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!
Summer Time is here!
The kid’s have had the opportunity to strum my red Fender Stratocaster. And we also got to hear everyone sing hello into the microphone and amp. It’s always a strange thing to hear your own voice amplified or on a recording for the first time and I love to see the look in a child’s eyes when they bravely express themselves into the mic!
We also talked about The Blues and made up songs about things that are sad but we felt happy again when we got to turn them into music. (that’s my age-appropriate working definition of the Blues ;)
We also enjoyed demonstrations with the dulcimer and learned about the parts (head, neck, body, sound holes, frets, tuners) and children had the opportunity to take turns articulating the differences they saw between the acoustic guitar and the dulcimer. The guitar is a big “peanut” shape and the dulcimer is an “almond” shape. The dulcimer’s neck is right on top of the body but a guitars neck extends above and beyond the body, etc.
We also enjoyed using the dulcimer to accompany Ol’ Susanna, The Bear Went Over The Mountain, and Mary Had a Little Lamb.
Thanks for taking an interested in your child’s music education and, as always, thank you for choosing Opus One!
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…)