This is probably my last blog entry for the year. Thank you for the opportunity to work with YOUR children -- really special kids who love Jesus and love music! During this month, we will work on learning and fine-tuning (pun intended!) program songs and movements for Pre-K, Junior K, and Kindergarten graduations. And the Threes classes will have more chances to play fun instruments! Twos Music is done for the year, but I can't wait for these new friends to join me upstairs next year to see and do a lot more.
There are no scheduled events for this week.
Let's review ALL of our composers and special music this week: Jim Gill's "A Soup Opera;" Ferde Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite;" Ponchielli's "Dance Of The Hours;" and Prokofiev's "Peter And The Wolf." What a great year -- with great kids that have super memories and a spirit of wonder and joy for each composer and his work!
The Peter And The Wolf Finale! Rejoice in the triumphant procession as Peter, the hunters, the animals, and even now-happy Grandfather march the wolf safely to the zoo. What a happy ending for everyone ... well, everyone but The Wolf!
Week 3 of Prokofiev: Peter catches the wolf -- hurray, hurray! But Peter needs some help in moving the trapped wolf from his lasso. With powerful rolls of the timpani, welcome The Hunters! But these hunters fall all over each other and add so much to the comedy and musicality of the story. Luckily, Peter and his animals friends are in charge!
Last week when we left our hero, Peter, he was happily playing in the meadow, while his friends -- the bird, the duck, and the cat -- squabbled a bit. But now comes real danger: the wolf! Listen to the french horns' ominous sound as the wolf circles around and around the tree the animals took for refuge. He looks at them with greedy, hungry eyes ...
After all that learning about instrument families, it's time to put it to practical use with our new symphony, "Peter And The Wolf." Prokofiev's musical tale about a brave boy (strings), his grumpy grandfather (bassoon), animal friends (various woodwinds), and THE WOLF (french horns) is sure to delight your children, and the distinctive melodic themes will stay in their brains for a lifetime!
Time to see if we REALLY learned all the instrument families: Percussion, Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, and Keyboards. This week will be a great review of what we did the last six weeks in Music, and a wonderful springboard for our upcoming unit on "Peter And The Wolf."
And ... finally ... the KEYBOARD FAMILY! Students will learn about the varieties of keyboards used, from harpsichord up to synthesizer. We'll rotate around the room, taking turns playing different sizes of keyboards (including their different instrument sounds) and the real piano. Some say the piano is a percussion instrument because it has hammers that strike; some say it is a string instrument because it contains strings -- which we'll show the kids. I avoid the argument altogether and just call our last group the keyboard family!
Ah, let's take a stroll through the STRINGS ... a family whose very name tells us exactly what to play and what makes the sound. But, do we bow them, strum them, pluck them, or strike them (as in a dulcimer)? Our kiddos will get to try several methods, playing autoharps, rubberband lyres, and imagination-cellos (yardsticks, using paint-mixing sticks for bows).
And now, a visit to the all-powerful, all-shiny BRASS family! We'll talk about how a single trumpet can be heard over an entire orchestra, and how the brass section in a marching band adds excitement and volume to any parade or football game! We'll also practice the "raspberries" brass players need to play to get their wonderful sound.
On to the WOODWINDS! Our visit will this family will include discussions about all of its instruments and the breath control needed to play them. So, we'll experiment with how long we can hold out a party blower and how long of a song we can hum through a jumbo straw. If have a real brass instrument you would be willing to let us VERY CAREFULLY show the children, we would love to borrow it next week! Please contact me at email@example.com.
When we learn about the Woodwinds Family next week (February 14-16), I would love to show the children a real flute. Does anyone we have one we could borrow for the week? Bring it to Ms. Ann on Monday or to chapel on Tuesday, and I would return it Thursday afternoon. We have a clarinet already. Thank you!
So many Percussion Family instruments, so little time! So, we'll extend our visit a little longer with this family, exploring ALL the differences in our collection of shape drums: circles (of course!), squares, rectangles, triangles, half-circles ... even stars and flowers! If you have a real woodwind instrument you would be willing to let us VERY CAREFULLY show the children, we would love to borrow it next week! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week our unit on families of instruments finds us visiting THE PERCUSSION FAMILY! In our case, bucket drums, Boomwhackers, shape drums, jingle bells, tambourines, woodblocks, sticks, and so much more. We even play percussion instruments that maybe no one else does: like Frisbee Drums and Soupbowl Drums -- anything that can be tapped, shaken, rubbed or scratched for sound is a percussion instrument.
This week we begin a six-week unit, introducing music students to the families of instruments: Percussion, Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, and Keyboard. Instruments are grouped into families by how they sound and by how they are played. We have a huge inventory of percussion instruments at FLDS, enough keyboards to share, and a few I've fashioned into string instruments. If YOU, however, have a real brass or woodwind instrument you would be willing to let us VERY CAREFULLY show the children, we would love to borrow it for a week! Please contact me at email@example.com.
We're wrapping up Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" this week -- a love ending for the smitten Hippo and Alligator Twosome! As they get together, we begin basic music theory, chanting and playing rhythm instruments: "BIRD, BIRD, ELEPHANT" (quarter note, quarter note, eighth, eighth, quarter). An aside for those of you who may YouTube the Fantasia segment -- Ponchielli's tune was later used for the popular "A Letter From Camp" song ("Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah...").
Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" continues ... the ostriches and the hippos have debuted their dances in our story, and now it's time for the elephants to shine. But watch out, the alligators are about to come out -- and they're famished! While the other characters are interested in socializing and artistic endeavors, the alligators are looking for one thing: FOOD.
2017 begins with a new symphonic work, "Dance of the Hours," by Ponchielli. Although a serious ballet, it's much more fun to learn the music with the dancing hippos, ostriches, and alligators you may remember from Disney's familiar Fantasia segment. Combining Ponchielli's music with Ms. Bethann's storybook of movie photos, we'll find out what drama -- not to mention melody and rhythm -- occurs when a large mammal and a hungry reptile fall in love!
Music classes all month will center on preparations and rehearsals for our December 15 & 16 Christmas programs -- don't miss seeing your talented children perform for you, AND for Jesus! All work and no play is no fun, though, so we'll throw in some holiday songs to sing and jingle bells to ring.
In addition to learning tunes and lyrics for our Christmas program songs, music students will conclude our three-week study of Grofe's symphony by reading "Tino The Tortoise: Adventures in the Grand Canyon." We'll join Tino and his friend Rudi, the jumping jerboa, as they help Penny, a fuzzy-eared Kaibab squirrel. Imagination, music, and illustrations will take us on a train, a mule, and a trail, discovering more facts about the amazing Canyon.