3rd Quarter, 2018
Jim Darcy Elementary Music Summary
February is a month full of many musical celebrations. Valentines Day songs were fun for the children to sing. We even learned the origin of Valentines Day with the tradition of exchanging cards. All classes commemorated Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in song and history. We discussed that Yankee Doodle refers to George Washington. We also learned about Abraham Lincoln and The Emancipation Proclamation.
We celebrated the music of African American slaves as a blending of two cultures. We sang spirituals and discussed the evolution of these songs into different forms of American music such as Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, Pop and Hip Hop. We learned the slave song, Follow The Drinking Gourd, was composed with encrypted lyrics revealing directions to escape via the Underground Railroad.
In March we sang and listened to a host of Irish music. March would not be complete with out recognition of St. Patrick and the contribution of Irish Americans to the fabric of America. We sang folk songs about St. Patrick. We included songs about Irish Immigrants who worked on the American railway construction of the 1800’s. The students really enjoyed all the Irish songs.
We even learned a dance!
Mrs. Pyfer’s 2ndGrade worked on musical games and other songs like Pat Works on the Railway and St. Patrick Was A Gentleman. Music games teach children movement to the beat of the music and group cooperation. We also cover the pitches of each song in solfege.
3rd Grade: We practiced singing harmony using echo songs, partner songs and rounds. The 3rd grade students really seem to enjoy singing. We covered various styles of music from the blues to classical including American folk songs, spirituals, popular music and Irish folk songs. We also learned a speech piece in 4 parts. The elements of this piece are based on an old tongue twister: How Much Wood Can A Woodchuck Chuck. It was fun and challenging.
4th Grade: We continue to learn more notes on the recorder. Our students can play notes spanning an octave from D below the treble staff to D on the 4th line. We are practicing severa; songs. We also sang several songs.
5th Grade: spent 2 months learning to play melodies and chords on a set of district guitars. We read music notation and guitar tablature. Songs were projected on a screen from a computer notation program. Students followed each note with a green cursor that moves through the music with the play back feature. A metronome click track sounds along with the play back.
5th grade is back on the keyboards and 4th to recorders. 4th Grade is practicing Skip to My Lou.
5th grade is learning and testing on a the ascending and descending one octave chromatic scale.
They are doing quite well. All students are reading music notation. All 4th and 5th graders take turns (one time of every 3 class meetings) studying music theory on a computer program called Music Ace.