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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Using Exit Slips in Music Class

Monday, August 18, 2014

Using SQUILT in Music Class

SQUILT is one of my students' all time favorite activities. What is SQUILT you ask? SQUILT stands for Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time. During SQUILT time in my classroom, students listen to a piece of music and then imagine a story in their head. It is a great, fun way to introduce classical music to young children. Students do this activity immediately following the Welcome to Music song we sing each week.

Looking for a fun way to introduce classical music to your elementary music students? Try SQUILT (Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time)

I have my students spread out, sit or lay down, and close their eyes. I let them listen to about 2-3 minutes of music and then have them sit back on the carpet. I choose 3-6 students a week to share their stories, depending on how elaborate the stories are. I post the Youtube videos on my website each week so students can share the music and their stories with their parents/guardians!

You don't have to use SQUILT every week though! Use it as a brain break, an extra time activity, or just something fun and different. They can journal, draw/color what they hear, describe music using musical terms, or simply put their heads on their desks, close their eyes, and imagine!

Lastly, here are the musical selections I've used for SQUILT so far:
William Tell Overture Finale, Rossini
Shepherd's Hey, Grainger
Le Vent Dans la Plain, Debussy
Hoe-Down from Rodeo, Copland

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaching Melodic Contour with Debussy and Ribbon Sticks

This week in 1st grade, we learned a bit about melodic contour! 

We started by listening to some simple melodies played on the piano. First I played melodies that only went up or down and had students point towards the ceiling or the ground to indicate direction. Then I played melodies that went up and then down or down and then up. Again, I had students point in the directions one after the other.

Next, we took a listen/look to Debussy's First Arabesque:
While we listened, we followed the purple/orange bubbles with our hand/arms for about a minute.

Then we took a look at another video once they got the hang of following the pattern/music. This video was the one we were going to add ribbon sticks too.
Here's the choreography I used:
:06-:16 side figure eighth(infinity sign) in front
:17-:26 large movement side to side over head
:27-:42 center swirls - stir the pot motion
:43-:45 side figure eighth in front
:47-1:05 side to side over head, ending with ribbon falling downward downward
1:06-1:40 hold ribbon and sway to music
1:42-1:51 side figure eighth in front
1:52-2:04 large movement side to side over head
2:05-2:16 small shake side to side over head and bring movement down as melody moves down
2:17-2:26 shake side to side raise with melodic contour

2:17-end shake side to side all the way down

Before teaching the choreography, I had students do similar movements without ribbon sticks. But if you're pressed for time, you could go right to the choreography!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Good King Leopold - Four Voices

Do you love the game Good King Leopold, but wished it had a story to go with it? I  sure did but couldn't find anything kid friendly. So I wrote/illustrated(in powerpoint) one! 

If you've never heard of the game, here's how to play:

Choose one king/queen to sit on a separate “throne.”  All other students stand on the other side of the room and sing:

Good King(Queen) Leopold                                   The king/queen responds:
(sol   mi  sol-sol-mi)                                                 You must ask again
May we cross your kingdom?                               (Sol  mi   sol  sol-mi)
(sol  sol  mi     la    sol mi)                                       This time use your ________ voice.
                                                                                   (sol  sol   mi   la  sol sol    mi)
                                                                                   Student chooses  the voice–
                                                                                   whisper, speaking, shouting, singing.

Students repeat “Good King/Queen Leopold, may we cross your kingdom?” in the voice that was ordered. The king/queen only grants permission to students when all have complied with the order. When permission is granted, students cross over the kingdom. I had my students walk from one end of the carpet to the other. A new king/queen is then chosen.

Add a foam crown from Walmart and you're all set!

Not only is this a great way for students to practice their four voices, it's also a great way to individually assess!

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