Category Archives: Music Grade 5&6

5/6 Chinese Museum Incursion

Chinese art and music has been the main focus for the 5/6 students in preparation for the Bell Biennale Arts Festival (Our Asian Neighbours). Last Monday grade the 5/6 students had great learning opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture when the Melbourne Chinese Museum visited the school to run three workshops. The first workshop was a Chinese language infused dance with all the grade 5/6 students. Included in some of the dance routine was also some simple Tai Chi moves.


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After getting warmed up with the dance 5/6 students were ready to learn about Chinese medicine. During this session the students had a hands on experience with an interesting variety of herbs, fungi and other medicinal plants. After learning about what some of the herbs can cure the students were then given a mock patient that need help with a particular ailment. Students were then charged with the task of choosing the right recipe to make a soup that could possibly cure the ailment.

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The third workshop was about making Chinese lanterns. This was a great hands on experience for the students that required a high degree of fine motor skills. As they made the lanterns they learnt why the lantern is an important symbol for luck in Chinese culture.

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Chinese Luogu Ensemble

Today the grade 5/6 students began learning about Chinese luogu ensemble music. This is in preparation for the Bell Biennale Arts Festival. The Chinese luogu ensemble is the percussion ensemble that accompanies the lion or dragon dance. Luogu simply means ‘gongs and drums’ Luo= gong, Gu= drums. A couple of weeks ago we were fortunate enough to witness a fabulous performance by the Chinese Masonic Society Luogu Ensemble and lion dance. Below is an example of 5/6G performing Shi Wu (Lion Dance) music. This piece is made up of three main sets of instruments cymbals, gongs (triangles) and drums.

Grade 5 and 6 Sound Art Performances

Over 15 weeks the Grade 5/6s embarked on an inquiry unit based on sound art. For the whole of Term Three and part of Term Four Visual Art and Music were fused, allowing students to explore ideas behind sound art and understand these separate disciplines in a new light.

Students participated in experimental play, in which they were given time to purely create using a vast array of different materials. We had guest speakers, such as a sound artist, visual artist and a musician come and visit the students to impart some of their knowledge on the key subjects. The students then collaborated in groups to create a composition and performed it to an audience of over 100 people. Below are links to the videos of each performance – enjoy

The introduction to the final performance.

Please click  5/6I plus 1 to view videos of final performances.

Please click  5/6R&T  to view videos of final performances.

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Some Of The Plans  and More Plans

Some Of The The Instruments



Some Amazing Performances From Our Talented 5/6 Students

Wow! We have some wonderfully talented students here at Bell PS. Please take the time to listen to the two excellent performances below. The boys are performing a song that the wrote themselves called My Girl. They have been rehearsing very hard over the past couple of months under the guidance of Ms S (Be sure to also check out their School Fete performance below)

The Grade 6 Girls are performing Little Talks.  They too have been practising hard over the past couple of months working with Jacinta their instrumental teacher and they will be performing at their Grade 6  graduation.

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed the performances.

Bell PS Rock Ensemble

Grade 6 Girls Perform Little Talks

Click here to view the Bell PS Rock band Performing at the Bell PS Fun Day (Fete)

5/6 DJ Christmas Mix!

Incredibox is one of my favourite online music making web apps. It’s simplicity allows students to experience instant success from Prep through to grade 6. Incredibox has just updated to version 4 with  a whole new mix of funky loops. This week the 5/6 students adopted the role of DJ’s and charged with creating there very own ‘Class House Christmas Mix’. Key to any good dance track is for the DJ to create and maintain the ebb and flow (peaks and troughs) of the music to pique (pun intended)  the listeners interest. The students soon realised the importance of rehearsing their music before pressing the record button so that they had some idea of how to put it all together.

Please click on the links below to listen to the wonderful music these creative students have produced.

5/6T Christmas Mix                                  5/6 R Christmas Mix






5/6 Music Sound Sculpture Round Up!

Now that the 5/6 students have finished off their sound sculptures the final phase of the inquiry is to take action and compose a short piece of music that will then be performed and recorded. Drawing on their creative thinking skills, the grade 5/6 students will form collaborative composition groups. Each group will then be given time to design a piece of music that includes some form of structure. For example Binary Form (The piece has an A section followed by a B section) or Ternary form (The piece of music is structured around and A section, followed by a B section which then returns to the A section to finish). Grade 5/6 students will need to cast their creative minds back to the fabulous composition work they have done throughout 2014 and draw on the knowledge they gained so that their sound sculpture composition includes clear elements of rhythm, tempo, pitch, dynamics and timbre.

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Term 3 In Music


Exploring Pitch

In Term 3 Prep students will be exploring pitch. Using body movement, voice and tuned percussion instruments, preps will be looking at the role that pitch plays in music. The students will be engaging in a number of games and activities that will help students achieve a deeper understanding of how pitch works.

Grade 1/2 

What’s The Story? Hip Hop and Rhyme:

Grade 1&2 students will be digging deeper into the concepts of rhythm and rhyme. Drawing on their prior knowledge of rhythm and beat from last semester, grade 1&2 students will be exploring rhyme and meter through the musical genre Rap and Hip Hop. The students will then be creating their own Raps and Hip Hop backing track. These creative opportunities will link in with the artists as illustrators focus in art looking at Dr Seuss.

Grades 3/4

Atmospheric Music Using Technology

Drawing from their prior knowledge of film music the grade 3/4 students will be adopting the role of composers to create pieces of music that help portray a certain atmosphere of a particular scene and characterisation. Using music creation software and other technologies students will be working collaboratively to compose a series of short compositions. These compositions will link in with the ‘Artists’ as illustrators work that they will be undertaking in art. Student finished artefacts will be published on the Arts@Bell Blog.

Grades 5/6

Inquiry Into the relationship between materials, sound and aesthetic to create a performance.

This is an exciting term for the Year 5s and 6s and their specialist lessons. Music and Visual Art will be fused to create an in-depth Sound Art Inquiry Project that will span the entirety of Term Three. The students will create sound sculptures and through exploration will develop an understanding of the relationship between sound and sculpture. Through collaboration, individual work, digital-portfolios and culminating in a performance at the end of the term, the students will explore the way in which the line between music and art can be blurred to create a hybrid work of art.

Term 3 in art

Artists as Illustrators Prep – Year 4


In Term 3 the Preps will be looking at an array of picture storybooks and responding to the illustrations by creating paintings, mixed-media works, sculptures and drawings. Some of the books we will be looking at are Possum Magic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Rainbow Fish.

Year 1 and 2

The Year 1 and 2 students will be looking at the work of Dr. Seuss and creating artworks inspired by his famous book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. They will be exploring the work of Maurice Sendak and making their very own Where the wild things are hand-puppets. Lastly, the students will be exposed to the work of Roy Lichtenstein and will develop self-portraits in the style of the pop art/comic book genre.

Year 3 and 4

This Term is going to be all about Tim Burton for the Year 3s and 4s. Students will be creating their very own spooky silhouette house and learning how to transfer a 2D image into a 3D landscape. After looking at Burton’s character sketches, students will develop their own character with Burton aesthetics, while learning about the way in which illustration conveys meaning without text.

Sound Art Inquiry Project

Year 5 and 6

This is an exciting term for the Year 5s and 6s and their specialist lessons. Music and Visual Art will be fused to create an in-depth Sound Art Inquiry Project that will span the entirety of Term Three. The students will create sound sculptures and through exploration will develop an understanding of the relationship between sound and sculpture. Through collaboration, individual work, digital-portfolios and culminating in a performance at the end of the term, the students will explore the way in which the line between music and art can be blurred to create a hybrid work of art.

Vocal Sketches Compositions

The voice is one of the most versatile of all instruments. As a music educator I love the way students have complete agency over their creativity when using their voice to express themselves. The creative performances that you can hear below are from grade 5/6 students. Working in small collaborative groups the students were first given a series of 4 sketches. Each group was then to choose one and using varying voice sounds create a short composition to match the sketch. The next phase of the unit the students still in their collaborative groups then had to draw their own sketches on A3. These sketches were then used to create new voice soundscape compositions. When these were mastered the students were then give a different sketch created from students from other classes and again were to interpret the sketches into voice soundscapes. Below are some examples.


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Grade 5/6 Sci Fi Compositions

Some of the most exciting music ever written has been for the genre of science fiction. John Williams; Star Wars, ET and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, come to mind when thinking about music and Sci-Fi. Over term 1 grade 5 and 6 students have used a number of technologies to create short compositions that represent the characters, setting and atmosphere of their planned science fiction narratives.

 Core to my philosophical beliefs as a music teacher is the idea of demystifying the role of the composer so that the students themselves can be composers too. As in other areas of the curriculum students are taught to be writers, readers, mathematicians and historians. One sure way to encourage  students creative thinking process is to allow them to collaborate with others to create short compositions. This can be done through using tuned and untuned percussion instruments. However, technology can empower students by giving them agency to arrange and compose through computer software tools such as Garageband and Soundation.

For their compositions the grade 5 and 6 students used Soundation. Its a powerful online music generator, that allows the students to arrange a number of pre recorded sound samples and loops.The electronic nature of these loops were ideal for the sci fi sound the students were trying to portray.

When planning their Sci Fi narrative the students worked in small groups or pairs and used a fantastic mind mapping tool called Using this plan/outline the students then each week composed short vignettes to support the characterisation and atmosphere for each section of their narrative.

Please listen to some examples are below. However, you can find more at the bottom of the page

Find more here:

5/6T Sci Fi Compositions

5/6R Sci Fi Compositions

5/6I Sci Fi Compositions