Hi Arts fans!
Some people have advised me that the music links in the blog haven’t been working for them. I’ve changed a few settings so they may work now. If not, please try viewing them through the Chrome browser. Happy viewing!
I hear that the students in Grades 3 and 4 have been driving their parents and classroom teachers bananas learning the Cup Song this term! Not only did we master this percussive piece and its tricky rhythms, but we also got creative and composed some cup songs of our own!
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.
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
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.
Well done Grade 1/2!
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!
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:
Here are some wonderful photos from the Bell Biennale. Thank you Mardi for taking these beautiful photos, you have really captured the night for us!
Japanese lanterns and Barong masks by Grade 3/4 students. Chinese dragon puppets and Japanese koi scrolls by Grade 5/6 students. Indian Holi elephants by Asia Art Club. Chelsea dressed up in a kimono and a few students from the junior school dressed in asian costumes!
Gamelan Ensemble by Grade 3/4 students. Chinese Luogu Ensemble by Grade 5/6 students. Grade 3/4 Bollywood Dance Club performance at the opening ceremony.
The very rainy opening ceremony. Gamelan workshop. Interactive Manga Wall. The Cherry Blossom Comment Tree. Classroom displays.
Following on from the previous post part 1
Like singing in a choir or playing in an ensemble, dancing with others in unison as a synchronised group, brings great pleasure. Clearly from the images below this is what the students were experiencing under the graceful guidance of Nita Hall from Asia Raya. The level of engagement was extremely high and Bell’s grade 3/4 students demonstrated excellent choreography skills whilst following Nita’s moves.
One of the dances that the students learnt wasn’t originally from Java but from the island of Sumatra. This was called the plate dance. As the students entered the room there were pairs of small yellow and orange plates laid out on the floor. Yellow for boys and orange for girls. When the students got dressed up in the colourful costumes they looked amazing. The red horns of the headdress that the girls wore represented the buffalo commonly found on the island of Sumatra. Both boys and girls had to wear traditional Javanese sarongs with the girls wearing beautiful pink tops and red scarves. The boys accompanied the girls with bright blue shirts and black scarves to match their headdress. How amazing do they look?
Fact: Did you know that when this dance is performed back in Indonesia that the dancers actually dance on broken plates. Nita says that this requires great skill so as to not cut their feet on the shards of broken plate.
Watch some of the grade 3/4 students perform the Plate Dance.
The other dance that the students learnt was a penguin dance. Again after some practice, the students were able to follow Nita’s moves and their costumes were also wonderfully ornate and colourful.