Posted in Student Work

4th Grade 3+1 Compositions

Learning how to read and perform music is an important goal of music education, but being able to use what you know to create your own composition is extremely important as well. This past week the 4th graders completed a composition inspired by our composer of the month, Franz Joseph Haydn.

After listening to Haydn’s Surprise Symphony, we examined the patterns found in the rhythm of the music. What we discovered is that the rhythm had 3 measures of rhythm that were exactly the same, followed by 1 measure that was different. This is the 3+1 formula, and its a pattern that commonly occurs in the music of many composers and songwriters.

With a partner, the students created a 3+1 rhythm and then learned to perform it. I then challenged them to “make it interesting”. We talked about all the different things that Haydn did to make his music interesting (changing dynamics), and we brainstormed ideas of their own. Here are the resulting compositions.


Posted in Student Work

4th Grade Theme and Variations

The 4th grade began this project last week by exploring our the piece Variations on Simple Gifts by composer of the month Aaron Copland. We discussed the many ways he created musical variations on his theme, as well as brainstormed new ideas. This week, each class chose a song that they could play on recorder to be the theme. In groups they created a variation to perform. In the end we created one large Theme and Variations piece by stringing them all together. Here are some of the results:


Posted in Student Work

5th Grade Square Dancing Creations

During the past two lessons the 5th grade classes have been working on the folk dance Alabama Gal. It is a very popular dance often done during harvest celebrations at this time of year. After mastering the original dance, the students were the challenged to create their own dance sequence using the movements they had learned, as well as adding their own special creative touches. Here are some of the results:


Posted in General, Student Work

Another Halloween has passed…

Halloween is definitely one of my favorite holidays, and it is very fun in the music room as well! We get to listen to spooky music, dance like skeletons, pretend to be witches, and make scary sounds with instruments (and that is only the beginning!) Here are a few highlights from Halloween week in the music room:

Room 107 performing Jack-O-Lantern:

Room 204 singing The Halloween Song:

Room 210 singing Halloween Night:

All of Pine Glen singing Witches Brew at 3rd annual Halloween Spooky Sing-Along:

Posted in Student Work

Scary Dynamics Stories

Dynamics, are the volume of music. During their last couple of lessons, the third grade has been learning different dynamic symbols, ranging from the very quiet (pp or pianissimo) to the very loud (ff or fortissimo). They learned what each of the symbols mean and how to perform those dynamics.

As a culminating project, the third graders used the iPad app Explain Everything to show what they learned. I gave each student the same scary story to read. Each line of the story was marked with a dynamic symbol. They had to perform the story and create a video of their performance using the slides in Explain Everything. Here is the scary story:


And here are s few of the finished videos:

Posted in Student Work

Songbooks, and Showcases!

It has been a wonderful week in music class! First, second and third graders created their songbooks this week, as well as sharing our favorite musical memories. We had a great looking back at all of our music making throughout the year!IMG_0296 IMG_0293 IMG_0292 IMG_0288

In addition, grades 2, 3, 4, and 5, had the opportunity to perform in our Showcase this week. Students played instruments, acted out skits, told jokes, did dances, sang songs, and the list goes on and on! Here is a photo of room 207 after their Showcase that included tap dancing, hulu hooping, and mimes! I was overwhelmed by all of our student’s talents!