Posted in 1st and 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th and 5th Grade, Fourth Grade, Group Activities, Movement Activities, Singing, Steady beat

Draw Me a Bucket of Water

Students in third and fourth grade played the singing game “Draw Me a Bucket of Water.”  The tune and lyrics go like this:

draw 6

Four students start out by two holding hands standing across from each other, and the other two holding hands over the first two students hands.  While singing the song, students walk in a circle to the steady beat.  Each time you sing the song, you increase the number IN the bunch and decrease the number OUT the bunch. Every time you increase the number IN the bunch, one student goes “under” into the inner part of the students arms, until everyone is in the bunch!  At the end we all shout “FROG IN THE BUCKET!  HOP HOP HOP!” four times, and everyone has to hop on the “hops”!  The rule is we have to sing it in our nicest singing voices (and of course you can’t sing while laughing) but luckily you CAN sing while smiling, and everyone definitely smiles during this activity!

draw 1 draw 2 draw 3 draw 4 draw 5

Posted in 4th and 5th Grade, Classical Music, Composing, Fourth Grade, Group Activities, Instrument Activities

Beethoven’s Motive: The Fifth Symphony

In fourth grade, we learned about the life of famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven.  We then listened to the beginning of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and realized Beethoven used the same short rhythmic and melodic pattern throughout most of his piece.  Think (dum dum dum DUMMMMM!)   The pattern is , with a fermata (or hold) over the last eighth note in many cases.  We learned that this repeating pattern is called a motive.  We also noticed the first three eighth notes were usually the same pitch, and the last one usually went  down.  We listened to the first 25 or so seconds of the piece to see how many motives we could count: 14 in all!  Fourth graders then used xylophones to create their own motives.  When they were finished, they got to make their own composer biography, in which they described the motive they came up with.

photo 1-002

Listen to Ryan’s song using his motive here:


photo 2-001

Listen to Abby’s song using her motive here:

We all played our songs for each other (a motive isn’t song, their songs had to repeat the motive many times), and then watched this AWESOME graphical score of The Fifth Symphony.  I only intended to play the first minute or so, but they wanted to watch and listen to the entire 7 minutes 38 seconds!!!  See the cool graphical score we watched below.

Posted in 4th and 5th Grade, Group Activities, Pop Music

5th Grade Music Video Project

Fifth graders at West have been busy making music videos here at West!  We are using iPads and the apps Videostar and Recording Lite to make the videos.  Many of the students are familiar with Videostar, an app in which you can film yourself, using all sorts of filters, lip-syncing to your favorite songs on the radio.  We have taken it a few steps further though!  Each group was able to pick a school appropriate pop song, change the lyrics to the song, learn to sing their “new version” of the song, and then record themselves singing the song using the app Recording Lite and instrumental tracks that are easily found on youtube!  Recording Lite was necessary, because unlike other recording apps, anything you record in Recording Lite can be opened in Videostar.  Some student work will be uploaded soon!

Project Directions look like this:

Music Video Directions

Here is our checklist:

Music Video Checklist

Here is the Videostar Directions Worksheet (double sided):

Videostar Directions 1

Videostar Directions 2