• Music Assignment - Week 4: May 4 - 8 All Classes

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! Once again we will take a slight detour from our small instrumental groups and instead go to the music of Mexico

    Today we will look at a type of music called Mariachi Music and listen to a Mariachi Band. Take a look at the following picture, especially the instruments and the clothing.


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    The clothing is special. It is called a charro suit and includes very fancy fitted pants, a short jacket that comes just to the waist, a large bow tie, and a hat called a sombrero that has a very wide brim.The charro is a cowboy who comes from a part of Mexico called Jalisco (it’s around 300 miles west of Mexico City.)


    A traditional Mariachi band includes some instruments we’re used to seeing in the U.S and some very neat new instruments. Most of us know about violins and guitars, but there are two more really interesting looking instruments that sort of look like guitars, but different. Those are the guitarrón (the really big one) and the vihuela (the smallest one). Both of these instruments have rounded backs instead of the flat back of the guitar. If you hear a Mariachi band now you’re also likely to hear trumpets, maybe a harp, and singers. 

    Now take a look at the following chart to see common Mariachi instruments. All except the trumpet belong to which family? Yes, the string family because the sound is made by strings vibrating. Does anyone remember which family the trumpet belongs to? If you said the brass family you’re exactly right.


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    Now let's listen to some Mariachi music.Go to the following link on Youtube and maybe even have some Mexican food and enjoy! :-) Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!





    It’s May, so not only is it the month of Cinco de Mayo, but it’s also the month of Memorial Day, so we’ll be doing some patriotic songs (songs that show we love our country). Here’s a version of Yankee Doodle for All Grades. 1st Graders we had just started the second verse in February. This version not only has the second verse but also a third verse. Let’s start learning those words, too.



    Now for this week’s Activity:

    Back to “Creative Campfires” to Ms. Susan Riley and an activity called What Do You Hear? When you’re done, please send a picture or video of your project to me at conrankaren@dublinusd.org. Do NOT send it to Ms. Riley at her hashtag. Please also remember to include your classroom teacher’s name so I don’t have to try to remember which 1st or 2nd or 3rd or 4th or 5th grade class you’re in. ;-) Thanks.



    Were you surprised by what was making the different sounds? I definitely was. Now, look around your house and see what you can make an instrument out of. Do NOT use a professionally-made  instrument that you already have. Use your imagination and make up one on your own. There were a lot of Coca Cola items in this video. You do not need to use things made by Coca Cola. Once you’ve made your instrument, I want you to make a rhythm piece with it. Older kids, if you make something that will play different pitches, you can make a tune, but the only thing required is a rhythm. See below for how many beats each grade level should be able to do. Remember to say the rhythm out loud as you perform your piece.


    1st Graders - Please perform a ta, ti-ti, ta, ta rhythm on the instrument you’ve made, and then make up your own piece that’s 4 beats long and has both ta and ti-ti in it (remember, not 4 notes but 4 beats - can you remember the difference? - a ti-ti is two sounds but it only counts as one beat because the sounds are faster)


    2nd and 3rd Graders - Make your piece 8 beats long using ta (quarter notes), ti-ti (eighth notes), and at least one one-beat rest (quarter rest). Ms. Kwan’s class and all 3rd Grade classes  you may also include ta-a in your piece if you wish. Again, remember to say the rhythm out loud as you perform your piece on the instrument you’ve created..

    4th and 5th Graders - Make your piece 12 beats long using ta (quarter notes), ti-ti (eighth notes), ta-a (half notes), and at least two quarter rests. Remember you need to say the rhythms out loud while you perform them on the instrument you’ve created so I know that you know what rhythm you’re thinking of.