Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Music Teacher Coffee Talk Episode #6: Older Grades Tips and Tricks

In our latest Music Teacher Coffee Talk episode #6 Carrie and I discuss several strategies, specific activities, and songs that appeal to 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.
You can listen to that episode here: 

Poison Pattern Aurally (Melodic or Rhythmic)
  • The teacher writes a four beat melodic pattern on the board using solfege and stick notation, (or displays a melodic flashcard,) This is the special pattern. The class sings the special pattern with hand signs.
The Game:
  • All students stand. The teacher sings a four beat melodic pattern, (using solfege and hand signs,) Students are asked to echo each pattern except the special pattern. Students who echo the special pattern are “out.” “Out” students sit and hand sign patterns but don’t sing.

Advanced rounds:
*The poison pattern is erased from the board.

*The teacher sings on a neutral syllable but shows hand signs. Students must sing the solfege and use hand signs.

*The teacher sings on a neutral syllable but without showing hand signs. (It’s helpful to let the students know that you will begin each pattern on the same note.) Students must sing the solfege and use hand signs.

My Poison Pattern games for rhythmic reading are called Watch Out for the Cheetahs and can be found here (4 sixteenth notes), here (eighth sixteenth notes, and here (half notes.)

Go Fish (Rhythm or Melody cards)
  • Students stand in a circle. Each card is reviewed as a class and then tossed into the “pond,” face up.
  • When there are several cards in the “pond,” the game begins with the teacher vocalizing a card. The class must repeat the pattern. Once the pattern is repeated by all, the students can indentify the card with that pattern by placing a hand on the card. (Not a foot.) The first student to touch the card wins it.
  • The student with the most cards at the end of the game (after all cards have been said,) wins.
Caution: Students tend to get overly aggressive in this competitive game. Set-up rules for safety. (Ex: If you leap into the pond before the pattern is repeated you are eliminated from the next 2 questions.

King of the Mountain (Rhythm or Melody Cards)

·      Students sit in a circle, each student is given a rhythm flashcard to place in front of them.

·      Warm-up: Each student takes a turn speaking his own rhythm plus the rhythm of the student to his right going counter-clockwise around the circle. (The teacher keeps a steady beat using a small percussion instrument.)

The game:
·      The “King” or “Queen” is the student with ta ta ta ta   , (or another rhythm chosen by the teacher.)

·      The “King” or “Queen” starts by saying his card plus any other card in the circle.

·      The student whose card was called then says his card plus any other card in the circle.

·      Play continues until someone fails to speak his or her rhythm correctly, stumbles saying the rhythm, does not stay with the beat, or fails to come in at all.

·      The student who falters leaves their spot on the mountain and then goes to the bottom of the mountain, (to the direct left of the King or Queen.)

·      When students move towards the top of the mountain, their first rhythm card stays in his or her spot, (everyone now has a new rhythm.)

Carrie and I also discus student favorite songs and games in episode #6. 

  • Color mix-up: A variety of rhythms are given out (green, blue and hot pink, for example) and students cannot call a rhythm that is the same color as their own color.
  • Clap/Don’t say: Students only clap the rhythm. (they really have to listen!)
  • Play/Don’t say: Students play the rhythm on small percussion instruments.
  • Play small percussion instruments
  • Play recorders: ta=B   ti ti =G , etc.
  • Play body percussion

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