The Older Kids are working so hard to learn the lines, songs and choreography for their musical “The Properties of Matter”, which will be presented to the school on November 8th, and to parents and friends November 10th. Here are a couple of photos from our rehearsals.
We have been learning a little about what makes a song a “ballad” this month. Students have learned to recognize a 4-3-4-3 syllable stress pattern in the words and also to look for songs that “tell a story” to identify ballads that we know and new ballads that we’re learning. Our Composer of the Month for September is Bach, and we have been listening to his “Little Fugue in G Minor” to learn about fugues, organs and what is a melody.
We have been reviewing many of our favorite Rivendell songs since the beginning of the school year, as well as learning several new songs as well.
The Older Kids started learning their musical this week, which is the story of a “reality show” based on the founding fathers!
Middle Kids have been working on two new pieces with percussion and Orff instruments (see photos). They will be starting recorders in the next few weeks, and boy are they excited about it!
Younger Kids have also been reviewing rhythms and learning new “partner songs”, which are two different songs that sound great when sung together at the same time, but it’s pretty tricky to only sing your part and not get confused by the other part.
Preschoolers have been learning all our favorites, including the Rivendell school song “Where We Learn, Where We Grow”.
All the grade levels have been listening to and discussing “William Tell Overture” and “La Gaza Ladra” by our composer of the month, Gioachino Rossini. They should be able to relate the story of William Tell pretty accurately by now!
We have a favorite game in the Preschool classroom called “Fairies and Giants” and this past week the Younger Kids classes wanted to try it out as well. It’s a dramatic play game using a piece by composer Edward Elgar called “The Wand of Youth, Suite No.1” the 7th movement is “Fairies and Giants”. (In class, I use a version on Spotify performed by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields) Basically, children decide if they want to be a fairy or a giant and the music tells us when it’s our turn to take the stage. If you’d like to play it at home, you’ll need at least 2 people and your Preschooler or Younger Kid can explain it more in depth, I’m sure! Here are some pictures of us enjoying the game.
While the Younger Kids and Older Kids are busily polishing up their musicals, the Middle Kids have had some fun learning a new bordun (an accompaniment pattern based on the open 5th) to the song “Little Green Frog” and learning a little about American composer Leonard Bernstein. This week we watched the Mambo from “Dance at the Gym” from West Side Story
We had a busy November in Music, with the Middle Kids musical and starting practices for the Older Kids musical as well (performance in late January). Right now the whole school is working on Best Day of My Life by American Authors, which we will perform at the Barnes and Noble Book Fair on December 12th at 6:00 p.m., in a flash mob! All the students are very excited, so hopefully you can all make it.
Our composer of the month for December is Robert Schumann. Here are a couple of the pieces we’ll be listening to and discussing:
I just have one photo to share, of preschool class during our musical movement time. This continues to be their favorite part of class time.
In Music, we’ve been working on “partner songs” which are two song that can be sung together at the same time. All the grade levels have learned Hey Ho Nobody Home with Ah Poor Bird and Land of the Silver Birch and Canoe Song. We have also been listening to Saint-Saens’ Danse Macabre. The Middle Kids and Older Kids read the poem, by Henri Cazalis, that was the inspiration for this piece and the Younger Kids and Preschoolers listened while doing a movement activity.
Preschoolers are learning lots of new “Rivendell Favorite” songs, that we sing together during Group Sing on Wednesdays. We have also been listening to the piece “The Aquarium” from Saint-Saens “Carnival of the Animals” and moving around the room like sea creatures, and wow these are some creative kids…we had a puffer fish, some crabs, a manta ray and a hammer head shark just to name a few!
The Younger Kids are also working on Rivendell favorite song and reviewing steady beat, counting in sets of 8 and quarter notes and half notes.
The Middle Kids and Older Kids have been reviewing notation in preparation to start recorders up again in a couple of weeks. Middle Kids worked on writing and labeling a C scale and Older Kids worked on writing in note names for a new recorder duet we will be learning.
We also had a chance to work on an instrumental accompaniment to our “Hey Ho, Nobody Home” song on hand drums, steel drums and xylophones, in Middle Kids and Older Kids. They were able to perform that today in Group Sing while the rest of the school sang along in a round. It turned out great!