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!
Greetings Rock Stars!
What we’ve had with the “HATS” lessons. We had fun with with Independence Day songs and I wore my big, tall, fluffy American Flag hat.
You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag
Fireworks, fireworks (to The Tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Fill the sky, shining on the fourth of July
See them shoot up, see them flare,
See them light up everywhere,
Fireworks, fireworks fill the sky,
Shining on the Fourth of July.
Bang! Snap! Whistle! Pop! (To the tune of Row Row Row Your Boat)
Fireworks fill the air.
See them lighting up the sky
On the Fourth of July.
We also passed out flags and practiced waving them… being careful to not drop them or hit anyone with them! Counting stripes, counting stars (all the way to 50!) was great fun. And rolling them back up, nice and tight was a new experience for many children.
Then last week, we talked about the early pioneers. I wore a raccoon skin hat and the Howdy Earl puppet shared stories about settling texas. Pioneers didn’t have restaurants or grocery stores and they to hunt for their own food. The also had to build their own homes and entertain themselves with music. I brought the dulcimer again and we sang Ol’ Susanna and The Bear went over the River ( making up new verses, imaging all the places a Bear might go). Some kids had ideas about the Bear going into caves, into homes, over the museum, and up to the moon! Imagination is a wonderful thing… :) We alas went on an imaginary Bear hunt, making sound effects along the way, and snapped a picture of the bear quickly before running back home!
On the video below, from 3:15 to 4:03, is some fun footage of a reenactment of early settlers entertaining themselves with music around a fire. There is a covered wagon in the background and someone is playing Ol’ Susanna on the violin. Might be an interesting thing to show your kids, to match an example with what we talked about in class:
I’m looking forward to the coming weeks and different hats to share. Up next: the Railroad Conductor hat.
Thank You for taking an interest in your child’s musical development.
P.S. I tried to find a good rendition of The Bear Went Over The Mountainto share, but most are a little too cheesy for my taste. I did find this which has a nice acoustic guitar in it.
This week we had fun with a CASIO keyboard, full of lots of different sounds made to mimic the sounds of real instruments.
We had fun singing along with the snythezised sound a human singing “Dooooo”. The kids were able to mimic different melodies that played on the keyboard as it sharpened their ability to listen for tone precision and respond to the proper timing of “call-and-response” musicality.
We explored the art of “mimicry” or “copycatting” (though it’s never good to copycat a person who is misbehaving ;)). We made drum sounds, trumpet sounds, and organ sounds, all with our voices, attempting to mimic the keyboard. We also enjoyed a call and response song called “Mr. Bird”, a bluesy song that introduces a new singing animal to mimic with each verse. (birds, cats, cows, owls, etc.)
I also used the built in rhythm features to illustrate three different speeds of music: Adagio, Allegro, and Presto (slow, fast, and superfast). We sang along with them as they accompanied “Down Down Baby”, “Down By the Roller Coaster” and “Driving in My Car” with different speeds.
On the subject of mimicry, I wanted to introduce you to an entertainer that amazes me. His name is Reggie Watts and he mixes together acting, absurdest comedy and music. Check this video out! I think it’s something the whole family can enjoy. His spoken-word humor is abusurdest and I don’t think a child would get it or be interested. However, 3 minutes and 4 seconds in is when he begins to sing, beatbox and loop vocal sounds to make a fully arranged funk song. All with his mouth and loop recorder. It’s a total hoot and you have to see to believe it. (Think Bobby McFerrin meets the “is-this-guy- serious?”comic stylings of Andy Kauffman…)