Friday, The Fifth – What Fun We Had!

Bonjour tout le monde,
We had a pretty exciting day today in 3/4L. This morning I explained to the class the mystery of the Tin Whistles. I ordered them through Allans Billy Hyde and apparently the order got lost! After chasing it up a few times and waiting 5 weeks, I was told yesterday that they were being send immediately from Sydney. I did tell the person I ordered from that I would have been quicker asking my mother to buy them in Ireland and having her send them over!! A short time before recess today, the long awaited phone call from the office came to say ‘the Tin Whistles had arrived’. Here they are!!!!!
Before we got to our first Tin Whistle lesson, we had Kath Murdoch teach an Inquiry lesson in 3/4L. Kath is an Educational Consultant who works with the teachers at St Bede’s. We were very lucky to have her model a lesson with 3/4L and the students thoroughly enjoyed it. Here are a few photos from the session which was based on Wetlands, the living and non-living things which are found in Wetlands and the connections they have. There was also a strong emphasis on collaboration. I encourage you to discuss the lesson further with your child. Notice the assimilation of a wetland which Kath and the students created towards the end of the lesson. The string represented the “web” or “chain” as the students described it which binds all the living and non-living things (the students) in the Wetland.
After lunch we had the talented Gemma Kim play the piano for us as part of her VIP for this week. We really enjoyed listening to her play and there were even shouts for an encore! Here’s Gemma’s wonderful performance:

Then we were ready for the first Tin Whistle lesson of the year! The children were incredibly excited and probably a little shocked at the noise in the room when we got started! We focussed on learning the notes B, A and G today as these are the easiest notes but students have the diagram for how to play all the notes if they want to try them all.
We had a crash course in stick notation and rhythm names: Ta, Ti-Ti and Sa. This will of course be developed further as we learn various tunes and songs. Then it was on to learning ‘Hot Cross Buns’!
This week I mainly want students to focus on producing a good sound which is achieved by covering the holes on the Tin Whistle properly and not blowing too hard! Students should always play with their left hand on top and right hand on the bottom. The right hand should always be in position (right thumb behind third hole from the bottom), even when not using it to produce notes. I have given the students a couple of extra pieces (Mary Had a Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle) which they can have a go at playing but there’s no expectation to learn them before next week.
Please encourage your child to practise for a minimum of 10 minutes each evening so s/he learns how to hold the Tin Whistle confidently and play the notes properly. By next Friday, I would like all students to be able to play ‘Hot Cross Buns’.
I insist at school that there is no need to produce a really loud, high pitched, squeaky sound if students are being sensible and trying to play properly. I’m sure some of you at least will have fun managing that at home!!!
Tin Whistle lessons will be every Friday for the remainder of the year. The children must have their Tin Whistle and their music with them, otherwise they will have to sit and listen to everyone else having all the fun! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
I intended taking lots of photos but in the busyness of helping students to hold the Tin Whistle properly, cover the holes, find the notes, play the correct rhythm, I totally forgot. I did manage to get one though!