Category Archives: Spring

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.
Order Bucket Drumming in Canada.     USA/International – order here

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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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!!!

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!

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