While the fourth graders may have been staying close to home this trimester, we ventured across the world and took a virtual trip to the African country of Ghana. Ghana, located on the western shore of Africa, is a country slightly smaller than the state of Oregon. Although relatively small in size, Ghana is huge in its culture and musical heritage. Instruments that date back centuries are still in use and we looked and listened as Ghanian players performed songs from this rich legacy. Currently, we are learning a traditional folk song that closely reminded us of a song from our own children’s repertoire! Next step, create our own instruments to accompany ourselves.
Our fifth graders may not be actively singing these days but that doesn’t mean our voices can’t be expressive by using tone, timbre and volume. They will be extend this practice as the class creates ostinatos and body percussion.
Sixth grade has been exploring “The Blues'' both in its developmental history and form. We’re currently playing a basic Blues pattern on the ukulele, extending our rhythmic playing with a traditional “Blues Shuffle” strum. Currently we are writing our own blues following the lyric structure typical in most Blues songs. Stay tuned!