Monthly Music Madness!
Welcome to Ms. Latham’s Music Blog, a monthly recap of what every grade accomplished in music class. September has been a month for a lot of firsts in every grade such as playing Jeopardy music in grades 3rd through 8th, learning Solfedge Simon says, and so much more.
This years music class has been completely redone! Students at St. Mary School will be doing so much more than singing songs in class. I have created a well-rounded curriculum for all students that will connect music to a variety of studies such as math, history, and language arts. Students will be learning about music theory and the math involved with composing a piece of music. They will be learning about the history of music from the Middle Ages to modern contemporary and classical genres. Also they will be learning about other cultures and the music that defines them. But for now here is what every grade has accomplished musically for the month of September!
Week 1: September 8th – 11th
The first day of music class was a lot of fun for all grades. Kindergarten through 2nd grade learned a new song titled “Make New Friends”. They also learned a new form of Solfedge (Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do), but instead of using the typical hand signs, they learned solfedge through full body movement. Students even played a couple rounds of “Simon Says” using these movements.
Grades 3rd through 8th played Jeopardy during class but using music related categories such as Music History, Music Notation, and Instruments. Students were divided into groups and worked together to answer questions to the best of their ability all while having a lot of fun!
Week 2: September 14th – 18th
The theme for this week was learning about Steady Beat. In all grades, students listened to a variety of music examples and learned how to find the steady beat in a piece of music. Younger grades were given instruments to play to help them better express and understand the steady beat.
Older grades moved beyond steady beat to learn about meter and time signature, important elements of music theory. Students learned that time signature comes in two categories: the first category deals with the number of beats in a measure, either duple, triple, or quadruple, while the second category addressed how the steady beat is subdivided, either into simple meter (two beats per steady beat) or compound meter (three beats per steady beat).
Week 3: September 21st – 25th
All grades learned about Dynamics this week. Dynamics typically refers to the volume of sound, but it can also refer to other characteristics of music. Kindergarten through 8th grade listened to a variety of music examples and learned terminology used to describe music such as loud, soft, many instruments, few instruments, scary, happy, and beautiful. Older grades were given a list of dynamic terms found in music notation. These terms included the following: piano (soft), forte (loud), accelerando (to accelerate), dolce (to play sweetly) and several other terms. After this week all students know how to listen to a piece of music and identify the wide variety of characteristics associated with it.
Week 4: September 28 – October 2nd
Students in grades 4th through 8th reviewed over material covered in September to prepare for their first test the next week. The test covers topics such as steady beat, meter, time signature, dynamic terminology, and listening. I fully believe that all students will be successful on their first test!
While the older grades prepare for their first test, Kindergarten through 3rd grade continued learning about dynamics with a fun activity called “Carnival of the Animals.” Students listened to nine music examples and were asked to describe each piece with their dynamic vocabulary established the week before. After describing each piece, students were asked to associate an animal with each one based on characteristics found in the music. Students then played a form of musical chairs in which students were given coloring pages of the animals identified and asked to only color when they heard their animal’s song. This activity, while a lot of fun, tested the children’s ability to listen and identify musical characteristics found in a variety of pieces.
Before concluding Septembers Monthly Update, once a month the students learn about a composer. This month’s composer is Johann Sebastian Bach!
Considered one of the greatest composers ever, Bach regarded himself more modestly as a conscientious craftsman doing his job to the best of his ability. He was a virtuoso organist and keyboard player, a skilled violinist, and a prolific composer in almost every contemporary genre except opera. Please ask your children for more information about this wonderful composer as we will be covering Bach’s history in class this week.
Thus concludes Septembers Monthly Music Madness!