggests the use of the words “I noticed” and “I wondered” when making comments about performances.   I liked this because it frames statements in a positive way.

THREE STARS AND A WISH

Another way to assess performances that I like is 3 stars and a wish.
If a group has performed in class, invite students to share 3 things they liked (3 stars) and a wish for what they might do differently.
* . ______________________________________
* . ______________________________________
* . ______________________________________
I wish ____________________________________

Quick self assessment for students:

Show me your fingers.  Ask them to hold them against their heart, so it’s just between you and them.
4 fingers – I did an awesome job
3 fingers – I did pretty well
2 fingers – I tried my best, but made mistakes
1 finger – I could have tried harder and could have done a lot better
 
Part of an assessment or a performance can be a student self-evaluation:

Student Self-Evaluation of Choral Performance

 

3 Second Listen

Part of the Assessment might be done in rehearsal. I use the 3 second listen for large groups or for a very quick assessment.  I have the class line up in class list order. (alphabetical).  Then I have them sing as a group, often with a recording.  I walk up and down the rows listening to each child for about 3 seconds, and record their grade on my class list.
X = excellent
VG = very good, with a few pitch slips
S = satisfactory – somewhat close, but is not fully in tune
NY = not yet – the child is wildly out of tune, speaking or not trying

 

Teacher Assess Orff Ensemble

I’ve used this rubric to assess performance in an Orff ensemble.
If possible, video the performance, then assess each child.
 

 
And you can have students do a self-assessment.

Student Self-Assessment in Orff Ensemble

 

Recorder Solo Assessment

This is a very detailed assessment.  I’d probably only use this once in a term.

 

To the Teacher: Since it is very time consuming to assess a complete performance of a solo by every child, assess one skill in isolation every week and assess only 1-3 solos or parts of solos per term.  I seat my students in alphabetical order, and grade directly to my class list.  Instead of calling attendance, I identify the skill to be performed, and give them a short exercise to perform it on.  For example, I assess tonguing on a short rhythm pattern:ta ta ta ta | too-oo too-oo    I can assess legato connections at the same time.  I assess rhythm reading by holding up rhythm flashcards and having each child read one. Pencil and paper exercises are given in the kit and should be marked and grades recorded.  Use the mad minutes as a  tool to assess note names by cutting off the top part and having students complete them in a given time (I use 3 minutes).

This is a much quicker rubric to use:

Rubric for Assessing Student Playing:

1 – Plays correct notes and rhythms with excellent tone, legato tonguing, breath control, and posture
2 – Plays correct notes but is missing one or more of the following: accurate rhythms, excellent tone, tonguing
3 – Plays most of the notes correctly but is missing two or more of the following: accurate rhythms, excellent tone, tonguing
4 – Plays few of the notes and rhythms correctly
 
Assessment is a big topic and these are just a few of the ways that you might use to assess performance.  Share your ideas, rubrics and videos on the Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!
 
 

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