Posted in 3rd Grade, 4th and 5th Grade, Chorus, Multicultural Activities

Paint the Town December!

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The West School Chorus performed a special holiday musical last night: Paint the Town December!  The show was a great success, with 97 chorus students participating in the performance.  Santa even took time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance, can you believe it??!

The kids of Graysville do a community service project each year and paint all the shop windows on main street, to brighten their town up for the holidays.  Along the way, they met Mr. Ladin at the Dreidel Cradle, Ms. Abraham at the World Import Store, Mr. Scrooge at the Bank, and Senora Frida at the Inn.  By the end of the show, the dreary town of Graysville, USA went from looking like this….

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to THIS!

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Thank goodness for those Graysville kids and their holiday spirit!

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And everyone was all smiles after the show…

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Posted in 1st and 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Books and Music Stories, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Singing

Music Stories

This week kindergartners and first graders were introduced to “music story time.”  This is a time (at the end of music usually) where we relax, after all of our dancing around, and read a book together.  Not just any book though- in music, we read “story songs”- songs that have been made into picture books!  This week we listened to a song called Sweet Dreams  by Jewel, as we looked at pictures from the book.

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You can listen to the song here.

The book and CD are available at the Manomet library, and you can also find it on amazon.com here.

This song is gorgeous and the kindergartners who had music twice this week loved singing along with it the second time we heard it!

There are many “story songs” that are favorites here in the music room, with kids of all ages.  Here is a list of just a few of the stories I present throughout the year.  Most of these come with a CD, are all available on amazon.com, and many can be found in one of the Plymouth Public Libraries.

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We Shall Overcome

 

 

 

 

Posted in 3rd Grade, Autumn Activities, First Week, Fourth Grade, Scavenger Hunt

Musician Scavenger Hunts!

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Third and fourth graders started out the year in music by getting to know their classmates…. musically!  Students had to find kids in their class who fit different musical descriptions- someone who was joining band, someone who was in chorus last year, someone who could name a note on the staff, someone who could name an instrument shown in a picture, etc.  It’s a great way to get the kids talking about music in their lives and their knowledge of music, while at the same time getting re-familiarized with the music room and getting to know new friends!

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Posted in 1st and 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Autumn Activities, Classical Music, Halloween

Danse Macabre by Mr. Saint Saens

Students in first, second, and third grade have been 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.

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In first and second grade, students listen to the song and place magnet-backed pieces onto a map of the piece as we listen.   In second and third grade, we watch a real orchestra playing the piece.  Third graders learned about the instruments of the orchestra last year, so it was lots of fun to identify the instruments by sound and sight!

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Posted in 3rd Grade, Autumn Activities, Halloween, Rhythm

Musical Jack-o-Lanterns as Note and Rest Review

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Students in 3rd grade learned about half rests and whole rests, and reviewed the “real names” for many other music notes and rests.  Then they practiced drawing them by using them to create jack-o-lanterns.  On the back of each Jack-o-Lantern, students filled in a chart to show which four notes/rests they used, what the  name for each note or rest was, and how many beats each note or rest gets.

Posted in 1st and 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Autumn Activities, Classical Music, Halloween

Danse Macabre by Camille Saint Saens

Students in first, second, and third grade have been 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 chopping and bumpy, like a skeleton’s rattling bones!  Sometimes the skeleton theme is even accompanied by a xylophone, to imitate the sound of bones.

ghost skeleton

In first and second grade, students listen to the song and place velcro-backed pieces onto a map of the piece as we listen.  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 real orchestra playing the piece!

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Students in Mrs. Hayne’s second grade class watch a real orchestra play Danse Macabre and do their movements along with the music.