A message from our music staff:

Mr. Berger and Ms. Dudlak are glad you're here! Check back often for updates and info about our Westgate music program. Mr. Berger can be reached via email at gberger@sd25.org, and Ms. Dudlak can be reached at jdudlak@sd25.org. Follow Mr. Berger on Twitter! @WEMusic160

Friday, February 21, 2014

This week in Music class: Sochi Olympics, Russian Composers and Drum Unit!

The Sochi Olympic games have been very exciting to watch these past few weeks, and the USA is doing very well in the medal count! I have especially enjoyed how the network has been doing special segments about the culture, history and traditions of Russia. It's a great way to help people around the world understand more about the host country!

This week I was inspired to share information about several prolific composers from Russia, including Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Our 3rd-5th grade students experienced Russian folk melodies and viewed several YouTube video clips. (See links below) We also did some rhythm work on the drums, playing along with "Russian Sailor's Dance" by Russian composer Reinhold Gliere, and "Trepak" from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky.

Finale of 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky

Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee on Accordion

"Trepak" from The Nutcracker Ballet by Tchaikovsky

The Drum Unit continues!

2nd grade classes played "Rhythm Rockets", while our 1st and MA 1/2 classes made final preparations for their concert on Tuesday.

Students mark their 'rocket' to show which of 8 rhythm patterns Mr. Berger played for them. Great rhythm assessment! (Sometimes, I trick them by playing a pattern that isn't on the card!!)

Students quiz each other on the rhythms, too!

Rehearsing for our concert on the stage!

Two popular games we play during the drum unit are "Monster Pattern" and "Hide the Cow". Meet our mascots, Rhythm Monster and Celebration Cow!

 Students have to keep from playing the Monster pattern, or they have to go into the center of the drum circle- the Monster's Belly, AKA the Cookie-Jar! They can only return to the game if their classmates help them get back in by not playing the monster pattern.

Hide the Cow is like "Hot/Cold" games. One student hides the cow somewhere in the music room, and another has to find it by listening to the dynamic level (loud/soft) of the drums being played by their classmates. It gets pretty loud when they're close to finding the cow!

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