Week 6 – The impact of rhythm

Last week was an exciting week of music! Here is a snapshot of some of things that classroom teachers are having success at so far:

Grade 1/2: Rhythm call and response
We have made this into a bit of a game for children. The children have to cover their eyes, which helps them focus on their sense of hearing. The teacher plays a simple and brief rhythm and then the students open their eyes and have to “say” the rhythm back, and finally play the rhythm using rhythm sticks. We used short key word phrases to help the students understand the process:
1. Hear it.
2. Say it.
3. Play it.
The difference in the children’s ability to accurately respond to the rhythmic call was amazing compared to the first time we tried this. By the end of the class, we had volunteer students giving the “call” for their peers to respond to.

Grade 7 – has been learning about the different aspects, elements, and layers of music by connecting to movie music clips. They will be trying to determine things like: What is it that gives a sense of hope? What makes you feel like something scary is about to happen? What creates a excitement, happiness, sadness, etc.? The students will be using what they are learning about these details to create their own movie music for their claymation projects.

Grade 8 – has been investigating what music is? What is an instrument? They have been creating their own group percussion compositions using found objects from their desk.

Last week we also had the pleasure of having guest musician Marcus Santos from Boston/Brazil out to Hepburn to work with grade 7-9 on Samba drumming. In the afternoon we travelled to Leask school where Marcus workshopped with students in grades 7-12. This was a great experience where students learned about Samba rhythms and instruments and learned to play different rhythms at the same time as part of a large group. Students also had opportunity to be the group leader at times and “conduct” the ensemble. We had a great time with Marcus!

This week’s schedule leading up to Thanksgiving weekend is pretty open so far. I anticipate being out to Hepburn for part of the week, but not sure when yet:

Monday – DO all day
Tuesday – Open
Wednesday – Open
Thursday – AM Open, PM DO
Friday – Away all day