Saturday, October 29, 2016

My Contribution to Science Night -- "Soulful Science"

Roscomare Music - Science Night 2016 from Richard Lawton on Vimeo.

Thursday was my first experience with Science Night and I really enjoyed it. My session was called "Soulful Science" and had to do with the way the properties of magnetism are essential to how electric guitars work. Here's some video from the opening activity where we explore the sort of sounds the electric slide guitars can make.

Three Minute Recorder Lesson #8 - Low E and D

Good morning Third Grade Recorder Players and lovers of fine music :) -- Today's video lesson has to do with the nights we can achieve with right hand fingerings, specifically E and D. As we saw in class these notes are highly useful for playing all kinds of songs. Just remember -- the more holes you are trying to cover up, the more potential squeaks there will be. So cover the holes completely. A little less air will help too.

Three Minute Recorder 8 - E and D from Richard Lawton on Vimeo.

My room continues to develop -- ukes are up!

This last week you may have noticed that I finally got around to hanging our ukuleles in the classroom. My hope is that we can starting using them after the winter break -- or sooner depending what songs we choose for our holiday show and how we choose to arrange them.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Three Minute Recorder - "Tune of the Buffens"

Three Minute Recorder - "Tune of the Buffens" from Richard Lawton on Vimeo.

The recorder is an instrument that was widely used and written for during the Renaissance, so here is a fairly Renaissance piece for you all to try. It's just four notes, included B, which we have just learned. Give it a try!

Three Minute Recorder Lesson #7 - B

Hello again Third Grade -- this video focuses on the note "B," which some people believe is the easiest note to play on the recorder. It is very useful in learning a whole range of tunes from "Hot Cross Buns" to "Jingle Bells." Check it out!

Three Minute Recorder 7 - B from Richard Lawton on Vimeo.

"Molly Malone" and other work songs

In second and fourth grade late lately we've been focused on sea chanties and workplace songs. These come together in the famous Irish tune "Molly Malone" -- a sailor's song built around a market place cry. I've been using this song (which I learned from my Irish father) to teach 6/8 times for years, but lately I've also begin to use it as a compositional opportunity for students to create their own marketplace cries.

Three Minute Recorder Lesson #6 - Intro to Improv

Hi Third Graders -- here's another episode of Three Minute Recorder. This one focuses on improvisation, playing music that you make up on the spot. In this beginning example we are focusing on very short improvisational ideas with one note each. Remember -- particularly in Jazz or Blues improv, playing with swing is more important than what notes you play or how many.

Three Minute Recorder 6 - Intro to Improv from Richard Lawton on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cool Instrument Made of Desert Stones

My brother sent me this cool video. It's about a man from Jordan who invented his own xylophone-like instrument using bits of stone he found in the desert. I thought first graders might especially enjoy checking it out -- how would you classify this man's instrument -- membranophone, idiophone, aerophone or chordophone?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Getting Ready for Science Night

I was very excited to be asked to participate in science night this year. I am planning to demonstrate a few things from a unit I do later in the year about electromagnetism and electric guitars. Here are a few friends helping me test drive parts of that presentation. Come check it out on October 27!

Three Minute Recorder Lesson #5 - "The Mystery of Adcaa Caga"

The 4 notes we have learned so far -- D-C-A-G -- will enable us to play this mysterious piece whose name I dare not speak. ;). However, this video will show you how to play it. You can also use the sheet music shown here.

Three Minute Reccorder 5 - "Adcaa Caga" from Richard Lawton on Vimeo.

Three Minute Recorder Lesson #4 -- High D

Hi Third Graders -- this video will focus on our 4th note -- the high D. Just remember that the D takes less air than any other note on the recorder (and as we know the recorder takes very little air to begin with.)

Three Minute Reccorder 4 - High D from Richard Lawton on Vimeo.

Fall has arrived!

As summer gives way to fall, we have have begun to develop more sophisticated music skills and ideas. In second grade that includes developing an ability to play polyrhythmically -- more than one rhythm pattern at the same time. That effort gave me chance to try out the rotating drum circle, an idea I learned from master drum teacher, Jim Solomon.