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
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.
In Term 4 grades 1&2 students will be exploring pitch. Using body movement, voice and tuned percussion instruments, students 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. The students will also be given an opportunity to explore pitch using Orff tuned percussion instruments. These musical experiences will take place as whole class ensembles. Ensembles provide fabulous opportunities for the students to learn about pitch and other musical elements by adopting the role as a performer in a larger group.
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.
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.
It’s the footy season already! This week the grade 1 and 2’s have been set a task to create a rhythmic chant using their favourite footy team. Each chant needs to fit into four beats and they need to rehearse it so that they can say the chant twice, say and clap twice and just clap twice. Each group had to then perform their chant to the class. Next week we get the percussion instruments out and use them to perform the chants and create some interesting compositions.