Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine's Roses Are Red with the flu to use with Ukuleles!

So I just began to teach ukuleles two weeks ago.. we ordered them on a Wednesday, they got here on Friday (thanks, Amazon.com!) and I used them for the first time last Tuesday.  A fellow Orff teacher shared how to begin by teaching the story of the Four Little Pigs (George, Charlie, Edgar, Allison) to teach the string names.. kids loved it and the fourth graders remembered today the names of the strings!  Hallelujah! RETENTION! 
I have been working to develop some lessons where students play borduns (first and fifth of chord structures) on Orff instruments AND ukuleles and my last group of 4th graders just left and we had a BLAST!  I used "Roses are Red" set in 3/4; yes, I know most of you are probably saying, "It's 6/8!".  Well, yes... but, for our purposes today we used 3/4 in order to feel STRONG beats in 3 and also because while we experience 6/8, my 5th grade music teachers teach 6/8 and we don't label it in 4th.  :)
So... longer story longer... here it is! 

1.  Sing song, students pat or sway to the strong beat several times, then sing the song.  They will want to add "achoo" after the 2nd verse about the flu.. go for it!  Way more fun!
2.  Review how to play C chord (every other student has a ukulele; we are partnered and I tell them once they've learned it they are the expert and have to help their partners!). Let them just PLAY for several minutes to review how to strum down, etc. and then switch.. I walk around fixing fingers, etc.
3.  Show the slides with the music, talk through how to play only where it has a "C" above the measure, make a grand, STOP gesture or use a STOP sign to show where to NOT PLAY (G7 chords).  If your students already know this, wonderful; mine don't and this was their 2nd lesson in ukes. Switch so 2nd partner has a turn, do same thing (by this time I am NOT singing and only they are.. I'm pretty firm on this!).
4.  Show how to pluck the top string closest to their "chinny chin chins" for the "G7" chord.  Keep holding on to the C chord; don't let go!  Play using C chord and plucking G string (yes, I know.. but they don't know about G strings yet!).  Switch partners, play/sing.
5.  Each partner pair has an Orff instrument set up to play high C and G for C chord and remove bars around low G so they can switch to low G and high G (right hand stays in place on high G bar the entire time).  This will become the borduns the Orff instruments will play for C chord (high C/G) and G7 chord (low G/high G).  Play together with ukuleles, sing, switch, etc.
6.  Now comes the writing portion.  Show the slides new versions of the song and then the slides with the one syllable color words and rhyming words.  Students create new versions, give them about 10 minutes to practice, call time, one final minute to practice, then perform.  They were funny and clever.. some a little raunchy, which we had to discuss, of course.. ugh!  It was a fun lesson, though, and got them writing, singing, playing 2 kinds of instruments, accompanying themselves, and rhyming.. phew!  All in 40 minutes!!  Enjoy!
If you'd like as a pdf email me at musicquilt@hotmail.com





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