1/10/2014 Music

I have returned from my family leave. I want to thank you for your thoughts and support during my leave. Everyone in my family is healthy and a little sleepy.

Perhaps your family dinners have become more rhythmic lately, as we have explored a passing syncopated 16-beat rhythm with cups. We compared phrase lengths of various folk songs by singing the songs while simultaneously performing the contrasting cup rhythm. We discovered that most of the songs we used have the same length, no matter how fast or slow the tempo.

We applied this rhythmic ostinato to an active listening activity. Everyone walked into class proudly to a recording of a march. Having placed a square shape drum on their head on their way in, they guessed from the clues that we were celebrating a graduation! As Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" continued to play, we adjusted our cup rhythm tempo and dynamics to match the transitions between each theme from the piece.

We were able to finish the last class of 2013 singing and swaying to "Auld Lang Syne," a touching send off to the break.