Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fire and Smoke - Music Style

Fire and Smoke – music style
This is a quick card game that I learned from a high school maths teacher. 
So much fun - fill in activity - maybe played backstage to help occupy waiting performing groups as it can be relatively quiet.

I thought I would give it a music twist.

Give it a go and let me know if you like it, or what variations you create.

How to Play

You have a deck of cards.
All kids stand.
Ask these questions to one student at a time, each time drawing a card after they have answered. 
When they get one wrong, they sit. 
The winners are the students left standing - the ones that have guessed all four questions correctly.

  1. Fire or Smoke (red or black card) Sing the word fire to a given melody, eg dms - smoke - smd. Can use any melody that needs practice. 
  2. Higher or lower (higher or lower than the numeric value of the card) - Students sings the word higher at a high pitch, or lower at a low pitch.
  3. In or out (between or outside of the numeric value of the first two cards) Sing or say the word 'in' quietly and the word 'out' loudly.
  4. What suit? Sing the suit to any melody! Have a bit of fun and improvise.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Two Old Tortoises

Two old tortoises going for a walk,
"Hello," said one, "would you like a little talk?"
"Yes," said the other, "I do enjoy a chat."
So they walked along together with a natter, natter nat.
This fabulous little rhyme is lots of fun for your young students. I begin with using index fingers to represent the tortoises as they walk along and talk. You can give one tortoise a 'high' voice and one a 'low' voice if you want to practice those comparatives. For a bit more interest, you can introduce a manipulative. Print these little guys on green cardboard, cut them out and laminate them for durability. Then sticky tape of hot glue gun them to paddle pop sticks. Each student can have two to dramatise the rhyme, or they can sit in pairs and have one tortoise each.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Music Educators On-Line - Bernadette Etcheverry

Bernadette is a music teacher from California who moved to Okinawa, Japan in 2014.
When Bernadette moved to Okinawa and began working with Japanese students, she realized that they were very enthusiastic about music, but their English language skills were very limited. This was affecting the students’ ability to receive music instruction.
The students Bernadette left behind in California also contacted her asking if they could continue learning from her somehow.

With this in mind, Bernadette had to find a very simple and digital way to teach music to her new English Learners and her former students.

This is why Bernadette created the YouTube channel, Bernadette Teaches Music.
In this channel, Bernadette has created a library of YouTube videos, most of which are under 3 minutes long, where she focuses on ONE concept at a time. There are even videos for teachers who need help setting up and maintaining an ukulele program.

You can find Bernadette’s resources below:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

G Whiz Composition

I came up with this simple idea and ‘G’ it worked well so I thought I would share.
I am sure you have all done versions of this before, but in case it gives you a new idea, or variation to your ideas, here it is...

We are beginning recorder and I wanted to spend time playing our first note and focusing on tone, but I also wanted to make it creative and interesting.I witnessed some great learning, creating and discussing.

  • We revised known rhythmic elements
  • Collaboratively created an eight beat rhythmic pattern on the board.
  • Clapped the rhythmic pattern we wrote.
  • I played the rhythm on the recorder on one note, G. G WHIZ, we created a piece of music. 
  • The whole class payed the rhythm on G focusing on tonguing and lovely tone. 
  • Students then created their own 8 beat pattern with a partner using paddle pop sticks. (I LOVE my paddle pop sticks!)
  • They played their rhythm together on their recorders on G.
  • When most of the pairs were finished their composition and had played it through a few times, I asked them to move around the room and play other compositions.

This was a much more 'musical' experience than I had anticipated. Beginning recorders are often not the most beautiful sound, and all playing at different times...well I was a bit worried, but the playing was lovely and gentle (of course I did set that up as best I could). The students were genuinely interested in what rhythms others had written. 

Another great outcome from the activity was the fabulous discussions. I heard students working on playing together, how they would count in, where they made errors, which parts they wanted to change and why and what they liked about the compositions of others.

Honestly, I thought it would be an interesting way to practice known rhythmic elements at the same time working on tone and playing the one note we had just learnt on recorder, but I really didn't expect it to be such a great learning experience. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

6 YouTube Clips to Practice Letternames
However you teach letternames, whatever sequence you use, there is always a need to revise and practice. Of course, we all sing and play music from the staff, and that would include letternames, but this post is not about methodology or pedagogy. 
Here are my six favourite YouTube clips for practicing Letternames.

1. Every Good Boy Deserves Football 

2. I Knew You Were Treble by Jeanette Young 

3. All About That Bass (Clef)

4. Every Good Boy Does Fine - MusicK8.com

5. FACE - MusicK8.com

6. "Lines & Spaces" Episode #9 Preview - Quaver's Marvelous World of Music

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Minecraft Resource for Music Teachers 

Why not make the most of this craze that is still lingering? Even my sons, at 19 and 23, still occasionally get on and play.

These three Minecraft hidden pictures come in three variations:
•English/Australian Terminology
•USA Terminology
•The note itself

Included is a special blank grid for your students to create their own Minecraft picture!
So easy to use. The students identify and shade just one note in the grid lines – voila – a Minecraft picture is revealed.

Great for sub tubs, early finishers, to use in a workbook and as a reward.

The sheets look like this:

And the answer sheet is included to make life even easier!

Free for Crescendo members or only $2 on Teachers Pay Teachers.