Summer Is Here, Rockstars!
As the Spring session wraps up, I wanted to update you all again on what kind of musical mahem we’ve been up to!
More awesome success with learning music theory: We’ve spent a lot of time practicing different note patterns using the “Do Re Mi” method of notation. However, I have also introduced the idea of the “musical alphabet” and we learned what the difference is between the ABC alphabet which has, “lets count them”, 26 letters and starts on “A.”
But the musical alphabet is weird and wonderful. It starts on the letter “C and when it gets to “G” it doesn’t go to “H” of course, but all the way back to A. There are only 7 letters in the musical alphabet but it can repeat going lower or higher.
So we practice singing our musical alphabet (singing a C Major scale)
Children took turns playing boomwackers and handbells, which took lots and lots of patience and listening.
We sang Jingle Bells, Farmer in the Dell, Old MacDonald, BINGO, Three Blind Mice, Row Row Row Your Boat.
Children also took turns playing different rhythm patterns lollypop drums and tested “Billy Bird” to see if he could play the same thing. So they had to listen to each other very closely.
We also, learn more about different instrument families, continuing on with what we began at the beginning of the session. We learned about the string family: Viola, Violin, Cello, and Double Bass.
We also enjoyed listening to the different Saxophones and The Pink Panther theme played on the baritone saxophone was very popular many of the students. Here is the version they heard (I ripped the sound from the youtube video and we listened on a blue tooth speaker). We talked about how the music sounded “suspensful” and “sneaky”.
Also, here is a video of my students at the Innovative School singing Do Ra Mi. I have the video in a post on the Mister Bradley’s Musical Jam Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/misterbradleymusic
They sound great and I’m so proud of them.
FINALLY, and the is very important, NOW is the time to enroll for Summer session. This is the LAST WEEK of SPRING SESSION and if your child attends RICE CHILDREN’S CAMPUS, THE CATHEDRAL HOUSE SCHOOL or HEARTSHOME BRIGHT HORIZONS, please don’t be late! Sign up today! You should all have had flyers in your child’s mailbox.
It’s easy to sign up online
Or, of course, you may leave a check at your child’s school.
If you are on a “Pay-as-You” plan, you’re already taken care of!
Thanks again for taking an interest in your child’s education. It’s an honor for me and it’s been a great Spring. Here’s to the SUMMERTIME!
This past week was my special friend Rory’s birthday. Rory is a snail and he loves to make new friends.
But Rory lives in Austin, so we had to take a little musical field-trip. We got to Austin singing “Driving In My Car” and played with different tempos. We move slowly (Adagio) when going through quiet neighborhoods or near schools; we move quickly (Allegro) when we are on feeder roads and we move super fast (Presto) when we’re on the highway.
Once in Austin, we met Rory who really loves decorations, so we played “Blow the Balloon” and we practiced blowing out on each note of a major scale (do, re, mi, fa… etc.). We also sang a call and response song called “I am a Birthday Cake”, a song sharing the same melody as “I am a Pizza”.
We got to sing Happy Birthday together and Rory reminded us how important it is to share. Which is hard for him because that cake was so delicious he was tempted to eat it all by himself!
Students also got to try their hand with the “Xylopipes”. Which is slightly different from the xylophone because xylophones use solid pieces of metal slats and, of course the pipes are hollow and circular.
Thank You so much for being engaged in your child’s musical development!
PS. I found this adorable video of a young child discovering music making on the xylopipes. It’s very cute!
The Week of Jan 20th, 2014
I have a lot of video links here for this letter. And I think it could be a great way to enhance your child’s experience in music class last week. I urge you to share these videos with them and talk about them!
Last week we learned about the difference between “polyphonic” and “monophonic”. Polyphonic instruments are instruments that can play more than one note at a time, like a piano or a guitar. Monophonic instruments can only play one note at a time. With some exceptions, wind instruments like trumpets and flutes, are monophonic.
To demonstrate this point, I had a recorder, a tibetan ritual horn, and a train whistle.
The recorder is monophonic. And I demonstrated playing the refrain melody from John Phillips Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”. Children enjoyed guessing what had both stripes AND stars. (Not a zebra, not the nights sky…buuuut…)
I have a video here below of a recorder being played with an orchestra. And since your child has seen one played in class, I think it would be an interesting connection for them to make if you choose to watch this video with them. See if they can point out the recorder flute:
The tibetan horn is also a monophonic instrument. I had a small tibetan horn for a demonstration. Although I was bummed I couldn’t find one as big as the one in this video;)
The train whistle, on the other hand is polyphonic, since it has 4 holes that all get blown at the same time, to make that signature “train sound”. The kids recognize this instantly. (And of course, we enjoyed singing “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad”)
The Week of Sept. 16, 2013
This week… I couldn’t help myself. I brought in my electric guitar and used it for the whole class. It was a hoot. A portable amplifier was used and students got to hear the guitar with distortion and without (“Crunchy” vs. “Clean”). We sang familiar songs and explored how songs we already know can sound different on the electric guitar. We talked about feeling inspired (“having the idea to try something completely new and exciting”).
We learned the difference between an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. I like to talk about how the acoustic guitar is a little like a person because it has a body, a neck, a head, and a mouth (“the sound hole”). However, it’s different from a person because it has no arms or eyes and the mouth is in the middle of the body.
The electric guitar is like an acoustic but without out a mouth… so it’s needs a little help from it’s friend: the amp
Children took turns strumming the guitar too, which was my favorite part. Everyone approaches it differently. Some attack with fervor (rock stars in the making?) and others strum gently and cautiously (future balladeers?).
ABC’s sounded different on the electric guitar. As did Laurie Berkner’s GoldFish Song… which I’m very tempted to record for upcoming CD (Due, October 31st.). It rocks hard on the electric. ;)
There was also a little more dancing in the week’s lessons… and children got to practice navigating their space and being aware of others. Learning control is key!
The video this week is of the Goldfish Song by Laurie Berkner. I’m proud of this video because it has some special effects with swimming fish. (“I just learned how to overlap two different pieces of footage in my movie editing software, a small yet entertaining accomplishment ;)
Thank You for taking an interest in your child’s musical development. Let music be the soundscape in your home it will make everyone happy!
Laura and I have made the move to Houston! I’ll be working with an excellent business called “Opus One” which services numerous private pre-schools with a roster of very talented teaching artists. I’ve joined a team!
So, if you know of anyone in Houston that needs the perfect kids entertainment for a birthday party or family event, lemme know! If they mention the word “sunshine” they get a special discount.
I also have another phone number. It is 512-412-1117
Check out the best new place for kids north of Caesar Chavez! THE LITTLE YOGA HOUSE.
I’ll be playing music at their grand opening event tomorrow at 1:00pm
GRAND OPENING PARTY!!
We are so excited to open our doors this week! Come celebrate this weekend with us at our grand opening party.
10:00 Family Yoga (with children ages 0-5)
12:00 Family Yoga (with children ages 6+)
1:00 Kid’s Musical Jam with Mr. Bradley
1:00-2:00 Open House
6:00 Party – live music, food, drinks!
Bring the whole family! Tell your friends!
We look forward to celebrating with you all!
Peace & Love
abby + an