This term, Prep students will be introduced to composition by exploring pitch and other important musical elements. Students will learn how to sing then play simple melodies on tuned percussion instruments. They will deconstruct these melodies by looking at how music can be written into groups and then students will create their own melodies. Preps will also learn that instruments can be categorised into different families according to their characteristics and how they are played.
Grade 1 and 2
Boom-whacker, boom, BOOM!! This term, Grade 1 and 2 students will learn all about the percussive colourful tubes called Boomwhackers. Each tube makes its own pitch (note) when struck and they’re super fun to play! Students will learn to play short repeated patterns called ostinatos and begin looking at simple melodic patterns. They will compose their own short pieces with rhythmic patterns using musical notation. Each group will perform their pieces to the class and students will be encouraged to give feedback to their peers using correct musical terminology.
Grade 3 and 4
Tying in closely with their work in Art, Grade 3s and 4s are focusing on the music of the Native Americans. We will discover the significance of music in their culture and how it is used as an important form of storytelling. Students will learn chants from various tribes and find out about traditional instruments and how they were made. We will listen to and analyse Native American songs and discover how they are linked to other art-forms such as dance. Students will work in small groups to compose their own short piece in the musical style of a particular Native American tribe.
Grade 5 and 6
In Term 4, Grade 5/6 students will be going Back to the Future! This term is all about Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) and how composers use technology and the elements of music to create a world of chaos and mystery. Students will set upon a mini-inquiry into the Science Fiction genre and plan out their own Sci-Fi story using digital Mind Mapping tools. They will unleash their creativity and compose their own Sci-Fi music to represent their main characters using the Soundation program. We will also be listening to and analysing classic Sci-Fi music by composers such as John Williams and James Horner.
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!
This term in art Prep students will be learning about abstract art, in both contemporary and past contexts. Most of my teaching is based around process driven art and the development of skills, ideas and concepts, however this term is going to be different. This term’s art making will be driven by multiple short play-based activities with a focus on experiencing different media in a more organic process of making art. Students will create abstract artworks using an eclectic range of unconventional printing tools and will look at the work of contemporary artist Jo Fryer and the master of abstract art, Kandinsky.
Grade 1 and 2
In Term Four, Grade 1 and 2 students will be learning about abstract art, with a focus on play-based experiences and exposure to a variety of different media. Students will create mixed-media artworks using cardboard, wool and paper. Students will be encouraged to take part in short rotations, where they will create colourful abstract artworks in short periods of time. Following on from this, students will look at a drawing work by Louise Bourgeois and create their own inspired artwork focusing on repetition and colour.
Grade 3 and 4
Abstract art is the theme in Term Four and students will launch straight into this unit with a fun collaborative project that encourages students to discuss ideas, compromise, provide creative input and feedback and will enable them to utilize their different artistic skills. Each class will be split into 3 smaller groups. These groups will either be asked to trace around their bodies, objects or draw shapes and connect them with lines. These large line drawings will form the basis for the groups to create a large-scale 2D abstract artwork. In the second half of the term, students will create black and white abstract relief works using only paper and glue.
Grade 5 and 6
It’s all about abstract art in Term Four at Bell. Grade 5/6 students will be creating two Notan square artworks, with a focus on positive and negative space. The first Notan square artwork will be black and white and the second will require students to create a colourful abstract background to place their black notan square onto. Following on from this, students will create relief artworks made from cardboard, wool and foil. To end the term, Grade 5/6 students will be looking at the work of contemporary artist Andy Gilmore. Students will create a series of small works inspired by Gilmore’s art, which will focus on shape, tessellations, symmetry and repetition.
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.
Wow Amazing! The grade 1&2 students have been performing in a whole class ensemble over the past 3 weeks. They have been focusing on performing a piece written by John Madin called Antigravity. It’s a piece that is made up of short repeated melodic and rhythmic patterns (Ostinato) that are easily learnt by students. Learning the ostinatos is the easy part, putting it all together into a whole piece that has a beginning middle and end is the hard fun. I hope that you enjoy the performances below. I am amazed at how the students are able to tune into the other parts of the ensemble and when they get out of time or lost in the music, they know when to come back in. Please leave a comment.
This term grade 3/4 students have been working on whole class ensemble skills. Its been a step by step process where the students first learn to sing the song ‘I’ve Got A Rhythm‘. These is done through call and response and includes body percussion. The students are also given an opportunity to improvise rhythms using rhythm sticks. When the melody of the song has been embodied and the students are comfortable with the rhythm they then move onto tuned percussion instruments to form a whole class Orff based ensemble. The melody is first divided into two parts so it is easily learnt. This way the students experience instant success. Gradually the drums and additional base line is introduced and the students are then given an opportunity to improvise using a pentatonic scale.
Below you can view each class perform their version of I’ve got a rhythm. If you like what you hear please leave a comment.
Term 4 grade 3&4 students will be creatively engaged in small and whole class Orff ensemble sessions. Carl Orff was a famous German composer and music pedagogue. He developed an approach to music education that integrates Speech, Singing, Movement and instruments to teach the elements of music. Xylophones, metallophones, Glockenspiels, as well as other untuned percussion instruments are fundamental to the Orff approach for their simplicity which helps facilitate student success and creativity. Grade 3&4 students will learn a series of short songs that will also be performed as a whole class ensemble. This experience will allow the students to build on their knowledge of music through doing. That is, creating, making and performing.