Music Class: Week 3 April 27-May 1, 2020


    Now, this week we’re going to go back to our small groups of instruments. Two weeks ago we looked at a string quartet. This week we’re going to go to the brass family and take a look at a brass quintet.


    Okay, if a quartet had 4 instruments, how many instruments would be in a quintet? (Think of how many babies a mom would have if she had quintuplets.) If you said five, you’re spot on. 


    But there are only four main brass instruments. What are they? Yes, trumpet, French horn, trombone, and tuba. 


    Then why would we have five in a group, and is the fifth one a brand new instrument or what? Long ago people found it sounded really good to have two high pitched  instruments (two instruments that could play high sounds) in a small brass group, so we usually have two trumpets, one trombone, one French horn, and one tuba. 


    For 3rd - 5th Graders - Just so you know, this does not always make the French horn player happy. Think about why. 

       Which direction does the bell of the horn point? [Backwards] 

       Which direction do the bells of the other instruments point? [Forwards] 

       Which sounds usually carry better - high sounds or low sounds? [High sounds]

    So we have two high pitched instruments whose bells point towards the audience (the trumpets) and one little French horn whose sound is lower, less in-your-face, and whose bell points backwards. The poor French horn player is always being told to play louder and really, there’s only so much s/he can do. :-(


    For All Classes - Now, on to the music.We’re going to listen to a group called the Canadian Brass (yes, they were originally all from Canada) playing a piece called Flight of the Bumblebee which was written by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Go to the following link and take a listen.It’s only about two minutes long, so everyone listen to the entire piece, please.




    Older students, if you're learning to play a brass instrument you know how good these guys are. Yes, it’s super hard to play all those notes that fast, and yes, this group likes to do funny things. Why did one of the trumpet players sing that high note at the end? Probably for two reasons, first, he was being funny, and second because the piece originally came from an opera (a play where all or most of the words are sung instead of spoken) and he was reminding people of that fact.


    And there you have our listening for the week - a Brass Quintet.


    Keep going for this week’s activity.

    Now let’s do some singing. Note on activities. When you send me something, please remember to tell me who your classroom teacher is. Thanks. :-)


    1st and 2nd Grade (or whoever wants to sing it and do the actions) If You’re Happy and You Know It - from all over the world. Click on the link  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71hqRT9U0wg


    ---Now let’s add something. The video has nine different things to do to show you’re happy. What could you add that’s different? [I’ll give you a hint - if you can say it in three syllables it will fit into the song really well. For example - Swing your arms. We could sing:  If you’re happy and you know it, swing your arms.] Now, you think of at least two more different movements that we could add to the song. I’d love to hear your ideas. You can sing the song for me and show me the moves in a video, or you can just type your ideas and send them to me at my school email conrankaren@dublinusd.org 


    ---Also, was hello sung in the language of your family’s ancestors? (Those are the people in your family who lived a l-o-n-g time ago like the grandparents of your grandparents) My mother’s family was from Germany, and I heard Guten Tag, but my dad’s family was from Norway. *sigh* No Norwegian. Ask your parents what language your ancestors spoke and how do you say hello in that language?

    3rd - 5th Grade (and younger ones if you want a challenge)

    We’re going to work on singing a type of music called a round. Anyone remember what a round is? (Think Row, Row, Row Your Boat or Frere Jacques)  See the video below to check if you were right.


    Click on the link below. If you get an ad that wants you to join Vimeo just turn it off and ignore it. And one more thing, do not send your singing to Ms.Riley at her hashtag, but I’d love to hear your singing so you can send it to me at my school email listed at the end of this assignment.Here’s the link:


    https://vimeo.com/400346260/65a1d4ada7 - Creative Campfire - Musical Rounds


    This should take you to the video with Susan Riley and her 4th grade daughter Emma. By the way, remember that the word thy is an old way of saying you.


    Ah yes, and once more, my school email is conrankaren@dublinusd.org If you’re comfortable, I’d love to hear your beautiful voices - I’ve missed them. It’s not required if you’re uncomfortable singing by yourself, but it would be neat.


    Have a great week!


    Sincerely, Ms. Conran