In Term 1, Preps will be introduced to the foundations of music by exploring elements such as beat, pitch, dynamics and tempo. Students will use their voices, movement and instruments to express ideas and interpret sound and silence. We will also begin responding to music through simple listening tasks using a variety of genres and styles. Preps will play and sing songs and rhymes and explore contrasts in sounds. This term is also about learning the routines in the music room and respecting the instruments and equipment we use to express our creativity.
Grade 1 and 2
This term, Grade 1 and 2 students will explore rhythmic and melodic patterns in music through the groovy books ‘Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons’ and ‘Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes’. Students will learn to sing these songs and identify the first beat in every bar as well as practice keeping a steady beat to the music. They will also compose and perform their own version of ‘Rocking in my School Shoes’ by completing a rhythmic template. Students will also learn to identify and play patterns in various nursery rhymes.
Grade 3 and 4
In Term 1, Grade 3 and 4 students will be using the percussive colourful tubes called Boomwhackers to explore duration and dynamics. They will learn about time signatures by playing and singing songs that have three beats in a bar, as opposed to the conventional four beats. Students will have the opportunity to compose and perform their own Boomwhacker piece and recognise notes in a Major scale using traditional notation. They will also experiment with simple chords and begin to understand how using these creates harmony in their piece.
Grade 5 and 6
This term, Grade 5 and 6 students will be taking a groove-based approach to learning rhythmic patterns as a large whole-class ensemble. They will be exploring traditional Jamaican reggae and dancehall rhythms as well as Afro-Cuban tumbao patterns. Students will practice maintaining their part throughout the performances and explore ways to combine and extend musical ideas through improvisation. By interpreting graphic and traditional notation, students will explore different ways of communicating and expressing musical ideas using elements such as dynamics and articulation.
As part of the school-wide Start-Up program, students have been exploring the school value of Creativity in Music classes. What is Creativity? How can we be creative? We talked about creative thinking and how everyone thinks in different ways. Students then completed an activity where they collected three picture cards of everyday items (e.g. table, paper clips, lego) and collaborated in small groups to solve the following problem:
A monkey has escaped from the local zoo. How will you use your 3 items to create a trap to safely return it?
In Term 4, Grade 5 and 6 students brushed-up on their Bucket Drumming skills to learn an arrangement of the percussion piece titled ‘Yuck’! They learnt the parts of the piece through ‘word phrases’ and played their parts using the correct ‘left and right’ sticking patterns. Here is an example of our arrangement!
Who knew buckets and chopsticks could be so musical! Grade 3 and 4 students participated in a series of workshops introducing them to reading drum notation. They then composed and notated their own rhythms and collaborated in small groups to arrange each of their individual rhythms together to make a whole composition. Here are some of our compositions!
In Term 4, Grade 1 and 2 students used movement, body percussion, speech and singing to help them learn the piece ‘Terracotta Pot’. This Orff-based unit encouraged experimentation with sounds and creativity. Students rehearsed and performed the song for the class. Red hot pot!!
We have been using some of the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) tools such as the Ready-to-Learn scale in Art. During initial instructions, students show with 1, 2, or 3 fingers how ready they are to start their learning in Art. During independent learning, students then have an opportunity to use a ready to learn strategy or talk through an issue with the teacher.