Song Wheel

Putting all the spokes in your teaching wheel!

Starlight, Starbright

Posted by lbbartolomeo on September 18, 2015

Teaching the Song

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 9.42.37 PMDissect the text.

Put a square around all of the “star” words.

Circle the “I” words.

Underline the word “wish”.

Put a star above all the rhyming long I words.

Singing the Song

  1.  Write down student wishes.  With younger students, pick four or eight that will work as a “B” section.  I suggested we think of wishes to help others and we created “Houses, food, water, clothes, money, caring, kindness, peace”.  We then created an ABA, sing, poem, sing arrangement.
  2. Older grades could classify their wishes into rhythm bricks.  A class poem can be created or small groups can create their own.  Then RONDO form can be used, alternating the song “A” with the different group poems.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.11.04 PM


  1.  Raise and lower arms to the s-m patterns of the song.  Do it with a partner.  Do it while raising and lowering a parachute or a shared scarf with a partner.
  2. Sing using a pitch ladder.
  3. Write on a 2 line staff as a class and individually.
  4. Play it on the xylophone or other pitched instrument.  I give the below half sheets to my students and they write in the notes/circles, the s,m, or l

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.19.22 PM Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by lbbartolomeo on January 1, 2015

I’ve taught different pieces of “world” music, done basic drumming, gone to a few seminars (World Music Drumming with Will Schmid), but never taught an ongoing world music class!  Starting January 2015, I will be teaching world music classes to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  Here you will find everything that I’m using in my class.


Notation of patterns from different countries HERE.

Kurry Seymour, public school world music teacher, HERE.

Zimbabwe Shona Music Info and Notation, HERE.

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Headphone Storage

Posted by lbbartolomeo on June 22, 2014

Like many things, I discovered this neat idea by accident!  Just hang your headphones on a door and the cords NEVER become tangled as long as you take the headphone on the end.  Image

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Posted by lbbartolomeo on November 30, 2013

I’d like to compile worthy information/activities about India!  If you have something to share, PLEASE let me know!  I’d love to have other great resources!

Dandiya Raas-Traditional Folk Dance by the group LIBANA


Posted in India, Movement, World Music | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

All things UKULELE!

Posted by lbbartolomeo on October 7, 2013

UPDATE:  Here is my NEW way of storing my ukes.  A wonderful retired music teacher and her husband built this amazing stand for 30 ukes.

IMG_1962 IMG_1963 IMG_1964

Here’s how I stored them when I was first getting started!

I have 33 ukes and here is how they are stored.  ukestorage2The unit below is a

storage unit which usually has tubs/bins on the four levels.  I took out the

bins and found that the dowels going across are just the right width to hold

the ukes.  I don’t have room to hang them so this is working well for me.

More care has to be taken when getting/putting away the uke.  So far, I do

this job, with a quick tuning before handing the uke to a student!


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Posted by lbbartolomeo on August 18, 2013

Screen shot 2013-08-18 at 5.55.09 PM

Since I live in Indianapolis, the ending fits!  “Colts, Go Blue!”  But you can re-arrange it to fit YOUR needs!

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Some of the team rhythms can be changed to more naturally fit the way they are pronounced.  This is just how I laid them out.


1.  Rhythmic canon

2.  Rhythms quarter, two eighths, quarter rest

3.  Transferred to drums, adding ostinati

4.  Transferred to pitched percussion for improvisation


Posted in Canons/Rounds, Improvisation, Speech Pieces, Two eighths/Qt. | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by lbbartolomeo on June 27, 2013

DRMLiteWhy I LOVE this app?

  • Lets you explore scales FOUR ways; solfege, numbers, colors, animals singing in funny voices.
  • Can play more than one note at a time!  CHORDS!
  • Has a record feature to record/play back your creations!
  • The free LITE version offers all of these options.
  • For all grade levels because it is so open-ended!

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iPad Cover

Posted by lbbartolomeo on May 5, 2013

How do you protect iPads in an elementary school?  HHI iPad mini Kids Fun Play Armor Protective Case - BlueThese covers for my iPad minis are FANTASTIC!  The silicone covers have extra large corners, are easy to hold, and allow easy access to headphones/charger inputs. The online store, HandHeldItems, was quick to ship and I will use them again.  I have much more peace of mind with these covers!  All my students, from kindergarten to sixth grade, love them!

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Friendly Competition

Posted by lbbartolomeo on March 24, 2013

IMG_0996Have your fifth graders gotten spring fever?  Hard to get some classes motivated or showing you their best efforts?  I use a simple chart to generate a little friendly competition.  It works!

The image shows a dance unit with a combination of folk dances and contemporary dances.  The classroom name is across the top.  Even if we only have two minutes left in class, many classes beg me to dance “one more dance” to try to get MORE stars than another class!


Students NOT willing to hold hands or touch other students is always an issue initially.  I LOVE to begin with the Marian Rose routine for BINGO because it requires a constant change of partners!  

Posted in Classroom Mngmt, Movement | Leave a Comment »

Roses Are Red

Posted by lbbartolomeo on February 9, 2013

This is a wonderful 6/8 Valentine activity for intermediate grades. 

Using the old poem “Roses are Red”, echo speak with body percussion until everyone knows it.

1.  Individuals improvise the poem on pitched percussion/recorders.  When we do this, we start with someone and just proceed all around the room.  I keep a little bass beat on the BX and play a little interlude between each child.  It is so much fun and the 6/8 of course is lilting and beautiful!

2.  Finish the melody activity-On xylophones have students learn DRMS, DRMS for the first two lines of the poem and then they create the melody for the last two lines.  We vote on our favorite and that becomes their class melody.  I usually do it in C pentatonic.  It would work well on recorders in G major.  OR, you could do LDRM in E minor on recorders for a fun and accessible way to finish a melody using the notes EGAB.

3.  Building bricks with 6/8-students brainstorm.  Three eighth note examples are valentine and chocolate.  Dotted quarter examples are love, heart, red, candy.  Put combos together in groups to create B, C, D, E, F, etc. sections in rondo form with #2 song as your A section.  Or pick favorite group creation as the B section for a more simple binary form.  These can be transferred to non-pitched percussion.

4.  If you’d like to explore writing poems in the style of “Roses are Red”, this Bruce Lansky site is awesome.

Roses are blue.
Violets are red.
If you agree,
You’ve got rocks in your head.

Posted in 6/8 meter, AB, MRD, Rondo, Stuff, Valentine's Day, Xylophones | Leave a Comment »

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