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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!

Posted in Apps | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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!

Posted in Eqpmnt/Logistics, Web Sites | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Valentine Game

Posted by lbbartolomeo on February 9, 2013

My K’s and 1’s LOVE this song/game!    

This game is sung to the tune of “This Old Man”.  “Valentine, valentine, won’t you be my valentine.  Number one, number two, number three it must be you.  Take my heart along with you!”

Students are in a circle and the leader holds a valentine in his/her hand and walks around the outside of the circle as everyone sings.  When they get to the numbers, the leader taps the head or back of the nearest student ONE, next student-TWO, next student-THREE and the third one gets the valentine.  At this point then there are two ways to play.  The new person can be the leader and the former leader takes the new leader’s place.  Or the way I play it is for the new leader to follow behind the original leader so that with each verse, the outer group creates a longer and longer line until all end up in the outer circle.

This song has

solfege:  SM, DRMFS, MRD               rhythms: two eighths, quarter, 4 sixteenths

Posted in 4 Sixteenths, DRMFS, MRD, SM, Two eighths/Qt., Valentine Game, Valentine's Day | Leave a Comment »

Zimbabwe Marimba

Posted by lbbartolomeo on January 17, 2013


I use Walt Hampton’s Marimba books for Zimbabwe-type xylophone pieces.  The kids LOVE them.  Here’s one of them.


This is a school in Zimbabwe with music and dance.  I think it’s really fascinating and the kids learn so much from it!

Posted in Stuff | Leave a Comment »


Posted by lbbartolomeo on January 17, 2013

Dr. King, he had a dream, he had a dream for all you see.
P-E-A-C-E, P-E-A-C-E, P-E-A-C-E
His name was Martin Luther King!

On the board, I put this visual, erasing one letter after each verse!  Works great!
Screen shot 2013-01-17 at 7.48.23 PM

1.  We already know the song BINGO so this switch is not hard.

2.  Once we sing it as a group, as a group we replace the clap with something else.

3.  We take suggestions which usually are; snap, pat, stomp, hit our chairs, cluck our tongues, etc.  We vote on which one we want to do and do the NEW sound/motion as a class.

4.  The next class, partners or small groups choose a new sound/motion and then we sing as a class.
There are so many fun possibilities.  You can ask the groups to choose a motion, a sound, an instrument, a leveled motion (high, middle, low).

Posted in Stuff | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Black Hist. Music Survey

Posted by lbbartolomeo on January 14, 2013

We have a Black History Celebration Concert every year and this year I want to get some song suggestions from the families of my students.  Here is the survey I’m sending home.

Screen shot 2013-01-14 at 9.04.14 PM

I always start the unit by putting up genre cards on the board in no particular order and have the students try to order them chronologically.  My programs usually consist of songs from 5 or 6 of the genres.  The results will be posted on our school Cultural Competency Blog!

Posted in Stuff | Leave a Comment »

I Have A Dream

Posted by lbbartolomeo on January 3, 2013

Simple Martin Luther King poem with ostinati!  How do you teach about MLK?  Please leave a comment to share.

Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 6.34.10 PM

Screen shot 2013-01-03 at 6.50.14 PM

Posted in 6/8 meter, Improvisation, MLK | Leave a Comment »

Carnival of the Animals

Posted by lbbartolomeo on December 29, 2012

How do YOU teach this piece?  PLEASE share in the COMMENT section!

What a great way to highlight movement for this great piece with these masks!


March fun


  1. Introduction and royal march of the lion
  2. Hens and Roosters *
  3. Wild asses
  4. Tortoises
  5. Elephants *
  6. Kangaroos
  7. Aquarium *
  8. People with long ears
  9. Cuckoo in the heart of the woods
  10. Aviary
  11. Pianists
  12. Fossils
  13. The swan
  14. Finale

*Most popular for kids

BOOK Adorable book by Jack Prelutsky


I’ll be adding specific forms for Elephants, Aquarium, and Hens/Roosters.

How do YOU teach this piece?  PLEASE share in the

COMMENT section! 

Posted in Carnival of Animals, Classical Music, Masks, Movement | 2 Comments »

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