Submitted by Ann Robins, Raytown, Missouri
Idea posted October 22, 2003
Per the advice of several seasoned teachers, I decided to establish a routine for my classes. I feel like I'm covering my curriculum more in-depth and giving the students a variety of musical experiences, while providing them with the structure and dependability elementary students crave.3rd, 4th, and 5th grades:
During warm-ups, we focus on a variety of singing skills, roughly one per month. I use a variety of warm-ups, from John Fierabend, to traditional choral warm-ups, and beyond to simple folk songs. Here is a rough list of the singing skills we work on as the year progresses: Be brave!; Hit those high notes with your head voice; Use your ears to listen to your peers; Concentrate on the conductor; Big belly breaths; Excellent enunciation; Express your emotions...SONG OF THE MONTH:
Every month, we learn a new song - usually seasonal - from Music K-8 magazine (A sure hit!) or a folk song from our curriculum. We add part singing, conducting, singing skills, instruments, expression, et cetera whenever appropriate for an extension of skills and concepts we're working on during their lesson time.LESSON:
We use about 25 minutes to focus on our lesson and activity for the day. This year, I'm experimenting: I'm teaching units on a different musical element roughly each month. For each grade, I pull the specifics from our curriculum. I also have seven seating areas in my room (tables and carpet) that I have labeled with the different names of elements.SQUILT:
We end each lesson with SQUILT. I find this a handy time to expose students to a wide variety of multicultural music and integrate writing and test taking strategies (both huge in my district right now). We copy down the information in one class, then answer questions or solve problems based on or related to the piece during the next class; this way they get to hear a piece anywhere from two to four times!
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