Feature

Little Bunny Foo Foo Hopping Through the Forest…

Little Bunny Foo Foo

If you didn’t finish singing the song while moving your hand like a bunny after reading the title of this post then there is something wrong with you. Just sayin’!

I am thirty years-old (shhhh!  Don’t tell!) and I still  LOVE LOVE LOVE Little Bunny Foo Foo!  I look forward to my LBFF lesson every spring!  Honest to goodness the kids can’t get enough of it either.  It’s one of their very favorites and they request it for weeks afterwards.

A few years ago I was bumming around beautiful Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and stumbled into a bookstore where I found this awesome version of Little Bunny Foo Foo by Paul Brett Johnson.  In fact my students loved it so much that they bombarded the poor librarian to check it out.  Unfortunately, she didn’t have my version–which, of course was a complete travesty–so she ordered a copy for the library.

Of course this lesson can stand along without the book.  Just teach your students the song and have fun telling them some version of the story and they’ll love it!

I like to use this lesson from PreK-2nd.  LBFF might seem young for 2nd grade but trust me, they totally dig it!

CLICK HERE FOR LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO LESSON PLAN

Yamaha Song Chords

Song Chords Icon

Okay, like the chord detector app this app is great fun!  The Yamaha Song Chords app is great for guitar or piano students.  With an online store containing over 1,000 songs, the app is unlike other guitar chord apps in that there is a backing band playing with you!  The app features a 16 track song mixer that allows you to remove or add instruments to your backing track as you please.  The app is set up so that the chord symbols are synced to change in time with the music and there are chord references for both guitar and piano.

Here’s a screenshot of my jam session to Blind Melon’s No Rain–AWESOME SONG!

No Rain

I love this app and think it is totally worthwhile.  Song Chords is a free download, however while your first song is free you have to pay to download subsequent songs–$2.99 does feel a little steep BUT these songs can go A LONG way in the classroom!  One great thing they do is provide a preview of the song before you buy it so you can see if it’s something you really want.

This app has great potential for the classroom!  Hook the app up to a sound system and project the app onto your whiteboard using apple TV and you can have your students playing along to any song in no time!

It’s Spring!

peepsqueek

Okay, maybe it’s not technically spring, but we’re getting a little closer everyday!  The weather here in Utah has been lovely the last couple of days.  With our luck we’ll get hit with a massive snowstorm next week.  That’s how we roll.

In celebration of the beautiful weather we’re having–and the fact that I’m currently on spring break and LOVING IT!–I am posting another literature lesson (I know you’re shocked) based on the book Peepsqueak! by Leslie Ann Clark.

This is a great book for teaching melodic direction to your littlest students (preK-1st), and is ideal with xylophones or other melodic instruments. Hope you enjoy it!

CLICK HERE FOR PEEPSQUEAK LESSON PLAN

 

Literature Lesson: Click Clack Moo

clickclackmoo

Sorry guys! I’m a bit behind on posting. This month has been a little rough but I’m back and hoping to post more over the next few weeks to make up for my absence.

So I’m sure you have noticed that I have a thing for using books in the music classroom. During my first year of teaching elementary music in D.C. I struggled a bit with controlling the behaviors of some of my younger K-2 classes. I remember seeking advice from the school librarian one day regarding a couple of the classes in particular. After she kindly listened to my sob story about how nothing was working she commented that she really didn’t have too much difficulty with those classes. I can only imagine the look I shot her before she quickly amended her statement saying: “I’m lucky I guess. It’s just that I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love being read to.” The light bulb in my head immediately lit up. She was right. Kids love stories and if I could teach music concepts through stories then I could surely engage those difficult students. Literature-based music lessons became my obsession.

Last summer I had the opportunity to help teach a graduate early childhood music course and during that time I shared a bunch of my literature lessons with some of the students. Yesterday I received an email from one of the students inquiring about my Click Clack Moo lesson because she wanted to share it this week with her kindergarteners. Since it’s one of my favorites I thought it was time for me to post it on here.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE LESSON PLAN

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ORFF ARRANGEMENT

I hope you enjoy it!

Here’s a little video of the story with the typewriter sound effects. Not sure how I feel about the ominous music in the background though…

Coolest. App. Ever.

Chord Detector

Okay, I might be exaggerating a little.  There are plenty of cool apps out there and I’ve barely started to scratch the surface on my blog here.  I will say that the one I am introducing today is pretty darn awesome.  Why?  Because before this app I used to have to troll Ultimate Guitar in hope of finding the tab/chords for the latest catchy radio hits that I wanted to learn on guitar (Ultimate Guitar also has  a great app by the way called Ultimate Guitar Tabs that is really worth checking out).  But then I stumbled upon this little beauty.  Behold, Chord DetectorChord Detector takes any song from your iTunes library and gives you the chords and chord charts for it.

Chord Detector--Three Little Birds

Totally.  AWESOME!  What I also love about this app is that you can play the song through the app and as the song is playing you can set the chords to scroll or have them highlighted red so that you can follow along!