Tag Archives: Elementary Music

Brain Waves Stay Tuned to Early Lessons – NYTimes.com

New York Times Blog:

When children learn to play a musical instrument, they strengthen a range of auditory skills. Recent studies suggest that these benefits extend all through life, at least for those who continue to be engaged with music.

Read on… Brain Waves Stay Tuned to Early Lessons – NYTimes.com.

The Literary Essay & Its Similarity to Sheet Music

What is an essay? When you look up the word ‘essay’ in a dictionary or online, it’s actually somewhat fascinating how the definition and description about it is so similar to what you would assume you’d find when looking up the definition and description of ‘sheet music.’ It’s quite uncanny, really. With a simple word change here or there, or a twist of phrase, what can be said about an essay can be said about a piece of sheet music, or a music composition. Wait. What was that? A music ‘composition?’ Isn’t ‘composition’ a synonym for ‘essay?’ Well, there you go.

You see, according to Wikipedia, an essay is “a piece of writing which is often written from an author’s personal point of view.” That’s pretty much what a piece of sheet music is supposed to be, too. The best music is sheet music that is written from the composer’s point of view.

According to About.com, “Essays are brief, non-fiction compositions that describe, clarify, argue, or analyze a subject.” Wow. [Sheet] music is much the same.  A music composition should come from the heart and be honest and true. And certainly there’s no one out there that would argue that music is not a descriptive medium. Additionally, what serious, upper-level music student hasn’t been required at times to analyze a piece of sheet music? And let’s not forget the element of clarity that music can bring to just about any situation. Hence, the existence of love songs, silly songs, sad songs, children’s songs, love gone wrong songs, and more. Music makes going through everyday life better.

The primary definition of essay at Dictionary.com states that it is “a short [literary] composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretive. Again, wow. Sheet music primarily begins with a theme, and certainly music can be very regimented and analytical, yet its speculative elements and how it is interpreted are big components, too. It’s all relative to the composer and the listener, of course, and it’s different for everyone. But that’s exactly why music has such value. Sheet music is limitless.

Essays are an important educational tool as well, and can be written in various forms and styles, like compare and contrast, cause and effect, descriptive, narrative — the list goes on. To wit, sheet music takes on many forms and styles, too. Some we understand, and some we don’t. And therein lies part of the mystery of it all. Whether sheet music is written in an analytical style, or whether it is written in a myriad of contrasts, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the creative endeavor was entered into at all. The process of writing a piece of sheet music includes forming an introduction, developing a body, and a conclusion. Wait. What was that? Introduction…body…conclusion. Sounds like the three primary elements of a good essay.

Enter the Morty Manus “What Music Means to Me” Essay Competition. Deadline is March 25th.

Elementary Music & Reading: A Perfect Christmas Combo

Now that Halloween has passed, thoughts move on to the holidays of fall and winter: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s. And of course, it’s a natural progression that gift-giving (and buying) become high-priority items on many to-do lists.

As an elementary music educator, if you want to encourage the young ones in your life outside of the elementary music classroom to value not only music, but reading as well, there’s no better combination than a beautifully illustrated picture book with an accompanying CD that can be read and listened to over and over again.  Studies show that arts education directly correlates with improvements in children’s reading abilities.

It’s best to begin early, and while your elementary music classroom is a great place to encourage music and reading, it’s always nice to think beyond the school setting and the elementary music classroom itself. Get parents involved. Even if a child can’t read, the parent reading to them is a huge stepping stone to developing that child into a lifelong reader.

Lifelong readers become lifelong learners. According to the Children’s Reading Foundation “Without the ability to read, excellence in…school and beyond is unattainable.” That’s a pretty powerful statement, right? We think so, too, and if there’s ever a way to bring music, reading, and lifelong learning into the same equation, we’re all for it.  Consider a music [education] picture book/CD for all those little learners on your Holiday gift list!
For more great book/CD ideas, browse the latest edition of our Pender’s Music Co. Elementary Music catalog curriculum section.

 

Remembering the Santa Maria

Columbus Day has been celebrated all over the world in one form or another, since the colonial period, when European nation states established colonies on other continents. It was during the 400th anniversary of the United States observing and celebrating Columbus Day (1892) that teachers, preachers, poets and politicians really began using Columbus Day as an overall catalyst in teaching the ideals of patriotism to the masses.

War effort support and national loyalty to one’s country were popular themes that were used to encompass the celebration. Perhaps you made it a point to do something special and patriotic in your classroom last week, leading up to this day (since many schools were closed today); or maybe you’ll consider doing something in the coming days.

It’s always nice to remember where we came from, to reflect upon the sweet journeys of our lives, and to be thankful and proud of what we have, and what we’ve accomplished, either as individuals or collectively – as a classroom, a school, a state, a nation, a people.

Happy Columbus Day!

NEW Freddie the Frog: Beyond the Books | Finally Here!

NEW Teacher’s Book!

[The information below is taken from Sharon’s e-newsletter announcement that the long-awaited book, Freddie the Frog: Beyond the Books is finally in print. Get one now, for the beginning of your school year!]

From Sharon: How do I teach music beyond the Freddie the Frog storybooks?

The storybooks are just the introduction and the connection to Freddie.  Then, the learning really begins with Freddie introducing games, songs, and activities that always build on the foundation of the stories. Kids want to learn anything that Freddie thinks is fun!

The NEW Teacher’s Book outlines the 14 sequential lessons that I developed to teach music concepts, utilizing the storybooks and far beyond. The lessons include when and at what grade levels to introduce each book, how to introduce and review key concepts.  Plus, extension lessons that reinforce the learning.

It comes with a CD-Rom that includes:

Reproducible Student Flashcards

25 Coloring Pages

3 Interactive Whiteboard Lesson flipcharts/PPT files

Freddie the Frog® ClipArt

Assessment Report Sheet

Assessment Teacher Files

Available NOW

Sharon

Freddie the Frog®

-The Mascot of Music Education.

via NEW Freddie the Frog TEACHER’S BOOK is here!.

Other books and supplements in the Freddie Series:

Choral Students: Submit Text for an Upcoming Choral Arrangement!

Heritage Music Press continues to celebrate the value of music education and quality music for ensembles everywhere, and they’re inviting students to become part of the compositional process.

Through June 30, 2011, Heritage Music Press will accept submissions from students enrolled in any choral ensemble to be considered as a text for a future choral publication. The winning submission will be used by one of their composers to create a new composition for their Fall 2012 release. The student who submits this text will receive a $100 prize, and his or her choral ensemble may be given the opportunity to premiere the piece. Good Luck!!!

Have you Met Freddie the Frog?

Have You Met Freddie the Frog? 

Freddie the Frog is an elementary music sensation! He’s a music teacher’s best friend, especially in teaching preschool through third grade students the basic elements of music.

Using the 14″ hand puppet, in conjunction with the storybooks (written by Sharon Burch; illustrated by Tiffany Harris), is a fun, creative, engaging way to introduce treble clef, bass clef, tempo, beats, rhythm, and more.

The first book in the series is Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night, where Freddie explores Treble Clef Island and discovers big adventures. The treble clef comes alive as a map of where Freddie lives, and the various lines and spaces represent each part of the story.

In Freddie the Frog and the Bass Clef Monster, Freddie’s adventures continue, when he awakens from hiberanation to discover that he is not on his beloved Treble Clef Island. As he searches for home, he discovers dancing bees, a moonlit cocoon garden, a fire-breathing dragon and the Bass Clef monster. Here, too, lines and spaces represent a map of this eerie adventure, and sound effects and music bring it to life.

The series’ third installment is Freddie the Frog and the Mysterious Wahooooo, where Freddie and his best friend, Eli the Elephant discover the tempo, rhythm and beats of Tempo Island. Eli and Freddie are perfect in introducing kids to the joys of playing rhythm instruments.

Freddie the Frog and the Secret of Crater Island, the fourth in the series (so far), teaches six note names and completes the treble clef staff that was first introduced in Freddie the Frog and the the Thump in the Night.

All the books include an audio CD with story narration and bonus sing-a-long songs. In addition, there are supplemental teaching aids available, including flash card sets, a rhythm game, and posters.

______________________
Elementary Music Mondays, the series, posts to www.pendersbuzz.com about twice a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!