The Sound of Music Rings Out 

Teacher Carla Boyle-Wight believes musical learning is integral to the human experience and to the growth of minds. In music classes, Teacher Carla utilizes singing, movement, and collaborative creation to guide learners toward a greater understanding of music. 

Here Teacher Carla shares students’ latest and greatest musical adventures starting in January 2024: 

Pre-K and Kindergarten have been working on finding our various kinds of voices like speaking, whisper, calling, and singing. Each week, these students come up with their own ways to sing our hello song and some favorites have been loud/quiet, fast/slow, cat-voice, dog-voice, silly, and “while marching.” These kiddos especially love to move around the classroom to the drum-beat. They have identified different sounds on the drum to mean moving in different ways; marching, skipping, tip-toe, fast feet, slithering like a snake, and dancing. 

First Grade just finished a unit on Peter and the Wolf, described as a “symphonic tale for children.” This is a story in which each character is represented as a different instrument of the orchestra. The first graders have listened to each theme and identified what instrument is playing that theme. They have also learned about timbre (the “flavor” of sound each instrument makes) and how each instrument makes its sound.

Second Graders have been learning about different kinds of musical opposites and practicing these concepts by performing different rhythm patterns, creating their own melodies, and playing group singing games. They used magnetic boards and color-coded magnets to write melodies using the notes La, Sol, and Mi. A favorite lesson of theirs was a folk dancing lesson during which they learned how to do various 8-count dance moves including: circle left/right, Do-si-do, and swing.

Third Graders started learning how to play recorders in January! They have learned the three different positions to hold the instrument: rest, practice, and play. They have learned the first three notes on their instruments are practicing using “whisper air” and covering the holes completely to keep their notes from squeaking. As a class, they wrote three songs to practice each new note and performed this song as a group. 

Fourth Grade started a ukulele unit! They are learning all about where these instruments come from, how to play these wonderful instruments, and how to take care of them. The very first day on these instruments the 4th graders played a song called “Little Tommy Tinker” and have started learning the first three chords for our next song “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors.

Fifth and Sixth Graders are working on a musical revue titled “Razzamajazz,” which discusses what makes jazz, jazz. It also utilizes a script with a cast of jazz characters to learn about different jazz musicians’ talents and nicknames. They have enjoyed playing various percussion instruments and learning choreography for many jazz songs, including the classic jazz tunes “Red, Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along” and “Bye Bye Blackbird.”