Friday, September 28, 2012

Musical Family Tree

I thought I would expand a little on my Musical Family Tree project that was mentioned in the Popular Music Post (read the whole post here).   This is a project that I do at the beginning of every year in 5th grade.  I have students make a MUSICAL FAMILY TREE and write a small report explaining their musical background.  This helps me tremendously in choosing "popular" songs to sight-read or read from handsigns in general music or chorus.  I also get to learn a lot about students and their families which is super fun.

Students are asked to make their Family Tree just like a normal one would look.  Then under each name in their family they put that persons musical background- Were they in chorus? Do they play an instrument? Did they go to Julliard? Did they play a concert with Prince? Do they just like to listen?  They are required to go back to grandparents- but many choose to go back further.  I tell them they can choose to be artistic or not. Some choose to make it really elaborate- while others make it more like mine.  I am not grading artistic ability- so as long as I can read it, I am happy :)

The report questions they must answer in their report are the following:
                           1. What type of music do you enjoy the most?
                           2. Who is your favorite musical artist?
                           3. What musical instruments do you play or wish to play? This includes your voice!
                           4. Who is your musical inspiration- who would you like to play/ sing/ dance like if you could choose one person in the world- this could be a family member, famous
person, a teacher- anyone!
                           5. Which family members musical experiences surprised you the most?
                           6. What would you like to learn in music this year?

This project is always so much fun to grade- I learn so much- and the kids do too! Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents are always more musical than we though!  It takes up only 5 minutes of class time to explain, yet kids always enjoy it a lot.

Check out a picture of my musical family tree below (yes, both of my parents were not allowed in chorus, and I became a music teacher :) funny huh... also- sister Gena is in a got cut off)

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