Posted on October 1, 2017
The month of September was filled with making connections -- connections with songs, movement, curriculum, and culture.
We continued to work on pitch matching, learning about music theory, and exploring rhythms using body percussion (clapping, tapping, patting, stomping, etc,) and using percussion instruments like hand drums, guiros, maracas, rhythm sticks, triangles, castanets, xylophones, and metallophones.
With our upcoming Spooktivity event, all the students from Kindergarten through 5th grade excitedly learned the Addam's Family song and choreography and have been reviewing the song for a few weeks now. We are excited to be teaming up with the middle school again to perform the Addam's Family as it strengthens and unifies our school community. We know it's going to be absolutely spooktacular!
In Kindergarten, we began the pitch-matching activity "Brown Bear, Brown Bear." This song is based on the book, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" written and illustrated by Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle. This activity focused on bi-tonic melodies and the so-mi solfege. I read the book out loud and explained to the children that they will be given an opportunity to sing individually and in a group and recognize high-low pitch. Art was integrated in our activity and each child chose one animal and a color for the animal. We sat in a circle and introduced our animals. This activity requires the children to sing on pitch and keep rhythm.
In multiage 1/2, they worked in groups and used index card manipulatives to arrange stick notation ta (quarter note), ti-ti (eighth notes), and rest to create a four beat rhythm. We projected each group's rhythm compositions and played them. They first clapped the ryhthm, then played it percussion intruments: hand drums, guiros, maracas, rhythm sticks, triangles, and castanets, then finally on the xylophones and metallophones. These activities required collaboration, problem solving, and hand eye coordination.
In multiage 3/4, we reviewed two songs, "Starlight, Starbright" and "I See the Moon." They sang and played maracas, shakers, guiros, sandpaper blocks, hand drums, and castanet instruments at the same time, and sang in two-part harmony. They also stepped to the steady beat while singing and playing which really encouraged them to focus on their own parts while staying in time. then played different instruments. We extended the activity by having the children play the xylophones and metallophones. They play two different parts (songs) together and rotate parts to give them opportunities to strengthen their focus, rhythm, and coordination.
In Grade 5, we revisited "Starlight, Starbright" and "I See the Moon" by singing and playing percussion instruments. We extended the activity by playing different parts (songs) with a partner, then switching parts (songs). They have also been working on a mele and hula that they will be sharing while on Hawaʻi Island for their Learning Trip.
In May 2015, we unveiled the naming of our buildings here in the preschool/elementary through our May Day program. Our buildings were named after winged creatures and our 5th grade building is named after the ʻApapane.
They learned the mele and hula, "No Ka ʻApapane," a song that was written and composed by Mid-Pacific's kumu hula, Lanakila Casupang. Our 5th graders shared this hula during our assembly on September 14 and will also share this gift of song, dance, and the Hawaiian culture while on Hawaiʻi Island.