Posted by: calannad | July 26, 2012

Week #5 – Orchestra!

Hey guys!

I can hardly believe we only have one more week of Between the Lines. Molly and I are going to miss y’all like crazy!

This week was one of our favorites of the summer – we talked all about orchestras, which Molly and I both love to listen to and play in! Your kids learned that orchestras are big groups of people who play music together. We listened to some awesome orchestra music that made us imagine and feel all kinds of things.

To see first hand how an orchestra works, we decided to make our own – right at BTL! As the kids learned, orchestras are made up of four “sections” (strings, winds, brass, and percussion) and each section is made of of specific instruments. So we also split up into four sections, and assigned ourselves the names of the orchestra sections. Just like a real orchestra, we learned to follow our “conductor” (and we saw just how tricky that can sometimes be!) in a big game of musical “simon says”.

To learn more about the instruments in each section of an orchestra, we read one of our favorite musical books – “Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin!”. Then we got to see some of the instruments in the book up close! Our awesome friend Paul played his violin for us, and let your kids try it out for themselves. We also saw the viola, the cello, and the harp, among others!

Finally, we learned about one piece of orchestra music up close – the Firebird Suite, by Igor Stravinsky. The Firebird Suite is based on a beautiful Russian fairy tale, which we read and acted out together. We listened to the piece as well, and looked at visual artists’ interpretations of the characters and scenes. Then we crafted our own versions of characters from the story out of Model Magic clay.

Of course, there was also a Firebird snack to reward us for all our hard work… Molly and I made “Firebird Tails” out of chocolate-covered Oreo cookies – yum!

To wrap up, as always, here’s the next verse of our song:

Turn on the lights and give an “A”
It’s an orchestra – hooray!
Winds, percussion, brass and strings
Play all sorts of awesome things!
Turn on the lights, its time to start!
Listen for each special part! 

We hope to see you all on Wednesday for our finale lesson! Have a musical week!

Lots of love,
Anna [:


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