Feb 15, 2015: Music

Music & Nature- The Seven Wonders of Oregon

On March 2, all 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders are going to go to the Oregon Symphony!  
The program is called "The Seven Wonders of Oregon" and the repertoire is supposed to bring to mind Oregon's natural and urban landscapes: Rivers, mountains, desert, plains, bridges, ocean, wildlife, countryside, waterfalls and cities.
We had a visit from John McNeur, a docent from the Symphony who helped us review the instrument families of the orchestra, guided us through some of the music we will hear, and talked us through some of our expectations as polite audience members.

Developing our Listening Practice

What do you imagine when you listen to this music?
Aaron Copland - Outdoor Overture
"It makes me think of going down an abandoned trail in a forest"- Nathaniel
"Swans on a lake"
"A whole bunch of bird songs" Wyatt 
"A bird flying" Lucy 
Beethoven Symphony No. 6
An example of how to listen without disturbing your fellow listeners
"People going on a hike and they're dancing around by a creek" Tiana
"Since sometimes it's soft and sometimes it's loud it makes me think of like a river cause sometimes it runs faster and sometimes it runs slower."-Sabine 
"Crater Lake!"
"The sea."Andrea 
"A Waterfall!" Shreya 
"The forest" Nicholas

Bedrich Smetana
The Moldau
"Sounded like salmon going out to the ocean and coming back!" Aengus 
We will also hear Antonin Dvorak "Silent woods," The Birds "Cuckoo" by Ottorino Respighi and "Overture to the Flying Dutchman" by Richard Wagner among others.
Identifying more examples of percussion instruments in our music room.
"Your little brother is NOT a percussion instrument." - John
Developing our musicianship skills
"Liza Jane" was a target song for one of the rhythms shown, "Ti Ta Ti"

We are always practicing our note reading skills together through games.  One game that is cumulative through the years is "Hotspot."  Each student reads their unique rhythm card when called, and immediately reads another one around the circle correctly, or they go to the "Coldspot."  Since it's a learning game, of course, if someone needs a bit more support and they are clearly trying and paying attention, they get a couple chances.  Third graders are mostly all able to read and say variations of the rhythm notations shown here without missing a beat.  The Yellow and Brown cards contain the most recent rhythm additions to our rhythm repertoire.  The rhythms on the Green card are still on the plate from last year.
"Jump Down," Have your child practice these melodies on their recorder
Work Songs - Call & Response

We have been studying examples of how certain work goes faster and is easier with a rhythm or a song.  Sometimes it's a Call & Response, sometimes it's a coordinated rhythm of a solo worker, or between three blacksmiths.

Railroad Gandydancers needed a song and a rhythm to know when to push at the exact same time to be able to move an entire section of railroad back into place.

This Postal worker in Ghana uses both hands while stamping envelopes to play a rhythm to sing with.

See if you and your child can find any Call & Response songs or Work rhythms in this beautiful film. We watched and reflected on an excerpt in class.

Ask about our Call & Response song, "Step Back Baby."  It's a melody with only three pitches.  See if you and your child can figure out how to play it on recorder.  Hint: if you sing it, you can play it.


- Peter Musselman
   Music Specialist