Monday, September 26, 2016

Fall Music Lesson Resource: "Leaves are Falling All Around"

Wow! Did September go by quickly or what? I'm so glad we're having cooler temperatures, aren't you? Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the changing colors and all the fun things you can do outside--biking, hiking, and just walking without the summer sun beating down.  Hopefully you're enjoying some cooler temperatures too. I'm sure students are happy to be able to run around during recess without breaking into a sweat.
There are many songs about fall and leaves falling, but I thought I'd put one together with a twist. Children love stories, action and instrument playing, so I combined these three elements into a song. "Leaves are Falling All Around". Not only can the children tap the beat, sing the solfa, the lyrics and play instruments, but they can do the activity and also improvise some rhythm patterns.

I love to watch the children pretend to be falling leaves as they sing the song and at the end of the song, improvise a rhythm pattern that's supposed to mimic the sound of "falling leaves".
This resource is going to be my first Newsletter Freebie. I hope you have subscribed!
Included in this resource is the sheet music for all of the parts, an Mp3 of the Vocal and the Accompaniment tracks, teaching pages for Beat, Rhythm, Solfege and a printable for students to make their own "Leafy" rhythms.
I think that "Leaves are Falling All Around" is a nice addition to some of my tried and true fall classics. It will work nicely with Rain, Rain Go Away, Doggie, Doggie Where's Your Bone, and I Had a Dog. If you're interested, you can find these resources in my store. The links are below.
I also think this is a nice lesson to teach across several grades. I think Kinders will love to sing and do the activity, First graders will sing and work on "la", second graders can work on the rhythms, and third graders will enjoy the improvisation. Of course, this depends all on your students and your classroom situation. What's nice about this resource is that it's so adaptable for K-3. That way you can use it the way you need to for your curriculum needs.
I love connecting literacy with music and this book would be a nice addition to singing fall songs.
"Leaves" by David Ezra Stein
Here is a nice reading of the book if you don't have it---

After singing the song and reading the book, I would have the students experiment with some creative movement. I'd ask them to show me how a leaf falls to the ground. If anyone falls with a thud (which I know they will do).... I'd ask the class "what kinds of sounds do leaves make when they fall to the ground?) This would be a gentle reminder that leaves do not "thud".
I love this gentle song and the video graphics. It shows falling leaves-which is important for the students to see, especially if they have not experienced the fall season.

I use the "Leaves are Falling All Around" song for 2-4 classes. At first, I introduce the form of the song, then I have the students tap the rhythms and add in the words. Then we take a look at the solfege and practice so-mi -la and do. 
After that I have the students sing the song and then challenge them to be silent during the "falling leaf" section. Then we get out sand blocks and shakers and play the sound of leaves falling during that section of the song. (We stand in a circle) I challenge them again, to sing the song and only play instruments during the falling leaf section. The students get very excited when they all follow the pattern. Then we trade instruments. This takes our whole class time. I take my time to teach each section and let the students get the full experience of learning, rhythms, solfege, patterns, form and relating it to "fall". 
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Fall is here and so are some fun music lessons!
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Rain, Rain, Go Away
KODALY SONG "Rain, Rain, Go Away" 10 Lessons- Melody Ostin

Doggie, Doggie and I Had a Dog (with a fun new game)
Kodaly Game Song "I Had a Dog" and "Doggie, Doggie" Rhythm

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