Let’s sing songs from around the world!

Just because we’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean we can’t still take a digital field trip! Today, try learning some songs from around the world! Just like we did for St. Patrick’s day, learn about where the songs come from. Look them up on a map, look up some fun recipes to make from that country, and listen to some other music from there.

Mr. Beekman and I love to travel. Here’s a picture of me in Reykjavic, Iceland! 

VPI and Kindergarten students can try this Filipino song, which is sort of like head, shoulders, knees, and toes. You can also do this fun one from Panama and learn the names of all the instruments used in the song.

For 1st all the way up through 5th, these next links are really great ways to learn new songs and practice some of our other music reading skills in a fun way. This one is from New Zealand, and it will teach you the song and then some really fun body percussion patterns to go with it. If you have a ukulele at home, it shows you how to play the ukulele chords, too. Or you can try this one from Africa, if one of your family members plays guitar, it has guitar chords they could use, plus rhythms you could put on your body or on whatever instruments you have, and even shoes you how to play along on a piano if you have a keyboard! Here’s another from Puerto Rico.

2nd graders learned this one earlier this school year, so ask them to show you the dance moves and you can be their echo (repeat after them).

5th graders can practice their syncopation with this Jamaican song. Remember, if you don’t have a drum at home to play on, your body can be your instrument! They can also practice their beginning choral behaviors with this Scottish folk song  we already sang earlier this year. Remember, sit or stand up tall with your shoulders down, take a low belly breath, and keep it light and gentle (out of the gutter!).

Today’s story is one that I read every year to our 2nd graders, and we add instruments playing for specific words each time I read them. We haven’t gotten to that lesson at school just yet, but all of my lovely 3rd-5th graders may remember it. You can try this lesson at home with your bodies! Click the little closed captioning button in the bottom right so you can look and listen for the words. After you’ve heard the whole book once, play it again and anytime you hear/see the word Ping, snap your fingers, when you hear/see the word emperor, clap the rhythm of the word with your hands, when you hear/see the word flowers, tap that rhythm on your legs. Can you write out the rhythm for each of those words? Give it a try!

Let’s talk DYNAMICS!

Happy Vernal Equinox everybody! Did you know that today is the earliest spring in 124 years? The equinox means we have a more equal balance of daylight and darkness today (although, not always exactly 12 hours each, but a nice long day of sunshine anyway).

Now that you know all about it, why not sing about it? This song will also be part of our VPI/Kindergarten program, so you’ll also find it on the song lyrics page!

Today, let’s focus our music time on dynamics. For VPI and Kindergarten, check out this playlist of loud and soft videos. For 1st and 2nd, watch this little song to get started.

Then, of course we’ve gotta get moving to some music! When you hear loud or forte music, march around the room. When you hear piano or soft sounding music, tiptoe around the room. Here’s a favorite to practice those listening skills which the 1st graders have already used in class called Radetzky March.

Next, talk to your little ones about Haydn (pronounced like Hide-in) the composer of this next piece. As they listen, tell them to pretend to fall asleep during the quiet music, but be ready to wake up when they hear loud music. Play them the first minute of the Surprise Symphony. Then start it over and they can tiptoe during the quiet parts and do a big jump on the loud parts!

For 3rd-5th graders, start with this introduction video. They also can take a peek at this one about crescendo and decrescendo. Then grab whatever instruments you have around, whether a recorder or again just a turned over pot and a wooden spoon to play along with the loud and soft songs I linked above. Then, take turns being the musician and the conductor. The conductor will raise their arms up for loud and move them down for soft and the musician will play whatever they want with the correct dynamic volume!