Thursday, January 31, 2013

Multi-cultural Fun- Trip to Japan

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Every Year my fourth graders do a multi-cultural performance and showcase dances and instruments from around the world.  On Thursdays I hope to feature some of the activities we use.  All of the activities are used to teach either a rhythmic or melodic concept as well as connect my students to music from across the globe.  They are not always initially taught in fourth grade, but sometimes earlier and then brought back for other concepts.

The two examples today are usually taught in 3rd grade when we are working on ti-tika and then the song, Oki Na Taiko, is brought back in fourth for low so.  I bring back the chant just for fun as a random rhythm in fourth when we are doing Taiko drumming at the same time.

Oki Na Taiko is a song I use to teach ti-tika as well as low so.  After the song is taught, we do a rondo with different taiko drum patterns I have gotten from various sources over the years.  We watch a video of taiko drumming on YOUTUBE and look at the technique. The video linked here is a Japanese 6th grade class drumming. We then use 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot and rhythm sticks to drum.  I hope to soon make stands and make the drums look and feel a little more authentic.  The kids LOVE drumming, but you have to make sure only 5-7 people are drumming at a time if your room is anywhere near other classrooms because it gets LOUD.  I tend to do: A is drumming, B is Singing in Japanese, C is Singing in English, and D is singing in solfegge.  I have four rows in my room so it works perfectly with the rondo format so everyone gets a chance to drum.

Omotchio is a chant I got this summer from fellow Kodaly Graduate Jaime- Thanks! The chant imitates the process of making Mochi. Mochi is a type of sweet rice paste that is made by pounding the dough with large hammers and then kneading it.  Check out this Mochi Making video to see some really fast mochi making.  Be sure to watch until the end!

The hand clap game imitates the motions seen in the video, and the translation describes the dough making process.  This is a very fun, yet complicated, hand clapping game that the students seem to really enjoy.  It also looks really impressive when done in a program!  I taught this in fourth grade today and one of my Japanese students was very exited to help demonstrate because he has done the game in Japanese school before.   Very Cool! (He also affirmed that I was pronouncing the words correctly, which was good (-: )

Here is the game:  Children are in partners

One Child claps the beat vertically the whole time
Child B follows these actions:
Phrase 1: Claps the beat alternating below and above A's hands.
Phrase 2: Claps "Pet" below A's hands, "tan" between A's hands, then "ko" below A's hands.
Phrase 3: B begins with hands together.  The right hand makes a circular mvmnt btwn A's hands on "Konete"
Phrase 4: B follows this pattern with A's hands- below, between, above.  above, between, below.  below, between, above, between, below, between, above.

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