Music Centres!

We love using centres in Music class. I always change the activities but pictured above are a student-led jam in the back of the room (circle of ukuleles/guitars), music books on the carpet, music apps on iPads, and a centre with me exploring new instruments (cello, electric guitar, and drum machine). I have them point to the next station before they move. Centres are also great for assessment and getting to listen to a smaller groups of kids!

“Outdoor” Music Showcase

Forest fire smoke?! I plan concerts very carefully but didn’t see this coming. We had very little time to pivot our set up from outside to the upper gym, but Ms Goggin, the kids, and I pulled it off! Gr 6/7 showed off our original Korean Drumming group composition, Gr 2s warmed our hearts with songs, 12 solo performers wowed us with their skills, and the School Band and School Singers? Well, there’s “Nobody Like You.”

Korean Drums

Air time before the downbeat! I feel very grateful for our borrowed TDSB Community Korean Drumming Kit and instructor Charles Hong. We all jammed and composed with the janggos, sogos, and buks. Kamsahamnida!

Listening, Improvising, and Composing…

are my favourite parts of music education. My students continue to astound me with their creativity and willingness to take musical leaps of faith. Their favourite listening games are “Clap/Double clap,” “Shoe Songs,” and “Pass the Paper in Silence.” Gr. 2-6s have also composed their own music using some “Western European Notation” – making sure we discuss that this is one way, and not the only or best way, to write down our music creations.FullSizeRender

Soundtrap competition on @msfrasermusic YouTube channel

Check it out! After our “Internet Famous” concert, JLPS Gr. 4-8s used a cool program called Soundtrap to each create music that they thought would go viral. Next students voted in anonymous class competitions. There were so many great pieces! The 9 winning pieces (two ties) are up on my brand new YouTube channel and the one that gets the most likes+views=the winner. It’s fun to hear and feel the excitement spread throughout our school community. We’re listening to each other.

“Internet Famous” Gr. 4-8 Concert

Honestly, these kids deserve to be famous! This fall we made a long list of songs that have gone viral and each class chose two songs to learn. Students helped me figure out the melodies and accompaniment parts and chose their instruments. We arranged and re-arranged our pieces…and rehearsed! I don’t think I’ve ever had so many instruments playing in one class ensemble: drums, bass ukulele, ukuleles, guitars, keyboards, bass xylophones, metallophones, xylophones, glockenspiels, vocals, violins, violas, and cello! Our 7-class grande finale was with the 15-year-old singer/songwriter, BoluSings, all performing her famous piece, “Just Breathe.” Ahhhhh

“Bach Remix” Gr. 1/2-3/4 Concert

JLPS’s first full onstage concert…ever! I can’t even. During this fall’s music classes my primary students and I made magic happen. We walked to our local Toronto Music Gardens and learned about the music of J.S. Bach. Then each of the 7 classes chose a different Bach melody and took it on a rollercoaster ride. We remixed it. We added body percussion, lyrics to notes, mallet/ukulele/percussion parts, and arranged our new pieces. Students chose their performance instruments. Then we rehearsed, discussed, and rehearsed some more. Students’ voices made all of our musical and concert decisions. We set performance goals and, dear audience, we met them! What a show! When we reflected together on our concert each class told me that they can’t wait to perform again – they’re begging for a concert this spring! They loved being celebrated. Thank you JLPS community!