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  1919 Caton Farm Road, Crest Hill, IL 60403  (815) 744-6166

General Music

Kindergarten Music

It’s great to be in the swing of things here at school! I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know your students and look forward to hopefully meeting many of you at Parent Teacher Conferences at the end of October.

We’ve been focusing our class time on the comparatives this month, Soft & Loud, and Fast & Slow. We’ve done a number of activities that involve identifying when these are used and performing them ourselves, but more importantly, students are being asked to determine when their use makes expressive sense. For example, we practiced singing a lullaby and the students discussed why a lullaby needs to be soft (so we don’t wake the baby)! We’ve also listened to music such as Flight of the Bumblebee and the students discussed some different things about the song that made it sound like a bee buzzing around (it’s very fast, just like the movement of a bee). Finally, students were asked to make choices and combine these expressive elements (for example, singing a song soft and fast or loud and slow). Challenging students to do this on their own at home is a great exercise!

This month, students will begin working to differentiate between a speaking and singing voice. We have so many fun vocal exploration activities and games where students get to practice using their voices in an attempt to distinguish between singing and speaking. Finally, students will also continue to perform steady beat movements, developing their sense of steady beat (a year-long process).

Please check back on our website throughout the year to hear more about what your child is learning in kindergarten music!

 

Want to know more about what your child will learn in Kindergarten Music at Richland?  Click below!

Kindergarten Music I Can Statements

1st Grade Music

Students in first grade have spent much of the past month reviewing and further developing their sense of steady beat. This is a crucial step in laying the foundation for future musical study! It also plays an important role in reading development according to research. We’ve used body percussion as well as instruments while singing, chanting, and listening to music. We also wrapped up our working with steady beat with a composition project. Students worked in groups to compose their own steady beat pattern using different classroom instruments (drums, triangles, egg shakers, and rhythm sticks). After writing the music and practicing, each group performed for the class. All of the first graders did a fantastic job showing excellent audience and performer etiquette!

I’ve individually assessed steady beat with all students at this point and will test again at the end of the year to check their progress. Let me know if you’d like more information about their current skill level.

In addition, students have been working on building confidence using a singing voice. We’ve played some fun vocal exploration and solo singing games! Almost all students have taken a turn at this point to sing a solo with our Treasure Chest game, so please ask them about it!

Finally, we also works on differentiating the beat and rhythm. Students have been identifying examples of each while being asked to explain how they can tell what they are seeing. Some student answers for the beat include: “It’s smooth”, “It’s steady”, “It never changes”, “It goes along with the music”, “It’s just one sound at a time”. Some student answers for the rhythm include: “It goes along with the words”, “Sometimes there are two sounds together, sometimes just one”, “It’s not steady”. Please ask your child more about these two concepts and encourage them to show you by clapping or patting along with the beat, then the rhythm, to a song or chant they know (Rain, Rain Go Away, Apple Tree, or Copy Cat are great choices).

Please check back on our website throughout the year to hear more about what your child is learning in 1st Grade music!

 

Want to know more about what your child will learn in 1st Grade Music at Richland?  Click below!

1st Grade Music I Can Statements

Second Grade Music

Students in 2nd grade spent the beginning of September reviewing the difference between the beat and the rhythm. Not only did they have to identify it and perform it, but students were asked to justify how they knew what they were seeing. After just a couple of weeks, students hit the ground running by reviewing rhythm notation from 1st grade and learning a brand new rhythmic value, the half note!

Our process for learning new rhythmic values is always the same. Students first learn to hear it and clap it using echoes and rhythm syllables. We then begin a decoding process where students hear me clap or play a rhythmic pattern and have to clap it back using the unspoken rhythm syllables. Once students can successfully do this, I introduce a song with the new rhythm and the students have to find it. In the case of the half note, students were able to note that it sounds longer than any other note they know, making it easy to pick out in songs like “Who’s That Tapping at My Window” and “Sammy Sackett”. Next, we discover what it looks like in standard music notation and begin reading it to learn new songs.

Because students learn at different rates, I administered a couple of tests shortly after introducing the half note. Students were asked to write out a few rhythm patterns I played on a recorder and read a passage of music individually. In our next few classes, students were divided into different groups to work on various activities that catered to their individual needs allowing those who are ready for a challenge and those that need more practice in a specific area to do so. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your child’s current skill level.

As we move into October, we will continue to use the half note and other known rhythms, and we’ll be working on playing these rhythms on instruments and within ensembles.

Please check back on our website throughout the year to hear more about what your child is learning in 2nd Grade music!

Want to know more about what your child will learn in 2nd Grade Music at Richland?  Click below!

2nd Grade Music I Can Statements

Third Grade Music

3rd Grade students opened the year with some more advanced beat and rhythm activities while immediately beginning to jump back into rhythm notation. Within a few weeks we were ready to introduce a new rhythmic value, the whole note.

Our process for learning new rhythmic values is always the same. Students first learn to hear it and clap it using echoes and rhythm syllables. We then begin a decoding process where students hear me clap or play a rhythmic pattern and have to clap it back using the unspoken rhythm syllables. Once students can successfully do this, I introduce a song with the new rhythm and the students have to find it. In the case of the whole note, students were able to note that it sounds longer than any other note they know (they noticed it is held out for four beats), making it easy to pick out in songs like “Epo I Tai Tai E”. Next, we discover what it looks like in standard music notation and begin reading it to learn new songs.

Because students learn at different rates, I administered a couple of tests shortly after introducing the whole note. Students were asked to write out a few rhythm patterns I played on a recorder and read a passage of music individually. In our next few classes, students were divided into different groups to work on various activities that catered to their individual needs allowing those who are ready for a challenge and those that need more practice in a specific area to do so. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your child’s current skill level.

As we move into October, we are preparing to introduce yet another rhythmic value, the sixteenth note.

3rd & 4th Grade Choir started up on Tuesday, September 26th with Ms. Powers! Please contact me if you need another sign-up form.

Please check back on our website throughout the year to hear more about what your child is learning in 3rd Grade music!

Want to know more about what your child will learn in 3rd Grade Music at Richland?  Click below!

3rd Grade Music I Can Statements

Fourth Grade Music

After a few classes where students had a chance to show off their new 4th grade skills (we jumped right into playing xylophones this year), the students were able to spend a couple of class periods with Mr. Robb to learn more about our exceptional beginning band program. Students not only had the chance to learn about the band instruments and to watch them played, but each student was able to try out an instrument as well. If you missed our beginning band sign-up night, please feel free to contact me or Mr. Robb to get your child signed up! Also, our 3rd & 4th Grade Choir began on Tuesday, September 26th with Ms. Powers. Contact me if you need a form to sign up!

Starting in September, we worked to prepare a very necessary skill for playing in band as well as for the recorders that all 4th graders will be playing later this year: rhythm number counting. In this system, students do not use rhythm syllables (like ta and ta-di), instead they use numbers to read rhythms. The system can be a bit difficult to learn at first, but after a few lesson, I have to say I am extremely impressed with how the 4th graders are tackling it! Each class we added a new note value, work in groups to demonstrate an understanding of the method, and then spent the remainder of class playing rhythm reading games like Busted and Swat the Fly (feel free to ask your child about how these games work). It’s amazing to see how much their rhythm reading is advancing and also how their creativity is taking off! Several fourth grade classes have been making the group exercises and games more challenging by adding their own special touches!

We’re now working to put the number counting into practice with ensemble instrument playing. In another week, we’ll take a summative assessment (final test) and then after that, we’ll be working with the treble clef to read line and space notes with letter names, a final step in preparing to play the recorder!

Please check back on our website throughout the year to hear more about what your child is learning in 4th Grade music!