PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Music Update, Week of 3/26

Hello Families!

1st graders have taken a break from writing music to explore instruments! They have been introduced to the 4 instrument families: string, woodwind, brass, percussion. Students are now in the middle of a safari adventure, via Carnegie, to find the lost symphony orchestra instruments. This interactive Smart Board game is based on The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten. Ask your children about the instruments that they have already found/played and assembled!!

2nd grade has been finishing up their original rhythmic compositions. Groups had a chance to practice their pieces with percussion instruments, and a few groups even performed for their classmates. An instrument study is up next!

3rd and 4th graders are in the middle of a music theory unit! They have now learned about the treble and bass clefs, and students are reading actual pitches. Putting together the rhythms (note values/time signatures) and the pitches (note names), these students are well on their way to composing pieces of their own.

5th graders spent last week exploring Garage Band! They were having a great time creating their own music and exploring instruments/sounds. Starting tomorrow, 5th graders will be working with a group, Together in Dance, creating skits, dances and learning songs. The theme of their work is tied into their Humanities/SS curriculum: immigration. I’m excited for this partnership to begin! Stay tuned for details about the final performance and share (sometime in June!).

6th through 8th graders are well into Garage Band projects. Students are creating 2 1/2 to 3 minute songs. The songs must follow an ABA form – two similar, but distinct, musical sections. The songs must have a rhythm section (bass/drums) and solo instruments. We have been working on having the various loops/parts/instruments play at different times (rather than all parts playing ALL the time) and adjusting the volume in places to “spotlight” different parts of their songs.


Enjoy your Spring break!!