5th graders are learning about the song “Carol of the Bells.” This song is a popular Christmas carol that was originally composed by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1904 and is based on a folk chant known in Ukrainian as “Shchedryk.” The song is easily recognizable for its four-note ostinato. We listened to three different versions of the song:
The Trans Siberian Orchestra
Libera (a boys chorus)
The Pentatonix (an a capella group)
We then learned to play the tune on our ukuleles! Next week we will try it with note reading and xylophones.
Here are the ukulele frets to use to play this song:
A string: 3 2 3 0 (x4) 7 5 7 3 (x4) 12 12 12 10 8 7 7 7 5 3 5 5 5 7 5 3 0 0 0
E string: 0 2 4 5 7 8 10 12 10 8 (x2)
A string: 3 2 3 0 (x8)
Fourth graders are learning about the composer Leroy Anderson, who composed light orchestra pieces such as “The Syncopated Clock” (which we learned about in 2nd grade) and “Sleigh Ride!” Leroy Anderson grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and many of his songs are still played by The Boston Pops today. We watched a video of John Williams conducting the Boston Pops playing “Sleigh Ride” and talked about all the instruments we saw and heard. Then we sang the song! Fourth graders will be singing “Sleigh Ride” at our school sing-along assembly in a few weeks, so it was good to start practicing now. After singing the song, fourth graders learned a special rhythm, which we then translated to cups. We began learning the rhythm on cups. We will be playing this special rhythm ALONG with “Sleigh Ride” next week! Here is the routine we will be doing:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (First half only!)
Holly Jolly Christmas
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Frosty the Snowman
We Wish You a Merry Christmas!