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During this past spring trimester, the Kindergartners at FHCDS studied the form of Vivaldi’s Spring, Movement 1, from The Four Seasons. The form is ABACADAEA. We experienced this song through movement, with pictures, and by creating a song with the same form. Using Sibelius’ Groovy Shapes, I created the A section and each Kindergarten class created their own section (in this example, one kindergarten class created sections B and E, and another kindergarten class created sections C and D). Each student had a turn coming up to the SMART Board (you do not need the interactive whiteboard to perform this lesson) and choosing “the missing part of the song” to add as a loop. For example, if the student added a drum square, the next student would add something that was not there, like a melody circle. Structuring the lesson this way kept the students engaged and assisted them with listening for items missing in the music. If you subscribe to Silver Burdett’s Online Learning Exchange (https://www.onlinelearningexchange.com/content/products/music.html), you can find a poem that I wrote that coordinates with this lesson. To listen to the completed song created by my kindergartners, please click here.
Around five years ago, Sibelius discontinued Groovy and therefore, it would only run on older computers. However, I am so pleased to report that MusicFirst hired the creator of Groovy, Michael Avery, and brought Groovy back, all three versions: Shapes (which I used with Kindergarten and 1st grades), Jungle (which I used with 2nd and 3rd grades), and City. Groovy is an amazing software that is now cloud-based. You can purchase a single version, or you can purchase a subscription so that your class can login as a classroom and work with the program individually from any computer. Some of my favorite items about Groovy music are:
Exploring the elements of music, such as rhythms, melodies, chords, arpeggios, bass lines, and sound effects.
Using the pencil tool to create their own melodies. In the example above, you can hear a sol-mi melody in measure three that the kindergartners sang and learned on the Orff instruments.
Using the text tool to type or speak text for your song. This text could include lyrics or a poem the students wrote.
Creating music with students.
Groovy is back and elementary music educators are now “feelin’ groovy!”
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com