Friday, January 28, 2022

Chinese Rowing Song

The Chinese Folk Song Project is a collection of popular Chinese children's songs, nursery rhymes, games, and folk songs formatted for English speakers. It is intended to be a resource for English-speaking music teachers to teach their students Chinese songs in a culturally responsive way. This project is made possible with the support of the Confucius Institute in Edmonton, Canada.

The songs often have a video, have audio files with pronunciation guide and a recording of song being sung, as well as and is presented with Pinyin, English, and Chinese text as well as Western music notation. 

I follow the wonderful Moriah of holmessweetmusichome on instagram and she recently shared the song 

Yī Yā Yāo (Rowing Song).  This is a traditional Chinese nursery rhyme, the melody added by Xu Hong Shuai. Click here to see additional information on the Rowing Song from the Chinese Folk Song Project. 

Moriah paired the song with the book, How to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace, illustrated by Andy Elkerton. 

The rowing rhyme and song would be used to help rowers stay in rhythm to row a dragon boat across water. At the end of the song, we countdown and sing the numbers 9-1. In the book, the children are working together as a team to catch the dragon. Moriah sang the song and added a clapping game every few pages in the book to help encourage the children to work together to catch the dragon.

Use this song to work on home tone or low do, or decode this on barred instruments. Students could also create ostinati or their own clapping patterns to accompany the song.


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Teaching Melody and Melodic Contour

On a recent poll, music teachers were asked what they struggle the most with and melody and melodic contour was the top answer. So, I spent my morning while home sick with Covid, yup, it has finally arrived - gave it my best shot - 3 in fact, but it hit my family this week and you know me, I can't sit still. I have been working on this for a while and this is a Patreon exclusive.  This is a 24-page mini-book available for less than the cost of Starbucks. You also get access to everything already posted there and I continue to add new material weekly. There are monthly mini-workshops and opportunities to work with me 1:1 to delve deeper into organization, lesson planning, behavior management, or anything else you might be interested in. 

So, this mini-book includes lessons, activities, and ideas about teaching Melody and Melodic Contour. There are twelve children's books listed with several lessons from my Playful Possibilities and Painted Music books. Ideas on using manipulatives, songs, games, and instruments and many other things are part of the mini-book.

Check it out today, click here.

Here is a sampling:


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Dumpling Song


Our daughter was born in China and so our family is Chinese American. We have tried to honor her culture and ensure she is involved in her culture and surrounded by people who look like her. Not always easy or comfortable, but it shouldn't be, right? SO incredibly important, and it has helped me understand on a deep level that representation matters. 
My daughter loves noodles; specifically, rice noodles. And dumplings. And rice. And more noodles. Last year we bought her a shirt that said, "This girl lives on Anime and noodles".  It was spot on! 
I don't remember where I first heard this dumpling song but when my daughter was little and we were making dumplings I learned it and then promptly forgot about it.  Fast forward to last year when I fell in love with the wonderful Miss Katie on instagram. She reminds me so much of Mr. Rogers and so thoughtfully and lovingly talks about difficult topics with littles. She works with preschool aged children and you can see how much she cares and spreads love and joy. 
Here is her video on the Dumpling Song:

包饺子(bāo jiǎozi) – Making Dumplings from echineselearning.

This is in Mandarin Chinese and here are the words - pinyin on top, Chinese characters in the middle, and English on the bottom:

Chǎo luóbo, chǎo luóbo, qiē qiē qiē, mǒ diǎn yóu, sǎ diǎn yán, huó  diǎn xiàn.
炒       萝卜,炒     萝卜,切  切  切,抹   点    油, 撒  点    盐,和     点    馅。
Stir-fry the carrots, stir-fry the carrots, and chop them up. Then add some oil and salt to make the stuffing.

Bāo jiǎozi, bāo jiǎozi, gǎn gǎn pí, gǎn hǎo miànpí zhuāng hǎo xiàn, bāo jiǎozi.
包    饺子,包   饺子,擀   擀   皮,擀  好     面皮     装       好   馅,  包   饺子。
Make dumplings, make dumplings. We roll the dough into the pieces. After that, we put the stuffing in to make the dumplings.

Bāo jiǎozi, bāo jiǎozi,  niē niē niē, fàng jìn guōlǐ gài gàizi,  zhǔ jiǎozi.
包    饺子,包   饺子,捏  捏  捏,放    进  锅里  盖  盖子,煮  饺子。
Make dumplings, make dumplings. Pinch them shut then put them into the pot. Close the lid and boil the dumplings.

Boil the dumplings, boil the dumplings. They smell good. Get everything ready to serve the dumplings and enjoy.Zhǔ jiǎozi, zhǔ jiǎozi, xiānɡ pēnpēn, duān shànɡ jiǎozi bèi hǎo liào, chī jiǎozi.
煮    饺子,煮  饺子,香     喷喷,     端      上     饺子  备   好   料,吃   饺子。

Pair this with Children's Literature: