What We're Learning
We started out the school year exploring and defining our different voices; speaking, singing, whispering, and thinking. We also worked on identify, performing and responding to changes in the music such as the music being faster, slower, louder, softer, higher and lower. These seemingly basic areas of vocal exploration set us up well for specific music theory down the road.
Towards the end of the Fall semester we learned about steady beat. Steady beat refers to the underlying pulse or beat of the music and is the most fundamental concepts in music. We spent a great deal of time making sure that the students are able to show mastery of steady beat before we make the concept known to them as this ability is a building block of all musical knowledge.
At the start of the Spring semester we are tackling the musical concepts of motives and phrases in music, as well starting to study rhythm and the difference between beat and rhythm. I typically describe rhythm to the students as "the way the words go", and we spend a great deal of time learning the difference between rhythm and steady beat.
Using the Kodály method, I teach mainly using folk songs. These songs are typically passed down through the generations in a vocal tradition which creates many variants - so you may know a slightly different version than what I teach in class! The beauty of using folk songs to do the bulk of the learning is that each song has a game that corresponds with it - so the kids are learning even when they are playing!
Here are some songs that your child should know from music class!
Chop! Chop! Chippety Chop!
Bee Bee Bumblebee
Bounce High, Bounce Low
Hey Hey Look at Me
We Are Dancing In The Forest