1st Trimester: Expression

  • In all grade levels we work on talking about music and sharing our opinions.  In fourth grade, we are focusing on reviewing the musical terms for fast and slow (tempo) as well as for loud and soft (dynamics) that we've learned in previous grade levels.  We are adding in two new dynamic symbols as well.  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!

    In fourth grade, we are also taking it a step further by reading these symbols in music.  When a composer writes music, it is important to not just show what they want the musician to play but how to play it.  Now these symbols and tempo markings are shown on the staff so students can start applying their knowledge using the instruments like xylophones, bucket drums, etc.

    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!  Also, review the symbols with your wolf in the handout below!

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