Tuesday, May 29, 2012

3 top ipad apps to use on the whiteboard for music lessons

Now I have got my trusty vga cable I can run my ipad through the interactive whiteboard at school I am using my ipad much more in lessons. Obviously the truly wonderful garageband is the King of all the apps. If I were a headteacher I would buy every music dept a set of 10 simply for this app alone.I am planning to write about how I use garageband with the kids in a later post but for today I want to focus on 3 favourite apps that I really rate

  1. Morton Subotnicks pitch painter

This is truly a joy to use and has my year 3's completely entranced. Using your finger to paint a picture the picture is then represented in pitch. You can change the instrument and manipulate it in all sorts of ways. I have been challenging the kids to draw some of the simple 3 note songs we sing from Voices Foundation and they are amazed that they can get close. They have also discovered they can draw chords. The app is described as being perfect for 3 - 5 year olds but I think you can get a huge amount of work on pitch from this wonderful app. You can save your favourite compositions. Well worth £1.99! Click here for more details

  2. Learn the orchestra

This app has fitted in perfectly with this terms work on Peter and the Wolf. The children get to see the layout of the orchestra and you can ghost out whole sections so you can listen to familiar pieces of music with just one instrument at a time. So now the kids are familiar with the bassoon as Peters grandpa we listened to the bassoon playing a number of pieces. in addition you can click on an option which brings up a keyboard for the instrument of your choice so the children had a go at recreating the sound of the bird flying on the flute and the cat creeping on the clarinet. £1.49 extremely well spent. (NB - I can't remember who alerted me to this app but it was from a teacher I follow on twitter so until I rediscover who it was here is a holding thank you) Click here for details 

3. Visual metronome

I know there are lots of free metronomes but I love the look of this one!I sometimes turn the lights out and have this flashing on the IWB to really help the kids internalise the pulse. There are a million and one different games I play with every class from year 1 to year 6 to help them begin to mark a steady pulse. it is £1.49

There are hundreds and hundreds of apps for music teachers and I plan to work my way through them to see what other gems I can find.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Creating a fanfare

In today's music lesson we are going to be composing fanfares using our recorders and the notes BAGCD. During tudor times a fanfare was played to announce the arrival of a a very important person. They could be quite short and limited to just a few notes. Below are some resources you might be interested in. There are some modern fanfares below for you to listen to

This is a piece of music called Fanfare for the Common Man, written by Aron Copeland. It stirs up all sorts of feelings everytime I hear it. What does it make you think of? Lessons & Instructional Materials | Fanfares: What is a Fanfare?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Music and ICT at primary school

Whilst I use lots of technology tools in my music lessons - such as audioboo,garageband and social networks I have n't yet tackled teaching any of the ICT components. However that is set to change as I have agreed to teach the music element of the ICT scheme of work we follow. Just for one half term I am transforming the music room into an ICT suite with 30 netbooks, headphone and splitters. I already have an IWB and access to YouTube which is surprisingly uncommon! I plan to use 2simple music, audacity and garageband. I'm a little scared as I don't have much experience in teaching ICT but I think if I focus on the music objectives I will find my way. The good thing about doing it at the end of my first year is that each class has a bank of practical experiences with instruments such as djembes, recorders and boomwhackers that we can take as our starting point to record and begin to experiment manipulating. If anyone has any advice or suggestions please get in touch! I feel more confident knowing I have excellent member of staff at St teresa's that I can call on as well as the talented music teachers I follow on twitter for help. I will be keeping a record of how it goes on this blog so watch this space.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Learn to swim! - a song for school olympics

This is one of the Sing Up songs featured in their latest issue. Listen to year 3 sing it. They are going to be performing it for our Olympic opening ceremony. Please take a listen and leave us a comment. I am so proud of the children's performance. They worked really hard and made a big effort with their diction so you can hear the words clearly

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Peter and the Wolf - puppet fun

Since my last few lessons on Peter and the Wolf I have found the children 'playing' Peter and the Wolf in the playground. This has inspired me to have a go at creating some puppets and setting up small world scenes for the children to act out. Ideally I would prefer to let the children make their own puppets but as I only see them once a week I don't have time. Next half term I am going to ask the children to introduce their own character into the story and to create its unique music. Am busy exploring simple music software that will help us do this. Think I will be able to use 2Simple Music. Watch this space! Meanwhile have a look at this shadow puppet version.