Archive for the ‘listening lesson’ Category

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St. Patrick’s Day Rhythm Identification

March 14, 2014

I mentioned before that I am not a big “holidays in the Music room” sort of person. I want the activities to add to my curriculum, not take time away from it. I found a cute way to sneak in a little St. Patty’s Day fun while staying on topic and not taking any extra time to introduce the holiday.

My Kindergarteners have recently learned ta (quarter note) and ta-ti (eighth notes.) They have been reading flash cards, writing/drawing the rhythms on dry erase boards*, and doing simple dictation with craft sticks.  They were ready to identify the pattern they heard performed from a selection of choices.

After perusing Pintrest and mulling over ideas, I had a brainstorm. Why not leprechaun gold? 

Leprechaun

For this activity, I performed one of the six patterns and asked the students to find it on the page. They were instructed as to which color crayon to use for each turn. This made it VERY easy to look around the circle and see who was correctly identifying the rhythms.

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For the first three turns I clapped and spoke the pattern using rhythm syllables. To amp up the rigor, the last three patterns were only clapped. Most of the kids found the patterns very quickly. When there were only two patterns left, I asked the students to articulate how they were different. (ie. “One pattern starts with ta and the other one starts with ta-ti.”)  Since I do not give report card grades to Kinder, I sent the completed worksheets home with instructions to read all of the rhythms to their families. (Five-year-olds think getting Music homework is the coolest thing EVER.) If I were to do this worksheet with the older classes, to whom I do give grades, I would likely do the same. I would simply look around the circle to quickly mark down the names of those who did not accurately identify all of the patterns, and how many were correct. I would only have had one or two children whom I would have needed to make a note about. 

Interested in this worksheet and versions including other rhythms?  Check them out on my TpT page. It’s a freebie!

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Tech Bite: Listening lessons with Word Clouds

March 31, 2013

Happy Easter, everyone!

As we are gearing up to go back to school in a few days, I thought I would share a simple way that I have integrated a bit of hands on technology into my classroom.  It is easy for the tech to take over and become the focus of a lesson, but in Music class we want the music to take center stage. Additionally, not every school has a class set of iPads for all of the children to use. The ideas I am going to share today not only puts the music as the main focus of the activity, but it can be accomplished as a whole group or in learning centers once the students are familiar with the program.

What you need:

– laptops or computers

– a listening example of you choice

In the past I have had my students write a list of adjectives on a piece of paper to describe the music they are hearing. This time I shook things up by adding the laptops and a website called Tagxedo. Just like Woddle, Tagxedo allows you to create a word cloud with words of your choice. Inputting the words is fairly straight forward and the program allows you to choose the color scheme and shape of your cloud.

In my classroom, I used this activity to introduce the students to one of the songs they will be performing in the Spring Concert. Once they all had a laptop (we have a cart, but this can easily be done in a computer lab) I played a recording of Bashana Haba’ah.

As the students listened to the choir singing, they typed a list of words that described the music.  I encouraged them to use appropriate music vocabulary (ie. Tempo names, dynamic markings, instrument names, etc.) I asked the students to come up with as many words as they could think of. I have to admit, their lists were far longer when using Tagxedo than when we have done this on paper. They love to fill their word clouds with as many words as possible!

Once they had created their list of words I gave the students a few minutes to choose a shape for their word clouds and a color scheme.  I told them that the shape should reflect the music in some way. Full disclosure, I did not tell the students anything about the song beforehand, not even the fact that it would be part of our concert repertoire. As the song is in Hebrew, none of my students understood the words. Their responses were based solely on the music.  I think they turned out beautifully. The end result looks great printed out and hung on a bulletin board or posted on your classroom blog/website. The kids are itching to take theirs home!

This is a very basic listening activity. It can work with tech savvy 1st graders, yet the “big kids” love it, too.

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