Tuesday, 8 August 2017

2017, Term 3, Weeks 3 & 4: Playing with your food - literally

 This week we are looking at musical instruments made from vegetables - so maybe you can lay with your food!

August 17  (NZ time - but officially on the 16th August, US time) - Today is the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. 

Here's a few ways to commemorate his music: 

Here's a clip of Elvis Presley singing - and dancing - to Hound Dog in 1956 - at the very earliest stages of his career. 
Here's a clip of Elvis singing Hound Dog through the years. 

Jailhouse Rock line dance (Seniors) 
Jailhouse Rock (Juniors) 
Viv Las Vegas  (Seniors) - a bit of fun - and quite fast. 

Ukulele  songs:  
Medley  with Blue Suede Shoes and Hound Dog   (Note: Rockin' Robin isn't an Elvis song)
Here's Elvis performing Blue Suede Shoes in 1968 

Can't help falling in love (21 pilots version) 
Can't help falling in love  (Elvis version) 

Add bar lines for 4/4 timing. (Scroll down to see completed version.)

This week's tongue twister.

Did you know you can make music with vegetables? 

Have a look at this person play happy birthday on a carrot, some broccoli, potato, and Japanese radish. 
This is a story about the Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna  and it shows you how they make their instruments and play them. 
This is the London Vegetable Orchestra. Can you recognise this music? 
And here's two vegetable players on China's Got Talent. Can you work out what's happening? 
Here's how you can make your own carrot recorder. Make sure you have an adult supervise - and get permission to use any tools . . . 

Can you clap the rhythm of this menu? 

Dances Junior:  Goodnight Moon 
Get ready to Wiggle,  Itsy Bitsy Spider,  Hot Potato 
Jailhouse Rock, Land of a Thousand Dances,  Everything is Awesome,  Fight Song,  (start at 24)
Dances Senior
I Gotta Feeling, Waterloo, William Tell Overture (With some safety modifications . . . ) 

Juniors  - This week's nursery rhyme: 
Incy Wincy Spider  (sometimes known as Itsy Bistsy Spider) 

Here's some hand actions to do as you sing the song. 


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

2017, Term 3, Week 2: Rubbish Music?

                                    This week's tongue twister - how fast can you say it? 
This week we continue to look at, and listen to, interesting instruments. This weeks instruments are rubbish . . . 

Find Paraguay and find New Zealand. 
 Some vocabulary:
Paraguay - is a country in South America.  It's capital city is called Asunción. It is land locked which means it has no coast and no sea.  Its neighbours are Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. 
philharmonic -  a full size  orchestra may be called a symphony orchestra or a philharmonic orchestra, and includes strings, brass, woodwind and percussion instruments.  
land fill - a dump or tip where rubbish is taken. After a while, it is often buried or covered over with soil. 

Cateura is the biggest rubbish dump in Paraguay, a country in South America. The families nearby all work at the rubbish dump.  They are very poor, and they live in very poor conditions.  Over 40% of the children don't finish their schooling as their parents need them to help work in the land fill. Drugs and gangs are a problem.  An environmental engineer called Favio Chávez was working on a recycling project at Cateura,  and he wanted to do something to help stop the kids playing in the rubbish landfill and getting into trouble.  Chávez had a musical background, so when a rubbish picker found an old violin,  they recycled it to make a new instrument  and then went on to make more instruments from the recycled rubbish, and organised a group of children to learn to play them.  It was difficult finding a place to practise, and there were many obstacles, but the children were keen to learn and worked hard with Chávez  to form an orchestra.  News started to spread about this amazing group of children and their orchestra leader, and eventually the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura travelled all over the world to sold-out performances.  

Here is a short documentary about the orchestra and some images of the instruments they play.  

Here is some information about  a film, called Landfillharmonic  made about the group. There are lots of images of the orchestra and Cateura - showing the landfill,  the instruments, and their community

In this video, the orchestra are playing  Beethoven's Ode to Joy at a concert in Holland.  
Here are some videos - of varying quality recording and sound - of the Landfillharmonic orchestra. 

The orchestra from last year will remember this piece of music called "Canon" by Pachabel. 

And Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A little night music)  by Mozart. You can compare it with a standard orchestral version here. 

Add bar lines in 4/4 timing. Scroll down for completed version. 

Goodnight Moon   Hot Potato        I like to Move it, Move it    Itsy Bitsy Spider 
Everything is Awesome      Land of a Thousand Dances   Jailhouse Rock 

Gotta Feeling , Waterloo, Don't Stop Me Now 

Here's Queen doing 'Don't Stop Me Now' .  Lead singer Freddy Mercury died in 1991. 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

2017 Term 3 Week 1: Interesting Instruments - The Typewriter

Welcome back to school for Term 3. 
This term we are looking at interesting instruments and interesting ways instruments are used. We are also working on vocal skills, including  enunciation, voice production, expression, choral speaking (rhymes and poems), and singing to accompany playing the ukulele. Juniors are learning about nursery rhymes and songs that tell a story. We continue to learn about beat and rhythm, notation and music symbols, and all elements of music but especially dynamics and tempo. We continue to develop movement skills and vocabulary and to learn and enjoy dancing routines and to create our own.Juniors are developing performance skills using percussion instruments and Seniors are learning and developing ukulele and glockenspiel skills, and Intermediates are learning ukulele skills. Specialist Intermediate groups are learning about 12 bar blues and will compose their own song. Throughout the term we develop and extend our vocabulary and general knowledge based on planned and incidental learning in our music classes. It is going to be a busy term. 


1. The Wheels on the Bus , Hot Potato I Like to Move it 

2. Everything is Awesome Good Feeling  , Land of a Thousand Dances

3. I Gotta Feeling , Waterloo,   Don't Stop Me Now 

Tongue Twisters: 
Tongue twisters are a great way to warm up for singing and to help us to improve our enunciation (saying sounds and words clearly). 
Add bar lines in 4/4 timing. (Scroll down for completed version.) 

The Typewriter  composed by Leroy Anderson, and performed by "Voces para la Paz" (Voices for Peace), an orchestra in Spain. 

This short video  about type-writers is from 1950 - the same year that Leroy Anderson composed "The Typewriter". It shows you where typewriter technology was at that time, and helps explain some of the typists actions and sounds in the performance. 

Leroy Anderson (1908 - 1975) was an American composer known mostly for short, 'light' orchestral music, and for using creative instrumental effects - including using non-musical instruments in a musical way. 

Here's a very funny version of The Typewriter where the actual typewriter doesn't work properly and the musician has to do his bests to keep in time and still make a sound to fit in with the rest of the orchestra. 
Here's a comedy skit from the 1960s based on The Typewriter by Leroy Anderson,  by a comedian called Jerry Lewis. 
And a skit about a typist having difficulty moving from typewrite technology to computer technology. 

(Intermediates -STEAM group) Here's an interesting version of the blues - this is the Boston Typewriter Orchestra with a  song called the Underwood Blues.  (Underwood was a brand of typewriter.) What makes it a blues song?  What instruments are used? 

Here is a the first page of the music score of the The Typewriter. Can you follow the rhythm pattern? 
Warm up and focus: Good Night Moon by Claudia Robin Gunn 

Nursery Rhymes
The nursery rhyme Little Miss Muffet first appeared in print in 1805. It's origins and meanings are not known for sure.  
A tuffet 
Curds and whey
tuffet - a low seat or footstool, completely covered in cloth so legs are not visible. 
curd  - (curdle) when milk starts to form solids
whey - the liquid left over after the milk has formed curds
arachnophobia - fear of spiders 
arachnid - spider 

A famous painting of Little Miss Muffet by English painter Sir John Everett Millais. 
A Bullwinkle cartoon about Little Miss Muffet 

Kermit the Frog Interviews Little Miss Muffet

Vocabulary "The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night":
Many versions of this song have appeared since its first known version in the 1400s (15th century). This is Pete Seeger (1919 - 2014) from the 1960s. Note that some of the words and tune may be a bit different. 
chilly - cold 
therein -  another way of saying in there 
den - a fox's home 
strife - worry or trouble 
carving - cutting - a carving knife has a long blade to cut meat

The Fox (Ukulele/Guitar D)
(Highlighted words are for soloists)  

The fox went out on a chilly night
He prayed for the moon to give him light                               
 He had many a mile to go that night
Before he reached the town-o, town-o, town-o
He had many a mile to go that night                                
Before he reached the town-o

Well, he ran till he came to the great big pen
The ducks and the geese were kept therein
He said, "A couple of you are gonna grease my chin
Before I leave this town, town-o, town-o"
He said, "A couple of you are gonna grease my chin
Before I leave this town-o"

He grabbed the grey goose by the neck
Threw the ducks across his back
And he didn't mind the quack, quack, quack
And the legs all danglin' down-o, down-o, down-o
He didn't mind the quack, quack, quack
And the legs all danglin' down-o

Old mother Flipper Flopper jumped out of bed
Out of the window she popped her head
Cryin', "John, John, the gray goose is gone
And the fox is on the town-o,  town-o, town-o
She cried, “John, John, the gray goose is gone and the fox is on the town-o!”

Well, the fox he ran to his cosy den
There were his little ones, eight, nine, ten
Cryin', "Daddy, daddy, better go back again
'Cause it must be a mighty fine town-o, town-o, town-o
Daddy, daddy, better go back again
'Cause it must be a mighty fine town-o"

Then the fox and his wife without any strife
Cut up the goose with a carving knife
They never had such a supper in their life                      
And the little ones chewed on the bones-o, bones-o, bones-o
They never had such a supper in their life
And the little ones chewed on the bones-o

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

2017, Term 2, Week 10 - Last week of the term

It's  that time of the term again - the last week. 

Check out the original Jail House Rock  video - over 50 years old!
Jail House Rock - Elvis Presley - Try this dance in groups of four.
Or this version  of Jail House Rock as a line dance.
Jail House Rock - Junior Version (although still tricky enough!)

How many music symbols can you recognise? 

Monday, 26 June 2017

2017, Term 2, Week 9: Musical Fidget Spinners

What music symbols can you recognise? 

Fidget spinners are all the rage at the moment - so why not have a fidget-spinning song?

This one, called Fidget Spinner Song for Kids is likely to be very catchy - but probably more annoying than the fidget spinners themselves. 

And one more Fidget Spinner song. 

 Add bar lines to have four beats in each bar.  Scroll down to end of post for completed version. 

Notation Song  - Remember that notes in the space spell FACE, and notes on the line (EGBEF) do the rhyme. 

Another notation song: Time to learn more about notes on the line - EGBDF - Every Good Boy Does Fine

Here's a flashcard quiz to test your knowledge of FACE and EGBDF. 

And here's a note name game to play by yourself on your own device. Just press the note name on your keyboard. 

Scroll down to last week's post to check out the notes on the staff and then find them on the keyboard. 

Dances - Rock around the clock (juniors) 

This week's nursery rhyme is about the old woman who lived in a shoe.

This is a rock'n'roll version of the old lady who lived in the shoe - with quite a different story to it. 

Here's Kermit the frog trying to find the old woman to interview her for Sesame Street News. 

How do they do this? Can you see that they have to keep in time with the music and count to keep together.

Ukulele and Glockenspiels: 
A new song: Rock around the Clock.  This is in the key of A and uses A, A7, E7 and D7. 

Here's the original from the movie Rock around the Clock

HomeworkWatch this video about rhythm, and learn the difference between beat and rhythm.  It carries on from last week's video about beat.  Skip to the  explanation at 1:25 and the practise exercise at 3:07.  Note that USA names are used here: semibreves are called whole notes,  minims are called half notes, crotchets are called quarter notes, and quavers are called eighth notes  in this video.