Students in third grade played a game called “Pass the Pumpkin” and used xylophones, a rain stick, and the gong to accompany their singing! The song has a minor sound to it. In music, minor means a haunting or sad sound. The opposite of minor is major.
Students in first and second grade listening to and learning about Danse Macabre by French composer Camille Saint Saens. Danse Macabre is French for “Dance of the Dead.” Perfect for the Halloween season!! We have learned (or reviewed) that a composer is someone who makes up a song and writes it down using music notes. We also discuss that music can tell a story, and that many songs have “themes” in them. Danse Macabre, for us, has a “skeleton theme” and a “ghost theme.” The ghost theme is smooth and soaring, like a ghost moaning and flying. The skeleton theme is choppy and bumpy, like a skeleton’s rattling bones! Sometimes the skeleton theme is even accompanied by a xylophone, to imitate the sound of bones.
As a listening activity, students listen to the song and place magnet-backed pieces onto a map of the piece as we listen. After doing this activity once or twice, students can identify every part in the song simply by listening for the tunes associated with each piece without any help from me- it’s quite amazing!
Today the fifth graders created songs. The directions were to use their ukulele in combination with any other instruments in the room to create and write down a song… and to have fun!! The creativity happening with this activity was incredible.