Sunday, January 27, 2013

So and Mi Lesson Bundle

My kinder students will begin to learn So and Mi soon.  I created this unit for them.  If you've downloaded my Complete Pentatonic Unit, this download is much the same, except for teaching So and Mi.  Although I use listening examples and other songs when I teach So and Mi (which I've either posted previously or will post), this download is the "meat" of my unit and usually takes me more than two months to complete.  You can download it here: So and Mi Lesson Bundle

Here's an example of a Lesson Power Point (all instructions are included in the "notes" section):

To supplement the learning in the Power Point, I've created a Power Point of practice slides in each key.  Here's an example from G Major.  You can also print these out and use them as flashcards for the class to sing during warm-up time or to use to create new melodies.
Here's a slide from the BoomWhacker Power Point, which students can use to play and practice So and Mi in C Major.
I've also included folder games, like "Bee-utiful Melodies"

 And Mad Minutes (here's one in C Major)

Here's what's included:
1. Four Lesson Power Points (instructions, movement/games, and instrumentation included) for: Bee Bee, Engine Engine, One Two Sky Blue, and Rain, Rain
2. Four Mad Minute Labeling Worksheets (CDFG Majors)
3. Four Power Point Practice Slides - for warm-ups and extra practice (CDFG Majors)
4. Three Folder Games in C Major
5. Four Folder Games where students match the solfa to the notes on the staff (CDFG Majors)
6. BoomWhacker Power Point for So/Mi instrument fun
7. So and Mi on the Spaces Staff Practice Worksheet
8. So and Mi on the Lines Staff Practice Worksheet
9. Musical Breakfast Game (includes game-cards, instructions, teaching Power Point, rhythm tracking page, melody tracking page, student composition activity) - My students love this game

10. Starlight Starbright Game (includes game-cards, instructions, teaching Power Point, melody tracking page)
11. Will You Be My Love Bug (great for reviewing basic rhythms and introducing So and Mi - good for Valentine's Day too)

12. Lesson Sequence Suggestion - use this to guide your So and Mi planning

Recorder Fingerings Posters - DIY

I posted these last year and I'm hoping to make a free PDF for interested music teachers to download.  They were really effective in helping the students.  Here's the instructions on how to make them:

1. First, I traced the recorder in pencil (ours are always from Peripole - I love all their products and their customer service is great) on cardstock.  Then, I added the blank finger holes at the top.
2. Second, I colored the recorder and colored in the corresponding fingerings (in a bright color- Lines are Red for use and Spaces are green).  Then I added the bit about "left hand", "right hand" and "thumb".
3. Third, I drew the music staff with the correct pitch and labeled it, both with the letter (A) and the reference to where it lives (space 2).
4. Lastly, I mounted the cardstock on black construction paper.  Laminate and hang.

I pointed out where these posters were to the students and how to use them.  They are allowed to walk over and view them as they need to during practice times.

Conversation Hearts Sticker Activity

What teacher doesn't love the $1-$3 section at Target?  I'm always finding great stuff to use as manipulatives over there.

Recently, I found this pack of 100 ct. Conversation Heart Stickers for $1.  In addition to the sayings in the picture, there are two others: a green 'text me' and a white 'too fun'.  The stickers are foam and easy to use.  Also, all the sayings are appropriate (there's no 'sexy' heart).

I'm thinking the 3rd graders might have fun with these and use them to create B-A-G melodies.  First, they'll stick the stickers at the bottom of a page (lyrics), then add stick notation (quarter notes or eighth note pairs), then solfa pitches (G is Do, A is Re, and B is Mi), and finally draw this on the staff.  They can sing and play these melodies and share them with friends.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Will You Be My Love Bug? - Valentine's Day Activity for Kinder/First

My Kinder students are about to be learning So and Mi.  I created this activity for them.  I'm sure they'll love it!

Here's an example of one leaf.  I'd use four, pasted onto a poster board and laminated.  I'm going to try it as a whole class activity, then have the students work in groups of four.
The four leaves represent four steady beats.  The bugs are either ta's (ant, bee, fly) or titi's (spider, mantis, beetle).  The students would create rhythm patterns using the bug cut-outs for us to read.  How gross...but how cute?!  We would do quite a few of these to read, chant, clap, and play on un-pitched instruments.

I have a large poster with two lines (for So and Mi).  I'd print out more leaves, on cardstock, and keep them separated.  Students can move the steady beats to either So or Mis, add the bugs, and then we can sing them.  We can also add So and Mi Boomwhackers.

After two lessons (one unpitched, one pitched), I'd assign them this worksheet:

I'll let you guys know how it goes.  If you'd like to download the Power Point with all the print-outs and further instructions, you can find it here: Will You Be My Love Bug?


Cookie Pan Spelling

Here's another great manipulative available at Dollar Tree.  I made these a while ago, and just recently came up with the idea to borrow some alphabet letters from a Kinder teacher friend.

The cookie pans were 2 for $1 I want to say.  The black lines are made from electrical tape (and they stay down pretty well if you press hard) which was also 2 for $1 I believe.

This is such a cute way for students to practice spelling on the music staff.  I've only made five, but I really need to make more.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Three Mi-So-La Songs in Spanish

Here's an example of a rhythm preparation slide
Here's an example of a melodic preparation slide
I teach in southern New Mexico.  One of my professional development focuses this year is to use more Spanish in the classroom.

I created three Power Points using songs in Spanish to help teach my 1st graders the pitches Mi-So-La (although they are appropriate for second grade as well).  I'm really into integrating practice worksheets, group activities, movement and game activities and instrumentation - so I've included that with these lessons as well.

The lessons include:
1. Arre Mi Burrito (D Major)
2. Duerme Mi Tesoro (C Major)
3. Chini Mini (C Major)
4. Mad Minute Worksheets (C and D Major)
5. Mi-So-La Folder Games (C and D Major)
Example of a Mad Minute
Example of a BoomWhacker slide
6.BoomWhacker Patterns PowerPoint - fun to read and play

You can download the bundle here (be sure to check out the "notes" section in the Power Points as they provide suggestions and instructions for teaching the lesson):  Three-Mi-So-La-Songs-in-Spanish

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cheap Matching Activities

While checking out the Dollar Store for Valentine's Day stuff, I found these cute coordinating cut out sets (for $1 a piece of course).

Agh!  I'll probably have to get more.  Here's what I've done so far:

So and Mi Matching Game for Kinder/Early First

Basic Rhythms Matching for 3rd-5th

Pitch Matching for 3rd-5th

Dynamic Matching

Come On, Girls

This song is just too much fun.  It is great for reviewing do pentatonic and for practicing the "tika-ti" rhythm.  I use this with 3rd grade, although you could use it with 2nd or 4th, depending on their skill level.

You can download it here for free: Come On Girls

 First, we discuss three words found in the song: "hoecakes", "hominy" "sassafrass tea"

My students are familiar with "posole" - a soup made from hominy

For the next slide, have student predict which rhythm will match the text.  To do this, have them read each line of text while tracking each rhythm pattern.  When you click, the rhythm patterns will go to the correct lyrics in order.

This slide has the melody, not on the music staff obviously.  I have my students sing this slowly with hand-signs while I accompany them on the piano.

The students love to make up motions.  To do this, I'll sing a line of the song and let them make motions while I do this.  Then, I'll choose a student's motions and perform it for the class.  They'll copy me.  Then, we repeat the process for all the lines.  This way, I'm not calling on one students to make up the motions, I'm looking at all of them.  You'll get better participation that way.

Here's the melody on the staff.  Try having students come up and point to all the pitches (for example, all the do's, then re's, etc).

If you're hooked up to a Smart Board (lucky, I used to have one), they can label it with the pen tool.

 These two accompaniments are fairly easy to teach.  I have the students stand up and sing their part.

For the bass xylophone, the students squat lower on the word "cake" and stand on the word "fate".

For the recorder or alto xylophone part, the students do the same on the word "and".

I'll assign 1/4 of the class to the bass, 1/4 to the recorder/alto, and 1/2 to sing the song.  We'll switch.  We also do this while the students pat their
legs - easy transfer to the instruments.  Recorder players also move their fingers on the correct notes before playing.
This part lines up with the "If you do your fate will be" part of the song.  It is fairly easy to add in later.  Have the students clap then transfer to instruments.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

E-G-A-B Recorder Dice Game

At Target yesterday, I found these for $1.  I can't wait to use them with B-A-G Recorder Dice Game.

In fact, I created the "next level" with pitches E-G-A-B.  You can download it here for free: E-G-A-B Recorder Dice Game

More Activities for 4th and 5th Graders

One of my favorite things about teaching older students is how many elements of music I get to integrate into one lesson.  I can ask them questions about advanced musical vocabulary, ask them to sight-sing, assign them to various instruments (yay, finally including the recorder), and rely upon their creativity to create movement activities and different sections to accompany a song.  You also get to make stronger connections between the music and its subject, content, or history.

The following two activities are great for your older students, especially considering February is Black History Month.  Take a look at all they can learn:

Lil' Liza Jane:
 When I was student-teaching, my mentor teacher (Orff-trained) was into all things body percussion.  Her oldest students were 8th graders!  We had so much fun!  I often incorporate body percussion into my lessons now, even if I have to invent some.  For the above slide, each of the colored lyrics represent a different body percussion move.  First, I add in one color while we chant the lyrics.  Then, a second color.  Finally, all three colors.  Sometimes I'll add dynamic markings or change the tempo.  I'll also choose student-leaders to do this.  I love choosing student-leaders, and the kids love following them!

After the body percussion slide, I have another where students match the body percussion to the correct rhythm.  Then, we clap and chant the rhythm, then clap and chant the lyrics.  I am always asking them, "Why do we need rhythms?  What do they tell us?"  This song is also great for reviewing the dotted quarter/eighth and eighth/quarter/eighth rhythm patterns.

After the rhythms, I project the same slide, only with the solfa pitches added.  I ask the students, "Why haven't we been using our singing voices?"  I ask this question repeatedly as well, and some are indignant as they respond, "Because we don't have any solfa telling us how high or low to sing!"
Check out the "notes" in the Power Point - I've included many tips for teaching, assessing, and questioning.  Often, this is a stopping point for one lesson.

Also included in the Power Point are the pitches on the staff in three ways: solfa, pitch names, and unmarked:

The pitch names are handy for adding students on the recorder.  Advanced recorder players (you always have a few, or more than a few, who are ready to devour anything on that instrument) can accompany the class.  I've also added a drum part, tambourine part, and bass xylophone part.

So, students have been using body percussion, reading rhythms, sight-singing, adding instruments - it is time for movement.  This movement example is really easy, but the kids love it:
During the "sashay" sometimes I'll let the kids use their own moves.  I give them time to come up with a move with their partner and also insist that the move relates to the music and is appropriate for school.  These are pretty entertaining for all of us.  Of course, some students are not moving - they are accompanying us on the instruments.  You can select some students as "judges" who select the best pair of free-stylers.

After the movement element, I have the students work in groups of four to construct the melody using "broken heart" cards:
The students need to match the hearts and then put them in order to construct the melody.  This is a good assessment tool for me.  If a group finishes quickly, you can ask them to come up with different lyrics ("Let's go see a movie, 'Lil Liza Jane", etc).

I've also included a few slides you can use if you need to teach or review the rhythms with your students:

The next song is called "Hold My Mule".  It is very similar to good old "Cant' Dance Josey".  The students learn "Can't Dance" in 3rd grade.  I use a combination of the following great resource to teach this:

We review these songs and create an AB form:
A (Can't Dance with instruments)
B (Hold My Mule with movement)

The Power Point includes the song (lyrics, rhythm, melody) and movement instructions.  Students like to substitute other things instead of "mule". Funny stuff!

You can get both the Power Points here: Two African American Songs for 4th and 5th Graders