Welcome to Marlborough’s Music Blog! This blog is where you will find information about the various music ensembles at our school, updates about our music classes and notices about upcoming performances. We look forward to sharing our program with you!
Prior to winter break, Ms. Nielsen’s and Mr. Bergeron’s class began working on the Christmas song “Carol of the Bells.” This was a complex 4 part arrangements for bass, alto and soprano xylophones, soprano and alto metallophones and glockenspiels. Each student had the chance to learn each of the four parts on their instrument before focusing on their assigned part. Given our limited amount of time and the complexity of this piece, each class only managed to get through 1/2 -3/4 of the piece before the break. Below are recordings of each class performing a bit of “Carol of the Bells.”
At the end of last term, Ms. Nielsen and Mr. Bergeron’s worked on performing rhythms on xylophones. Following their Halloween song, “Ghost of John,” students began working on a piece called “Balafon.” This piece features 4 separate parts for xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels and is written in the Zimbawean style. Each student had the opportunity to learn all 4 parts before being assigned to one specific part. Each part also had the chance to play a soli (where a section plays their part by themselves). Below are recordings of Ms. Nielsen’s class and Mr. Bergeron’s class playing Balafon.
Last term in music, the Grade 3’s and 4’s worked on a musical story called “Why Bats Fly at Night”, based on a legend by the Kono people of Sierra Leone, Africa. They used instruments to add sound effects and to dramatize the story. As well, they learned all 4 parts to an instrumental arrangement on the Orff instruments which they performed to some of the other younger classes. Listen to Mrs. Borojevic’s and Mr. Prevost’s students as they perform this arrangement.
This term in Music with Mrs. Winter, the Kindergarten and Grade 1 students have spent time describing and responding to music in a variety of ways including song, movement, written reflections and art.
For example, after learning the song “Autumn Leaves” with actions and moving like leaves falling gently from the trees, we discussed how the music made us feel and how the music moved. All the classes brainstormed vocabulary that they could use to describe their feelings and the mood of this music.
We then listened to Vivaldi’s “Autumn” from the Four Seasons which was very different in mood, tempo and feeling. The students came up with words to describe this music and were able to compare it to “Autumn Leaves”.
Finally, they were able to respond to the music using art. They used drawing and colour to show how the music moved, how they felt about the music and demonstrate through their art the clear differences between these 2 pieces of music.
Students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 have been listening and responding to music in class. As an introduction to responding to music, students were taught a song called “Autumn Leaves.” Before learning the song, we discussed the word “autumn” and what that meant and then linked it back to leaves in the fall. Following this class discussion, each class learned how to sing the song and eventually learned actions to accompany the piece. After working on the song for a couple of music classes, each group was asked how the song made them feel (happy, sad, scared, peaceful, etc.). As well, they were asked to describe whether the music was fast or slow, loud or soft, smooth or detached. As a final activity for this piece, each student was given a picture of a blank tree and were asked to draw how the leaves in the song would fall off the tree. Since the song was soft, gentle and smooth, the students drew the leaves gently falling to the ground. In contrast, students were asked to listen to Vivaldi’s “Autumn” and describe what they heard and the differences between “Autumn Leaves” and “Autumn.” They were given another blank tree and were asked to draw how the leaves in this song would fall off of the tree. Since this song was faster, louder and more detached, the students drew the leaves swirling around in the wind. Below are the recordings of “Autumn Leaves” and Vivaldi’s “Autumn” along with some examples of the drawings produced from some of the Kindergarten students.
As part of music this term, students in Grades 2 and 3 have been learning to listen and respond to elements they hear in the music such as tempo, instrumentation, dynamics, and the overall mood or feeling present in the piece. We began this unit by listening to Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” Students were not told anything about the piece, composer or even the title of the work. Instead, they listened to the piece and created a song map of what they heard in the music. After this class discussion, each student was given a blank piece of paper and were given the task to listen to the music again and draw a picture of what they saw in their mind as they listened to the music. Whether it be a place, a person, a collection of images, they were not given any restrictions other than to provide lots of details in their picture. This activity was a completely individual task. Once they were finished drawing their pictures, they were asked to complete the picture by colouring it. Following the completion of their pictures, each class learned a brief biography of the composer, Edvard Grieg, along with the story that accompanies the piece “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”
Below is recording of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” along with the song map each class created and the pictures that each class drew in response to this piece.
On Thursday November 9th, both the Primary and Intermediate choirs performed at our Remembrance Day assembly.
Under the direction of Mrs. Winter and accompanied by Mrs. Johnson, the Primary choir began with the song “Follow Me in Peace.” Following the last post, the Intermediate choir performed “Little Red Poppy” which featured a power point presentation of Canadian soldiers during World Wars 1 and 2. Immediately following their performance, the Primary and Intermediate choirs performed a beautiful 2 part piece called “I Have a Dream.” At the close of the assembly while students were exiting the gym, the Intermediate choir gave a moving rendition of the well known hymn, “Amazing Grace.”
We would like to thank the students in both the Primary and Intermediate choirs for all of their hard work and dedication in preparing for this solemn assembly.
Over the past few weeks, students in Grades 4 and 5 have been exploring rhythms based off of the Halloween song, “The Ghost John.” Students began by learning how to learn to sing the song and eventually they were split up into 4 groups and sang the song in a 4 part round. After that, the students were assigned to various percussion instruments including Bass, Alto and Soprano Xylophones, Soprano and Alto Metallophones and Soprano and Alto Glockenspiels to learn a 4 part arrangement to accompany the song “The Ghost of John.” Each student learned the melodic and rhythmic part for each instrumental part and then were assigned to a specific instrumental part based on their instrument.
Below are recordings of each class playing the 4 part arrangement of “The Ghost of John.”
Over the past few weeks, students in Grades 2 and 3 have been exploring rhythms based off of the Halloween song, “Halloween Night.” Students were assigned various percussion instruments such as bass, soprano and alto xylophones, soprano glockenspiels, woodblocks, triangles, hand drums and a gong and learned a 8 part arrangement to accompany the song “Halloween Night.” Each student learned the notes and rhythms for each instrumental part and were then assigned their own instrumental part. The result was 8 different rhythmic and melodic patterns all playing at the same time.
Below are recordings of each class playing the 8 part arrangement of “Halloween Night”
Students in Grade 1 have been working on beat and rhythm in music this term. For Halloween, students learned the song, “Pumpkin Stew.” Classes started by learning the words to the song and patting the beat along with the words. From there, we explored the difference between beat and rhythm in music and connected it back to this song. Following that, students learned an ostinato (a repeating rhythm) along with a variety of actions to accompany the song. Next, the students were each assigned a rhythm instrument to play to represent the different parts of the ostinato. The first part of the ostinato was played by the woodblocks, followed by the finger cymbals, egg shakers and finally the jingle rattles. Every student learned the name of each instrument and how to play it properly. After a few practices, we put the entire ostinato together and practiced it with a recording of the song “Pumpkin Stew.” Below are recordings of each class playing their instruments.