The hustle and bustle of the season, ongoing illnesses, and a horrible case of bronchitis have had me pretty occupied the past six weeks, so please forgive the gap in updates. During the gap, the students have been focused on singing skills, including breath support and proper child-voice technique. The upper grades have learned singing in parts, while the lower grades have been learning to use volume for effect with their voices. We were also able to reward over 3/4ths of the classes for good behavior. Any class that receives four check marks in a row for a great job in music earns reward time the next class meeting. The classes voted and we had a mixture of games, cartoons, and socializing.
The next semester will be much more challenging as the lower grades begin learning musical notation and the upper grades will be involved in several music appreciation units. Students will be learning about the families and instruments of the orchestra, orchestral music, opera, musical theatre, composers, art songs, and an exploration of several musical genres.
The semester will also bring more opportunities to play and compose on the classroom instruments as well as more folk dances and an exposure to a wide variety of musicians.
In the past, fourth graders have learned to play the recorders in music class. While this a rite of passage for so many elementary students, the same playing skills can be accomplished with our barred classroom instruments. I am sure many families are heaving a sigh of relief for escaping the infamous “Hot Cross Buns” played loudly and out of tune. :)
Periodic updates will continue, so please check back often. You will also see some reorganization of the website over the break to make information more easily accessible. As always, if you ever have questions or comments, please email me.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and break. See you in January!