One thing that I really struggle with in my teaching is incorporating meaningful listening into my lessons. I love John Feierabend's "Move It" DVDs and have lots of various listening lessons that I've gathered over the years that I use with my classes, but what I'm talking about is focused reading while the students are listening to a piece of quality art music. This year, with opening a new school, I decided to narrow that focus and concentrate on incorporating it with my third grade concepts. I shared in first post on this blog the PDF of my PowerPoint for "Rondo Alla Turk" which practices "tika-tika." Here is a preview of my PowerPoint for "Musette in D" by Bach that practices "Tika-Ti."
As with "Rondo Alla Turk," I have saved the complete PDF in google docs, you are welcome to click here for the PDF. And as with "Rondo Alla Turk," it is fun to incorporate body percussion once the students can successfully clap the rhythms. You'll notice that on the slide of "Theme B" it says keep the beat for 16 counts. There are rhythms in those measures that they will not be able to read until 4th grade and this was my way of making it accessible to my 3rd graders. I have them "follow the leader" during those 16 beats. To start, I am the leader the first few times and after some practice, individual students take over the "beat-leader" role.
The title of this post also mentions "tech-tips" and here's where the first "tech-tip" comes in. Before I share, I must preface this with the fact that I teach in a school district that has 26 elementary schools. Of those 26 schools, 9 of us have taken Kodály levels with the majority of us completing our certification. We have, over the past four years, created a Kodály collection for ourselves. Through this process we have become very close colleagues and friends and we share a lot of resources and ideas with each other. So, this tech-tip actually comes from my dear friend, Loretta Harvey. I have had a hard time finding a version of "Musette in D" that is slow enough for the students to successfully read and clap the rhythm. Her suggestion was to put it into Audacity, which is a free download, to slow it down. Audicity, if you're not familiar with it, is wonderful: in addition to being able to change the tempo or a recording, you can also adjust the key, speed, etc. and record directly into it.
Back to "Musette," here's a fun extension: Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma recorded a CD called "Hush" and one of the songs that they recorded was "Musette in D." Click here to listen to that recording, via YouTube. Once the students have listened to a standard performance of "Musette in D" and successfully performed the rhythms along with the recording, have them listen to this one: they always love it! And I've got another tech-tip for you (again, from Loretta Harvey): copy the URL and paste it into KeepVid. From here, it will walk you through how to save/download the YouTube clip. You can save it as an MP4 file (video) or an MP3 file (audio only) and it will directly accessible on your hard drive. I must admit that I sometimes when using KeepVid I feel like I need to put on my eye patch and shout "Arr!!" but I also don't trust the Internet to be readily available at all times when I'm teaching and this ensures that I don't waste any valuable class time with a technological problem.
I hope you've all had a great weekend! For me, my spring break is over today and this week I've got a second grade concert on Thursday. Hope you all have a great week!