• Week 6 May 18 - 22, 2020 Music Assignment - All Classes


    Listening: For our last two weeks of school we’re going to return to music of the United States. This week we’re going to listen to a piece by a composer who is alive right now and lives in the Bay Area. His name is John Adams (no relation to the president of long ago) and this orchestra piece, one of his most famous, is called Short Ride in a Fast Machine. What sort of examples can you think of for machines in which you could take a fast ride? Well, the story goes that one day Mr. Adams got to ride in a Ferrari and that’s what gave him the inspiration for this piece. So here we go, take a listen. (The piece lasts about 4 min.18 secs. You’re welcome to listen to the entire piece, but especially younger students, see if you can at least listen to the first 2 min. and 41 sec.)




    Did it sound like most of the music we hear in class? Did it have a pretty tune, or do you think the rhythm was more important? Mr. Adams is a modern-day composer and nowadays music isn’t always about a pretty melody. Sometimes the rhythm is more important. Can you feel the rhythm patterns that repeat over and over? Remember what we call a rhythmic pattern that repeats over and over? If you could pull up the word ostinato - pat yourselves on the back. :-) 


    This paragraph is for 4th and 5th Grades Only. Now, this piece includes a modern style called minimalism. Basically what that means in music is that there’s a r-e-a-l-l-y strong pulse with a lot of underlying repetition of certain notes (did you notice the strings just over and over on that same note?) and of ostinati (that’s plural for ostinato that we talked about a couple of sentences ago) - those rhythmic patterns that repeat. For some people this kind of music grates on their nerves, others think it’s almost hypnotic, and others just think it’s neat. Your choice what you think, it’s your….opinion. ;-)

    Week 6

    For Everyone: Fun Facts about the composer John Adams. 1st and 2nd graders learn one fact, 3rd graders learn two facts, 4th and 5th graders try to remember three of these facts

    ---Born Feb. 15, 1947 in Worcester (pronounced kind of halfway between wooster and wuster) Massachusetts, U.S.A 

                 Why do they say it that way? Couldn’t tell you. I lived in Massachusetts for a year before I figured out which city people were talking about when they said that, and when I asked why the person looked at me, smiled, and said, “It’s just the way we say it.”

                Why isn’t there a second date for Mr. Adams? Yep, he’s still very much alive. 

                How old is he? 73 years

    ---Mr. Adams now lives in Berkeley, CA. 

    ---He’s married,  has a German shorthaired pointer (dog) named Eloise, and  two grown children, a son and a daughter. The son is also a composer.

    ---He’s one of the few U.S. classical composers now living who can earn a living by only composing 


    Singing: Let’s keep working on those patriotic (showing we care a lot for our country) songs. And we’re also going to begin I Love the Mountains, a song that I used to sing with my family when we’d go camping during the summer. By the way, in this video after everyone sings that song once, they repeat it, but sing it a little differently with one person starting at the beginning and then a little while later another person starting back at the beginning. Can you remember what we call that? Yep, a round because it goes around and around and around. 


    1st and 2nd Graders Please begin I Love the Mountains and then choose at least one of the other songs and sing along.

    I Love the Mountains  https://youtu.be/AiOdyCwczac

    Yankee Doodle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca8va-5JL5U

    This Land Is Your Land https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_2P1LMLVjs&feature=youtu.be 


    3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders Please begin I Love the Mountains and then choose at least one of the other songs and sing along.

    I Love the Mountains  https://youtu.be/AiOdyCwczac

    This Land Is Your Land https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_2P1LMLVjs&feature=youtu.be  

    You’re a Grand Old Flag  https://youtu.be/vsv8LF8y9Uk


    Activity: This week’s activity is for all grade levels and back we go to Creative Campfires. Today we’re going to combine theatre and art in order to make … mouth puppets. What are mouth puppets you ask? Wait and see. By the way, the lady in the video Karen Konnerth asks you to gather up some things for future puppet making. You don’t need to do this, but before you start, do gather up:

     --a piece of paper in the shape of a rectangle - It can be a piece of newspaper, or a page from a magazine. It doesn’t need to be a brand new piece of paper

    --crayons or markers or colored pencils. You could also use a pen or a pencil


    --glue or any sort of tape


    As you watch the video, I want you to make a mouth puppet and then you’re going to make up a monologue (a long speech by one actor) with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Here’s your story. 

    ---Your puppet comes on the stage (and remember, the stage can just be the top of a table or the back of a chair) and introduces him/herself (that would be the beginning). 

    ---Then your puppet tells his or her favorite joke. Now remember these have to be jokes you could tell me or Ms. Gilbert or Ms. Scarpinato, so no potty humor or jokes with naughty words.(Not that any of you would, but just so we’re clear). That joke will be the middle. 

    ---Then you need an ending. For your ending figure out some reason that your puppet needs to leave and then have him/her leave the stage.. 

    Videotape your puppet saying his or her monologue and email it to me at conrankaren@dublinusd.org. Do NOT send it to Creative Campfire. Please remember to include your name and your classroom teacher’s name in your email. 


    Here’s the link for the video. Allow enough time for this as the video, which allows you to work along with it, lasts 14-15 minutes. Parents - first and second graders may need some help with the folding part that happens between about minute 4 and minute 7. Have fun! :-)