Tag Archives: instruments

Setting up a Sound Exploration Station

Every music teacher knows how much students just want to experiment (make lots of noise) when they come into a room full of instruments. As people, this probably drives us crazy, but as teachers, we should rejoice in the enthusiasm … Continue reading

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Up Close and Personal with the Instruments

I stumbled across this and just had to share. The Netherlands Philarmonic played Peter and the Wolf with GoPro cameras on several of the instruments, and put together this fantastic video! The camera on the trombone was my favorite. This … Continue reading

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Inquiry into Pitch

I’ve just started a sound exploration unit in Grade 2, focusing on pitch (and later, duration and dynamics). Last week was an introduction week, where the students tried singing from graphic notation. What began as the same up-and-down siren sound … Continue reading

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Time to Invest in Post-Its

After a number of years in PYP, most teachers lose track of how many Post-Its they have used: in workshops, in meetings, and hopefully also in class. I used to roll my eyes when those little yellow packs would come … Continue reading

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Inquiry: Musical Cycles

Following a previous post, someone asked about our inquiry into cycles. The main inquiry point is that the layering and varying of simple musical patterns can create a complex sound, and that this cycling technique is used in several musical … Continue reading

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The Listening Walk, Part III: Following a Score

Now that the students had inquired into how they could make their observed environmental sounds into musical sounds (inspired by Paul Showers’ The Listening Walk; see my Part I and Part II posts), we took it a step further. We visualized the … 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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Exploring Musical Cultures Through Concepts

All the way back to my teacher training, I have always tried to incorporate as much “world music” (sorry, I don’t like that term) into my teaching as possible. From PreK and all the way up, we sing in many … Continue reading

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Getting the most out of lessons

A studio teacher friend of mine shared this with me today, and I just want to pass it on. I know that many parents ask me for advice regarding private lessons for their students. Many parents want to start their children … 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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