NEW: Music Instruments and Equipment Thanks to the IPPG
Through the generosity of the IPPG students in all grades are able to enjoy new musical instruments and equipment this year. With their support we have purchased some bass notes and a Peruvian percussion box called the cajón for the Zimbabwean Marimba unit. Complementing this unit we now have a digital hand-held recorder that will record extremely high-quality audio in Mp3 format to be shared in class and at home. Audio recording is planned to become a part of all music classes, including Choir and Band. To help with the concerts at the end of the year we also have a new mixing board and some PA components. Finally, we are expecting shipment of a new, colourful “musical chairs” carpet to be used during primary classes to help with seating plans as well as personal space.
Contra-Bass and Sub-Contra-Bass Xylophone Bars
We have purchased three contra-bass and sub-contra-bass xylophone bars, which we are currently using for our Zimbabwean Marimba Unit in Grade 6. By using these instruments, students are able to accurately recreate the sound and feel of traditional African music, contributing to our set of soprano and bass xylophones. Also, students in all grades will be able to use these instruments during Orff melody percussion units.
Zoom H4 Handheld Recorder
The Zoom H4 is an easy-to-use handheld digital recorder that will be used at all grade levels, in all classes. Currently, the Grade 6 students are working toward recording their marimba performances in small groups. The recordings will be shared through the students’ e-portfolios. This device may record WAV files, as well as straight to an Mp3, making it as simple as recording, uploading and listening to any students performance or project. But we’re just getting started: there are plans to have students’ guitar performances recorded, as well as our bands and choirs. The possibilities are endless.
The cajón, literally translating to “box”, is exactly that. It is a Peruvian instrument that students may sit on and tap on the front. However, this box was acoustically designed for best bass response and is also equipped with snares in the front, which produce a buzzing sound depending on where and how it is struck. This wonderfully simple instrument will foster the students’ sense of rhythm and motor skills as they explore the many sounds the cajón can produce.
Musical Chairs Carpet
Though sounds like a simple item, the Musical Chairs Carpet will replace the grey, musical staff print carpet that our primary students use during lessons. This larger, colourful carpet features different coloured chairs that will help with seating plans and personal space with younger students. As well, its large size will eliminate the tripping hazard of the old, three-piece carpet. However, the older carpet will still be used in intermediate classes with learning note names in both the treble and bass clefs. We are currently waiting for shipment of the musical chairs carpet.
Music Teacher, Band and Choir Director: Zoltan Virag