Monday, June 10, 2013

Kuma San

I'm re-doing some lesson plans for my older kiddos (3rd - 5th) because they are finally on track with their grade level (in accordance with Kodaly levels and my favorite series to use, Spotlight on Music).

With this great little song, "Kuma San," I reformated to fit in as much review and vocabulary as possible.  I plan to pair it with Nabe, Nabe.  My 3rd graders will see it again as they work on their recorder rep later in the year.

It has many opportunities for me to assess what my former students have retained and evaluate the musical knowledge of any little newbies I might get.

Here's the PowerPoint I created for it:

You can try using this song while you jump rope, or have the students hop on one foot while saying the song (on the steady beat).  It is lots of fun and kind of silly but even older kids enjoy it.
The song is great for reviewing basic one beat rhythms.  You can have a beat vs. rhythm exercise by having half the students hop on one leg and the other sit and clap the rhythm.  Then switch.
It never hurts to review the musical structures that organize what the students read.  I equate "measures" to "shelves" and the bar lines are the "borders" of the shelves.  Inside each "shelf" lives a certain number of beats, depending on the time or meter signature.

Take a break and add in some unpitched percussion (great time to define the term, review some basic classroom instruments, and define accompaniment or also discuss timbre).  Try having some students clap the blue wood block part while others snap the orange finger cymbal part:

Here's an opportunity for students to review singing on solfa with hand signs (and you can check out any newbies and see if this is ringing a bell or not).  Students enjoy singing this song while touching knees for "do", waists for "re" and shoulders for "mi" - try playing with the tempo for more fun.
This slide (which contains the second half of the melody) offers you the opportunity to discuss phrasing and form.

The last slide offers an opportunity to add in some pitched percussion, plus sneaks in a few more vocabulary words:

What do you do to help your students review previous musical skills and assess the abilities of new students?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Grandma Grunts

I've always thought this song was  a little silly, but kiddos love the lyrics (and like to act them out).  It is great for adding so back in (or in the first place) after you've taught do-re-mi.

Here are some examples of the slides that are included (38 total):

Slides for introducing pitch

Slides with pitches labeled for singing practice

Pitches on the Staff

Rhythms on the Staff

Final product (version with solfa labeled on it also included)
This fall, when I use it as review with my 3rd graders, I'm going to have them add two ostinatos I created to the song.  They are homo-rhythmic, which means they are a bit easy for the kiddos to sing and play.

Part one can be whistled (depending on their skill level) by some of the boys, as well as played on the BM.  This slide is labeled for instrumental use, but there is also a slide with the solfa labeled.
Part two can be sung by some of the girls, or played on the soprano glock or metallophone.  This slide is labeled for vocal use (although one labeled with absolute pitches is included also):
If you're using this with more advanced students (reviewing with 4th or 5th), they would also enjoy playing the song (and some of the ostinatos too) on the recorder.

Create a form for performance and add some movement and bam - you could put it up on the stage for public consumption. ;)

This slide has been added to my Do Re Mi So lesson bundle which includes 5 other Do Re Mi So songs.