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Vocal Music is a wonderful class enjoyed by all Abingdon students. Each class has vocal music once a week for the entire school year. While in class, the children learn how to use their bodies and voices to express their love for music. When students enter the 2nd grade, they are given the opportunity to play xylophones, glockenspiels, tone bars, and other percussion instruments. All 3rd grade students learn how to play the recorder. Students love to play their instrument in class!! Pre-K and Kindergarten students have been singing and moving to the steady beat in music class. We have been performing many “follow the leader” style songs that teach the students to move different body parts and to sing songs that enhance their singing ability. Also, picture books are used to describe animals, objects, and people, when learning some songs. When we are moving to music, we move to fast and slow music and make sure that the slow movements are big and long and the fast movements are small and short.
First grade music students are learning to sing on the correct pitch in music class through many different singing activities. They have been practicing singing the scale and singing many folk songs, patriotic songs, and contemporary songs. While the students sing and move to music, they are encouraged to keep a steady beat. They clap the steady beat, stomp the steady beat, and walk to the steady beat. We also have been playing percussion instruments to further enhance the steady beat.
Second grade students are learning to read music notation and learning to sing songs from the music textbook, “Making Music!” Many note reading activities and musical games are used to enhance the students’ ability to read quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests. Students are also encouraged to move to music and experience the steady beat. The challenge with this activity is to have students express the steady beat without changing the tempo. This activity helps them to keep the steady beat without speeding up the tempo.
Third grade students have been learning to sing two-part songs, rounds, folk songs, and contemporary songs. All of these different styles are used to enhance the students’ ability to sing while listening to another part in the music. The two-part songs and rounds they have been singing come from the Orff process of teaching music and the Silver Burdett music book series, Making Music. The Orff process was developed by Carl Orff, a German composer, in 1925. Moving to music and singing from the pentatonic scale make up the key elements of this process.
Fourth grade students have been learning rhythmic music notation values and have been taught how notation can enhance their study of fractions. Half of a beat is represented by the fraction ½. Students have been adding and subtracting these fractions through the use of music notation that represents ½ of the beat. Many musical games on the computer will be used to help improve their understanding of adding and subtracting fractions. Students are also learning to sing two-part songs and rounds as well as folk songs and contemporary songs. The two-part songs and rounds help to improve their ability to sing as they hear a separate part being sung.
Fifth grade students have been learning to sing a variety of songs and have been practicing singing two-part songs, rounds, and partner songs. These types of songs help the students’ development of their ear by singing one part of the music as they hear a separate part being sung. Other musical activities include playing percussion instruments while reading music notation, and creating rhythms using rhythmic music notation. The study of note reading has been a big part of music instruction this year.