Friday, October 28, The Week in a Nutshell, Intermediate

First off, several weeks ago I posted a science lesson on sound and vibration for 3rd and 4th grade.

Here is a quick video of that lesson:

Each week we spend some time reading peer blog posts on our music room blog. More and more kids are stepping forward with writing and with comments. Two students chose to write about the Music K-8 song, “One Nation” in the context of September 11. They wanted to include the lyrics in their posts, so I wrote Plank Road Publishing for permission. The result was this mini-lesson on copyright, which I projected. We discussed it further after reading the post:

“Hello Friends,

Here’s a quick lesson on copyright.

When a composer writes and publishes a piece of music, that piece is owned by them, and theirs to sell. If you were to buy the music or a recording of the piece, you have helped to support the musician whose creation it is. However, if someone were to copy what you had paid for, for their own use, they would, in essence, be stealing from the composer, because they would have the composer’s music without paying for it.

Therefore, whenever we want to use a piece of music in our writing, (or a book, or an article, a video or T.V. show, film clip….anything that can be copyrighted because someone else created it,) we must ask permission from the creator.

Two of our bloggers this month, Annika and Colin, were inspired by a song that we sang in September called “One Nation.”
They wanted to quote some of the words from the song, so I wrote to the publisher and asked their permission to do so.
Following is the very nice letter that I received back from Plank Road Publishing.

Hi Jane,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the use of our materials on your music room blog. We very much appreciate that you have made the effort to respect our copyrights and obtain legal permission. We also hope that you will let your students know of your efforts and our response.

Permission is granted for your student to reproduce the lyrics for the refrain of the Plank Road Publishing song “One Nation” your student’s 9/11 blog on your music room blog.

Please have the student include the following copyright and writer information on the page where the lyrics appear:
“One Nation” by Teresa Jennings (ASCAP) © 2009 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission

Once the entry is posted, please send us a link to the site as we would love to see how the student incorporated the lyrics into her blog.

Thank you for using these Plank Road Publishing lyrics. We wish your student the best of luck with the blog and we look forward to reading it!


Candy Schill, Permissions & Communications Editor
Plank Road Publishing, Music K-8 magazine”

Intermediates had a quiet week, as I was largely finishing up “Bach’s Fight for Freedom: with 3rd and 4th grades, and assessments on Bach and on pitch matching with 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.

Here is a repost of my Bach assessment.

J. S. Bach

1. Bach’s initials stand for
a. James Sebastian
b. Johann Samuel
c. Johann Sebastian

2. Bach had
a. 2 children
b. 20 children
c. 12 children

3. Bach was born in
a. Germany
b. Italy
c. The United States

4. Bach went to jail for
a. Trying to quit his job.
b. Stealing from the Duke
c. Visiting the Red Palace.

5. Bach’s parents died
a. After Bach
b. When Bach was a child
c. On Bach’s birthday

6. Bach was
a. A stone mason
b. A duke
c. A composer

7. Bach played
a. The violin
b. The organ
c. Both

8. Bach Lived in
a. The 1400’s
b. The 1500’s
c. The 1700’s

9. In Bach’s time
a. People listened to records to hear music.
b. People went to concerts to hear music.
c. There was no such thing as music.


Circle One

1. Bach Not Bach

2. Bach Not Bach

3. Bach Not Bach

4. Bach Not Bach

5. Bach Not Bach

The listening pieces that I used were: 1. Toccata and Fugue in D minor. 2. Beethoven’s 5th, 1st movement. 3. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. 4. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. 5. Air on the G String.

I used the Toccata and Fugue in d minor as background music for Tell Me a Scary Story by Carl Reiner, ISBN 0-316-83329-0. (This book comes with a cd, read by the author, but I prefer to use it with the Bach piece, both to expose them to it and to show them how music adds so much to the atmosphere of a story. Once again I lit my LED candles, turned off the lights gathered the kids around my chair and read to them. I don’t recommend this book for kids under 3rd grade because, even though it isn’t that scary to us or the older kids, it might be too much for k, 1 or 2.

Tell Me a Scary Story. (But Not Too Scary.)

Past October Activities

Here are a few things that I’ve used other years around Halloween time.

“Scarin’ Alive” from Music K-8 Magazine. The song is a parody of “Stayin’ Alive”, so after we sing it, (they love this song and ask for it every year,) I project the YouTube video of the Beegees doing the original song.

“The Making of Thriller” VHS tape.
The first thing on this tape is the original “Thriller’ video. I start it when M.J. and his date are leaving the movie theater to avoid the scariest part. (M.J. turning into the Cat Monster.)

Following the video is a really good documentary on how it was made, including make-up, costumes, special effects, and choreography rehearsals. I fast forward through the part where they show a clip of the inspiration for “Thriller”….”An American Werewolf in”….Paris or London or somewhere. Too graphic, in my opinion.

There is also a clip of Michael Jackson’s first performance of the moonwalk when he sang “Billy Jean” on the Motown 25th anniversary special, and one of him as a child, performing with the Jackson Five. It makes for great discussion with the kids regarding contemporary music history. They usually don’t know enough to ask about the controversial issues surrounding him. To be safe, think about what you would say if they did.

I got my copy of this tape on eBay. Keep in mind that, if you can get ahold of one, these tapes date back to 1983, and it shows in the quality. I’m thinking I’d better get mine transferred to dvd before it’s too late.

Thanksgiving is coming up next! I love this time of year!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Love Manheim Steamroller « Trutherator's Weblog

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