Thursday, 26 April 2012

Ringtone Project

Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 will be creating their own ringtones this month.
Using GarageBand, students will create a 20 to 30 second ringtone that includes:
  • original lyrics (either singing or rap)
  • at least one loop
  • at least one sound effect or short loop
The ringtone can be funny or serious, and it can be a general ringtone or a ringtone that is meant for someone in particular calls (ie. mom, dad, brother, sister, best friend, etc.).

To begin this project, we used a projector so that we could all work on GarageBand together and create a class ringtone. This helped the students to navigate through the program and expectations. Listen to their creations below! More to come!!

Room 11's Ringtone: Hey, Hey, Hey!

Room 15's Ringtone: My Phone Be Ringin'
*Lyrics by Room 19

Room 17's Ringtone: Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom

This project allows us to integrate computer technology into the classroom, and also touches on several outcomes in the Manitoba Music Curriculum:
  • search for and discover ideas, themes, and/or motifs for music making through experimentation, improvisation, and/or play with music elements, concepts, and techniques
  • identify, explore, and select ideas from a variety of sources as a starting point for music creation
  • select, organize, and use, with increasing independence, a combination of sounds and/or musical ideas for composing and arranging musical pieces (e.g. select, refine, and organize motifs, choose form, dynamics, tempo, articulation)
  • explain own decisions about the selection and use of music elements, techniques, expressive devices, forms, and principles of composition in own ongoing work
  • collaborate with others to develop and extend musical ideas
  • make interpretive musical decisions, demonstrating understanding of a variety of ways in which expressive devices can be used
  • rehearse, revise, and refine music to perform for others, with increasing independence, keeping in mind the composer’s intent and the audience
  • make appropriate decisions as to whether own work is “finished”
  • share own musical ideas, compositions, and interpretations with others through performances, composition portfolios, and/or sound/video recordings

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

The kindergarten students are working on being able to echo more complicated rhythm patterns on the non-pitched percussion instruments. This is more complicated than it sounds! Not only do they have to remember and reproduce exactly what they heard, they also have to practice their fine motor skills while they navigate playing a variety of instruments using different playing techniques!

In One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, students who had drums were echoing the numbers, and students who had different non-pitched percussion instruments were echoing the words. Our little brains were definitely working hard on this one! Lots of concentration!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Rumble in the Jungle

Room 10 has been working on a book of poems called "Rumble in the Jungle" by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz. First, all students learned to play the pattern “Rumble, rumble, rumble in the jungle”:

Once we were comfortable with the rhythm, we started adding different patterns on the drum to illustrate the poems. Next, students chose other classroom instruments to represent each of the animals or descriptions in the poems.

Several Music Curriculum outcomes were experienced as students created this project.
Students we able to:
  • Read and perform a grade-appropriate rhythmic pattern using standard music notation
  • Play a steady beat and rhythmic patterns in a group
  • Choose instruments based on their characteristics of sound
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Rondo Form (ABACADAE....)
  • Experiment with music to communicate ideas derived from a poetry
  • Select and organize sounds and musical ideas as a class
  • Rehearse music to perform for others
  • Share musical ideas, compositions and interpretations with others through performance, and sound/video recordings

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Why Are the Arts Important in Education?

Did you know that there is not one single culture or small group of people on this entire earth that does not use some form of music in their daily lives? Music is a natural part of life and has many purposes. It is used to celebrate, to mourn, to relax, to dance, to enjoy, to experience, to learn, to worship, to communicate...and so much more! The same can be said of visual art, drama, dance and writing.

The Arts in general (music, drama, dance, literature/writing and visual art) are vital to human existence. We would never ask people to live their lives without listening to the radio, hanging pictures in their home, reading novels, watching television, or going to plays and concerts. And yet there are many people in the world who still believe that the arts do not have a place in schools and budget cuts are increasingly endangering arts programs for our children. Without the arts, our children will miss out on an important and unavoidable part of life. It is an expression of where we came from, who we are, and where we are headed. The arts meet many of our human needs.

Meeting Human Needs: The Role of the Arts in Education 

By Ashley Queen


Water Jug
For the month of April all Buchanan students have been participating in a drum circle. We use Djembe drums, Tubano drums, and water empty jugs. We have been learning a variety of rhythm patterns, as well as using the drums to accompany songs, stories and poems. Some classes have learned some traditional African folk songs and games.

Room 17 (Grade 4) has been working on a song called Obwasimisah, which includes a rock passing pattern. We began by passing one rock to the pattern of "pick up", "pass" (passing to the right every time we put the rock down). Once we were comfortable with passing one rock, we each started working with two. Our new pattern is "pick up", "tap", "tap", "pass". It can be quite difficult to keep this pattern going smoothly as a large group, and one mistake can end up in a pile of rocks! We have been having a blast, and are working toward being able to keep the game going without stopping!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

April is Music Month!

In the province of Manitoba April is Celebrating Music In Manitoba Schools Month. Our Grade 4/5 Buchanan Orff Club was selected to perform at the Manitoba Legislative Building as a celebration of Music Month. Our performance took place on April 11, 2012, 11:30pm. It was a beautiful concert consisting of The Buchanan Orfflings, Dufferin Christian School, Matheson Island School, Ecole Lacerte and Dawson Trail School.

Weren't able to make it out to the concert? Listen to our performance below or by clicking here!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Buchanan's YouTube Music Channel

Our Buchanan School YouTube Channel is now up and running!

On this channel you will find:
  • sound recordings of student work - hear what we are doing in class!
  • sound recordings of student performances - listen to the results of our hard work!
  • sound recordings of our favourite movement songs - play at home!
  • favourite music videos and creative videos - explore music and multi-media projects
  • favourite funny videos - just for fun! - have a laugh!
  • Miss Queen's vocal and flute music
  • and more!
 Check us out!

*To protect the privacy of our students, no pictures, videos, images or names of Buchanan students will appear in any material posted to YouTube.

What Is Orff, Anyway?

Students at Buchanan School are generally instructed using the Orff Method of teaching.

What does "Orff" mean?

The Orff method is named after Carl Orff (1895-1982). He was a German composer, conductor and educator. His most famous work is the oratorio "Carmina Burana". Carl Orff was the music director at the G√ľnther-Schule; a school of music, dance and gymnastics that he co-founded in Munich. His ideas were based on his belief in the importance of rhythm and movement. Today, the Orff method has expanded and is used all over the world to educate children and adults alike.

What is the Orff Method?

"The Orff Method is a way of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments (i.e. xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels). Lessons are presented with an element of "play" helping the children learn at their own level of understanding. It is a way of introducing and teaching children about music on a level that they can easily comprehend. Musical concepts are learned through singing, chanting, dance, movement, drama and the playing of percussion instruments. Improvisation, composition and a child's natural sense of play are encouraged." 
(Espie Estrella,


Welcome to Buchanan School's Music Program Blog!
Here you will find details about our music classes and events, as well as links to sound recordings students have made in class and at special performances. Enjoy!