Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Novel Effect App

Short post today just to share an AMAZING app that was recommended to me. It is called "Novel Effect."

When you open this app, you can choose a book from their vast collection and then it "listens" to you reading the book and plays music/ sound effects along with your voice! I just did Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site with my son and we both loved it! He was so excited they included the "Hey, Pipe Down" which is his favorite part.

There are a lot of music class favorites including:
Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin
Giraffes Can't Dance
Goodnight, Moon
Time For Bed by Mem Fox
The Wonkey Donkey
The Day the Crayons Quit
Here We Are
The Bear Snores On

and they are always adding more!

I cannot wait to get back to school to use this app in my classroom! In the meantime I will continue to enhance stories I read to my kids.  Dragons Love Tacos is up next!

Have fun with the app and have an amazing summer!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Prop Routine Youtube Channel

Hey Friends!

I know these are trying times for many of us.  I decided to post many of my prop routines on youtube so you could share with your students to get us all moving during this time at home.  Many of them don't actually need the props- or you could easily find something to work at home. 

Be sure to subscribe to the channel to get notified when new routines are posted! I will be trying to post a few a week! Here is a link to the playlist! Emilys Kodaly Inspired Music on Youtube!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Winter Folk-Dancing Fun!

My gym teacher and I combine every year to do a folk-dance unit and this year we decided December would be the perfect time.  I tried to find a lot of fun Winter Folk Dances and we did some party line dances and a basket ball routine as well. Students had so much fun and our most requested dance was the Troika! They love the 3 person groups and how fast the music goes :)  February is a great time to start this unit as the winter doldrums are setting in, and kids are getting antsy to MOVE and play more than they can when it's always snowing/ raining!

Dances we learned were:

Sasha - a great first mixer

Rural Felicity from Sashay the Donut - We did this one to Jingle Bell rock and it worked perfectly but you could choose almost any song in 4!

Troika - of course you have to do a dance that imitates a carriage being pulled by horses through the snow! Learn more about the Troika HERE

Trepak from the Nutcracker Ballet - Basket Ball Routine! Check out the video to learn it!

When performing the song, I sing (to the tune of the music) the following to help kids remember what is next.  The form is A A B interlude A coda

A section: 
Bounce (ba da da da bup bup bup bup) 
Bounce (ba da da da bup bup bup bup) 
Bounce the ball with your right ha-a-and 

Bounce (ba da da da bup bup bup bup) 
Bounce (ba da da da bup bup bup bup) 
Bounce the ball with your left ha-a-and 

B section: 
Pass it around your ba-ack, or do another trick 
Then you pass it back and forth  
Pass it around your ba-ack, or do another trick 
Then you pass it back and forth 

Throw it up (2-3-4), Throw it up (2-3-4)
Throw it up (2), Throw it up (4) 
Throw it up (2), Throw it up (4) 

Bounce the ball with your right hand and
bounce the ball with your left hand and
with your right hand, with your left hand
Big Bounce (x), big bounce (x), big bounce (x), big bounce and Catch!

In addition to the folk dances. movement pieces we also did some party lines dances as warm-ups. These included:
Cupid Shuffle
Cha Cha Slide
Electric Slide

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Recorder- Practice, Improvise, Compose!

Ya'll. I teach recorder at 7:30am. I love recorder, I really do- it is one of my favorite things to teach, but I had to really find ways to make it exciting for my students AND myself because no one is awake yet at 7:30. 


Poison Pattern - we all know this game, and recorder takes it to the next level. Students LOVE both teacher vs class (If ANYONE plays the poison pattern, the teacher gets a point and if NO ONE plays the poison pattern the class gets a point) and every person for their self (All start the game standing. If they play the poison pattern they sit and then continue to practice while sitting- last student standing wins!)  Recorder wars from TPT is also a great version of this game.

Record a lesson - Any time I can use students as teachers, I love to let them get up and lead. Flipgrid has been an amazing platform to allow students to record lessons and learn from their classmates.  Students are able to choose any recorder note we currently know and write a lesson to teach that note.  They need to say the name of the note, show where it is on the musical staff, explain and show how to play the note on the recorder, and then use the note in a pattern or song. I love how students often add in extras and really show their personality in their lessons.  In addition to having students watch each others, I also love to save some of them to show the next year.

Make a song "Look Good" and "Sound Good"- My students are social kids (which students aren't?) and really enjoy working in groups. We do a lot of pair and group practice. A few times a month, students are given 10 minutes and a current practice song and asked to make it both "look good" AND "sound good".  Not every student has to play every note of the song, but they all have to play something.  Students have added harmony, movement, sound effects, and more to complete their project.

Create a Recorder Station or Center - I try to do centers at least once every other week, if not once a week with my 5th grade recorder students.  About half way through our unit, students have group project to create their own recorder center to practice a specific pitch set.  Some students just adapt a game we have already played, but many take it even further to develop their own game.  We have had a recorder duck pond, relay races, board games, spinners, beach balls, and so many more awesome ideas. After the centers are created, we have a week where we just play each others games! I often steal their ideas to use the following year in my typical stations rotation. 

Hard at work creating our own recorder centers

Improvise and Compose:

Circle Echo - Students improvise a pattern and the class echos.  We do it both facing in the circle, so you can see who is playing/ the fingerings AND facing out so it is more anonymous and students have to use their EARS to echo.  We do this at least once a week, and it is amazing how much more confident students get both in creating and echoing patterns the more we practice.

Partner Patterns - Students get with a partner and create a 3-8 note pattern that they both love. After we play the patterns for each other, each partner set combines with another to create and even longer melody.  Students are SO creative with these! I love when the groups combine and use harmony or alter their patterns a bit to really make them fit together. It is so neat to see their songs evolve as we continue the activity.  You could continue to combine groups until the whole class has written a song together!

Rock Paper Scissors Composition - Rock = B, Paper = A, Scissors = G.  Students create 2 measures of 4/4 (usually) using familiar rhythms.  They then play rock, paper, scissors to fill in the pitches. Each note head = a game so beamed eighth notes would be 2 games of RPS.  After they have written the pitch names under each note, they then transfer their songs to staff notation.

Dice Composition - This works very similar to above, but is great for when students know more than 3 notes.  Students create a rhythm, then roll the dice for the pitches (1=B, 2=A, 3=G, 4=E, etc.)
After their song is created (we usually do two measures of 4/4) they can write the song in staff notation.  I love to project and copy these songs to use in our warm-ups each day! They always come out so interesting!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Tuesday Book Club: A Loud Winters Nap - A perfect sound story book!

I am almost done with winter break and will be using two books the week I get back.

Rock What Ya Got for grades 2-4 (Check out my post on RWYG HERE) and A Loud Winter's Nap for K-1.

A Loud Winter's Nap by Katy Hudson is the PERFECT sound story book where students can play instruments right along with the book.  A Tortoise is searching for a place to nap for the winter, but keeps getting woken up by friends making loud noises! There are singing birds, sled-building beavers, and more. 

When I read this book- I will read it straight through once, then read it again pausing to do a movement routine to each animal. (This would be a great idea for a Winter Program for K-1!)

Singing Robin- Rockin' Robin Plate Routine.  I made up a fun routine using plates (two per kid) to follow the form of the song.  We clap, flap, and shake along with the song!

Ice-Sculpting Rabbit- Bunny Hop.  This dance is the one I remember doing when I was young! We follow the movements from THIS PERFORMANCE.  They love it!

Squirrel snowball fight- Scarf Movement to Waltz of the Snowflakes from The Nutcracker. This is free movement. Students use scarves to act as snowflakes and they toss, arc, and glide around the room.

Sled Building Beaver- Beaver Counting Song- We sing THIS SONG with fun motions as shown in the video.  You could either be the leader OR just have students follow along with the video. Eventually, students can sing along to it all.

Sled-Riding Tortoise- Tortoise Ribbon Routine- I made up a ribbon/scarf routine to Tortoise from Carnival of the Animals following the form of the song.

Ice Skating with Friends- Snowflake (Paper Plate) Ice Skating to Winter's Waltz from the Frozen Soundtrack.  I use THIS SONG and give students 2 laminated snowflakes or two paper plates each.  They then "Skate" around the room using their snowflakes/ plates as ice-skates.  This is free movement, but we talk about how skaters are graceful, etc.

The next class, students will be very familiar with the story, so they will be able to easily pick an instrument to go with each loud animal.  Students will then get to play their instrument during the story when their animal is mentioned.

Example instrument: Wood Block/ Temple Blocks for the Ice Sculpting Rabbit.

Enjoy reading this book!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tuesday Book Club: The Snowy Day- A program illustrating the book by Ezra Jack Keats

I LOVE December! I love teaching all things snow, nutcracker, and Holiday AND coming up with Winter Programs is so fun. 

This year, my 3rd and 4th grade choir students performed a program musically illustrating the book
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  This book illustrates all I love about winter so well. It was PERFECT for a program.

I had student narrators read the story and we inserted a fun song every few pages.

Songs we performed:
It's a Marshmallow World
Frosty Weather 
Snowpants from Music K8
Body Percussion to Trepak (Check out this twitter link for a video of the routine!)

Jingle Bell Dash by James Pierpont
In Summer- From Frozen
Winter Walk from Music K8 - We had an awesome 3rd grader play Violin along with this song!

Students seemed to LOVE all of our songs and had so much fun at our show.  What did you do for your Winter Program this year?

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Think Spring- Over in the Meadow Program

It may be December, but I am thinking Spring! I am so excited to be at a school that does Kinder programs and I am even more excited to have put together a program based on the song-tale Over in the Meadow. It is SO CUTE!

This is such an easy and fun program to put together because there are so many versions of the song out there.  I made sure that students were singing lots of animal songs throughout the year and then they got to vote on their favorites to piece the program together.  I had 3rd and 4th grade siblings singing the narration with the kinders chiming in each verse.

Songs we performed were:

Hello Song
Turtle- Tortoise from Carnival of the Animals- Scarf Routine
Fish- Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals- Finger Light Routine
Robin- Rockin' Robin - the original Bobby Day Recording- Plate Routine
Chipmunk- The Sycamore played by The Canadian Brass- Ribbon Routine
Bee- I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee
Beaver- The Beaver Song (I learned this one in Girl Scouts when I was little but there are many versions online!)
Frog- Frog in the Meadow and On a Log, Mr. Frog
Lizard- The Lizard Song - It can be found on Youtube HERE.  I emailed the composer and got permission to sing the song in our program- he said he never actually wrote it down though.
Duck- Alle Meine Entchen (All the Little Ducklings) - we sang in both English and German!
Rabbit- The Bunny Hop Dance!

We also learned other songs throughout the year that matched other animals commonly in the Over in the Meadow song.  We learned Spider Songs, an Owl Flashlight Routine, another Owl Song, Fox Songs, Bird Songs and more!

The stage was super easy to decorate. I made lots of paper flowers and hung them up- easy peasy. Costumes were also super simple, as kids just wore their spring best!

If you want the routines I used, program templates, packs to teach some of the songs, and more- check out the program on TPT.  Or feel free to just use the ideas mentioned and make up your own! 

Get the program starter pack HERE! There are 4 song packs, 4 routines, programs, and ideas for over 15 animals all included!