Students in first, second, and third grade have been listening to and learning about Danse Macabre by French composer Camille Saint Saens. We have learned (or reviewed) that a composer is someone who makes up a song and writes it down using music notes. In first and second grade, students listen to the song and place velcro-backed pieces onto a map of the piece. In third grade, students each have their own individual “board game” of the song, and they use a bingo chip to keep track of where we are in the piece as we listen. In second and third grade, we have watched a cool PBS cartoon made to go along with the piece, as well as a real orchestra playing the piece!
Students in Mrs. Hayne’s second grade class watch the orchestra play Danse Macabre “on the big screen” as we like to say. Students love to act out playing the different instruments while we watch. Students learn, in depth, about the instrument families and individual instruments of the orchestra in January of second grade.