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Music Education News Online – Dr. J. Pisano

Music Choice Boards-Week 3 · just a little more

By Dr. J. Pisano , in elementary , at April 15, 2020 Tags:


Image header for Music Choice boards week 3We are about to begin our third week of online learning due to the COVID-19 virus and I couldn’t be more excited. Creating musical activities and combining them in one clickable location within Seesaw makes online learning easier for everyone. Here is the Clickable Music Choice Boards-Week 3 version.    

Music Choice Boards-Week 3 for 4th and 5th graders

4th and 5th Grade Music Choice Board / No. 3

Theme and Variation

The Theme and Variation form is reviewed beginning with a video explanation by Brian Gossard. Students are reminded that Theme and Variation is a musical form where the composer creates a melody (the theme) and then repeats it, changing it slightly each time.

C. S. Theme and Variations duet

In another video link, Morgan & Andrew are playing C. S. Theme and Variations duet, also known as Chopsticks duet, by Randall-Compton. These boys are the perfect age to show how cool it is to play these comical variations of Chopsticks.

Jacob Collier

Before we left school, I introduced the students to Alma Deutscher, an English child prodigy composer, pianist, and violinist who has been compared to Mozart. Here is the Seesaw activity about Alma. I want my students to be aware of their generation’s most gifted musicians so they can follow them as they get older.

Jacob Collier is also an English singer, arranger, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based in London, England. His split-screen video covers of popular songs, such as Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing,” began to go viral on YouTube. I can’t wait to share his cover of “Flintstones” with my kids! Jacob is a four-time GRAMMY recipient whose style fuses elements of jazz, a cappella, groove, folk, electronic music, classical music, gospel, soul and improvisation, and often features extreme use of reharmonization. The video for ‘Here Comes The Sun’ was a completely DIY affair; directed, edited and filmed by Collier and Dodie themselves in North London. 

Music Choice Boards-Week 3 for 2nd and 3rd Graders

2nd and 3rd Grade Music Choice Boards – No. 3

What is a Melody?

A few highlights from Week Three for these grades include Brian Gossard’s engaging “What is a Melody” video. Students are challenged to make a video singing, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” by themselves or with their family. With their permission, I’ll edit all of the videos and create one video to share with our Lower School family. We are a private school, so this is easier to do than in a public school, I’m sure. One of my students’ favorite songs to sing is, “Do Re Mi” and this version from Visual Musical minds is always a winner, even with my boys.

Water Xylophone Experiment or Mario Paint Music Composer

Students have a choice between creating a Water Xylophone melody or using Mario Paint Music Composer to compose a melody. I’m using this video to introduce the Water Xylophone project.


1st Grade Music Choice Board No. 3

Music Choice Boards-Week 3 for 1st Graders

What is a Melody?

First grade is also exploring “What is a Melody” and the High Low Song from MK-8 is perfect for this age. It is a review for my students.

Sing and Make a Movie

In this activity, students are challenged to make a “Selfie-Singing-Video,” as we call it, to record two of our favorite songs: “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain,” and “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.” My plan is to take the videos, and with their permission, edit together one video to share with all of the first graders at school.

How Do Trombones Make a Melody

I like to throw a little bit of orchestra in the mix, so I have a snippet of a Star Wars theme played by a trombonist. It’s sure to grab the attention of my boys! I want them to figure out how a trombone makes pitch changes.

Mario Paint Music Composer

My students love Chrome Music Lab, and the Mario Paint Music Composer site is another fun way for children to explore making sound patterns. I’m not having them save their work this week; it’s just introductory playtime.


Download these Seesaw Activities

Until the Seesaw Community Library is up and running again, you may download these Music Choice Boards-Week 3 files below. The Prek and Kindergarten boards can be found in this previous post. I hope you can use these boards with your students and I hope it makes teaching online less overwhelming.

I would love to get your feedback on these music choice boards and how your students are reacting to them.

Stay inside and healthy,

Most Sincerely,


No. 3 / 5th Grade Music Choice Board
No. 3 / 4th Grade Music Choice Board
No. 3 / 3rd Grade Music Choice Board
No. 3 / 2nd Grade Music Choice Board
No. 3 / 1st Grade Music Choice Board
No. 3 / Kindergarten Music Choice Board
No. 3 / PreK Music Choice Board





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