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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grade 1 and 2 students have been exploring pitch in term 4. Performing short simple songs using tuned Orff instruments is a great way for students to get a deeper understanding of pitch and its role in music.
Wow! Last Saturday afternoon the Bell PS Singers performed in front of a packed Studio One at the Northcote Town Hall. The performance was for the launch of the ‘Rhythm and Sounds Songbook Launch’ a book of vocal rounds written and arranged by Anna Struth. The launch was part of the Darebin Music Feast which celebrates art, music and culture across the municipality. The Bell PS Singers sang two rounds from the book, ‘Singing And Swinging’ and ‘Stories’. They performed both rounds beautifully and the singers even had the opportunity to lead the audience in a sing-a-long. The students had the pleasure of listening to two other choirs perform, ‘Girl Friday’ and ‘Sophie’s Voice’. These choirs also led the audience through a couple of rounds and it was fabulous to hear the Bell PS Singers contributing tunefully in full voice. Thank you to Nell Alves-Perini for volunteering her time at lunch on Tuesdays and again on Saturday to work with the choir. Thank you to Anna Struth for giving the students the opportunity to perform in front of such a huge and receptive audience. Also a big thank you to members of the Bell PS community who came to listen to the performance.
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.
Preps have been dancing and singing up a storm in music over the past couple of weeks. It all started out when we decided to turn ‘Bananas, Bananas’ into a rocking partner dance with a twist at the end (although most of the students preferred to jump). We quickly progressed to our new favourite song ‘Clap, Clap Your Hands’. In this tune the students with their partners and to dance to a series of movements that included pressing noses and taping chins in time to the music.
After that we progressed to combining some singing with instruments to ‘We Can All Play In The Biggest Band’. Here the students learnt the song and then divided into groups where they were given the chance to rotate through the various instruments. The students loved being given the chance to play their instruments as a whole band whilst singing the song.
Last week’s musical analysis using the thinking routine ‘See (Listen), Think, Wonder’ the students watched Music From A Dry Cleaner… Here there were lots of thinking and wondering about how the musician created music from machines. This followed on perfectly from the previous weeks analysis of Music From A Tree.
Wow! It’s been a fabulous start to the beginning of the school year that is Music@Bell 2014. The students have been involved in a myriad of drama games, rhythm games, singing games and songs. Its so great to go over and especially teach some old favourites to the new preps. The students have loved games such as Rhythm Detectives , Concentration Elimination, Heads Up and everyone’s favourite Pass The Beat Around the room.
The grade 3-6’s were extremely creative with their drama activities/games where they where restricted by the fact that they were not allowed to talk for the whole lesson. ‘Yeah Right!” I hear you say 😉 but they actually were able to do it. It’s not easy for a small group of 12 students to form the shape of a speed boat with driver and acrobatic water skiers being pulled behind it.
There was lots of thinking to be had as well with this terms thinking routine ‘See, Think, Wonder’. This routine forms the basis of the students weekly musical analysis and appreciation.
Was great to hear so many students singing well at the last whole school assembly and the 1/2’s were amazing with the ‘hello’ song as well. I am looking forward to continuing working with the students at these assemblies as there is nothing more uplifting than singing as a mass group and its a great way to start the week.