Let's Sing 3 Column

Thursday, April 23, 2020



G R E A T S 

Gold Rush Elementary Annual Talent Showcase



 Our All-School Talent Show
will be hosted digitally this year
using FlipGrid.

Follow the link and upload your video using the + sign
The last step is to take a selfie that will be the thumbnail for your video in the gallery

Record Directly into FlipGrid or follow the instructions from the FlipGrid help center to import or upload a custom video

All performances must be less than 5 minutes

WELCOME - Let the show begin!

Let's Share, Showcase and Celebrate
all of the great Talent at GRE

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

World-Wide Concert Hall Invitation

Gold Rush Musicians_

We have a special invitation to join in (virtually) to a World Wide Concert of one of Beethoven's most famous pieces - Ode to Joy from his 9th Symphony, known as the Choral Symphony.

General information about the concert is linked here.

You'll find instructional videos and the printed music on the At-Home Learning pages of this blog.

The accompaniment video / play along track of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra can be found on the Music to Practice page.

I welcome you to take part in this fun musical connection.  Let's join the concert together!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Music Remote Learning Opportunities

To my beloved students_

I miss you!

Although there is nothing that will take the place of our making music together face to face in community, I trust that you will take advantage of this time to listen to music and make music on your own or with your family.

Please check out the links on the At-Home Learning pages on this blog AND the New page:  A Song a Day which will include some fun sing-alongs and Books to Sing.  I have separated the At-Home Learning pages into two different pages:  Primary (Kdg-2nd Grade) and Intermediate (3rd-5th grades).  I will be adding to the resources there for you to explore.

Keep a song in your heart!

Mrs. Petty

Friday, February 21, 2020

Sixth "Week" (rotation) in Music - January 27 - February 21, 2020

In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our sixth rotation together, here's what we did in Music:

Kindergarten
  •  Wrapping up our study of UnPitched Percussion instruments in our music room:
    • We used this singing game to re-introduce one instrument of each of the percussion timbre families.  As each student was tapped, they took an instrument and 'joined the marching band' going around the circle.  Once every student had an instrument we had student conductors to create music using colored dots matching the way the instruments are sorted in the music room.
      • Click - Rhythm Sticks (Red)
      • Jingle - Jingle Bells (Orange)
      • Rattle - Chiquita maracas (Yellow)
      • Scrape - Guiro (Green)
      • Ring - Triangle (Blue)
      • Membranic - Hand Drum (Purple)
  • Students also learned some things about following a conductor - as different students took on that role - leading the various groups of instruments - with hand signals and also using hands and feet to touch the colored dot of the instruments they would like to hear playing.  Those following the conductor had to 'read' the 'music' to know when to play. 
  • We played the "Listen" game with a mixture of all different kinds of unpitched percussion, too.
  • Students also learned a new singing/movement game:  "Down in the Valley" which features partners moving in mirrored movement.

First Grade & Second Grade:
(focus on singing voice, performance etiquette, song repertoire and vocal harmony)

Students refined their songs for their Parent performances.  We added in our entrance, bows and exit and finished memorizing all four pieces for the musical portion of the program.  Three songs are ones that all classes sing together and each class a featured musical number, too - complete with movement, instruments and speech or singing.  The day of the performance, the classes combining for the sharing had a chance to practice together and experience the harmonies created by the two parts put together in Sing a Rainbow before sharing it with an audience that night.

  • Sing a Rainbow
  • Dance, Dance, Dance,
  • We Believe in Music
  • Rombo Romboide (Spanish Rhyme)
  • Color Rondo
  • Night Sky


Third Grade:  Students were introduced to playing the soprano recorder.  In this rotation students learned some very important things to getting a good sound on the recorder:  1)Breath speed - breathing gently as though teasing a candle - with warm, slow, gentle, steady air flow; 2) How to start and stop a sound [tonguing] using a "D" or "doo" tonguing; 3) how to hold the recorder with left hand up and right hand down; 4) how to plug the holes to avoid leaks and squeaks.  Students learned the fingering and notation for two pitches - B and A.  We played several pieces from imitation and by reading traditional notation.  Several of the pieces had cool accompaniment tracks added in.  Recorders will not come home until students have learned 3 songs with 3 notes and are producing a good sound.

Fourth Grade:  Students got back to preparing for their upcoming Colorado Connection Concert.  This will be happening in the next rotation. Students reviewed songs and dances we've already started on.  And, in addition, students started on the piece Gold Rush Rap.  Some students volunteered to learn some of the lines and speak them in a rap style.  Fourth graders also had their 3rd take on the 50 in 5 challenge - the timed note naming challenge with treble clef pitch names.

Fifth Grade:  Our focus this rotation was on melody.  Fifth graders used what they know of treble clef pitch names to learn / read some music for recorder.  We reviewed the fingering and basics for playing the instrument on the pitch set needed for the piece, Quickie Quodlibet.  The students worked on B, A, G, low E and D and high E and D.  Each student worked collaboratively to learn one of the four melodies which layer together in a Quodlibet form:
I
II
I / II
III
I / II / III
IV
I / II / III / IV
Students experimented with different ordering of the melodies and also added some ostinato accompaniment patterns on tone bars.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Fifth "Week" (rotation) in Music December 16, 2019 - January 24, 2020

In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our fifth rotation together, (which starts the 2nd semester reporting period) here's what we did:

Kindergarten:
  • Kindergartners continued to experience and learn about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room.  In this rotation students were introduced to the Ring family and the Membranic instruments.
    • Ring:
      • Triangles
      • Finger Cymbals
      • Suspended Cymbals
      • Crash Cymbals,
      • Chinese Bell Tree
      • Tam-Tam
      • Indonesian gong
      • Wind Chimes
      • Zhing (from China)
    • Membranic:
      • Hand Drums - we took a day to explore various ways to play and make sound on Hand Drums
      • Snare Drum
      • Buffalo Drum
      • Tubano
      • Bongos
      • Donno ("Talking Drum" from Ghana)
    • All of these instruments were explored with everyone playing first (exploring) and then with the Listen Game to identify by sound and name.
  • First Graders - Fifth Graders all took part in our all-school Sing-along Assembly Thursday, January 17th in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other difference makers.  They learned 6 songs for this:
    • Woke Up This Morning / O Freedom  - African American Freedom Song partnered with a 2-part Freedom Song from South Africa
    • Dream of Martin Luther King
    • Keep the Dream Alive 
    • Keep Your Eyes on the Prize - African American Freedom Song
    • What Can One Little Person Do? - verses about Harriot Tubman, Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King
First Grade & Second Grade: (focus on singing voice, song repertoire and vocal harmony)

In addition to the MLK sing-along songs, students continued to work on songs for the upcoming Parent performances.  We figured out our size order and added in practicing walking onto the steps for the singing.  Each class has a featured musical piece which involves movement, singing or rhythmic speech and instruments.  Students have experienced all these choices and are beginning to decide who will do what in the final sharing.

  • 1ABCD:  Night Sky inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's painting Starry Night, with music developed from a melodic canon exercise in Music for Children Volume 1
  • 1E / 2E:  Rombo Romboide:  a Spanish Rhyme about geometric shapes
  • 2ABCD:  Color Rondo by Danai Gagne

All students are singing 3 songs together, too:

  • Sing a Rainbow
  • We Believe in Music
  • Dance, Dance, Dance


Third Grade:  In addition to the MLK songs, we worked on learning the lines and space names of the treble clef in preparation for playing recorders in the next rotation.

Fourth Grade:  In addition to the MLK songs, students were introduced to some square dance calls and figures.  We learned the portion of the Symbol Song with square dance and an additional full square dance, Comin' Round the Mountain.  Square Dancing is the Colorado Folk Dance.

Fifth Grade:  In addition to the MLK songs, students in 5th grade reviewed the notes of the treble clef from the b below the staff to the b above the staff and took their 2nd take of the 50 in 5 challenge - a timed note naming challenge using these notes.  Classes also got to choose songs to sing from a menu of song choices.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Fourth "Week" (rotation) in Music November 11(12) - December 13, 2019

In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our fourth rotation together, here's what we did:

Kindergarten: (continued focus on beat and timbre families)
  • Kindergartners continued to experience and learn about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room.  In this rotation students were introduced to the Rattle and Scrape instruments. 
    • maracas
    • shake-it
    • caxixi (from Ghana)
    • handle castanets
    • clatterpiller
    • vibra slap
    • chiquita maracas
    • egg shakers
      • guiro
      • multi guiro
      • cabasa
      • rasp (Native American)
      • gourd scraper
      • sand blocks
      • frog guiro
      • cricket
      • ratchet
      • rigged wood block
    • Students were introduced to the names of the instruments and playing technique for each particular instrument.  We passed them around the circle, matching the beat.
    • Using the instruments of the timbre family - we played a game called, "Listen"
      • Students had to identify the instrument they heard - by sound only.
    • All day Kindergarten classes extended their music experience with a singing game in two versions:  Black Snake

    First Grade & Second Grade: (focus on singing voice, song repertoire and vocal harmony)
    • Students had a circle discussion about performance - from an audience perspective and from a performers perspective based on previous experiences.  Then we began learning songs for their upcoming Specials program.  The theme, "Arts Alive" focuses on the importance of the Arts (Music, Dance and Visual Arts).  We are even bringing some famous visual art to "life" through movement and music.  Check out the page on this blog called 1st and 2nd Grade Specials Program for details about the performance(s).
      • We Believe in Music
        • Both 1st and 2nd grades are singing this together
      • Dance, Dance, Dance
        • We explored this song first through listening and freeze dance, and then learned to sing it.  Some students will be featured with free-style dancing as others sing.
      • Starry Night / Night Sky
        • The piece will be a feature piece for many of the 1st grade classes.  Students 1st explored the art work with movement words and creating a movement interpretation of the painting.  We also learned a melody to sing which has the notes Do, Re, Mi and Sol.  Students have played the melody on glockenspiels and explored the text of the song with unpitched percussion to highlight special words. 
      • Rombo Romboide
        • This will be the feature piece for a couple of classes.  It is a rhyme in Spanish about shapes.  Students have explored the piece with speech and making shapes.  We have begun adding some tone bar accompaniment.
      • Color Rondo
        • This will be the feature piece for many of the 2nd grades.  We began by exploring the movement words in the text, creating movement sentences in groups.  Students have learned to sing the melody and have started working on the tonebar accompaniment with includes some 3-mallet technique.

    Third Grade:
    • We reviewed pieces for our Rock Concert and added the final finishing touches to pull it together.  Students chose one special part -  narrator, stage crew or volcano with scarves.
    • We had our Rock Concert performance in the music room for a live audience.  A video of that performance can be found on the In the Spotlight page of this blog.
      • Rock Concert Opener
      • Rock Rap
      • Earth Changes
      • Rock Rondo
        • The piece included the collaborative composition sections using 'rock' rhythmic building bricks put into an elemental form and woven together with a melody on the xylophones in a rotating Rondo
      • My Favorite Rock
      • Obwisana
        • A rock passing game from Ghana
      • Rock Concert closer

    Fourth Grade:  (Focus on Melody, Song Repertoire and Vocal Harmony)
    • Students worked on song repertoire for our Colorado Connection Concert.
      • Students were introduced to a new song for our Colorado Connection:  Cripple Creek
        • Students learned both vocal parts and then chose which part to sing.  The voice parts are layered (creating harmony)
        • Students learned the body percussion (stamp/clap) pattern that is the interlude between verses.
      • Symbol Song
        • Students reviewed the unison and small group voice parts as we sang the musical whole
      • Cheyenne Hand Game - native American piece / game song
        • Using the two "teams" from Cripple Creek, students began adding the actual game and instrument parts using traditional Native American instruments:  Corn Rattle, Taos Drum and Rasp.  
    • Recorder
      • Students reviewed the fingering and technique for B, A, G
      • As a whole group with played Stegosaurus Stomp in unison with the track - with hand signs as a reminder
      • Students were introduced to two new notes for recorder - low D and high D - in a new piece:  Ride the Iron Horse.  

    Fifth Grade: Focus on Rhythm Canon composition

    Our focus was on rhythmic canon and composition.
    • Warm-ups included "instant" canons with body percussion and some instant canons with hand drums.  The majority of class time was given to time to compose their own rhythmic canon.  Each student has published their piece and is ready for a future time of performing their creation with a partner - so that it can be performed in canon.

    Friday, November 8, 2019

    Third "Week" (rotation) in Music October 7 - November 8, 2019

    In the specials rotation at GRE this year, each class comes to music on alternating days for two weeks (opposite days they are in PE).   In music in our third rotation together, here's what we did:

    All students Kdg - 5th grade learned two songs for our first ever Veteran's Day assembly:

    • We Will Not Forget  by John Riggio
    • A Grateful Nation by Teresa Jennings

    Kindergarten: (continued focus on beat and timbre)
    • Kindergartners continued to experience and learn about the UnPitched Percussion instruments we have in the music room.  In this rotation students reviewed the Click Family of instruments and were introduced to the Jingle instruments:
        • jingle bells
        • sleigh bells
        • cystrum (from the Middle East)
        • tambourine
        • caxixi (from Ghana)
        • Indian dance bells
        • jingle tap
        • Students were introduced to the names of the instruments and playing technique for each particular instrument.  We passed them around the circle, matching the beat.
      • Using the instruments of the timbre family - we played a game called, "Listen"
          • Students had to identify the instrument they heard - by sound only.
    • Kindergarteners also learned a singing/movement game:  Old King Glory of the Mountain
    First Grade: (focus on rhythm)
    • Reviewing sound / silence patterns
      • Using 8 paper plates to represent one beat each, students read patterns with the word "yum" each time an apple was on the plate.
      • The pattern changed each time as students were invited to "add or subtract" an apple from the pattern.  
    • Singing Game - Apple Tree - 3 versions (Sol-Mi-La song, introducing low Do)
      • We played this game in all 3 versions - a bean bag passing game, a version like London Bridges where the student that gets trapped at the end of the song switches place with one of the 'tree' makers, and a cumulative version where each person trapped makes a new tree in the 'orchard' for the traveling students to go under.
      • Students worked together to figure out the rhythm of the song
        • The words of each beat of the song were notated on one side of a paper apple and on the flip side the rhythm was written - tah or tee-tee (quarter note, pair of eighth notes)
    • Creating and Reading Rhythms
      • We read the book "Ten Apples Up on Top" by Dr. Seuss
      • The 'upset the apple cart' page was inspiration for creating new 4 beat tah tee-tee patterns with the rhythm/word apples from "Apple Tree".
      • Students created 4 different 4 beat patterns
      • We flipped the words over and read the scrambled sentences that appeared - and laughed about the silliness.  It's different each time.
    • Rhythmic Dictation
      • Students notated 4 beat rhythms using craft sticks - tah, rest, tee-tee patterns

    Second Grade: (Focus on Rhythm) Tah, Rest, Tee-tee, and the new note Ta-ah
    • Pumpkin Patch
      • We learned the first verse of the singing game, Great Big House in New Orleans
        • Students improvised on glockenspiels on the B section based on the rhythm of the poem for that section ("Pumpkin pie, Pumpkin pie!  I just love that pumpkin pie!  Love the whipped cream piled up high.  I just love that pumpkin pie!").
        • We extended the piece with a reaction game - the first person says pumpkin pie, and then names another kind of pie.  Their next door neighbor repeats the last kind of pie they said, and then names another.  For example, "pumpkin pie / apple pie; apple pie / blueberry pie; blueberry pie / mince meat pie, etc."
        • Students discovered the half note which is part of the singing game and practiced rhythmic dictation (4 beat patterns) using quarter notes, half notes, pairs of eighth notes and rests.
    • Each class had their first "Talent Time" of the school year, with an opportunity to share performances suitable to perform on the stage (singing, instruments, dance, comedy, etc) with their class as the audience.

    Third Grade:
    • We continued working toward our upcoming "Rock Concert" - a parent sharing that ties in with a classroom Science unit.
      • Rock Concert - opener and reprise
      • Earth Changes (a new one this rotation)
      • Rock Rap 
      • My Favorite Rock
      • Obwisana -  a rock passing game from Ghana
      • Rock Rondo
        • Students brain stormed rock words to fit 2 beat rhythms
        • Students worked collaboratively in groups to create a word chain
          • two phrases each made of 2 rhythmic building bricks - rock words
          • given an elemental form students worked to say their rhythm, then play their rhythm on rocks 
        • Students learned the A section on xylophones
        • We worked to put together a rotating rondo so that all students play the xylophone melody and also get to share their rock word chain

    Fourth Grade:  (Focus on Melody)
    • Recorder
      • Students reviewed the fingering and technique for B, A, G
      • Students learned a piece for the Colorado Connection Concert, Stegosaurus Stomp
    • Each class had their first "Talent Time" of the school year, with an opportunity to share performances suitable to perform on the stage (singing, instruments, dance, comedy, etc) with their class as the audience.

    Fifth Grade: Focus on Rhythm through Rhythmic Canon
    • Students reviewed reading and writing 4-beat rhythm patterns using quarter notes, quarter rests, pairs of eighth notes, half notes, four sixteenth notes, and syncopated patterns,
    • Students were introduced to a Rhythmic Canon through listening and identifying the form of the piece with rhythm cards.  We played the piece in unison on hand drums and worked to identify the best place for the 'interruption' of the 2nd voice in the canonic form.  The piece we played was "Simple Canon in 2" by Shirley McRae.  This piece is constructed entirely of the standard 2-beat rhythmic building bricks.  We deconstructed the canon to notice that.
    • Student Compositions
      • Students were tasked with creating their own rhythmic canon (at least 8 measures long in an elemental form) using simple rhythmic building bricks in 2 or 4 beats per measure.  
      • This is a work in progress and the project will continue into the next rotation.
    • Classes which had 5 days enjoyed another "Talent Time"