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
In Term 1, Grade 1 and 2 students will be focusing on singing and movement through simple chants and songs. They will be introduced to the concept of vocal improvisation through pitch and melody and will have the opportunity to experiment with these musical ideas through interactive singing and play. Students will be exposed to music from various cultures and learn techniques such as ‘call and response’. Students will also engage in various audio/visual activities in working towards developing their music analysis skills.
Grade 3 and 4
In Term 1, Grades 3 and 4 will be exploring musical elements such as rhythm, pitch and dynamics through voice, movement, body percussion and various percussion instruments. Students will learn simple drumming pieces through a process of rhythmical speech patterns, moving to body percussion and playing various hand percussion instruments. They will begin developing their improvisation skills with hands-on group activities. Students will also have the opportunity to compose short percussive pieces and perform them to the class.
Grade 5 and 6
In Term 1, Grades 5 and 6 will be taken on a rhythmical journey through body percussion and instrumental sounds. Students will learn how to use word phrases to play various percussion instruments and explore and create body percussion pieces through chants. They will investigate South American samba style rhythms and get creative with junk percussion. Students will have the opportunity to create their own rhythm and word phrases using movement and sound and will arrange their own pieces to perform to the class.
I’m very excited about my move to the Specialist Team to take on the role of Music teacher this year. I already know many of you in the Bell community and have had the pleasure of teaching some of your children here over the past few years, but for those of you I haven’t met, allow me to introduce myself…
My name is Milica (pronounced ‘Mili-tsa’) and I am known throughout the school as Ms S. This is my fifth year teaching at Bell, previously in the classroom. I have an extensive background in music and performance and hold an honours degree in Music. I’ve performed, recorded and toured all around Australia and overseas – from dingy bars in London to the Sydney Opera House and Woodford Folk Festival. My first overseas tour was to Japan at the age of 16 years playing bass guitar. So you could say I have long had a passion for music! I have run the Grade 5/6 Band at Bell for many years and now look forward to further developing the school music program.
To get the year off to a good start, the music room has been revamped. Special thanks to P.E teacher Josh for his handyman skills. Here’s a sneak peek!
In music in term 3, the Grade 1/2 students worked in small groups to create their own Animal Raps! The raps were based on a rap that we learnt together called ‘Cats Sleep Anywhere’, and some hip hop songs we listened to in music. The focus was on rhyme and rhythm, and the students had a lot of fun writing and recording their raps, and choregraphing dance moves to go with them.
This term grade 3/4 students have been learning music through song, movement and performing. Here is 3/4 A singing the song ‘I’ve Got A Rhythm’. This song forms the basis of the music that the students are going to learning and ultimately perform as an ensemble using tuned and untuned percussion instruments.
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I’ve Got a Rhythm: Words by Mark Carthew and Music by Tamara O’Brien
The grade 5/6 students officially started their recording projects last week. Over the next 4-5 weeks the students will be collecting numerous sounds from around the school. These sounds will form the basis of a larger soundscape or rhythmic composition.
The learning intention of this session was to experiment with the hardware and software to discover the limitations and possibilities. The students had to work in pairs using Garageband on the iPad to record a series of sounds and see if they could loop them into a short rhythmic piece of music.
Drawing on inspiration from Visual Art with Chelsea, Grade 1/2 have created film music to describe what can be found in the desert. Sticks, Stones, Snakes, Lizards, Tumbleweeds, Dead Trees and Vast Open Spaces are just some of the things the students chose to recreate using anything and everything they could find in the music room. Some of my favourite music has been created in the desert, which is a place of seemingly infinite inspiration and mystery.
All of these soundscapes were performed live by the students while watching the accompanying video on the projector in the music room. Old school meets new school.
After having fun with exploring composition with shapes and visual patterns, Grade 3/4 decided that the best way to continue with this medium was to explore film composition. And what better film excerpts could there be than those from Disney’s Fantasia and Dumbo, two movies with fantastic music and animation! Using their class Ipad’s each 3/4 class split into four separate groups and began scoring the soundtrack for their films. The soundtracks were then performed and recorded in front of the class while watching the films on “the big screen”. An excellent level of artistic and musical maturity was demonstrated by ALL of the students involved. It was a true privilege to watch the students work on this task. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!
Inspired by the fantastic visual artworks created with Chelsea of The Northern Lights, the Preps decided that they would like to be able to represent the colours they could see with sound. Each class selected certain instruments that they played in specific ways to represent the different colours in the Aurora Borealis. After some rehearsal, they then performed these soundscapes while watching the video as I recorded their performance. I think you’ll agree that this shows great maturity and commitment for Prep classes, particularly with not making any “voice noises” while we were recording. I also think you can really hear the different personalities of all of our Prep classes in the music we hear them create. Have fun watching and listening!
Grades 3 and 4 have been exploring composition using visual patterns and shapes to inspire sounds, playing techniques and articulation on various instruments. They have also been listening to and watching orchestras perform 20th century compositions by Edgar Varese, Dmitri Shostakovich and Charles Mingus to further inspire them to create weird and wacky sounds! By using distinct shapes such as spots, stars, squiggles, splats and sharp angles, each group of students has been able to create their own unique compositions. We will be exploring this further as we delve in to film composition using acoustic instruments in the following weeks.
Please enjoy the videos of the fantastic performances below: