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Music Class News

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Last week, Ms. Erin Wight, our Juilliard specialist came to our school and worked with our JK students.

The JK students were very pleased and excited to have a class with Ms. Erin. The students started the class by being introduced to a warm-up activity called “Move and Freeze”. Ms. Erin taught an interesting JCC lesson where the students learned about “Creating a Magic Animal Call” through Mozart – The Magic Flute, “Der Vogelfänger”. We learned the 5 magic notes; whose letter names are “G A B C D”. Not only did the students try to play these notes on the keyboard and xylophone, but the students were taught how to find letter “G” on the keyboard. Following this lesson, we will focus on creating our own magic notes together. We are pleased to have Ms. Erin once again and making connections to the lessons she taught!

Aside from the fun things that happened in JK with Ms. Silvia, 1C and SKB had an opportunity to be observed and taught by Ms. Erin. In 1C, the students had a JCC lesson about “Following Virtuosic Contours” where they had a listening activity to trace the melody contours on a paper. In SKB, Ms. Erin taught them the JCC topic “Exploring Accents and Unpredictability”. The students enjoyed the lesson as they used their hands and their body parts to make a steady beat while doing very tricky accent.

This is the second visit of Ms. Erin Wight, the Curriculum Specialist from Juilliard this school year. I would like to say that it is a successful and productive visit. She was able to observe our 4th grade class as we did a JCC lesson that focused on “Blues”. It was great fun that the 4th grade students could demonstrate how to play chords on guitar and share ideas of the mood and meaning of the lyrics “Blues Before Sunrise”. All of our grade 4 students were able to think creatively and collaborate with each other. We also had the privilege for Ms. Erin to teach the Grade 5 students about developing an accompaniment to a given melody. In this case, one of Stravinsky’s melodies on the Rite of Spring was used for the students to experiment on. The Grade 5 students learned different ways to accompany a melody by using drone sounds, tremolo, and ostinato. They were also able to do a listening reflection where they were able to identify the ways Stravinsky accompanied a certain melody. Students were also able to learn about parallel, opposite, rhythmic and melodic accompaniments. Our Juilliard specialist also taught our grade 9 and 10 music students and they explored ways to develop an accompaniment using a poem. Ms. Erin also taught exploring rhythms through improvisation with the orchestra students. Students from beginner and intermediate orchestra were able to attend the class and figure out ways to read rhythmic patterns in a 6/8-time signature. After the observations and classes, Ms. Erin was able to leave us with positive feedback about what she witnessed in our music classes. She was very pleased with the work and dedication of our music department.