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Primary School Music: Topics, Juilliard Core Works and Projects well underway

Primary School students at St Andrews International School Bangkok have been introduced to their musical topics and Juilliard Core Works and are enjoying exploring different musical instruments and genres in their music lessons.

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The new term’s topics are well underway in music and the children are enjoying learning about new music and taking on new challenges.

In Foundation Stage 1, children have enjoyed coming to the music classroom for their lesson and trying out some of the big percussion instruments. They are learning some routine songs and accompanying themselves in well-known songs, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, using a choice of instruments. They are learning to hold the instruments and play in time with the music. Last week they explored marching using ribbons to really move with purpose.

In Foundation Stage 2, the children have been exploring routine and movement songs with percussion instruments, including the large drums, and ribbons. They have selected instruments from a choice to fit with music and enjoyed doing this for the song “I went to school one morning”. They have also enjoyed singing “Wind the Bobbin Up” and “Miss Polly Had a Dolly” and last week explored playing the glockenspiels and xylophones. FS2 have also used percussion to copy different rhythms and tempo (speeds) and have shown really good listening. We will be further exploring loud and soft over the next few lessons.

In Foundation Stage 3, the children have been exploring melodic shapes with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. They have been tracing shapes in the air, mimicking them with their voices and learning Beethoven’s famous motif. They are now moving on to explore long and short sounds and will undertake their own Beethoven-inspired compositions.

Year 1 children are enjoying a new challenge for many of them which is learning the piano. They have explored black and white keys, posture, hand position and are moving on to developing their finger motor skills as they use the fingers one by one on the keys. In class music lessons the children are exploring music from around the world and have just been introduced to the work of their new Juilliard Core Work composer, George Gershwin.

Year 2 students are exploring the magical musical worlds of the characters in Mozart’s opera, “The Magic Flute”. In their singing lessons they are learning about call and response musical conversations. Soon, they will have their own musical conversations with Papageno and Papagena from Mozart’s opera.

In Year 3, the  topic of “Singing Games” this term links with their class topic of “Fit for Life”. The children have been exploring the characteristics of singing games in preparation for composing their own songs. They will also be exploring phrases with our Juilliard Core Work by Bach and trying to derive how musicians can create contrast in a musical conversation.

Year 4 have spent some time exploring how the Chinese musical instrument, the Pipa, can be used to create sound effects in a piece of battle music, as well as composing their own class battle piece. They have explored the Pentatonic Scale and have found that many Thai songs we know are based upon this 5 note scale. They will move on to composing their own pentatonic melodies on the piano, and learn how to play the Loy Krathong as a big class ensemble.

Year 5 children are busily trying out the trumpet, violin, saxophone and clarineo in preparation for their choices at the end of this term. In support of this, the children are exploring orchestral instruments in their class music lessons, especially getting to know some lesser known instruments, such as cello and bassoon. Year 5 will be exploring Bach’s Cello Suites as part of their Juilliard core work learning, and will learn about different ways to articulate a melody.

In Year 6 the children are settling into their new small group instrumental lessons with Mr Wan, Mr Note, Miss Beau and Miss Nat. In class music lessons they are focusing on pop music and have chosen a pop song to perform as a class. They will need to spend some time learning some new pop instrument skills and have loved chair drumming! This week they will develop their harmonic understanding of chords and learn to play chords for the song. More able players will learn different inversions of the chords and will create their own rhythmic, broken chord patterns to match their class song.