1st Grade (2012-13)*

*Starting in the 2013-14 school year, all grade level posts can be found in the "What's Happening (Blog)" section of the website.

Share a Talent!

posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:12 PM by Erika Novoselich

Next week during regular music time on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 1st-5th grade  classes are having their music parties for earning 60 stars in music class. These music parties are going to be "Share-A-Talent" parties, so each student is encouraged to come prepared to share a talent with the rest of the class. They could play an instrument, sing a song, perform a dance, read a poem or story they wrote, show artwork they made, tell a joke, act out a skit, show a unique skill like juggling or magic, or any other talent they can think of. They can do talents in pairs or groups if they wish, as well. It has to be (1) school appropriate, (2) possible to do in the music room, and (3) safe. 

One of my favorite things is to see all of the special talents that our students possess. I'm looking forward to next week!

Chord Roots in Dorian

posted Mar 20, 2013, 1:14 PM by Erika Novoselich   [ updated Mar 20, 2013, 1:32 PM ]

First graders learned the song "I See The Moon", but they learned it without words. When songs or chants are presented with text, the children tend to focus on the text rather than on the musical content of the song or chant. The texts, in such a case, inhibit music learning.

Next, they learned how to sing the chord roots to the song, which are kind of like the framework of the song. "I See The Moon" is in dorian tonality, so that means the chord roots are step 1 and step 7 of the dorian scale. SInging chord roots in dorian rather than major or minor can be easier for some young students because the two notes are only a step away from each other.

Lastly, students learned how to play the chord roots on boomwhackers. Boomwhackers are single-note instruments that I primarily use in my music classes to outline chords while we sing.

First Grade "I See The Moon"

Laban Movement Exercise

posted Feb 16, 2013, 12:14 PM by Erika Novoselich   [ updated Mar 7, 2013, 10:15 AM ]

Rudolpf Laban was a dance educator who analyzed movement in great detail, describing it as an exertion of energy resulting from an interacting combination of four elements of effort: weight, time, space, and flow. Each effort exists along a continuum for which the quality of a movement at each extremity is described. The combination of body awareness and continuous flowing, whole-body movement seems to be the foundation for a child to positively control the energy while making music, an essential requisite for overall music development. Here is a video of an activity that our 1st graders did at South to demonstrate the four Laban elements. 

Laban Movement Exercise (First Grade)

It's a New Year! Time to make some music!

posted Jan 8, 2013, 1:03 PM by Erika Novoselich   [ updated Jan 10, 2013, 4:56 PM ]

We are back to school again after our two week break, and it's time to get back to music learning. The Holiday Program was great fun, but because we were working with the same three songs for awhile, it was a little difficult to keep learning new things.

First graders will now be immersed in a rich environment of songs and chants in a variety of tonalities and meters. These "classroom" songs and chants are short and usually done without recorded music accompaniment.

We will learn how to label our music vocabulary by using tonal solfege (e.g. “do-mi-so”) and rhythm sofege (e.g. du-de) for all of our pattern instruction. In learning a solfege system, this helps us to organize our musical thoughts and express ourselves musically in a deeper, more meaningful way. We will continue to learn about same and different, but in a hands-on approach. Instead of discriminating differences, we will perform tonal and rhythm patterns that are different. We will begin to have “musical conversations” with one another. 

We will continue to develop our concept of meter and beat. In first grade, we learn about macrobeat (downbeat) and microbeat (subdivision of the macrobeat). By audiating, moving to, and labeling the macro and microbeats in music, you child is able to discriminate whether music is duple (e.g. 4/4 time) or triple meter (e.g. 3/4 time).

We will also begin to explore the “ingredients” of a melody. We learn that every melody has a tonality and a resting tone. By audiating the resting tone, your child is able to discriminate whether a song is in major or minor tonality.

We will begin to learn about harmony and the two basic chords in major and minor tonality: tonic and dominant. We will perform melodies with harmony both alone and in small groups.

Holiday Program

posted Dec 16, 2012, 11:27 AM by Erika Novoselich

Congratulations to all of our South students on a wonderful Holiday Program! I was really impressed by the musicality that each group displayed. Though we try to make the program enjoyable for the audience, entertainment is not our main goal. Our main goal is to be musical and acquire a rich understanding of the songs we perform. I believe we achieved our goal and I am so proud of my students for all of their hard work. 

Christmas on Halloween? Yes!

posted Oct 31, 2012, 6:03 PM by Erika Novoselich

Lately we've been busy working on our Christmas songs, even on Halloween! We only have 10 more music classes until our program so we really have to make sure we're learning our songs early. If you want to help your child practice for our program, click here.

Aptitude Testing

posted Sep 25, 2012, 6:04 PM by Erika Novoselich   [ updated Oct 16, 2012, 12:55 PM ]

This week, grades 1st-3rd grades have been hard at work completing our Aptitude Assessments.  These assessments are in two categories, tonal and rhythmic.  Students listen to two part songs or rhythm patterns, and then determine if they are the same or if they are different. This is a tool for me to learn what skills students come to music with, and how we can improve throughout the year!

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