October 27, 2011

Halloween Song for Recorder: Minor Tonality and Composing Original Lyrics

Simple Halloween Song for Soprano Recorder - in Em
Not sure if anyone else has discovered this, but there exist very few Halloween-themed or even minor tonality songs for soprano recorder.  In my quest to find a simple Halloween  song for soprano recorder, I ended up writing my own simple melody.  As you can see to the left, it is reaaaalllly simple!!  But for my Fourth Graders, this is the perfect get-back-into-recorder song, as it uses the first four pitches we learn....AND, they fit into a minor key!!!  Yay!!!
In my writing process, I started to write some lyrics to go with my silly little song, but why do all the work?!?  As I am always telling myself, my students need to go home more tired than I am.  So I made them do the hard work.  Each class wrote their own simple lyrics with a spooky, Halloween theme.  I added a rough piano accompaniment just using Em and Am broken chords.  Our final form followed this pattern:

FORM
Piano Introduction
Play Song on Recorder 1x
Sing Lyrics 1x
Play Song on Recorder1x
Piano Coda

The best part of these kinds of lessons in my classroom is RECORDING!!  After we rehearse the final form 2 or 3 times, I use Audacity or GarageBand to record our performances.  Often I just use the (gasp!) built-in mic on my MacBookPro.  I usually am so rushed with 50-minute periods and don't have time to bother with an external mic.  But, by all means, if I had time and if you do, I know the recording quality would improve tremendously.  My students are all familiar with my website on my school's website and know how to find the recording page to share music class activities with parents and families at home.  Go to the "Class Recordings" page and you can hear the different classes recordings as well as see the JPG file of their composition.


Here's a sample of one of our recordings:  

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