2018-03-09 St Patrick’s Day Lesson Ideas
What's New in Musicplay with Denise Gagne
Wow! In one week, we’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day, seen the start of the Winter Olympics, and started Lunar New Year celebrations – including Chinese New Year on Feb. 15th!
In this newsletter I’m going to share the process I use to teach ties, using the song Obwisana. When first writing and recording songs for Musicplay in 1999, the internet wasn’t the wealth of information it is today. I asked everyone I knew in Red Deer, Alberta (not a very multicultural city in 1999) if they know someone from Africa who would teach me some African children’s songs. I finally was able to connect with “Nana” who was a health inspector in Olds. I had some songs in secondary sources, but wanted some that came right from the source. Nana had been born in Ghana, lived in Botswana, then emigrated with her family to Canada. She remembered singing Obwisana as a child. She didn’t have a literal translation for the song, but remembered that it meant, “Grandma, the rock hit my finger. It hurt.”
MAD MINUTES – A Great Way to Help Students Develop Note Reading Abilities!
Mad Minutes help students develop their note reading ability. Mad minutes were invented by math teachers to help children develop instant recall of math facts. In music, Mad Minutes are timed drills to practice letter names. As the students enter the classroom give a mad minute and a pencil to each student. Usually I hand out the papers, and the first student in line gives out the pencils.
A recent Facebook asked for help finding a cute song for K-3 students. In this article, I’m giving suggestions for easy and cute holiday concert ideas for your primary (PreK-Grade 3) students. If you choose a song that is already familiar to the students it will be quicker and easier to learn. Some of the ones that most will have heard before include those in the K-3 Christmas Concert Idea Book.
If you only see your K-6 music students for 30-60 minutes/week, you have very limited time to assess student progress. In this article, I want to give suggestions that will help you make the most of the limited time that you have.
Bucket drumming is a really engaging activitiy for your music classes. It’s inexpensive to equip a classroom with buckets and sticks, and they are easy to stack and store, so bucket drumming is an activity that’s accessible to all.
I received a question this week, and think this is a good forum to post my answer.
We’re down to the last 2 weeks of school for Canadian teachers, and this can be a tough 2 weeks to get through. Taking your classes outside can give you some welcome sunshine and fresh air, and give you an opportunity to do some activities that don’t work as well inside.
I’d suggest that outside to save your voice from vocal strain, you use a portable microphone. You can order a Chattervox online – http://www.chattervox.com. (Themes doesn’t sell them any longer) . If you don’t wear a microphone, consider taking a coach’s whistle with you and develop some hand signals with your class.