Last Week’s Nutshell: Behind the 8 Ball. Oct. 17, 2011

Hi Friends,

This post is later than I would like it to be…I’ve been busy getting my classroom kid blog off the ground.  My professional goal this year is to incorporate writing and vocabulary into my music classes, as a way of encouraging my students to reach a deeper level of understanding.   According to the rules laid down by my principal, I can’t share the actual site address with you, however, I CAN copy the writing samples, minus pictures of the kids, so that you can see the kinds of things we’re doing.

More posts to follow on the heels of this one regarding other things we did last week.  :0)

Our first blogger wrote about the events of September 11th, and related it to the song we were working on at the time, “One Nation”, from Music K-8 magazine, vol 19 #3.

Our blogger wrote:

“Mrs. Rivera walked into the room. “Oh!” she exclaimed! “I forgot to make some copies for Mrs. Wilson’s class.” She ran out of the room.

“OK, coast is clear” exclaimed Ivory. Now don’t step on my keys getting down, or else I will not be playing mellow music.”

“Alright, alright”, said Lightning. “Don’t get your key strings in a twist.”

“Oh, you two stop fighting!” yelled Mater as he climbed down off of Ivory. “I heard Mrs. Rivera will be gone, so we’ll be alone for a while. She has a meeting to go to. Well, what do you want to do?”

“Oh, I know!” said Ivory. We could talk about 9/11. Since today is 9/12, we should talk about it.”

“Great idea!” shouted Mater and McQueen both.

“Well, it was terrible…Lots of deaths, and those people in the plane. Oh, it hurts to talk about it.”

“Wait! What are you talking about?” said Mater. “I thought you meant the number 911, not the date. What’s so special about 9/11?”

“Oh my keys! Mater, that date brought our country together.”

“I need more information.”

“Oh Mater, McQueen exclaimed, “9/11 is the date that these two buildings, called the twin towers, were destroyed.”

“How?” shouted Mater.

“Oh, hold your tires,” said Ivory. “I’ll tell you.
The twin towers were a financial center. It was called The World Trade Center, and the terrorists thought they could ruin the country’s economy, so they destroyed one of our main places for economy. But it had the opposite effect and brought our country even closer together. Before that happened we were thoughtless of others, but when it happened people realized that life is very important.”

“Oh! Now I understand why they sang
‘We are one nation, yes we are one land. Together in freedom united we stand.’ That event brought us all together.

“Hey, it’s been an hour. Mrs. Rivera’s coming. Get back up.”

Mrs. Rivera strolled in and got ready for the day.”

The second post is by 3 students who decided to work together.  They researched J.S. Bach, then made a GoAnimate video of themselves talking to him on the playground, as a way of offering the information they found.

The Story of Bach

In Mrs. Rivera’s class we are learning about a composer, and his name is Johann Sebastian Bach.  I will tell you a little on how he got interested in music.  Then, with the animation down below, we will tell you about Bach.

Johann Sebastian Bach loved music, and it was his life.  Everyday after school, Bach got lessons on the clavier, a  keyboard instrument.  A clavier was the ancestor of the piano.

Christophe, who was Bach’s older brother, had a music book with pieces of music that Bach wanted to play.  He wouldn’t let Johann use the book, but  Johann took the book and copied down all of the music in six months. 

One Sunday morning Christophe went to church, so that gave Bach the opportunity to play the music.  It was loud, so he didn’t hear Christophe come back in to get a coat.  He heard Bach playing the music  and saw that he took his book, but it wasn’t the book!  It was the music that Bach had copied by hand.  So, Christophe took the sheets, but Bach remembered all of the notes in his head. 

Johann Sebastian Bach grew up to be a world’s greatest composer.

Now, here is the animation about Bach, entitled “Bach on the Playground.”

Another student, of Arabic descent, is writing about his love of Arabic music.  He’s bringing me some recordings and has written a very nice piece on what Arabic music means to him.  I’m looking forward to sharing that when it’s ready.

Stay tuned of other lessons from last week.




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