Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Drumming Fun!

Our school was so lucky to have Dr. Arvin Scott visit us recently!  He is a drumming professor from the University of Georgia and in addition to teaching, presents at percussion clinics, master classes, and workshops around the world.  He also founded a community-based youth program in Athens, GA called Drumming for Success.  According to his website, "it provides percussion classes and hand drums for all the kids while encouraging academic achievement, character building, and creativity through personal goal accomplishment and group cooperation."
Dr. Scott performed for us on several of his instruments and explained a little bit about the language of drumming.  Then, he got volunteers from the audience to come up and try out the instruments!  It was so neat to watch the students perform a steady beat and various rhythm patterns that we have been working on all year!  What a great assessment.  ;)  After seeing how successful the students were and how excited they got, I am inspired to get more drums for the music room. 
Here are a few pictures of our drumming fun...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Cup Game

When things start winding down at school and the students attention span becomes shorter and their activeness increases, I like to pull out a lot of movement activities.  One of my students' favorites is "The Cup Game."  It is like a rhythm hand-clapping game and a passing game combined.  I learned it many years ago at camp and I usually have a handful of students in each class that already know it.  I use those students to tutor anyone who needs help. 

I use the following poem to help teach the movements: 

I found this poem and visual in the 5th grade Gameplan Curriculum by Randy DeLelles and Jeff Kriske.  I taught the poem line by line and then took away the words a few at a time until the students had it memorized.  Then each student received a plastic cup and we worked on each section slowly.  After demonstrating each set of movements, I had the students practice with a partner.  Once they learned the entire sequence, they got into teams of 4 and tried out the passing part of the game.  Eventually we were able to pass the cups around the circle with the whole class.  

As an extention, I had the students suggest songs that we could use to accompany the game.  We tried everything from Sousa Marches to Michael Jackson to One Direction.  Since the rhythm pattern is 4 measures long in 4/4 time, many familiar songs can be used!

I also picked out a few fun videos for them to enjoy:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

Our first graders did a fabulous job presenting their Spring musical, "The Bear Went Over the Mountain," by John Jacobson and John Higgins.  They were super cute and sounded great, too!  I just love that moment when all that hard work pays off and everything comes together!
Here is our fabulous set designed and created (with student help) by our amazing art teacher, Mrs. Carter:


A rare shot of me and my partner-in-crime!  I couldn't do all of this without her!  :)

Another musical under my belt!  On to the next one!  ;)

Friday, May 3, 2013

iPad for the Music Room!

Look what we got for the music room!!  Yippeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Our wonderful PTO got iPads for Music, Art, P.E., and the Media Center.  My mind is already racing with all kinds of ways that I can use it!   I know the students will be so excited!  Thank you HSES PTO!  :)