Monday, October 22, 2012

Music Tag

Hey friends,
I just learned this game this past week from my fellow music teacher Dee Dee and I love it! It can be used in so many different ways!


Music tag works just like real tag in that there is an IT trying to catch other people.  However, in music tag ALL are singing and can only move on a certain part of the song- whatever concept you may be working on. Today we played with Long short (or dotted quarter eighth note) and the students could only step when this rhythm came up in the song.  I have also played where students sing and only move on the LAs in a song. The kids love it.

I do it so that if you get tagged you become the new IT- and if you move at the wrong time you are OUT.  You could also do, if you get tagged, it is your job to play the element on an instrument.  I have heard of only moving on the strong beat, only on the half notes, only on the do's, etc.  Just make sure the song you choose has enough of the element to make it fun.  If there is only one in a four phrase song, students are standing much more than they are playing tag.

Have a great week- I hope to have another post up by the end of the week!

Monday, October 8, 2012

3 Fall High/Low Activities

Here are a few ways I practice High/ Low with my first graders (no kdg so we are still working on High/Low pitches and then into so-mi)

1. Train ride into spooky places- Using my Power Point Pitch Exploration Book (get it on my wix site- click the WIX tab above, then click For Colleagues, then click Blog Files- the file is called SMARTboard pitch exploration book, but it is a PPT file) we ride our train into spooky places to visit ghosts- and then we have ghost conversations.  I learn the Ghost Conversations from Lillie Fierabend at a TRIKE workshop a few years ago.  Two ghost puppets are used and students use their "ghost voices" (oooh in head voice) to have convos with the teacher.  We also follow the Ghosts flying path with our voices, or a falling leaf.  Students can then draw their own line on the SMARTboard to follow. There are so many great Halloween and Fall vocal exploration files on TPT - check out some of mine bundled HERE.

2. Leaves are falling- I love this song! We talk about fall and how the trees change colors and students get to choose HIGH or Low at the end.  I have two special leafs - one says HIGH and one says LOW and a student hides both behind their back.  At the beginning of the last line the student shows the class one or the other and the class sings the octave note to match.  Such an easy, fun game- kids LOVE being the leader.

*Stick Notation picture to be added soon, but here is the words with solfa*

Leaves are Falling on the ground, Red and Yellow, Orange and Brown
      s      s     m   l    s    s       m        s      s      m   l          s        s       m

Will the leaf be high or low? Show our voices where to go!
   s     s    m   l     s     s     m      s        s     m  l       s      s   d (or d')

3. Hiram and Lois- I also have "pilgrims" named Hiram (a boy with a high speaking voice) and Lois (a girl with a lower speaking voice) puppets.  We use them for a lot of songs, but I introduce them with "Quaker, Quaker" and usually change it to "Pilgrim, Pilgrim". We talk about the old english just a little.  I start out as both voices, then all do both voices and eventually I hand off a puppet to another student to be either Hiram or Lois.  I Love the unexpected genders with these names- which I got from Sandra Mathias.  Usually students expect the boys voice to be low, and the girls to be high- but we all know that is not always the case with real people so this is one way to show them- and the names are too perfect not to change!
I usually start with Line 1 high, line 2 low, 3 high and four low, but then sometimes I switch it up when I am still the only one performing. 

What are some of your favorite Fall Activities???

Friday, October 5, 2012

3 Rhythm/ Melody Activities

Here are my favorite rhythm games.  I have never used them for melodies, but if your kids are good at singing melodies alone why not try it?  Most of my older kids are fine when reading a rhythm alone, but get nervous when singing alone for the class- even if it is only 4 notes.  I am hoping to bring up the little ones to be comfortable no matter what I have them do! (most of these activities were learned in Undergrad or Grad School)

Most of these games are used as transitions between songs.  I plan it so that we always end on a rhythm (or melody) that is in the next song and the students have to find it. OR- the rhythm starts the next song, etc.  

1. Beach Ball Rhythms- Write rhythms on a beach ball- toss it to a kid- kid reads rhythm.
                                    Sometimes for fun, I also play our listening example for the month and have them bat the beach ball around, and who ever has the ball when I stop the music reads the rhythm.  This version takes longer though- or you get a lot less people.  It's a fun version for right before a break or something.  I buy all my beach balls at the dollar store and write on them in Perm. Marker. My PTA gives us a little money each year to spend on classroom things, so this year, it was beach balls and tennis balls.  :)

2. King of the Mountain- students are sitting in a circle each with a rhythm card in front of them. Designate one side of the circle Royalty, and the other Normal People.  The "king" (sometimes me, sometimes a great rhythm reader) reads their card, then someone elses.  Person two then does the same- reading their own card and then another- so on and so forth until someone messes up.  When someone messes up (usually just by forgetting their own card) the have to move to the end of the circle (I know... weird right?) on the side of the king that was designated Normal People.  All between the person who got out and the King skooch one slot closer closer to the King.  The goal is to be as close to the King as possible.  If you mess up the King, you automatically become the King!  The goal of this game is to read fast so I say that students "mess up" if they take too long to choose a card to read.  They are supposed to have one chosen at all times.  The kids love this game!

3. I Have- Who Has? - This game has a little more prep than the others.  On a card- you write I have: II II II I  Who Has? II II I I  (or any other rhythms).  The next card must say I have: II II I I who has? ---  so that the cards always come full circle.  This is easiest once the students learn more difficult rhythms so you have a lot for your set.  Basically then the students read the card- matching the last rhythm someone read, with the first on their card.

I also use Poison Pattern, Rhythm Tik-Tak-Toe and plain old flashcards A LOT.