Teaching through the Tube

Ok, I'll admit - I sometimes show cartoons in music class...but not just any cartoons, the classic Looney Tunes that use Classical and Romantic era music to narrate the story line. Surely we've all seen Looney Tunes, or Tom and Jerry - but do the children know that cartoons used to have very little talking? The music was the majority of the audio and the cartoon artists would make the story fit the music.

Here's some Tom and Jerry - Marriage of Figaro. It's not always easy to teach opera to children, or to get them hooked when they don't understand the language in which the music is performed. Tom and Jerry aided in my opera education, for sure.

And who doesn't love Charlie Brown? This is one the student recognized. When Beethoven was our Musician of the Month, I showed a clip where Schroeder plays piano sitting on the floor, much like Beethoven. Schroeder idolizes Beethoven and frequently plays his music. In one scene, Lucy even sings lyrics to Moonlight Sonata, in an attempt to get Schroeder's attention.

As of lately, I've been using www.viewpure.com to purify the videos (thank you, Stacy Brown!) so there are no ads or awkward underwear commercials popping up after the video. I always introduce Musicians of the Month by musical era, starting with the Baroque era in August. As we get further into the school year, it's neat for the students to see some of the more recent (modern and post - modern) musicians actually in music videos. This month, we are studying Louis Armstrong. Below are 2 of the videos that I've used to introduce his music.

I will say, a lot of the amazing material that I find is later removed from YouTube... and rightfully so. There are some copyright issues happening on here, not everyone using the resources for educational purposes. I've also recently joined TeacherTube.com so I can get access to more resources for the classroom without copyright infringement.

On occasion (and depending on our musician or activity), we sometimes watch resources on Amazon Prime as well. I may have showed an episode or two of Little Einsteins to Mechina. It's a pretty genius show for the little ones - and definitely helps with audio recognition of the music!

I also use YouTube to create teaching videos to be shown in my absence or if I want to be my own assistant. My entire 3rd grade interactive recorder curriculum is comprised of YouTube teaching videos, where students can learn to play any song in their book. There's even a "How To" section where I answer frequently asked questions. Sometimes I show the videos in class and walk around helping students. It's like having 2 teachers in the room! Below is a video of me giving a tutorial on the first song we play for Recorder Karate, the white bead "All Three Notes"

And if anyone loves Tchaikovsky and playing with scarves, below is a video that I made of myself teaching a class the Trepak dance from the Nutcracker. I knew I was going to be absent later in the week, so I made the video for the sub to play for my other classes.

Go on and grab a scarf... or even a tissue... you know you want to learn the dance!

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© 2014 Michelle Cygielman Gimpelevich, Davis Academy Lower School Music