Orange Roots Lesson 1

 
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Lesson # 1

 
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What a great first lesson! There is always so much info to pack in while I have you in class once a month! Thank you for coming!

Our last semester of Let’s Play Music is packed with amazing musical concepts that some kids will get in high school music classes, if they are lucky!! This is going to be an amazing ride as we make skipping snakes, play with the roots of chords, build triads, compose a song, add to our musical repertoire, and much, much more.

Because we are moving right along now, my hope is that you will continue to put highest priority on your practice time. Each week we will be building on concepts and skills practiced the previous week. Of course, we have been doing this all along in the other LPM semesters. However, if the students get behind this semester, they will most likely feel lost rather quickly. As a result, they won’t feel happy going to class because they won’t know the material and won’t have practiced the songs. This will quickly lead to frustration and unhappy students. We’d like to avoid this from the start, by putting highest priority on practice from the beginning. This will eliminate much of the distress that could develop because of neglected practice.

In order to incentivize their practice this semester, I'll have them work toward earning a GIFT CERTIFICATES FROM HOME! (They get really excited about this.) I'd ask each of you to email me 5 or so ideas, and I'll create the gift certificates here. I'll keep them hidden away so it'll be a surprise for them when they earn one. In the past, I've seen anything from 5 minutes later bedtime to a trip to Sports Connection and everything in between. You know the things that will motivate your child. Please send me those as soon as you can  - they'll start earning points toward them next week. They will get a certificate for 15 points, so it's possible that they could earn one every 3 weeks if they're getting all 5 points each week.

 
 
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Primary Root Chords Song

Wow! We had to do some hard thinking during class with this song. Playing our old familiar song in a new way is helping us understand that root and how to play chords when they are in root position. We are jumping all over the keyboard to play this song, but don't forget, to play these root position chords you simply put your thumb on the root and then play what 'feels' like a red chord.

Cockles and Mussels

Our first repertoire song this semester is an old Irish folk song from the 1800s. This week, we are focusing on learning the melody. The fun part of this song comes soon, when we look at the ROOT position chords in the left hand. This piece allows us to strengthen our fingers as hands play together, tests our sight reading skills, and gives us the opportunity to improvise with a broken chord variation. Ha ha! Is there anything it doesn't do??? Our Let's Play Music blog has a great post with fun facts and practice videos dedicated to our new 'Cockles and Mussels' repertoire piece. Gather the family together and enjoy!

Let's Find the Root

Ever wonder why we learn so much about chords in Let's Play Music? Chords are the building blocks of songs and harmonies. In our 6th and final Orange Roots semester, we will finally analyze and label the chord theory and structure that our fingers have been playing and singing since we were Red Balloons! The idea of 'it's not about the shape, it's about the pieces' will take on new meaning as we label those pieces and discover the most important of those pieces-- the ROOT! Don your sunglasses, and keep it cool while you sing 'Let's Find the Root' to understand what the root is, and how to find it in our chords! In case this feels a little foreign to you, I have attached a parent help that dissects the lyrics to Let's Find the Root with visual examples and simple explanations to better help you understand the theory concepts I am teaching in class.

 
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Does our Monsters Puppet Show remind you of anything? Checkout these trombonists as they play a 'Star Wars' trick on their fellow musicians during an orchestra rehearsal. Print out the attached coloring pages and color as you listen along!