This weekend, I joined Pinterest to see what all the buzz is about and I love it! But what really shocked me was searching for music education resources and pins and finding my blog (this very blog you are reading now!!) on there many times! Always with numerous repins, likes and positive comments. I am so glad that so many music educators find this site to be useful. Thank you for reading (and pinning)!
It is time for my students to begin playing recorders! I teach recorder to 3rd and 4th graders (I have no 5th graders). Some music teachers choose to teach recorder only to one grade level – usually their oldest students. I choose to teach it to 3rd and 4th graders. By introducing the music staff, how to read line/space notes and teaching basic recorder songs in 3rd grade, I find that by 4th grade it is review and they can learn more challenging songs! It sinks in more when you spread it out between two grades.
The recorder materials I use are some of my own Finaled familiar songs, the Recorder Karate book, embroidery floss for belts and Peripole Angel Halo Recorders. My kids get to keep their music and any belts they earn and a recorder if they purchase one from me. If they already own one or just want to borrow one everyday (and clean it out with soap and water afterward!), then they do not bring me any money. Purchasing is an option, not a requirement.
I think teaching students to play the recorder is a great way to “put it all together”. My students learn loads of terminology, read rhythms and notes, and play a musical instrument (fine motor skills!) all at the same time! Plus it is challenging, even for those high achieving kiddos.
So if you only teach recorders to one grade, or not at all, consider adding some (or more!) recorder to your curriculum.
One year ago on the Elementary Music Teacher Blog:
FootNOTES: Looking for an interactive, kinesthetic and creative way to teach the names of the notes on the music staff? Well look no further for I have discovered the footNOTES music rug by Wenger. My 3rd and 4th grade students use it to help with naming the notes on the music staff. Click here to read more!
Hula Hoop Conductor: This activity (can be called numerous things – hula hoop conductor, guest conductor, let’s play conductor) involves hula hoops, instruments and a lot of laughs! Also, it gives students a chance to be the conductor and lead the class… and a chance for students to explore an instrument, or two, or three! Click here to read more!
Froggy Gets Dressed: Froggy Gets Dressed is the perfect winter story. Forgetful Froggy is so excited to get out in the snow, he keeps forgetting to put on articles of winter clothing! By the time he finally gets it right, Froggy is too tired to go outside and play. Silly Froggy! Click here to read more about making Froggy Gets Dressed a sound story using instruments!
Here is the new poster outside my room…. and when I say new, I mean it was put up in October. I just haven’t gotten around to posting it on here! I do not have a bulletin board, so it is made of butcher paper and hung up. My mom is amazing and does all the work! We made this when the St. Louis Cardinals were in the 2011 World Series (and won!)… so our penguins are Card fans!! Sing, dance, shake your tail feathers!!
It’s time to begin working on my 1st grade musical. The one I chose for this year is a new one called Squirm! This week my students listened to all the songs and learned the first one. They LOVE it so far. The songs, especially A Spider Song, are challenging yet so catchy that I want to listen to them over and over again! Here is what Music K-8 has to say about it:
“Ahhh!! Join the wiggles and squiggles as the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Daddy Long Legs, Hook Worm, Snake, and a host of other critters take over the stage. But wait! No need to scream, just listen carefully and you will learn how things that make us squirm can be A-okay! Showcase your young performers in this 20-minute squirmy musical.
The easy-to-learn songs and creative rhyming dialog will make your show a hit with any audience, whether it be a general assembly, a community program, a class project, or evening concert. The enhanced Teacher’s Edition/Singer CD-ROM includes piano/vocal arrangements with choreography, a helpful production guide with staging and costume suggestions, teaching objectives linked to the National Standards for each song, plus reproducible singer parts on the enclosed data disc. Songs include: Squirm!, It’s Cool To Be A Worm, Spinning: A Spider Song, A Snake In The Grass, and Give A Bat A Call. (Grades K-3)”