Thursday, October 27, 2011

Catching Up

Oh man! I had such high hopes of making several blog postings each week. I'm so far behind! I have quite a few things that I've been meaning to post that haven't been because life got in the way. You know how things go. Anyway, here are a couple of videos of 4th graders singing Rockin' Frere Jacques way back in September.

A note about You Tube videos: You will notice that I uploaded these videos to You Tube. You should be aware that I have set the security of the videos to 'private' and that a person can't just go to YouTube and search for any of the videos of students that are posted on this blog. The only way to view these videos is to come to this blog to access them. I will always comply with the YME policy about posting student work, pictures, and/or videos on the Internet. Please contact me if you have any questions about this.

“Rockin’ Frère Jacques” arr. by John Riggio (ASCAP) © 2001 Plank Road Publishing, Inc. • All Rights Reserved • Used by permission.

Mr. Scheffler's Class

Mrs. Schaffran's Class

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Microphones for Recorder Karate

Several fifth grade students have been interested in recording Recorder Karate pieces from home. The problem is that many people do not have a microphone for their computer if they are running Windows (Mac computers have a built-in computer). I have one extra microphone that I've been checking out to students. I went searching on the Internet for cheap mics because I would like to have more on hand to check out to students. Guess what? I found one for a great price ($2.29 with free shipping...they did charge me tax, however). I can't fully endorse it yet because I haven't tried it out yet, but I thought I would post a link to the microphone in case someone wants to order their own microphone and not have to worry about taking turns checking one out.

The directions for recording Recorder Karate pieces using Vocaroo.com can be found here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vote for the YME Band in the GLEE Give a Note Contest

Please see the information below for directions on how to vote for our YME band program in a contest sponsored by the Glee television show. Thanks for supporting YME!
FOX, Ryan Murphy and NAfME
Great music is all about teamwork. That’s why these three champions - Fox, Ryan Murphy (the creator of GLEE), and the National Association for Music Education- have joined together through GLEE Give A Note to fight for struggling programs all across the country.

GLEE Give A Note will support music education by awarding $1 million dollars in prize money to music programs in jeopardy throughout the United States.

In this difficult economy, state legislators and school districts are trying to cope with serious budget woes by slashing education funding— music programs are often the first to go.

Yellow Medicine East had six students make a video to win support for this contest.  You can vote once a day and we NEED your vote!  I believe it is one vote per day, per IP address.  The girls were proud of their video and we would love your support.

Click here or add the address below to your browser.  You can vote once a day, we would LOVE the help and spread the word!!!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Exciting News: Donors Choose Project Funded!

I recently got some exciting news from DonorsChoose.org. A project I posted called The Magic of Movement and Music was funded! Thanks to a generous local donor and a donor from Texas, the project was funded half way. CenturyLink (formerly Quest) matched those donations and completed funding. This means our music classroom will be receiving a bucket of tennis balls, some small parachutes, and a bunch of colorful lummi sticks. We'll use these movement props to activate our music learning. I have some exciting things planned. Last spring, I purchased a book that was written by a music teacher friend from Wisconsin. It is full of music listening activities which incorporate tennis balls. As soon as the tennis balls arrive, we'll be diving into a few of those activities. The materials have been ordered and should make their appearance in our classroom very soon.

An overview of the past couple of weeks

Wow. Where does the time go? I was really hoping to make at least one post a week, but school is always so busy. I guess I'll just have to post when I can. Here's a few of the activities we did in our classroom over the past couple of weeks.

K/1 students have just a long unit on farm songs. We explored many different songs about animals and learned about some classroom instruments along the way. Two of their favorite activities from this past week is a game called We're Goin' to Kentucky and Going on a Bear Hunt. They also enjoyed learning a silly song called Apples and Bananas.

2nd graders learned a really fun folk dance called Alabama Gal. We also used the song Tony Chestnut (with it's silly actions) to talk about tempo. I've Been Workin' on the Railroad is another song they enjoyed this week.

3rd graders learned a Mexican Folk Dance called La Raspa. They get quite a workout when doing this dance! If you aren't out of breath when the dance is over, you aren't doing it correctly! We created and notated body percussion (snapping, clapping, patting, stamping) ostinati (short repeated patterns in music) to perform with a poem called Mary Lost Her Coat.

4th graders are learning a fairly complicated folk dance called 't Smidje. I hope to post a video of it at some point. We started work on a song called Grandfather's Clock. We are making lots of preparations for starting to play the recorder. Ask your child to demonstrate Hot Cross Buns on their arm recorder. If you have not sent a recorder to school with your child or $5 to purchase a recorder, please do so as soon as possible.

Nearly all 5th graders have completed their first Recorder Karate test by playing/recording Hot Cross Buns for me. This can be done at home (see this previous post for directions) or during class. I am hopeful that all 5th graders will have completed this task by the end of next week. We also used the iPads again and had fun with a chant called Boom Chicka Boom.

All the students in Grades 2-5 have enjoyed a seasonal song we learned called Hey Jack!