What a cute little book! I don't know if you've ever read it or not but it is worth the 2 minutes. It is an easy read of course. This book, by Joy Cowley, is perfect for the  pre-k, kindergarten, or first grade student.

I read to my music classes regularly. When I do, I try find musical elements within the books. This is one book I just couldn't pass up! Who wouldn't want to watch kids explore as they play in the mud like a cow, pig, or duck? Plus, hearing them make the sounds of the animals (or the mud) makes me smile every time.

The thing that clinched it for me was listening to my oldest daughter create an ostinato as I read to our youngest daughter at home. She couldn't resist the "wishy washy, wishy washy" in the story. That's when I knew it was destined to be a classroom piece.

And I couldn't resist coming up with 2 other ostinatos. Notice that I is 2 beats, II is 4 beats, and III is 8 beats.

If you wanted to, you could turn III into a call & response piece using the sounds of the animals: cow (moo), pig (oink), duck (quack), mud (squish).
Process: I did a quick read of the book with my second grade classes and then taught them the ostinatos after they explored the sounds and movements. After they got comfortable with each of the ostinatos I divided them into groups and added a second and then a third. Within 10-15 minutes the classes were ready to make a rough recording. 

The recording process was really good for the students because it recreated a performance kind of atmosphere. In addition, it gave me a good starting point for the year. I will have to upload one of the versions later on.

I plan on trying this with my first graders down the road but it is way too early right now! Hope you enjoy.

UPDATE: Here is a rough version of the ostinatos together 
File Size: 538 kb
File Type: mp3
Download File

Here are a few videos using Pachelbel's Canon in D. I'm going to try the 2nd one with my 6th graders this year - maybe...

There are a lot of really neat resources for students!

I have a confession to make. While I love teaching elementary music there is one part of it that I absolutely abhor. Every fall I start to feel this dread. It creeps slowly upon me and reminds me of the ability I lack. It mocks me with its blank stare.

What is the hatred that consumes me? It is BULLETIN BOARDS! I cannot stand putting them together. I have no creativity and minimal desire to gain any. I think it has to do with my many years as a middle school teacher. I see so many neat ideas around me and I hang my head in shame as I look at my own feeble attempt.

Never fear though! I found a web site that promises to be my creative muse. It is Bulletin Boards for the Music Classroom. Everything I've seen so far gives me hope.

As you start your year off I hope you are in better shape than I. If not, head on over to this new found site and be encouraged!
Every year it seems like the summers get shorter and shorter. And now it's about time to go back to school. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do. However, I also love spending time with my family.

I was a little bummed about the summer music program that was planned. We didn't have enough participation to make it a go. I definitely found plenty to do with other music activities though. Maybe next summer. 

Over time I really hope to let this blog and web site evolve into something that is really helpful for a wide variety of people including teachers, homeschooler's, parents, and anyone else who just wants to be a part of the musical world. 

I will leave you with this wonderful song to enjoy!