Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School/Rules of the Music Room Drumming Activity

See the initial post below (Aug. 23) for the lesson. Enjoy! Oh- and yes, "listener" has 3 syllables but I used 2 quarter notes as I thought that fit best how we speak the word. To separate it correctly seemed strange musically speaking! This is a powerpoint you can download. Rules

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rules as a Rhythm/Drumming Activity

So this year I decided to "do" my rules a little differently than in the past. I HATED those simple discussions/creations/posting of the "rules of the music room". AFter all, by the time the kids come to music, they've had rules in their classroom, the library, PE, computer, Spanish, art, Science Lab, and now music. Ick and Ugh! So... with the older students (grades 3 and 4), the first thing we did was a name activity and song, then reviewed rhythms (quarter, eighth, quarter rests) using Artie Almeida's Chair Rhythms- which is so fun! AND then I presented a powerpoint which I'm going to try to post tomorrow from school using some rules. The first page of the powerpoint had one rule with the corresponding rhythm written below it. So you'd see "Be respectful" and below it you'd see four quarter notes. The next page would have this again at the top and directly below "Be Respectful" and the rhythm notation would be the next rule (mine was "Follow the directions = titi titi ta ta) with the four beat rhythm and the third powerpoint page would add the next rule/rhythm and the fourth powerpoint would add the final rule/powerpoint. We practiced saying each one in rhythm and then assigned a body percussion to each; first page/rule/rhythm: Stomp Second: Pat Third: Clap Fourth: Snap Practice each then divide the class into 4 groups; one for each rule. Practice with body percussion, layer in parts, groups join after 4 beats of the previous rhythm/rule, add conducted dynamics, breaks, whatever.. my classes had a blast!! Transfer body percussion to UPP: stomp= African drums, Pat= woods, Clap= Metals, Snap= shakers. Layer in parts, add dynamics, cresc./dimin., breaks... etc. It was a BLAST and got the kids to remember the rules, play the rules, and make some interesting music together the VERY FIRST day! Not to mention that it took a BIG chunk of the class period which is always satisfying to end up with a "piece" to play at the end of class!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Games, Games, and MORE Games...

Yup... kids come back Monday- am a *little* in denial at the moment.. you'd think after 4 days of meetings (!!!) that I would be ready, but we've literally had 2 hours in our classrooms over the last 4 days and so definitely need a few more hours.. I'm sensing everyone in my hall will be in over the weekend at some point!!! This post is a *wee* bit lengthy but I'm so excited about these games!! I'm going to do some centers this year (some with ipads and I can't wait to try those).. here are a few games I'm going to put in a music center: Bottle Cap Memory Game:
When you make this add music symbols; maybe one game with quarter notes, eighths, quarter rests, and another game add half notes, dotted halfs, whole notes, for another game I want to do one with staff notes we use for recorder- would be so great!! Could even make another with pics of instruments or dynamic symbols- lots of possibilities here! Music Twister: We made these a few years ago when we hosted the National AOSA conference here in Charlotte and had these in the boutique- a hit! On a large rectangular tablecloth you are going to spray adhesive 16 pieces of felt; 4 yellow, 4 red, 4 green, 4 blue (colors you choose but all must be equal; 4 of each). On each piece of felt you use sharpie and draw a quarter note, half note, eighth notes, and whole note. Adhesive them on in a way so that each row across has one of each color (a la Twister) game; make up a board with moveable arrow (this was the trickiest part- think plastic washers and make the arrow out of craft foam!!). On each color put a quarter note, eighth, etc. My kids love this!
I'm really looking forward to this one- the kids will love doing this outdoors! Rhythm Toss:
Diced Rhythms:
Use 4 dice, cut out printed rhythms (to fit on each side of die), spray adhesive on (I used big foam ones purchased from toy section of Dollar Tree). Students rolled the 4 dice, arranged the dice and then played the rhythm on rhythm sticks (pictured). I will let them play with drum stick (big OOOOO here!!!) and drum pads (rubber pads borrowed from sweet PE teacher!). Ping Pong Rhythms from!/2012/03/ping-pong-rhythms.html
Also from the same blogger:!/2012/07/treble-clef-putt-putt.html TREBLE CLEF Putt-Putt - for those of you from New England like me, this is AKA mini golf! So cute!!!
Did you watch the "Minute to Win It" show? I thoroughly loved it and browsing through pinterest I happened upon a fellow music teacher friend who had pinned this- what fun!!! Here are a bunch of "Minute to Win It' music games from a fellow Pinner on Pinterest- link back to her blog at

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pinterest Teaching Ideas... WOW!

If your'e not on Pinterest... well... you are missing out! It's like a global pin board for all your favorite recipes, craft ideas, holiday ideas, decorating, etc. AND TEACHING ideas. Do a search for "Music" or "Music Classroom" or Music Teaching" and you'll find so many wonderful ideas on music games, rhythm games, activities, Smartboard files and ideas.. GREAT "Stuff". Have fun... getting ready to go back to school- one more week of vacay then back for meetings and getting classrooms ready; school starts on the 20th- and my daughter is starting, too... *sniff sniff*... can't believe it's time but I'm so excited! On another "note", here is a GREAT book to check out.. I"m playing around with some ideas to work with this- will let you know once I've had a crack at it with kids.
Happy remainder of the summer!