Friday, June 21, 2013

A Ridiculous (and Amazing) Endeavor

This year I took on a ridiculous project...and it paid off! I decided to put on a show that encompassed all grades from PreK/Montessori up to 4th. The show went up this past week- the last week of school. My coworkers were really great about helping me with rehearsals and staging once our state testing was over, so even though there were about 350 kids involved, I was able to pull it off.

The show was from Music K-8 Magazine- Hungry to Learn. Here is an example of the first song- though I used different choreography.

My Fourth Grade students narrated the show, while PreK/Montessori-Third Grade sang one of each of the 5 songs. I had Kindergarten begin the show with the title song, Hungry to Learn. PreK/Montessori (a group of about 120 students) performed second, the song I Want to Know, which dealt with a lot of opposites and things that they learn in their PreK classrooms. Third Graders sang the song There's A Class For That, which had a LOT of words that they were able to completely memorize. After this, I showed a slideshow of pictures from music class the whole year. Second Grade sang a song about character education called It Matters. Finally, First Grade closed the show with a song about continued education throughout their lives- Forever Learning.

I would definitely suggest this show to anyone, especially if your piano skills are limited. I don't feel like using a CD accompaniment is a cop-out because it allowed me to get so much more expression out of my kids and have so many students involved. The kids love the songs and were so adorable at the performance!

The show was such a hit that my principal has asked me to present another All-School production next Spring. It was a great way to end my first full year as a music teacher, and I am excited to have many more adventures next year!

Happy End of School everyone!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

4th Grade Recorder

Today I felt the need to share how wonderful my 4th grade students are. Every Friday morning when I'm ready for the week to be over, my class comes in and the work that they do never fails to put a smile on my face.

This month, we have been busily preparing for our Recorder Concert, which will be on June 12th. On Friday, they were given their songs/groups for the concert. Each group was tasked with learning the song, then coming up with a creative way to perform it. At the end of the allotted time, I was so excited to see that each group had come up with different ways to perform- with no prompting from me whatsoever!

Group 1 played Cricket Lullaby- from the Green Belt of Recorder Karate. They decided that one person would begin the song and each measure they would add one person in, until everyone was eventually playing.

Group 2 played Suo Gan- from Recorder Express and Green Belt of Recorder Karate. It's important to note that they were sitting across the room from Group 1 and didn't know what the other group was planning. They chose to play their song starting with everyone playing, then slowly eliminating players until only one person was playing by the end of the song.

Group 3 played Down at the Station from Recorder Express. This group is the most advanced, so I challenged them to create a longer performance instead of just playing the song once through. They chose to play the song through once as a group, then play it in pairs, then play it as a 4-part round.

After each of the performances, I asked the other students to identify how the group had made their performance unique. It was great to see the creativity coming out in these students, especially when they are in the midst of state standardized testing!