Week 18 – Finishing projects

Wow, what a busy, busy week it has been. I have hardly been in the office to take care of desk work, but I don’t mind; assisting teachers and students is reason enough let other things be set aside that aren’t pressing matters.

This week saw primary grades continue to link pattern recognition to rhythms in music. The grade 1/2 students were also able to finally hear the completed recording of their “Storm. ” Little children always love hearing their own sounds played back to them.

Over the past week, the Grade 5 class has begun learning about ukulele. We started by teaching them about tuning; what tuning means, why it matters, and how to do it. We had the students help me to tune my uke, and then the students then had the rest of class to try to tune their own uke. I have to say I was quite impressed with how good their ear was for this considering it was their first time. I am looking forward to a class with them later today in which we will be exploring our first chords and composing tunes using those chords.

In grade 7 students have 2 large projects they will be working on over the upcoming months. One project is to compose their own song which can be made acoustically or electronically in the studio. The second project has been inspired by the grade 8 claymation project. The grade 7’s will be making radio plays, where they have to write a story/play and then create the music & soundtrack for the radio play in the recording studio. We had one grade 8 group of boys visit the grade 7 class to show them their completed claymation and talk to the 7’s about how they made the soundtrack. It has been very interesting to see the grade 7’s absorb this with what I believe is far less anxiety about creating their own music than when we pitched the idea to the grade 8’s originally. Could it be that using a grade 8 project as a sample and hearing from those students specifically who are only one year older than the 7’s makes the project seem more achievable to the 7’s than how the 8’s felt about it originally?

As we work on the finishing touches for the grade 8 claymation projects, new hurtles appear as we working through the combining process of music and movie files and then attempt to save and e-mail them in formats that will open. I have been struck this week by how much problem-solving has gone into this project for both the students and us as teachers. At this point we have about 4 claymation videos completed in their video format and they are turning out really well.
We are hoping to see some of these projects make an appearance at the PSSD film festival later this year. Also stay tuned for the projects to be put on display in the foyer of the Division Office.

Here is one completed project called “Bear Hunting.”  Can you hear all the musical techniques the students employed to help set up your reaction to the scenes?  Enjoy!


In grade 9, students continue to work on their cover song recordings. I noticed students yesterday working on their CD labels and jacket covers. It has been great to see the music studio used so much over the past several weeks; it has been busy nearly every noon hour as well as through several periods during the day.

Coming up:

Meetings with the Leask staff as we prepare for music classes starting in semester 2.