Tag Archives: music@bellps

Grade 1/2 Going Orff Grid With Rhythm

For the past 6 weeks the grade 1/2’s have been focusing on the music idea of pulse aka/sometimes known as the beat. Through a series of musical games and activities such as the world famous ‘Rhythm Detectives’ and ‘Whats The Time Mr Wolf!?’, the students have been embodying pulse as an essential musical element.

Taking things to another level, the students were then set a task of working in small collaborative groups to compose a short rhythmic composition using a 4 count grid. Rhythm Grid

Stage one, was to compose the Grid Rhythms using body percussion and rehearse to perform in front of the class.

Stage two was to then apply the body percussion to small handheld classroom percussion instruments. Essential to making this work was the students ability to apply their sense of pulse so that they could rehearse and perform together.

Please listen to some of he amazing compositions below and don’t forget to comment. The students love the feedback!

Listen To 1/2A’s Grid Rhythms!

See Grids Here


Listen To 1/2 C’s Grid Rhythms!

See Grids Here


Listen To 1/2S’s Grid Rhythms!

See Grids Here

 

3/4A Sing I’ve Got A Rhythm

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.

Please be sure to write a comment they would love to hear your feedback.

I’ve Got a Rhythm: Words by Mark Carthew and Music by Tamara O’Brien

Grade 1/2 Pulse Compositions

For the past 5 weeks grade 1/2 students have been participating in various musical games and activities that involve them experiencing pulse or beat. They have played games such as ‘Rhythm detectives’, ‘What’s The Time Mr Wolf’ and Concentration Elimination. Each of these games require the students to keep a steady pulse to play the game. The students have learnt so far that knowing where the pulse/beat in music resides, is vital for a group of musicians to play together.

Over the next few weeks the students will be working in groups to compose a short rhythmic composition using a 4 count grid. This week they began thinking up interesting body percussion and voice sounds to include in their grids. Once the students have composed and mastered their body percussion pieces they will perform them to the class. The next step is for the students to then use hand held percussion instruments instead of body percussion. The students will then rehearse and perform them to the class. Hopefully these performances will also be recorded and posted on this blog.

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Bell Biennale Video

Wow! When I watch this amazing video of the Bell Biennale by Steven Pam it felt like it was yesterday the festival happened. Thank you so much Steven for putting this together. You have really captured the moment and the overall feeling of the festival. Argh the rain! We are so glad that Steven captured the weather with the majestic sounds of the Balinese Gamelan DanAnda in the opening sequence.  Reflecting back, Chelsea and I feel that the weather in some way enabled a shared struggle that bonded the school community around the festival.

1/2M Haiku Poem Compositions

The grade 1 and 2’s have been working in whole class and small collaborative groups to compose music to a variety of stimuli. This week they have started to compose music inspired by Japanese Haiku poems. This week the students were set a task to compose a soundscape that captures the atmosphere and mood of the Haiku Gnats.

Gnats come as cloud

and then spread out over

the coolness of the pool

 

Please listen to a sample of these soundscapes by grade 1/2M more from the other grades will be posted when they have finished.

 

 

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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Part 2 Javanese Dance

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.

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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?

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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.

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Javanese Gamelan and Dance Comes To Bell (Part 1)

As part of the ongoing learning for the Bell Biennale Arts Festival “Our Asian Neighbours”, the grade 3&4 students were were treated to an amazing incursion on Thursday. Aaron and Nita Hall from Asia Raya travelled all the way from Bendigo with a complete Javanese Gamelan ensemble and dance costumes. What is a Gamelan? I hear you ask. Wikipedia pretty much nails it:

“Gamelan is traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments are metallophones played by mallets as well as a set of hand played drums called kendang which register the beat (Wikipedia).”

The Javanese gamelan is mostly made up of six types of percussion instruments.
Saron

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Gong Kempul

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Kethuk

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Kenong

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Bonang

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Kendang

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When all these instruments are played at the same time the gamelan produces very impressive and loud sound. Yet simultaneously producing a calm and relaxed feeling because of the the nature of the harmony and pentatonic like scale.

The large size of the the ensemble means that everyone gets to have a go at playing an instrument and through several rotations the students were able to have a go of all the instruments.  Aaron explained that the gamelan at a beginning level is very accessible and the first songs can be learnt by students from a young age. Each part plays an equally important role in the ensemble. However, the main melody that the students learnt and was followed by the rest of the ensemble was played by the Saron. Bell students were able to learn quickly these melodies drawing on their previous knowledge of playing metallophones and what they had learnt about Javanese gamelan in class. The main melody followed a repeated pattern of hitting the notes on the Saron marked 5,6,5,6,2,1,2,1.  Aaron was very excited to see that Bell students learn the difficult Kenong and Bonang part easily. This part required the player to play their notes on what is called the ‘Off Beat’ or better described as the in between beats. The Gong Kempul required three students to play it. Once the first group had learnt the part they then became the pointers for the next group of pointers. Aaron was able to split the Kendang part into 4 separate drum parts. The Kendang is responsible for holding and directing the tempo of the ensemble.

To experience actually playing a real life gamelan was an incredible learning opportunity for Bell students. This incursion has been invaluable in allowing the student construct their knowledge about the Javanese gamelan. Which will hopefully be put to good use when the 3/4 students begin to compose their own Javanese inspired compositions.

Please make sure that you are one of our subscribers so that you will get a notification of when Part 2 will be posted. Part 2 will look at the wonderful Javanese Dance that the students were engaged with.

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.

What’s Happening In Music This Term!

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Exciting times for music at Bell 2015! We have a new music room that is an amazing space. We at Bell are so lucky to have such a rich arts program and the new space is going to support the program very well.

Prep

In term one we will be focussing on the building blocks of music. These include pitch, rhythm, timbre and texture.We will do this using a variety of games, singing, and simple composition exercises. We will also be starting simple listening tasks using a variety of genres and styles. This will be done using both video and audio examples. This is to encourage the children’s visual and aural thinking processes.
Grade 1 and 2

The students will make and present music works using a range of music elements, skills, techniques and processes. Specifically, the students will be exploring pitch and melody using percussion instruments to create simple compositions. The students will also participate in singing sessions and we will start to learn how to part sing through simple chants and songs. Student will also engage in various audio/visual activities working towards developing their music analysis skills.
Grade 3&4

In term one, grade 3&4 students will begin their focus on Asian music looking at elements of Javanese /Balinese Gamelan as well as elements of North Hindi Indian Raga. Through these foci, students will draw on a range of musical skills to support their creativity thinking. They will be empowered to adopting the role of composers to create short melodic and rhythmic compositions inspired by their exposure to the main elements of Javanese/Balinese Gamelan and Indian Raga. Students will also be given opportunities to develop their collaborative skills when working with others in their small composition groups.

Grade 5&6

In Term 1 grade 5&6 students will begin to look at elements of Chinese Lougu Percussion Music. This is the music that accompanies the lion and dragon dance that you often see at chinese new year celebrations. This music will allow the students to experience the various instrumentation, rhythms and tempo that are unique to the Chinese Lougu ensemble. Towards the end of the term 1 and into term two the grade 5/6 students will be empowered to adopt the role of composers and begin to create their short Chinese Lougu inspired rhythmic compositions. Throughout the unit students will also learn about the cultural background to the Chinese Lougu and why the dragon and lion are important chinese symbols