Lernabenteuer an der GIS

Learning Adventures at GIS

Nov 15 2018

A Musical Note...

By Michelle Bahr

Greetings from the music room!  In music class this year we are building vocal and instrumental skills, as well as listening skills, focus, and ensemble. Activities in the lower grades are primarily based on the curriculum ideas found in the Orff Schulwerk and Kodaly Methods. We are able to build upon these skills in the upper grades through our instrumental units, student led projects, and other activities. Because of the flexibility of these approaches, we are able to find authentic connections to our classroom IB units often!

Here’s what we’ve been up to in the past few weeks in each grade level—

5th graders have been working on a guitar ensemble piece as well as a research project on an American Folk song (connecting to their English IB topic of the Oregon Trail.)

4th graders have started working as an ensemble using our school’s new set of Hand Chimes!  They are so much fun to play, and it is great for the students’ music reading skills!

Chorus (4th AND 5th graders) will be performing at the holiday market and our winter concert.  They have a large amount of music to memorize and we are working hard on blending our voices and independent part singing.

In 3rd grade, I have collaborated with the classroom teachers to bring a bit of “Greek Chorus” flair to the Sankt Martin presentation (the IB topic is “How we express ourselves.”)  These students are also busy transferring their soprano recorder skills from last year to the larger, more mellow sound of the alto recorder. 

In 2nd grade we are preparing to start the soprano recorders by learning about the staff and how to read notes and rhythms.  We have also been focusing on our Orff instrument skills and have started preparing pieces for the winter concert.

1st graders are working on singing voice and rhythm.  We have learned about the Kodaly solfege hand signs (do, re, mi etc…) that help us so much to sing in tune and differentiate pitch.  We practice audiation (singing in our heads) and have started learning the proper ways to handle and play our classroom instruments.

In Kindergarten, we have been working on singing voice and steady beat through songs, games, and dances.  We are also learning about the Kodaly solfege hand signs.  We just started learning the winter songs for our next Open Sing!

It’s my belief that music should be taught and learned joyfully, with high expectations.  Just as students achieve literacy in German and English, they can achieve music literacy.  Thanks to our great staff and admin, as well as our supportive parents who help me create an environment where our young musicians can flourish!