August and September
How Do You Do T? has been a great ice breaker/mixer for first grade students. They get to meet and greet students in their class; getting to know each other in a fun silly manner. Ask your child what it means to "shift away".
The students have had fun singing a silly song called Biddy Biddy. We sing the song and play a specific rhythm pattern on the tambouringe on the ending phrase of the song. Then they pass the tambourine to their neighbor. Each student gets several turns playing the tambourine. As we sing each time we change the word Biddy Biddy to Daddy Daddy, Baby Baby, Kitty Kitty, or appropriate words of their choice.
We have just begun a lovely song called Honesty. The lyrics of the song were written by 1st graders at Tam Valley several years ago. As students learn to sing the verses they will learn a variety of examples of what it means to be honest from a first grade perspective. This is also a great song to begin learning AB form (chorus - verse).
Ask your child to demonstrate the simple rhythm of a ti-ti and a ta! Each week they learn a new combination of ti-ti (eighth notes) and ta (quarter notes). They play them on sticks and shakers to different recordings from bluegrass, jazz, a cuban rumba, and a Indian Bollywood piece. Classical is jus around the corner.
** You can listen to recordings of the songs we are singing on this website under 1st grade recordings. Continue to check the website for updates on performance dates and times as well as recordings, song lyrics, and curriculum.
October and November
Halloween was especially fun in music with our spooky xylophone playing and singing of Something Sittlng On The Porch. Students built on their xylophone skillks from last year of walking and hopping techniques. In addition this year, they learned to distinguish between high notes and low notes while playing 4 notes (low D and G) verses (high D and G) while accompaning their singing of this song. Ask your child to sing it for you and you can decide what you think is "Sitting on the porch?".
We are currently working on 2 other songs in celebration of Thanksgiving: Native American Stick Song and Kinder Than Necessary. The Native American Stick Song is in 3/4 time. Students are learning to play body percussion then transfer to rhythms sticks and partners all while singing. The Kinder Than Necessary Song was writting by Park School students last year. Each verse has words from various grade levels in their own words to express what it means to be "Kinder Than Necessary". Students will be able to identify the different parts of the song; chorus, verse, and pre-chorus.