All 1st-5th Graders at Green Valley will participate in a General Music class each week. Hooray!
I primarily approach the General Music classes from an Orff-Schulwerk perspective. The Northern California Orff-Schulwerk Association wonderfully describes the Orff approach to music education as “weaving together the strands of speech and poetry, movement and dance, singing, drama, improvisation and playing musical instruments. Classes take place in a non-competitive atmosphere where joy, play and exploration lead naturally to the pleasure of making music with others.” Through fully exploring elemental music, learners can make music truly their own.
Students should come to class expecting to think, learn, move, and enjoy making music together.
Kinder-1st grade – Laying the Foundation
- Children participate in “Listen & Move” activities. The students “show” what they hear (fast/slow, high/low, big beat/little beat).
- Simple songs are taught to encourage “in-tune” singing with everyone having opportunities to sing with the group, or sing by themselves (sometimes with puppets).
- Exploration on various percussion instruments
- Traditional song games.
2nd grade – Putting the pieces Together
- Ear training formally begins which will lead to reading rhythms (using a syllable system) and reading pitches (using “do, re, mi” syllables).
- Children learn to keep the beat on a xylophone while singing a song. We also add other instrumental parts to the song.
- Simple folk dances as well as more complex folk dances.
3rd grade – Recorder Karate!
- Reading simple rhythms in duple and triple meter
- Read “do, re, mi” and “A,B,C”
- Learn to play the recorder
- Sing in 2-3 part rounds
- Perform with singing, movement, xylophones and recorders!
- Introduction to Jazz Styles
- Singing with “head” voice and “chest” voice as appropriate for style
- Syncopated rhythms
- Swing time (for jazz)
- 2-part choral arrangements
- Various world music forms
- AND MORE!