Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Música, Música"

This is a group of Kindergarteners singing a little song that I wrote. The kindergarten and 1st grade classes come to Music, Gym, and Art as a combination of our monolingual and dual-language classes. This song represents both of the dominant languages in our school. The first part says that, "music is everywhere", and then encourages students to make music. Including the day of the week in the lyrics added a challenge for students, as it changes each time they come to class.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Back to School

...I know, this post is very late given it's title.

This song, "L'abe igi orombo", is from Nigeria. It describes an orange tree, where the singer recalls spending time with friends, playing games. The tree represents a safe, fun place where the singer feels comfortable and happy. It is a place where the singer looks forward to returning day after day. All of us at Heyer hope that our school is to your child(ren), how the orange tree is this songwriter.

Friday, May 8, 2015

¡Feliz Día De Las Madres!/Happy Mother's Day!

The kindergarten and 1st graders presented a concert recently. Here is the chorus of two songs.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Break Dance Party

We had a school dance party this afternoon to send us in to Spring Break. So with the abbreviated class time that we had this morning, we tried to learn some "Old School" dance moves. In the video below you'll see a couple of students and I doing a basic Charleston. You'll also see a group of girls doing a simplified Charleston, and then another group of students practicing the "Running Man".

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dr. Seuss Week

This is a little bit of the first theme of "The Super Supper March". I had a 4th grade class record this because they seemed to pick-up on the shape of melody rather quickly. So we added a little "tick-tock" xylophone bassline, a couple of shakers, and cajón.

Before we started the song, I asked students what kind of expectations they would have based on the fact that this is a Dr. Seuss song. They listed things like: rhyming, made-up words, and just general silliness. As I sang the song for them the first time, all of those things were exposed.

In the recording there is a point where the music freezes on the word "burger". We discussed this, comparing it to watching a movie. The class was asked, "If you were watching a movie at home, and needed to go get more popcorn, what button would you press on the remote?" We got two answers; stop and pause. The class decided that in this case the pause button was the best fit, because the music can still be heard, it just isn't advancing. We then connected the idea with the musical word "fermata".

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cold and Snow

February in Wisconsin. This song fragment just tells it like it is. 2nd and 3rd Grade students used this song fragment to explore two different types of form: AB Form and Strophic Form. The most common type of AB Form is the Verse-Chorus Form typically heard in popular music. Strophic Form is a song that has only one theme and repeats with new lyrics each time. This type of song is very common for church hymns. Our national anthem is also in strophic form, however we typically only sing the first verse.

The recordings above focus on dynamics. The version in English is sung at a dynamic of "forte", which means strong or loud. The version in Spanish is sung at the dynamic "piano", which means quiet. In a way, the two recordings played together could represent Strophic Form, as the shape of the melody stays the same, and the change in language represents the new verse.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Visit from the Pedrito Martinez Group

Long time, no post. Well, I'm baaaaaack! On Friday afternoon, we were able to host the Pedrito Martinez Group at Heyer. This is a group that I've been listening to for a couple of years now, and when I found out that they were coming through town, I reached out to see if they could stop by.

Their timeline was so short in between two performances that they didn't have all of their equipment, but they still found a way to give our students a great show. They performed, answered questions from our students, accompanied a song that we sang for them, and then worked with a handful of students to create grooves on conga and cajón. Below is a recording of our performance with them at the assembly, as well as a couple of recordings of the group. Enjoy!