Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sixteenth Notes

It seems to me that once we turn the corner of January, I start getting itchy feet knowing I don't have long with the students.  January moves along and then all of a sudden it seems we are thrown into February with African American/Black History Month, March is crazy due to Spring Break, the April arrives and we have 7 weeks of school left!  Yikes! 
For some reason, I always seem to teach/re-teach/review sixteenth note notation beginning in late January/early February. 
There are SO many wonderful pieces of music to use with the wonderfully fun sixteenths!
Here are several of my favorites:

1.  Chicken on a Fencepost - my kids can't get enough of this and the game is so fun!! 

 2.  Woodchuck 

 Another fun one with lots of tongue-twisted excitement!  Transfer each line of ostinato to an upitched percussion instrument - wood only, ha!


3.  Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

Classics are classics for a reason!  This one is very exciting when sung at a breakneck tempo!

4.  Old Brass Wagon

I posted on this before using an improvisation lesson for recorders here.

5.  Ding Dong Diggidiggidong

I love this one, and the kids do, also!  Available here from Beth's Music Notes:

6.  Kookaburra

This is a lovely canon from Australia. The Kookaburra is a bird that makes a very funny sound!


Friday, January 13, 2017

Stretchy Band Activities

Oh Stretchy Band, oh Stretchy Band, what to do with thee?

It is funny how different things influence our teaching and blogging (not to mention personal lives).  A short while ago the AOSA FB page, someone asked what to do with their stretchy band. I had already begun to write about how to use the stretchy band in the music room and with Christmas and Chinese New Year (see post below) I am finally getting around to finishing this post!
Many teachers I know have a stretchy band and wonder what to do with them. If you don't have one or find the ones with big tubing inside uncomfortable, make one.. or if you're like me, make several!  Get ready- pantyhose time!
Here's a video tutorial I made on how to make stretchy bands.  Best as a summertime project. :)
Update 8.27.17:
Order a box of pantyhose seconds to make bands with here:
You can get defective hose in bulk from:
Nancy Terry
HANESbrands INC.
1904 Clark Road
Clarksville, Arkansas 72830
(P) 479-979-3492 (F) 479-754-5597
 couple of my bands:

2.22.17 Update! Another fabulous idea from Rob Amchin -

Stretchy Band Song

This simple and cute song includes "bounce to the beat", "up, down", in, out" and is very simple for your younger players. I love the cute accents of the children singing!

Rob Amchin - Color Pitch Matching Game

Perfect pitch matching activity! If you have a band like mine (not colorblocked) have students tie or wrap on colored scarves in front of where they are sitting.

Stretchy with Nutcracker March

Artie Almeida.  Not much more needs to be said. :)

Les Saluts Dance

While not typically a "stretchy band" dance, simple folk dances like this are perfect for stretchy bands.  This is a lovely folk dance, perfect for younger grades and I love the fermata point as it creates a wonderfully magical moment for students to listen keenly to when the music begins again.


The Waves - Lynn Kleiner

My kindies and first graders LOVE this song and the fermata again makes this SO much fun. Using the stretchy in a circle, the waves go rolling all about - lift and lower one hand at a time to create waves.  The waves  go up, the waves go down, in and out (pull as far back as you can and walk backwards slooowly). SO fun! This is from Lynn's book, "Sounds of the Sea".  The song is below- different activity, but you'll hear how lovely it is!

Classroom Divider

I often use the band as a visual separator in the classroom. When I put instruments out on the floor for an activity (and I want them to stay in a particular setup) I place the band on the floor to separate this space from the “regular classroom”.  Especially effective with younger musicians, this helps them to know when it is appropriate to play (when teacher instructs them to “cross the line” (although I always have them go around).

Illustrating Tritonic SLM Melodies OR Show Melodic Direction

  • Holding the band in a circle, T. calls out 4 beat melody using SLM, students echo and show Sol by holding stretchy at chest level, La overhead, and Mi in front of belly button.
  • Using a known song, students visually demonstrate melodic direction.

Stretchy Band Assessment

This post from a while ago has some ideas for how to assess students using stretchy bands.

Hope you found some new ideas or revisited some old ones.  Happy January! Stay warm.