Year 5 Music Work
The Blues and Ukulele
This term in Year 5, having gained some confidence on the ukulele, and with a good range of chords under our belts, we have started a unit of work about playing ‘The Blues’ and composing our own Blues music.
We have listened to some examples of ‘The Blues’ such as ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and ‘The One Shoe Blues’ and have learnt a little about the history and form of ‘The Blues’.
We have now started to compose our own Blues music, using a 12-bar blues pattern and the three chords A7, D7 and E7. Some children are working in small groups, whilst others are writing solo pieces. You can see some examples of our first verses and their chords.
We have also been experimenting with improvisation for the first time on the ukulele, using a Blues Scale. We have all had a go at using these notes on the A string of the ukulele over the top of a ‘Shuffle Blues’ backing track. We will include our improvisation in our compositions once they are complete.
These are the notes we have been using on the ukulele (from a Blues Scale) to help us improvise. We have been focussing solely on the A string.
In Y5 the children all learn to play a ukulele. This is the first time we have learnt to play an instrument which can accompany our own singing. We have started by learning three main chords: C, F and G7, (although we are already adding more chords to our repertoire.) In order to do this we are learning to read some new musical notation called Chord Tabs.
Listening Out for Texture
This term, Y5 have been listening to music with a particular focus on the texture of the piece, such as Five Pieces for Orchestra No.1, by Webern and Dis Long Time Gal, a Jamaican piece played on Steel Pans. We had to solve the puzzle of which score matched which part of the piece by listening to the texture.
This year’s Classroom Celebration was the third for the current Y5 pupils, having performed on the chime bars and ocarinas in the previous two years. All children in Y5 have learnt the ukulele this year, not only learning quite a range of chords to accompany their singing, but also learning the fiddly skill of fingerpicking a tune. At the performance they entertained the audience with some familiar songs played with chords and both classes also played a piece demonstrating their fingerpicking skills. For the first time this year the children have composed their own pieces for ukulele and many of these were played at the celebration. To complete their repertoire, Y5 chose a challenging song called Beat of a Different Drum to sing, which involved some tricky rhythms and melodies and included a solo group of singers. Well done Y5! A very accomplished performance.
Year 5 Ukuleles
Year 5 pupils have started to learn the ukulele this term and have learnt a Christmas piece to play at the final assembly of term. They have been perfecting a number of different chords and also how to strum a steady beat, whilst singing along. These are tricky skills to master.
Here you can hear Bats playing and singing Deck the Halls and Owls playing and singing Last Christmas. For these pieces they needed to know the chords C, C7, F, G7, Am, Dm and Bb.