Music at TMSA

Dear TMSA Family,

We are completing another successful week in music, with all grade levels taking important steps in musical learning.

This week, kindergarten and first grade students began to apply their rhythmic skills to a variety of percussion instruments, including tambourine (with drumhead), guiro, hand jingles, dual wood blocks, and sandpaper blocks. They were able to study the unique physical makeup of the various instruments and the factors that go into producing their different sounds. Proper technique for playing these instruments was also learned. Students took turn matching steady beats with one another, and also engaged in a variety of call and response exercises. Grades 2 and above focused on the universally appealing pentatonic scale (five note scale). Live and video performances were shown to the classes that demonstrated how this scale is used in every continent around the world, and from ancient to new music. Students were able to see how the musical appeal of this scale leads it to its placement in some of their favorite popular songs and in even in commercial advertisements. Classes studied a series of pentatonic scales with different tonal centers on their glockenspiels. In the following week, younger students will begin to create vocal rhythmic patterns on their own, according to some of the basic rhythms that we have studied thus far, while upper grades will dive into the world of rhythmic syncopation, where the "off beats" are stressed (though "off beat" is certainly a relative term).

Regards,

John Fulkerson