Our school serves over 800 students in grades K-8 who come from a high poverty/low income neighborhood, and one of the most historic in the city. One hundred percent of the student population qualify for free and reduced lunch. Our staff consists of teachers who are dedicated to instilling our motto of "Si se puede" (Yes, we can) in all students.
Music is new to the school and the community is excited about the variety of musical opportunities being provided to them.
This is the first year the school district has hired a full-time certificated music teacher. My goal is to provide students with a variety of music making experiences, while building community in the school and local neighborhood. All students deserve to be provided with the opportunity of discovering what music means to them through music making activities.
I believe music can be one way to bring a group of people together. It is a way to define your identity, something that students of all age groups can use to express themselves. Offering creative outlets provides balance to people of all ages, at home, work and in the community.
Boomwhackers are a great tool for music class because the number of music elements that can be practiced with them - pitch, melody, rhythm, and steady beat to name a few examples. More importantly, it is an easy instrument to play because you simply "whack" the plastic tube against one hand or on the floor, which is fun for anyone and everyone. Once students become familiar with how to use Boomwhackers, they will be having so much fun whacking they won't realize they are also practicing a variety of music skills.
What a fun educational instrument for students - whacking a plastic tube which supports the development of musical skills such as melodies, rhythms, chords and more!
There are a number of ways students can whack their way to musical literacy and performing in an ensemble. I can post music on the Promethean board while students perform various melodies and rhythms. For younger grades, I can use color coded symbols to start and for older grades, I can use traditional western music notation. Colors and notation can be combined for further learning of musical elements such as chords, harmony, composition and improvisation.
Students can also whack their musicianship skills during group activities and ensembles. We can play along with well-known music tracks from movies and the radio, and self-created backtracks to groove with. Boomwhackers can also be combined with other instruments such as recorders and drums, so that each student gets a chance at playing a different instrument. As you can see, there are a number of ways Boomwhackers can be used in the classroom which promote creativity, support music literacy and foster a sense of teamwork during ensemble rehearsals.
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