1. Band Repertoire
I love my Concert Band! It is made up right now solely of Grade 8 students as the Grade 7s are just getting their instruments. I tell my 7s that as soon as they can play the first 5 notes of the B flat concert scale they can audition. Here are two songs that we will be working on in the next few weeks.
Diary of a Grumpy Elf by Timothy Loest - this piece is a collection of excerpts from familiar Christmas songs. "Leon" the elf narrates in between each piece. It is pretty fun and gets the students playing in minor keys and a variety of styles. Click here to listen to it on FJH Music's site.
Attack of the Garden Gnomes by Timothy Loest - I may have a small mythical creature/music by Timothy Loest theme going on right now. This is another fun song. I mean, it has a vibraslap in it and the kids get to scream like gnomes. What could be better? Listen to it by clicking the video below.
2. Improvising with Boomwhackers
My 5s and 6s are working on beat and rhythm right now. We have been using boomwhackers to keep a steady beat and have been talking about improvisation. One activity that we have done involves keeping a steady beat and having individuals improvise a rhythm for eight beats. We go around the circle and each student gets a four beat intro before they have their eight beat solo. I love it because it lets me know right away who naturally understands beat and rhythm and it gets everyone involved and performing by themselves right from the beginning of the year. No one really has a chance to get too nervous because we don't stop until the whole class has had a turn.