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!
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.
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!
During term 4 prep students will be applying their musical knowledge gained over the year to instruments and symbols. Prep students will explore the relationship between sound and symbols. That is, how sound can be represented as symbols that can then be documented for others to perform. Here prep students will need to draw on their knowledge of dynamics (louds and softs), tempo (fast and slow), pitch (high and low) as well as timbre (the sound quality an instrument makes) and unleash their creativity to compose short whole class compositions. Towards the end of the term preps will also engage in some merriment through song as the excitement of Christmas draws near.
As part of the prep exploration of pitch, the preps have been learning the song 5 little Frogs. The song is about frogs jumping around and accidentally falling down a well. Being or rather acting like frogs allows the students to jump high to match the pitch of the song or fall down low. As you can see we have some rather high jumpers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continuing on from last weeks focus on exploring sound and various sound colours (timbre) the preps this week applied their knowledge and creativity to this image depicting the sounds of a city. Leading up to this the students listened too and analysed a fantastic piece called “The Little Train Of Caipira” by Villa Lobos. The music describes traveling through the Brazilian mountains on a steam train. Then the students in small groups were given a copy of the City Sounds and set a task to come up with various voice sounds to match the sounds depicted on the image. After a whole class discussion on which sounds would better suit each of the objects. I then conducted the students through the performance. See below for Prep G’s performance.
Last week the preps were exploring sound with instruments and song through an old favourite ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ . After listening to and singing the song, the students had to then think carefully about changing their voice to suit the sound colour (timbre) of the thing on the bus. Eg If the Wheels could sing what would they sound like. Preps being preps, there were some interesting interpretations. Levelling up the student then had to choose and instrument that also matched the timbre of their voice to support the sound of the song. Please enjoy Prep R’s performance below.