Grade 4 General Music - Enrichment
Choosing Your Musical Instrument for Fifth Grade!
Hello Fourth Graders and Families!
As you know, in Chandler schools, we begin band and orchestra instruments in Grade 5. So, that means you will have the opportunity to play an instrument in the coming school year! Let's take a look at how Band and Orchestra work in Grade 5 by answering some common questions.
What specials will I have in fifth grade?
This means your specials will be a little different for you. You will continue to have P.E., of course. Your other special will be either Band or Orchestra or General Music. If you choose Band or Orchestra, you do NOT attend General Music. If you are in General Music, you do not attend Band or Orchestra. You will have a music class no matter what, but now you have some choices.
Will I go to General Music if I'm in Band or Orchestra? No, your music special will only be Band or Orchestra.
What do we do in General Music? Your general music teacher will continue to build music skills with classroom instruments, composing and many other music concepts. You will not play Band or Orchestra instruments in General Music.
I love P.E.! Will I still get to go to P.E.?
Of course you will have P.E., absolutely! So, usually you will have a day with full ensemble, meaning all of the kids in your band or orchestra. On a different day, you attend with a smaller group of instrument players, like all Brass and Percussion or all Cellos and Basses only. And then you will also have P.E.-no matter what music class you choose to be in.
Do we play recorder in Band? Are any of the instruments like it?
No, recorders are not part of 5th Grade Band. However, if you really enjoy learning recorder and felt like a strong player, you might consider a band instrument from the woodwind family.
How hard is it to learn a Band or Orchestra instrument?
Nothing new is easy at first. Remember starting recorder this year? It took some work to remember the notes, how to hold it properly and get a good sound. With band and orchestra instruments, you have to get used to playing, build muscle memory and reading music like you read a book now. I know that lots of my previous fourth grade students at Ryan have gone on to play and love it so much. Think of a new video game. You might not be sure how to play at first, but you catch on and I'm betting if you lose the level, you go back and try again until you win. Level 2 is more challenging and so on. There is a huge sense of accomplishment when you complete a difficult level. Music is similar. We have to practice, keep trying, go back to figure out where we went wrong and keep trying. It's worth the effort.
Why should I be in Band or Orchestra?
Why not? Kids who learn instruments have been statistically shown to be more successful-grades are higher and they develop the ability to work together. Take a look ahead as well-do you know someone in high school or college marching band? Tons of Chandler students really love participating in marching band, jazz bands, symphony orchestras and even creating their own ensembles. You might find you have a bunch of lifelong friends when you join a music group. My suggestion is try it now. Don't wait and have to catch up or miss knowing if you love it.
I am really busy. What do I have to do at home?
With playing an instrument comes more responsibility. Practicing and bringing your instrument and music to school are super important. The more you practice and have your instrument with you, the more fun it becomes. You do need to make time to practice. Your band and orchestra teachers will help you organize how much time for practicing. Most kids are able to participate in sports and other activities and still find ways to get their practicing in and love to play.
What if I like more than one instrument?
Hey, that is, first of all, awesome and secondly, it can be tough to choose! Our band and orchestra teachers are truly gifted in helping kids figure out the best instrument.
Do you play piano or guitar in Band or Orchestra?
No, we don't teach piano. If you are a piano player, you might find you will learn very quickly in band or orchestra.
Do you get to play guitar in Orchestra?
No, Orchestra only has violin, viola, cello and bass. BUT, if you love guitar, learning an orchestra instrument will only make learning guitar easier and many kids do play in Orchestra and then take lessons in guitar privately.
Do we sign up now?
No! Not yet! You will get all of the information you need to sign up during the first week of school in July.
So, what are the instrument choices we have in fifth grade?
There are quite a few, so I'd like you to just watch some of the demonstrations here and get some information about the instruments offered. You should have plenty of knowledge to help you along after this. This week, I'll focus on Band instruments and next week will be Orchestra.
Okay....onto the Band instruments! Let's see what the choices are and how they sound.
Featured here are Mrs. Baldwin, one of our talented band teachers in CUSD and Dr. Lennex, who is also a CUSD Band teacher and is also a professional working musician playing trombone in symphonies, jazz ensembles, trombone lessons and more.
Woodwinds: What is a woodwind instrument? How do they make their sound and what instruments are a part of this family? Let's take a look at this woodwind family video.
In Chandler Schools, fifth graders can choose from the following woodwinds: Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone. Mrs. Baldwin has created a little video about each one.
Brass: What are brass instruments? How do they make their sounds and change their pitches with no keys, like a woodwind? Which instruments are in this family? Here's a quick overview:
Fifth graders in CUSD can choose from the following brass instruments: Trumpet, Trombone and Euphonium. Dr. Lennex has created two short videos on each one.
Percussion: What is a percussion instrument? How do they create sound? What do all of the percussionists learn to play if there are SO MANY? How do we categorize an instrument as percussion? First, a quick overview: Meet the Percussion Family
Mrs. Baldwin explains here which percussion instruments are started in fifth grade.
WAIT A SECOND! WHERE ARE THE STRINGS??!!
They are orchestra instruments! Woodwind, Percussion and Brass will be played in Band. The string instruments-violin, viola, cello and bass-are in the Orchestra for fifth grade. I'll have an Orchestra link on string instruments for you next week!
So...do you think you know your instruments and how to categorize them? Check out this cool instrument sorting game in BrainPop, which is free. There are a LOT of different ways to do it, so see how you do!
That's a lot of information and I hope you are excited about your possibilities for music next year. I'll catch you next week with the String Family!
May the Fourth Be With You!
Hello Fourth Grade Students and Families-
Welcome to May and the week of May 4! Star Wars fans, hope you are enjoying this week! I'm linking some Star Wars music enrichment activities for you to check out!
The Music Interactive Star Wars Staff Wars games....this is free and has a lot of variations, but you will want to ask permission in install. It's used by music teachers everywhere to do games for learning rhythms, notes, instruments, etc.
Interview with composer John Williams Music Express John Williams has written musical scores for many famous movies, including "Star Wars", "Jaws", "Harry Potter", "Superman", "Jurassic Park", "E.T.", "Indiana Jones". How many can you recognize?
Enjoy the coming week! As fourth graders, you will want to be thinking about signing up for band or orchestra next year as fifth graders! So awesome! I'll post some videos in the next lesson about which instruments you'll be able to take and some different information about instrument families. Don't worry-you'll be able to sign up during the start of the school year, but it's good to consider which ones you might like to play.
Hi Fourth Grade Students and Families!
This week in music, I'm going to link some music activities for making instruments. This can be very simple and of course, get more and more complex! Remember, this is optional! Never required or graded.
You probably have plenty of found objects at home to make an instrument. Some suggestions:
Pringles cans (drums, rainsticks) coffee cans, protein powder or animal cracker plastic containers, bottle caps, clothespins, rubber bands, metal soup cans (washed, rinsed and carefully checked for sharp edges first), bouncy balls (mallet toppers), mailing tubes, empty laundry detergent bottles (guitar body with a hole cut out, add a paper towel tube) old pencils (mallets, holder for tin can drums) ribbon, ribbon spools and bead (spin drum), water bottles with twist tops, cereal boxes, clean, unused dental floss (guitar strings), and the list goes on with your imagination!
PERMISSION: Always, always ask for permission to use anything that isn't yours. Make sure you have a workspace set up that works....where pets and little siblings aren't going to get ahold of them, if it's messy, then make sure to ask where to set up.
I'll add a few links here for you to follow and get some ideas.
- Make an instrument using things around your home (with permission) OR....
- Draw a picture of an instrument you would want to make and play. How will it make its sound? Will be made of metal? Wood? Recycled?
I will be setting up a FlipGrid for music later this week and if you have a cool creation, you can upload and show it! Stay tuned for details. You can always email me with any questions or send photos of creations. Remember, if you don't make anything, it's okay! You can always hop over to the Enrichment Resources page to connect to some simple and fun activities that are less involved.
Bonus Video: Murphy Family Music Room!
A Quick Hello!
A little video note from Mrs. Murphy!
Getting Started with Music IdeasHi Fourth Grade Students and Families!It’s Mrs. Murphy and I wanted to send you a link to my new YouTube channel called “Murphy Music.” There is a special message for my fourth graders and I’ll be adding some videos next week. Videos of all of my classes will be there, so you may see some for different grades.If you are wanting to keep working on recorder, I’ll link a few of those videos here that we played along with during class time. Hopefully you have your music packet, but if not, I’ll be happy to email you a copy to print at home. If you have requests for specific songs, just email me! My office hours are 2-3pm everyday and my email is:Murphy.email@example.comLastly, for those who are looking for a challenge and who might own a guitar, ukelele or bass guitar, the guitar company Fender has opened all of their online lesson tutorials for FREE for the next three months! I’ll post directions here to get set up. I actually signed up and went through the beginner tutorials for guitar. I think the video lessons are super easy to follow, lots of practice and it connects easily with the Fender Play app. You can also download the Fender Tuner app to get your instrument in tune to play.Setup:1)Go to Fender.com. Fender Guitar2) Click on the red window asking if you would like free lesson code.3) You will need permission to use an email and create password.4) Copy and paste the code when requested and you should automatically be signed up!5) You can sign into Fender.com or download the Fender Play app and sign in to start.If you choose to try it, let me know! I actually working through some of the lessons myself!Here are some recorder links for you:The YouTube “Visual Musical Minds” has a ton of great recorder tutorials and tons more songs. Enjoy!Hope everyone is doing well and I’ll send more music ideas next week!Take care!Mrs. Murphy