We’re eight months into the pandemic and doing school on Zoom. We’re all pretty boxed in right now. In Lower School music classes, we’re learning to play inside our boxes! With personal glockenspiels and percussion instruments and a little creative maneuvering around our headphone wires, we’re finding ways to dance, play, and compose. Take a look at what’s inside our Zoom music boxes!
To celebrate Halloween, students acted out a Trick-or-Treat “silent movie” to the music of Brahms’ Hungarian Dance #3 in F Major. 1st and 2nd graders pantomimed the characters, and 3rd and 4th graders had the option of acting with “finger puppets” or small figurines from home.
1st and 2nd graders loved doing a scarf dance to Vivaldi’s Autumn.
3rd and 4th Graders have been exploring rounds in music class. Rounds can be done with movement too! Since we can’t sing in school right now, we did a “boxed movement” round to the autumn song “Fly, Fly, Fly” by Libana.
Our 1st and 2nd graders love their personal music kits, especially the glockenspiels! They help us explore both rhythmic and melodic concepts. Before Halloween, we used them to add sound effects to the rhyme “Five Little Pumpkins.”
2nd graders are learning to accompany themselves with simple and broken drones on the glockenspiel.
3rd and 4th graders enjoy composing rhythms and then playing them on their small hand percussion instruments.
We use pictures and speech to guide our rhythmic composition. Then we translate the words into music notation.
In 4th grade music, we learned “Great Big House in New Orleans,” an American folk song about a house filled with pumpkin pie. Then we made a pie chant with our favorite pies!
When we learn new songs, students at home are encouraged to sing along. Students in school are invited to hum, say the words, or audiate - mentally sing the song inside their heads. We all use solfege hand signs to help internalize the pitches.
The current “no singing in school” rule gives us extra opportunities to practice solfege hand signs and learn sight-singing skills.
Composition, sight-singing, movement exploration to beloved Classical music favorites . . . we only occasionally touched upon these activities in the regular music classroom. Zoom music definitely has its limitations, but it also has afforded us some unexpected opportunities. Here’s to thinking outside the box so that we can PLAY inside it! Lower School students, thanks for your joyful participation in music class!