The Week in a Nutshell, Friday, April 30.

Accomplished this week:

Intermediate students discussed in detail the meaning of respect, and the lyrics of the song “Show Me Some Respect” from Musick-8 vol. 1 #4.  They learned and sang the song.  Click the link below for details of the lesson.

Listening:  We’ve been working on “The Planets” by Gustav Holst.  My videotape, “Voyage To the Planets”  has a copyright date of 1988, but I know that there is a more up to date version out there.  Each planet and it’s surrounding moons are shown, set to Holst’s music.  Each week we’ve been watching and listening to a different planet. This week I had them listen in random order to Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. (The four that we’ve heard so far.)  I had them number their whiteboards from 1 to 4 and write the first initial of which piece they thought they were hearing.  I also told them in advance the full title of each planet:  Mars, Bringer of War, Venus, Bringer of Peace, Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity, and Saturn, Bringer of Old Age.  Between having heard the pieces before and knowing the full descriptive title of each piece, most of them were able to correctly identify the four pieces.

First grade had a sol mi and mi sol la assessment.  Again, click for details.

They have just finished up the mi sol la charts that I use.  I’m going to start my music literacy lessons from the beginning, so I’ll add pictures to those posts.  As we go through the charts though, I follow up our note reading exercises with a “So-Me” book.  “So-Me” is the main character in the series.  He has a brother named “La-Me” and a sister named “Sol-La-Me.”  The kids really enjoy these books.  They come with a recording of the stories, but I prefer to read them myself, and sing all of the names and note patterns as we go through the story.  In our district we received the books as part of the “MusicPlay” curriculum, but I believe they are also available separately.

Second grade also completed an assessment, on Mi-Re-Do.

Primary song of the week:

“Dooby  Doo”.   This is actually a “Welcome to School”, new school year type of song, but the kids love it and it’s great at any time of year.  Here’s a link of the series author, Denise Gagne, performing the song with her students.

MusicPlay, Grade 1, song 1.

A word about MusicPlay:  I recently received a comment about sequencing of lessons being difficult.  It definitely is one of the hardest things about teaching…knowing what comes next and what materials to use.  Our district looked at new textbooks 3 years ago.  MusicPlay is the only text I have ever seen that can actually be used in sequence, because it is a series of lesson plans, from kindergarten through 5th grade.  (There may be a 6th grade book, but our elementaries only go through 5th, so I don’t know.)  It also saved our district about $40,000.00, because it is so much less expensive than the “bells and whistles” books that come from the major publishing companies.  We’ve been very pleased with it.

If , in these difficult economic times, your district doesn’t want to spring for a new series, presenting them with the MusicPlay option may change their minds.  If not, consider your yearly professional budget and try to get them one grade at a time.  They come with cd’s and lots of extras if you’re able to get the whole set.

Have a great weekend!  :0)



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