In a Flash Club
In a Flash Club starts next week! Students will write their best flashcard time on a card at their keyboard and see if they beat last week's time.
Lets Find the Root
We learned that "the note above the gap's the root" — a new concept taught right from our song!
Homework: pp. 8–9 Students build triads by adding 3rds and 5ths as well as find the roots of chords.
John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith
This fun song from your childhood will get us learning a new style of bass root accompanying. Once we understand this we can improvise on a two handed marching style. It also is another opportunity to feel a half cadence. This song is also another opportunity to feel a half cadence (ends on a yellow chord instead of red).
I Can Build a Triad
Like the song says, "Pick any note to be the root... then add a third, and add a fifth!" Now that we are learning chord structure, our skipping snakes will help us to chant and spell each of our triads. Like any language, you speak (sing) it first, and then you can learn to write it. Want to practice making your own Skipping Snakes at home? Print out the attached file and have fun with your own alphabet magnets at home!
There are lots of different variations on our 'John Jacob' song. I remembered singing it as 'Schmidt' instead of 'Smith' as a kid, and instead of 'look there he goes again' we would just sing 'la la la la la la la.' It can be lots of fun to take a familiar tune and improvise in fun and crazy ways. Which way does your family like best? The Rock'n'Roll, the Sesame Street, or the Sing a Ma Jig version??
Keep practicing those purple flashcards! Time your child on three different days to see if they can improve their time by the end of the week. Be sure to write down their times in the "In a Flash" boxes.
Also, be sure to continue listening to the music album. I suggest #2 Cockles and Mussels, #4 "Monsters", #8 I Can Build a Triad, #11 Our Bugs Are So Fun.
This week was the first time we used the Orange Counting Cards in class. You can print your own miniature set and practice counting aloud while clapping. It's a fun way to see the bugs (beetle, beetle, beetle, beetle) and how they have now turned into "grown-up" beats (1+2+3+4+)! Be sure to keep it simple this week by only using cards in Set 1 with bugs and beetles.
Homework: pp. 6–7 Students sing the new lyrics to Our Bugs are so Fun and write in the counts below the notes.
The newest member of our Echo family has arrived — Echo Edison! He is Echo Ed and Echo Edna’s grandfather. He likes to ask musical questions and have the kids give him musical answers. He will not only help us learn technique and play finger exercises in 5 keys, but is the vehicle for helping us create our compositions this semester!
Cadence Blues is actually ONLY printed in the key of C in your songbooks, but on your music album you have the 'Blues' in other keys. While playing in the key of F or G, you still have to read the song written in the key of C on page 6. That's right! Your little musician will be transposing! Woot woot! Be sure to have your child play with the app to make practicing fun!
The new puppet show is entitled Monsters. However, the real name of the puppet show is Montagues and Capulets, also known as Dance of the Knights, and is from the ballet 'Romeo and Juliet' composed by Sergei Prokofiev. This puppet show is similar to many of our past puppet shows — it follows the ABA formula that composers love! But the themes are layered on top of each other, and we will further develop our ear training to distinguish the individual layers of sound.
Be sure to watch this video. Each theme plays alone so you can isolate it and get it in your mind before going on to hear them layered together.
Wouldn't it be funny if all the characters from our Monsters Puppet Show were actually just friends in their LPM (Lambda Pi Mu) fraternity at Monsters U??? Check it out in this fun post on our Let's Play Music Blog!
Or click here to here to see some fellow Let's Play Music students performing their own Monsters Ballet!
What a great first lesson! There is always so much info to pack in while I have you in class once a month! Thank you for coming!
This semester is packed with amazing musical concepts that some kids will get in high school music classes, if they are lucky. This is going to be an amazing ride as we make skipping snakes, play with the roots of chords, build triads, compose a song, add to our musical repertoire, and much, much more.
Because we are moving right along now, my hope is that you will continue to put a high priority on your practice time. Each week we will be building on concepts and skills practiced the previous week. Of course, we have been doing this all along in the other LPM semesters. However, if the students get behind this semester, they will most likely feel lost rather quickly. As a result, they won’t feel happy going to class because they won’t know the material and won’t have practiced the songs. This will quickly lead to frustration and unhappy students. We’d like to avoid this from the start, by putting a high priority on practice from the beginning. This will eliminate much of the distress that could develop because of neglected practice.
Tuition is due, so please look for an invoice in your email.
Homework: pp. 4–5 Students circle the chords that are in root position.
Primary Root Chords Song
Wow! We had to do some hard thinking during class with this song. Playing our old familiar song in a new way is helping us understand that root and how to play chords when they are in root position. We are jumping all over the keyboard to play this song, but don't forget ... to play these root position chords you simply put your thumb on the root and then play what 'feels' like a red chord.
Cockles and Mussels
Our first repertoire song this semester is an old Irish folk song from the 1800s. This week, we are focusing on learning the melody. The fun part of this song comes soon, when we look at the ROOT position chords in the left hand. This piece allows us to strengthen our fingers as hands play together, tests our sight reading skills, and gives us the opportunity to improvise with a broken chord variation. Ha ha! Is there anything it doesn't do?! Our Let's Play Music blog has a great post with fun facts and practice videos dedicated to our new 'Cockles and Mussels' repertoire piece. Gather the family together and enjoy!
Let's Find the Root
Ever wonder why we learn so much about chords in Let's Play Music? Chords are the building blocks of songs and harmonies. In our 6th and final Orange Roots semester, we will finally analyze and label the chord theory and structure that our fingers have been playing and singing since we were Red Balloons! The idea of 'it's not about the shape, it's about the pieces' will take on new meaning as we label those pieces and discover the most important of those pieces — the ROOT! Don your sunglasses and keep it cool while you sing 'Let's Find the Root' to understand what the root is, and how to find it in our chords! In case this feels a little foreign to you, I have attached a parent help that dissects the lyrics to Let's Find the Root with visual examples and simple explanations to better help you understand the theory concepts I am teaching in class (see below).
Does our Monsters Puppet Show remind you of anything? Checkout these trombonists as they play a 'Star Wars' trick on their fellow musicians during an orchestra rehearsal. Print out the attached coloring pages and color as you listen along!
As a music educator of 25 years, my passion is infusing others with music!