1st Trimester: Expression
Talking about expression is simply how we talk about music. In all grade levels we work on talking about music and sharing our opinions. In second grade we add to the musical terms we learned last year for loud and soft (dynamics). We review the 1st grade tempo words (for fast and slow), but don't add anything on to that! We like using these to talk about music in different ways. Dynamics and Tempo are some of the easiest ways that composers and musicians get us to feel things about music. When you hear a slow, calming, soft song, it makes you want to curl up and sleep, but when you hear a fast and loud song, you want to get up and dance!
At The Wheatlands, we value different opinions, so we talk about how we can state our opinions but we have to have backing of these opinions. You can just say "I don't like this song because I don't like it." Instead why not tell us what it makes you feel or share a personal connection or compare it with something else. So instead, you can say, "I don't like this song because it makes me feel sleepy," "I don't like it because it reminds me of my dog that is sick right now," or "I don't like this song because the tempo is slow and I usually like fast songs instead." That helps everyone understand a little more about you and helps people understand your opinions a little bit better! Attached below are some of the terms we use and a mini handout to help you understand some words that you can use with your wolf!
How can parents help with this unit?
TALK ABOUT MUSIC!!! Seriously, when you're driving in your car and listening to something, ask them what they think about it and ask them why! Point out things like "Hey, do you think this song is fast?", "Do you think this song could put a baby to sleep?", "I don't like this song, but you do... convince me to like it!". That last one is PERFECT for the opposite of the wolves that want you to change the station when your jam comes on. You tell them why you love something as well and see if you can get them to understand your love of AC/DC or the Beatles!
2nd Trimester: Rhythms
What are we learning?
In second grade we start building on what we learned in first grade about rhythms. Our main focuses of rhythm are being able to perform them (by clapping or on instruments), create with them, and hear them (dictation). We do this in a variety of ways at the elementary level. Check out the handout below for information about the symbols we are learning in 2nd grade and some example rhythms for your 2nd grader to practice. You can also head over to the youTube video section for different rhythm videos that the kids can clap along to! If you are unfamiliar with the symbols from previous grade level, you can certainly check those out as well to help you better understand what they are building on.
How can parents help at home?
If you are a musically inclined person, then you can certainly help by practicing with the rhythm videos and sheets mentioned above. If you are someone who doesn't know a lot about rhythms, that is okay. Check out this video to help you understand the first grade rhythms a little bit better:
Once you understand these a bit better, have fun clapping along with your 2nd grader! Like mentioned, check out the video section for different rhythm videos that the kids can clap along to. They should be able to clap along to any video that says their grade level or below. These are a super fun way to reinforce performing!