In term 2 of music at FBCS we had a lot of great experiences learning music, performing music, and having fun. We started off this term in December and made preparations for the Christmas Concert “A Rockin’ Royal Christmas”. Our students did a fabulous job singing and acting in this musical. In Kindergarten to 2nd grade music we told stories with rhythm instruments such as the “Three Little Pigs” & the “Tortoise & the Hare”. We also studied two pieces of music together Vivaldi’s Four Seasons the Spring Movement, as well as The Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov. We studied the Italian music term “presto”. Ask your kids what this means to see if they remember. While the themes are similar in these grades the activities are different. Kindergarten and Grade 1 continue with at least one movement activity each class such as activities for the rhythm sticks, using ribbon banners, boomwhackers, rhythm instruments, scarves, bean bags and other manipulatives. Kindergarten-Grade 2 students also learned about chords, and played an accompaniment on the boomwhackers (tuned percussion tubes). We learned several instruments of the orchestra along with the Classical pieces, and the students were able to watch the Grade 6 band perform to see some of the instruments being played. The Kindergarten and Grade 1 students are learning to play and read rhythm notation in quarter notes, half notes, eighth notes and whole notes. Grade 2 -4 students build on rhythm reading by also adding in the various rests, and sixteenth notes, as well as reading the letter names of notes on the staff. As children this age need movement breaks, movement continues to be important. Students in all grades have also recently started learning our new musical “I Am A Friend of God” by the Clydesdale group.
In grades 3-6 we continued to focus on reading music notation and playing on recorders (grade 3& 4), and band instruments (grade 5 & 6). The grade 3 & 4 students learn basic note reading skills including playing correct rhythm and note names. I am so proud of them, many of them went on to learn very challenging pieces and about 60% earned the highest level in recorder. (We use a belt system similar to the idea of karate called “Recorder Karate”.)
Grade 5&6 band classes continue building on their skills. The rubric for beginning band covers hand position, embouchure, reading music notation, fluency, playing with a steady beat, posture, breathing, and improving tone. In grade 5 these skills are just developing but in grade 6 we go beyond and start to play easy band arrangements, and to improve on fluency and tonguing and more complicated rhythms.
The performance of “I Am A Friend of God” will take place on June 9th, 2015! This musical is about what it means to be a good friend, and the power of our words. It also has a great anti-bullying message which is so perfect for our kids today! Please join us for this great night as we share what we have learned.