Amy M. Burns

Elementary Music Technology and Integration

Amy M. Burns has taught PreK-grade 4 general music for over 20 years at Far Hills Country Day School. She has authored 3 books on how to integrate tech into the elementary music classroom. She has presented many sessions on the topic, including 3 keynote addresses in TX, IN, and AU. She is the recipient of the TI:ME Teacher of the Year, NJ Master Music Teacher, Governor’s Leader in Arts Education, and the NJ Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year Awards.

Arranging Yankee Doodle

The fourth graders study the American Revolutionary War during the winter trimester of the school year. To correlate with their study, we study the music of the Revolutionary War. The students learn that many patriotic melodies were originally British melodies. They also study the purposes of the drum and fife players during battles.

Finally, they study the melody of Yankee Doodle. They learn how to read and perform the melody on their recorders. In addition, I place them in small groups and access their Noteflight accounts (noteflight.com). They open the "Copy of Yankee Doodle" file and read through the melody and drum lines. The file has some of the melody and some drum patterns. The students can copy and paste these patterns into the empty measures and perform their new arrangement.

Once finished, we export this new arrangement directly into Soundtrap (soundtrap.com). They are assigned a musical style and come up with an updated version of Yankee Doodle. This is in the style of Tour the States, a youtube sensation where the students sing and rap the states and their capitals. Below is an example of one of the fourth grade group's creations. They hope you enjoy it!

Assessment: 4th Grade Bach Study

After studying the music of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), which included many British melodies being written into American patriotic music and a couple of dances from the era, the students traveled further back in history to the time of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The students studied his childhood through books such as Bach by Ann Rachlin and Bach by Michael Venezia, and experienced his music and adulthood through the movie, Bach's Fight for Freedom. The movie showed the part of his life where he was imprisoned when he chose to play his own music instead of only playing the hymns that the Duke wanted him to play. The students showed their knowledge of the subject by answering questions and creating a circle content map about his life. All of this culminated into the fourth graders creating movie trailers about Bach's life using iMovie. In these trailers, some groups chose to focus on one portion of his life, while others chose to focus on his entire life. The trailers also show the fourth graders' amazing creativity. There are trailers which had two purposes: to show you Bach's life as well as to want you to come and see the actual movie that the trailer was used to promote. We ended with a viewing of each trailer. I would tell them three things: "I like..." I wish..." and "I wonder...". The "I wonder" was usually, "I wonder what you would have created if you had a little more time." I hope that you enjoy these extremely creative trailers. They will be displayed on Seesaw by the end of the week. I am very proud of the students! iMovie. In these trailers, some groups chose to focus on one portion of his life, while others chose to focus on his entire life. The trailers also show the fourth graders' amazing creativity. There are trailers which had two purposes: to show you Bach's life as well as to want you to come and see the actual movie that the trailer was used to promote. We ended with a viewing of each trailer. I would tell them three things: "I like..." I wish..." and "I wonder...". The "I wonder" was usually, "I wonder what you would have created if you had a little more time." Here are two examples of my fourth graders' works. I hope that you enjoy them. I am very proud of my students! 

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