The music program is in full swing now, and all the classes are making super progress! I’m delighted with every one of our 8 groups!
Toddlers are beginning to sing along with me, which is pretty early in the school year for that to happen; usually I sing solo for about a semester. They’re doing hand motions, acting out poems, learning some American Sign Language, taking turns, waiting, putting instruments away gently, and mostly staying in tune with me and follow directions well.
Preprimaries have probably learned 5 dozen songs, movement activities, poems, and finger plays, and they’ve played sticks, bells, and chickitas. Wonderful fun and tons of progress! We’re singing mostly up in our singing voices, too, which is the challenge of this age group. Tonal memory is developed between the ages of 4 and 7, so we work on singing in our singing voices, matching pitches, doing vocal glissandos, etc., every week without fail.
Kindergarteners are learning left hand from right hand, playing both one and two handed mallets on their glockenspiels, have learned several notes on the staff, and are singing as they play. Very complex! They’re doing a perfect job of keeping a steady beat, and soon we’ll start playing tunes–a much more difficult skill. The glockenspiel is the perfect instrument to introduce music reading, and it’s also an introduction to the keyboard, with the low bars to the left, and one bar for each new note and sound. We’re learning to read steps and skips on the staff, and then translate that to the way they should move on the glock.
First graders are learning how to be a recorder choir, which includes not only how to play the recorder, but starting and stopping together, listening between pieces, playing only when it is time to play, etc. Beyond that, they are learning to read the notes they’re playing from the staff, as well as by looking at me and copying my fingering. We work every week on notation and rhythm; we’ve learned whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and quarter rests, so far. The students know 3 ways to count every kind of note and rest. Also we have learned about steps, skips, and repeated notes, not only on the recorder but also on the staff. Music involves so many, many skills and areas of the brain! We sing the songs before we study them, too, so we’re keeping our tonal memory reinforced.
Second through 4th graders are having so much fun with their dulcimers! We spent the first week decorating them w/ all sorts of stickers and also their creative drawing, thinking about mountain music of the eastern U.S. I’ve made folders for the music we’re learning, and as of the last week of October, we have learned to read, sing, and play 10 songs! We work on note reading and rhythm every week, as well as starting and ending together and also singing in our singing voices. There is terrific energy in this group, and I’m extremely pleased with their progress!
Thank you all for entrusting your children to our wonderful school!