Celebrate our planet all April long!  We celebrate Earth Day on a single day in April, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to celebrate and take care of the Earth all year long! If you’re looking for new ways to introduce found sounds and ...

 

Quaver Music Blog: Discover Found Sounds with Recycled Instruments!




Discover Found Sounds with Recycled Instruments!

Celebrate our planet all April long! 

We celebrate Earth Day on a single day in April, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to celebrate and take care of the Earth all year long!

If you’re looking for new ways to introduce found sounds and busking, why not incorporate some science into your music room? Quaver’s middle school projects such as Latin Percussion, Busking, and Giant Jam provide a perfect opportunity to get your students discovering found sounds using recycled instruments!

Let’s dig in to these creative activities:

These activities are suitable for grades 6-8, but can be enjoyed by anyone with access to the 6-8 curriculum! 

6th Grade

In the 6th Grade Busking project, students create a two-minute busking routine using Boomwhackers, body percussion, found sounds, and/or vocals. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to found sounds using recycled materials.

The “Found Sounds Busking Parts” video helps students understand busking and how they can create their own instruments with used materials.

Invite students to clap the two-measure ostinato pattern on the screen. Have them observe and discuss what materials are being used to make each found sound. Did they know that a recycled newspaper can be an instrument?

You may want to press PLAY so students can have an idea of how the complete routine is put together! Discuss how they can create their own instruments and what recycled materials they might use—a musical way to take care of our planet!

Find this video in Resource Manager by searching “ Found Sounds Busking Parts “ or by navigating to Lesson 7 of the 6th Grade curriculum

 

7th Grade 

Check out the Latin Percussion project in the 7th grade curriculum, where students craft drums from recycled materials. These drums can then be used to play traditional Latin American music! Using items such as coffee cans, twine, and buckets, is an easy way to recycle old materials that might normally be thrown away. Boom-Chicka-Boom!

Find these activities in Resource Manager by searching “Drum“ or by navigating to Lesson 2 of the 7th Grade curriculum

Click the links below to download instructions for these drums!

Coffee Can Bongo Drum

Twine Tub Drum

Five Gallon Bucket Drum

8th Grade

The Giant Jam project in Quaver’s 8th grade curriculum resources expands jamming skills using body percussion and found sounds. It also is a great way to reinforce the importance of listening!

The “Jamming with Found Sounds” video focuses on using found sounds to jam. Discuss the performance and analyze the musical elements used, such as tempo, dynamics, and more. You can also discuss the importance of teamwork, listening, and following the leader—all important elements of a jam!

Can your students name all of the found sounds and recycled materials that Austin Otto and the Ref use?

Find this video in Resource Manager by searching “Jamming with Found Sounds“ or by navigating to Lesson 34 of the 8th Grade curriculum


 

We hope you had a wonderful Earth Day and enjoy giving these resources a try in your classroom!

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How will you be celebrating our planet in your classroom?

 

Save the Planet by Writing Lyrics!

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd! 

Why should the science classroom be the only place students celebrate? Encourage students to think about the planet through music with this engaging lyric-writing activity. Head to the ClassPlay song “Save the Planet” to check out this brand new activity!

How to access “Save the Planet”:

  1. Visit QuaverMusic.com and log into your Teacher Account
  2. Click the TEACHER Tab
  3. Click the ClassPlay icon, located on the Teacher Dashboard
  4. Type the song title into the Search Bar

“Save the Planet” 

“Save the Planet” teaches students different ways to take care of the Earth they call home. From recycling to exploring new energy sources, this song opens a cross-curricular discussion for students to share what they may have learned in science class.

Orff instruments can also be implemented easily with this song. With our Full Score Activity, located in the Song Hub, you can customize based on your teaching needs. You can adjust highlight settings and show, hide, or solo parts to help break down the song

How to Save the Planet Worksheet

Once they are familiar with the song, give students the chance to hone their own songwriting skills! Download the worksheet linked below, or find it in the PRINTABLES tab of the Song Hub. Challenge students to fill in the missing lyrics with their own ideas.

Encourage students to think of ways they can impact their environment at home! Can they pick up trash around their yard? Can they encourage their family to start recycling? There is no bad idea when it comes to cleaning up our world!

Have your students discuss, as a class or with a partner, the changes they can make in their daily routines to keep our world beautiful.

Why not share the worksheet and song with the science teacher at your school? They can access this activity and Quaver’s complete curriculum free at QuaverMusic.com/Preview!

Click here to download the worksheet!


 

We hope you have a wonderful Earth Day and enjoy giving these resources a try in your classroom!

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How will you be celebrating Earth Day in your classroom?

 

New Resources Highlight SEL, STEAM, and more!

Ring in spring with these happy new resources!

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be digging deeper into our new updates, which include:

  • 10 New Song Styles Activities
  • A New STEAM Activity for “Eureka!”
  • Plus Three Brand New SEL Activities!

If you’re a Quaver user, you don’t have to do anything to see these features! You’ll find them already active in your QuaverMusic.com teacher account.

1) 10 New Song Styles Activities

For users with access to: Curriculum & ClassPlay

Ever wondered what “The More We Get Together” would sound like as a pop song? Well you don’t have to wonder anymore! Unpack 10 brand new ClassPlay activities—found in the hub of songs you already know and love. Each Song Styles activity compares different versions and styles of songs—featuring a playlist of three different versions of the song. Challenge your students to compare the songs, describe the musical elements, and flex their skills in evaluation and response. Search the 10 songs in ClassPlay to find the Song Styles activity!

2) A New STEAM Activity for Eureka!

For users with access to: Curriculum and ClassPlay

Looking to inject a little science in your music classroom? We’ve added another great STEAM extension activity to the “Eureka!” Hub! The Exploring Processes screen compares the engineering process with the musical composition process. It can also be used prior to a composition project to lay out the goals and stages of the work. Search “Eureka” in ClassPlay to find the Exploring Processes Activity.

 

3) Three Brand New SEL Activities

For users with access to: Curriculum and ClassPlay

Music is a natural place to unpack the wide range of human emotions. Building on the natural connections in the Pharrell Williams song “Happy,” we’ve developed three interactive exercises that will help students recognize and understand emotions in others, as well as in themselves. Students will unpack ways to be happy, what an emotion might look like, and more! Search “Happy” in ClassPlay to find these new activities: Ways to Be Happy, What’s the Emotion, and Make the Emotion.

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Ready to dig in? Stay tuned to the blog for a more in-depth review of each feature in the coming weeks and find a complete list of the new resources here.

Which new feature are you most excited about?

 

Compose the Perfect Song with Quaver Creatives!

Are you having trouble finding the perfect song to use in your program or concert? Jessica Gartrell from Socrum Elementary in Florida uses the QuaverMusic.com Creatives to compose her own songs for programs and beyond!

Take it away, Jessica!
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Have you ever needed just ONE MORE perfect song for your students to sing in a program or concert? For me, the usual issue of choosing age-appropriate songs tends to stare me in the face.

Currently, I am planning a patriotic-themed K-2nd Grade concert. And here I am again with the same problem! But this time, I found THE song that will work for students in all three grade levels.

The only problem? It’s hasn’t been written yet. This is where the QuaverMusic.com Creatives come in!

Let’s start with QGrooves:

How to access QGrooves:

  • Login to your QuaverMusic.com Teacher (or Student!) Account
  • Click on the blue APPS tab at the bottom of Quaver Street
  • Select QGrooves from the Studio section
 

The first thing to do is to decide on a style for the song. Using the pre-written loops, arrange your song into a catchy yet simple chord progression. For my piece, I started with a keyboard foundation, added some synthesizer from R&B, and then finished it off with driving percussion in a Pop style. You can see the other style options in the middle of the screen under “Style.”

When you have completed the arrangement of your song, save your work by clicking FILE. Once your work is saved, you’ll want to create an MP3 track to turn your work into a play-along track. Click FILE again and select MAKE MP3.

In my case, I named this MP3 “America 1.” Wait a few seconds, and a bubble will appear that says your MP3 is available for download! It’s that easy!

QStrum:

Now, let’s head over to QStrum to add another layer to our piece! Use the APPS tab to navigate back to the Creatives menu to choose QStrum.

Underneath the playback control icons, you’ll see a prompt saying “Click here to load a Play-Along Track!”

Not only is your Play-Along track going to play along with whatever guitar strums you add to your new song, but the chord progression you came up with in QGrooves is now visible above the measure numbers. Talk about awesome!

Now, select the type of guitar and/or bass you want to use. It might be a little  tricky to find a strum pattern that works with your play-along, but stick with it!

After you’ve rocked out with some guitar, there is an important step in SAVING your new Play-Along. Save it as you did before, however, make sure you check “yes” when asked to include your Play-Along in the MP3.

Boom-Chicka-Combined!

QComposer and Beyond:

QComposer is another handy composing tool! In my original song, I chose to add simple piano accompaniment to certain sections. I opened QComposer and added some piano flare to my tribute to America!

When you’re happy with your piece, select DOWNLOAD NOW and save your song as an mp3 to your desktop. I recommend playing the instrumental track from your computer and writing down the lyrics for your students to follow along with!

Here are the lyrics to my original piece:

 

 

And Boom-Chicka-Boom! You have the song you’ve been dreaming of for your program.

You can listen to the finished version of “We Will Sing of America” here!

 

There are so many awesome ways to incorporate the QuaverMusic.com Creatives in your classroom! I strongly recommend dedicating a rainy afternoon or two to just explore the capabilities of this awesome resource. Once your students hear your composition in action, they’ll be itching to compose their own great masterpiece!

Happy Composing!

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Will you use any of Jessica’s tips for your next program?  

 

A New Response Activity for Every Student!

It’s almost time for Quaver’s March Music Madness

As a reminder, each week from March 15th to April 2nd, composers from four different musical periods–Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Impressionist–will square off to see who has the ultimate classical piece!

You can find out more information about the competition at QuaverMusic.com/MusicMadness. 

Download a PDF of the bracket to share with your class here

Looking for a new responding activity for your students?

We’ve developed two special worksheets that you can use along with Quaver’s Music Madness!

Let’s dig in to this slam dunk of an activity:

How to access the songs:

  1. Visit QuaverMusic.com and log into your Teacher Account
  2. Click the TEACHER Tab
  3. Click the ClassPlay icon, located on the Teacher Dashboard
  4. Type the song title into the Search Bar

Audio clips of the songs will also be available for you to play right here on the blog!

For Younger Students (K-2)

  • Download and print the worksheet for your students to complete as you listen to the songs each week
  • Students will analyze the songs based on the following elements: mood, dynamics, instrument families, and tempo
  • Fill in the boxes:
    • Mood box – have students draw how the song makes them feel
    • Instrument Families box– have students circle which instruments they hear in the song
    • Dynamics box– have students mark on the scale which dynamic best fits the song
    • Tempo box–have students decide whether the song is slow (largo), fast (presto), or somewhere in between (moderato)
  • Have students rate each song by shading in the stars
  • Collect student worksheets and compare their ratings
  • The piece that receives the most stars wins that round for your class!

Click here to download the worksheet!

For Older Students (3+)

  • Download and print the worksheet for your students to complete as you listen to the songs each week
  • Use the critical thinking questions to guide your students to analyze the pieces
  • Students can respond to each of the questions on the worksheet and then discuss their answers in groups or as a class
  • Have students rate each song by shading in the stars
  • Collect the students worksheets and compare their ratings
  • The piece that students give the most stars to wins that round for your class!

Click here to download the worksheet!


Think you know how the QMunity will vote?

We invite all teachers to submit their brackets at the beginning of the contest! If you end up with a perfect bracket at the end of the competition, you will win a special prize for your avatar! Email Promotions@QuaverMusic.com by March 15th, 2018 with your bracket for your chance to win!

More info will be revealed before the first round of voting starts—so stay tuned and join us for the most musical competition around!

Boom-Chicka-Boom!

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Which piece do you think will come out on top?