Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Music- Elements and Instruments

Gathering Activity- we finger painted little pop bottles.  The kids loved using their fingers to paint the bottles and cover the whole thing with all sorts of colors. After painting the kids played with Mega Blocks while everyone finished painting.  (Thanks for T's Dad for stepping in and helping out this week while W was sick and couldn't be my helper).

Circle Time- Weather, Pledge, Day of Week
Letter M/W- We learned about the letter M and how when you turn it over it is the letter W! The kids made the M sound “mmmmmm” and the W sound “wuh”.
Each kid then picked out a picture from the hat and had to figure out if it was an M word or a W word.. then we sang the W or M song accordingly:

M is a letter a letter a letter
M is a letter that sounds like mmmmmmm
Mmmmmm is the sound Mmmmmm is the sound
Mmmmmm is the sound that the letter M makes
_________ starts with Mmmmmm- M!
_________ starts with Mmmmmm- M!
_________ starts with Mmmmmm- M!
(Yell)- ________ starts with M!

For W change the sound to "wuh"

Number 4- The kids practiced counting to 4 then we played “Duck, Duck, Goose” with 1, 2, 3, 4!  The kid tapping heads would count, "1, 2, 3..." then on the "4" the kid's head who was tapped was the goose and had to run around the circle.

Sound Game-  We talked about "What is music?" Anyone can make music- all sounds are music! The kids listened to sounds with their eyes closed and each kid took turns trying to make the sound I made- music is the sounds we make! Some of the sounds they had to identify were; tearing paper, clapping hands, knocking on the door, stomping feet, banging on tub, tapping a pen.

Movement Activity- Since we can make music with anything we made music with our hands and feet.  We sang "Mexican Hat Dance" with motions: Da da da da da da da- clap clap- da da da da da da da- stomp stomp.  We started slow then went faster and faster.  We talked about fast and slow and how music can be made fast or slow. We then played Freeze Dance- the kids danced and moved to fast/slow music (Slow and Fast from The Feel of Music) where they had to move fast in the fast parts and slow in the slow parts then Freeze when I said "Freeze!"  They all really liked Freeze Dance and asked to do it again (although most of them said they were tired afterward... what a great indoor activity to get out some wiggles!)

Click here to see a cute video

Music Notes/Staff- The kids then helped set up the music staff puzzle and I explained that this is how people read what notes to play by putting music notes on the music staff- we also talked about how notes and staff are always BLACK.  If the note is high they play a high note, if the note is low they play a low note.  We listened to a short clip of High music (Dance of the Reed Flutes from the Nutcracker) and Low music (The Elephant from Carnival of the Animals)The kids then put on notes on the staff choosing high or low and we sang the notes- HIGH, LOW, LOW, HIGH or whatever they have marked.      
Instrument Introduction-  We discused how an instrument is anything that makes music- just like our hands and feet we just used.  We look at the examples of instruments that we had and experimented with them to see what sounds we could make.  
Free Time with Instruments- The kids got to play with the instruments freely, but had to switch instruments when I said "switch" so that everyone could have a turn on the instruments that they wanted to try.
Snack Time-   We had black cherry jello notes with black licorice for music staff lines.  My amazingly awesome helper substitute (T's Daddy) read The Maestro Plays by Bill Martin while they ate.
Craft- After snack we finished our, now dry, maracas by putting beans inside them.  The kids had fun shaking them around and seeing what kind of music they could make with their new instruments. 
Loud/Soft-  T's Daddy then talked to the kids about how music can be soft and loud.  He had them play softly with their maracas then loudly.  We then listened to March of the Toys while playing their maracas loudly during the loud parts and softly during the soft parts. 
Recorder Activity- The kids were each given their own recorder to experiment with and try to make sounds with.  They tried blowing hard and soft and were each shown how to put their fingers down.   Some of them had a lot more control of their fingers than others (and those ones leraned the first three notes of "Hot Cross Buns"), but it didn't matter because they all had fun tooting away on their new recorder.  I let them toot recorder and play maracas for some free time before our last activity.  It sounded like what you might expect six 3-4year olds playing recorders to sound like, but it was sure cute and they were all having a blast.
Scribble Music- Our final activity tried to tie all the elements of music that we had learned together.  Each kid had a paper and some crayons on the floor.  They were instructed to close their eyes and listen to music (Hoe Down from Rodeo) and scribble to what they heard.  They scribbled hard when it was loud, fast when it was fast, slow when it was quiet, etc.  While they were playing I would say, "switch" and they had to hurry and pick up a differnt color of crayon (still with eyes closed) and continue scribbling.  They all really liked this and the pictres were varied and really cool.
Free Time- To end I let the kids play with blocks, cars, and Mega Blocks during free time while we had some soft music in the background.  It was amazing how quiet they all were after all the loud music activities:)

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