Tag Archives: creativity

Composition and Notation, Part II: Moving to Traditional Notation

If you haven’t read Part I, have a look there first. At some point, the graphic notation will start to prove difficult. Students who are making more conscious, precise decisions about dynamics, pitch, and rhythm will need an equally precise … Continue reading

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Composition and Notation, Part I: Don’t Sweat the Small Staff

I used to get very frustrated trying to teach notation or getting students to accurately notate their compositions on the staff. But I’ve changed, and so can you!* Don’t get bogged down with notating compositions. It kills the creative flow. … Continue reading

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Composing with Body Percussion

It’s a frustrating thing the day you realize that your Grade 4 students are still confusing beat and rhythm, and that they don’t read rhythms quite as well as you imagined they should. I dare say—and feel free to challenge … Continue reading

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The Listening Walk, Part II: Making Sounds into Music

Following our inquiry into environmental sounds (inspired by Paul Showers’ The Listening Walk), we explored how that might translate into music. Sitting together as a class, a few students shared some of the sounds they had drawn/written in their journals, … Continue reading

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Settling In

I have been in schools before where the classroom teacher quietly leads their class, single file, to Music. But more often than not, my classes now come running in, still engrossed in the conversation they had started on their way … Continue reading

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Expression and the Elements of Music

In Grade 2, I do a focus on the elements of music, reviewing many familiar terms (tempo, dynamics, pitch) and introducing new musical terminology as well. It’s the common PYP cycle of analysis and synthesis: We break the music down … Continue reading

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Trying out GarageBand

I’m dabbling more and more in Apple’s ubiquitous GarageBand now. I used to think it was too complicated for my primary school students (without spending more time than it’s worth, anyway). But as I started playing with it, with very … Continue reading

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I Wanna Dance with Somebody!

Yes, I am a child of the eighties. I am also at a school with no dance in the curriculum, and I gather that many PYP music teachers are in similar situations. And whether or not there is a qualified … Continue reading

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HOTS for the Elements

I took a new approach to introducing the elements of music this time around. Inspired by oh-so-many PYP workshops where we split up the reading and then taught each other, I split up the students into groups so that each … Continue reading

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The First Day of School, continued

Once the kids have moved around and talked a bit, they can get settled in pretty quickly. So next I like to make an old-fashioned circle on the carpet and do some large group bonding—again, with the idea of getting … Continue reading

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