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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Put Your Old Wii to Work in You Music Classroom

Have an old Wii? Use it in your class through the game Wii Music! It's a fun treat for use in centers or as a full class review!

Boxshot: Wii Music by Nintendo of America

What You'll Need
Wii Console
1-4 Wii Controllers
1-4 Wii Nunchuck Controllers (some games can be played without it but some also require it)
Wii Music Game - purchase it used for under $5 from Amazon or Game Stop

Introduce the Activity: How to Play Wii Music

The lessons option can help you to introduce how Wii Music works to your students. Select Jam Basics to show students how to use the controllers.

What Games & Skills Does Wii Music Cover?

Jam Session
Select Custom Jam Session to let your students choose song, instruments, and venue. The band set up allows students to choose a bass, chord, percussion, melody, and harmony instrument. Instruments range from traditional such as violin and trumpet to world such as the sitar and castanets. Bouncing blobs at the bottom show students the steady beat, which can help reinforce playing in time/on the steady beat. At the end, students can watch their performance by selecting View Replay.

Pitch Perfect
This game is a great way to reinforce aural skills. A player is randomly selected to complete a challenge. These challenges include tasks like putting notes in order from high to low, finding the Mii who plays the same pitch as the given pitch(picture below), finding the instrument(out of a group of 4 instruments) who made a mistake in the music, picking the group that sings "like a sunny day" (major vs minor), and many more. Players earn points by selecting the correct answer. The quicker they find the answer, the more points they earn. This game can be used as a whole class review in single player mode.

Mii Maestro
This game allows players to become orchestra conductors. The Wii controller becomes the baton. When more than one controller is involved in this mini game, the object is to conduct at the same time. This game can be used to reinforce steady beat and give students a chance to experience what it's like to be in front of an orchestra. At the conclusion of the game, a score is given on how accurate the conductors were. I will warn you, the multiplayer aspect of this game is more difficult than you'd think! 

Handbell Harmony
Use the Wii controller and nunchuck to form a handbell choir! Follow the colored handbells on the screen, which tell when you should play. This game can be used to reinforce playing rhythms in time. One trick I've found is you should try to play your handbell slightly before it gets to the yellow strip. 

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2, 4, 6, 8 Ta & Titi Partner Activity

This month, my kinders are starting to explore short and long sounds. We transitioned to call these short and long sounds ta and titi during this week's classes through 2-4-6-8 Meet Me at the Garden Gate.

I believe 2-4-6-8 is meant to be a chant but I wanted to add pitches to continue to reinforce sol-mi-la. Here's what I did:

After discovering one sound in one steady beat is a ta and two sounds in one steady beat is a titi, I added a partner hand clapping activity. First we practiced keeping the steady beat by using a pat-clap pattern. Then I had them practice pat-clap-pat-hands up. The hands up motion preps them for high five-ing their partner later. Once students can comfortably sing and do the pat-clap-pat-hands up motion, I put them into partners. First we practiced the pat-clap-pat-high five partner motion alone and then we put it with music!
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