Jan 9, 2015: Music

Backa to School

What did you do??

The first week back after a break always takes a little time to tune back into a cohesive group.  We all did completely different things over the break, but now we're back at school.  But through a simple game, we were laughing, smiling, making up silly sentences, and I think we've adjusted back pretty well.

Maybe you've heard this rhyme, "Acka Backa Soda Cracka, Acka Backa Boo…" it goes on, and you'll find many different versions of it (including .."if your dada chews tobacca"), but it's sometimes an elimination rhyme, ending on "out goes you!"  and that's the kid who goes "out" or gets chosen the play the next turn of another game.

In 3rd Grade music class this week we used it as a warm-up clapping game for vocal improvisations about four things we did over the break.  Almost all the kids were Risk-Takers by improvising four sentences about their break.  As they were taking risks, the rest of the class was Caring by listening and memorizing each one, and then without missing a beat, we all rapped it back.  "You… , you… , you… , you… "  Apparently someone spoke to a Zebra, someone played video games, and someone else "went to Mt. Hood and got busted at midnight!?"  I'd like to hear more about THAT ski trip.

The next day we faced partners for the clapping game, and instead of improvising alone, all partners around the room improvised at the same time which frees children up more to experiment with their sentences.  Listen to this classroom excerpt, in which many voices are improvising and retelling at the same time.  Order out of chaos, when we all come back to the Acka Backa rhyme together.

The second part of the audio is a class sketch composition with recorders.  Each student made an observation about the written text above, noting the placement of the colors, any pattern of the colors, where the pattern changes, which words rhyme, etc.  It is incredible how many unique observations a room of 18 3rd graders can make.  Then, with a new recorder note, B, we proceeded to "just decide" which pitch should play on which color.  Lyra and Aidan both noticed that ending on the higher note, B, in the recording just doesn't sound finished.  "It should finish on the lowest note. G," Aidan declared.  Someone else said, "G is the home tone!" And the photo above reflects that change.

At home please encourage your child to improvise the rhythm of "Acka Backa Soda Cracka" on their recorder using only the notes B, A, and G.

Happy New Year, and let me know if you have any questions about your child's experience in music class.