3rd & 4th Grade

April: 3rd grade has been busy with their rhyme scheme unit and 4th grade is now in the music room playing xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels.

February & March: 3rd Grade did an excellent job with their xylophone unit. They completed a quick final quiz to summarize everything they learned and made a short video of their playing.(video will be added here once it’s finalized)


3rd grade has spent some time discussing different types of genres. A genre is basically a category that describes a style or type of music. Here is a video that showcases some different genres:

We discussed genres so that we’d be able to identify the genre of the song we chose for the God in Music Assignment. Distance learners must complete this assignment. Details and examples can be found in the assignment.

For the past 2 months, 4th Grade has been working very hard on rhyme schemes in music and poetry. Here is a great video that summarizes almost all of the topics we’ve discussed:

Here’s another video that is more specific on labeling rhyme schemes:


We practiced identifying rhyme schemes in different poems and verses, discussed the difference between a perfect rhyme and a slant rhyme, discussed the requirements for a haiku and practiced writing 4 line verses and haikus. At the end of the unit, we took a quiz to show off our new skills.

4TH GRADE RHYME SCHEME QUIZ: Rhyme Scheme Final Quiz

January: We’ve been talking about our feelings and how music can make us feel a certain way by using Major and Minor chords to make us feel happy or sad. Here is a video that illustrates the difference between the sounds of the chords: Major vs. Minor

A fun activity to illustrate this effect is called “Feelings in Music with Art”.

Draw a line down the center of a blank page and across the middle, forming 4 boxes. Label each box 1-4. Listen to 4 different songs that could evoke different emotions, and show how you’re feeling during each song by drawing a picture. I encourage the students to try and draw objects that represent their feelings as opposed to faces with emotional expressions. Here are 4 examples of songs that we’ve used in class.

Song #1: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Song #2: Can’t Stop the Feeling

Song #3: Phantom of the Opera

Song #4: Shake My Sillies Out

After the activity, encourage the student to reflect on how each song made them feel and elaborate on the reason behind the drawings. Compare the songs. Which songs gave similar emotions? Which songs were very different? Are there other emotions besides happy and sad? What are they?

December: 3rd grade has been working on Xylophone, Metallophones and Glockenspiels in the music room. Here are links for DIY instruments if you’re feeling adventurous and would like to try and make a xylophone.

Paper Xylophone

Wood Xylophone

If you have an old baby xylophone from when you were younger, that will work too.

Here is a link to see one of the tutorial video we’ve been working with: Xylophone Tutorial Video

4th Grade has an assignment due called God in Music. Use the link to see the assignment and directions. God in Music Assignment

Please complete the assignment and drop off during your pick-up time or email it to jonathan.sheffer@dor.org


November: Please complete this Fall Rhythm worksheet and drop off during your pick-up time or email it to jonathan.sheffer@dor.org

Place the words in the correct column that represents the rhythm of the syllables for each word.

We’ve been taking a much closer look at reading rhythms while using percussion instruments. Here are two videos showing how to make your own percussion instrument.

DIY Percussion Instruments 1

DIY Percussion Instruments 2

We’ve been using egg shakers, maracas, sand blocks and rhythm sticks to play along with the instructional videos.

Here are the 3 stages of rhythmic notation reading that we’ve been using. I strongly encourage students to say the phrases as they play along. “Ta” for quarter notes, “Ti-Ti” for eighth notes, “To-e” for half notes and “shhh” for quarter rest.

Rhythm Reading 1

Rhythm Reading 2

Rhythm Reading 3

Please don’t move on to the next stage of rhythm reading until you can play through the first one with little to no mistakes. If you don’t have the resources to make your own percussion instrument, you can always play along by clapping. Have fun and please send in videos of the students using the tutorials and their DIY instruments!


October: The 3rd and 4th graders were working on recorders when school ended in March.  Due to the new Covid-19 restrictions, we can’t play recorders in class right now.  If they still have their personal recorders and a copy of the Recorder Karate book, I’d encourage the students to continue practicing reading notes with their instrument. We’ll be reviewing rhythmic notation and music vocabulary during September and the beginning of October  to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Click the link to access the file for rhythmic notation review: Rhythmic Notation

Here’s another link with a different visual representation of how the different notes are related: Rhythmic Notation 2

Here’s a video that talks about the different Rhythmic Notations

Try to read some music and clap along with Mr. Gordon: Rhythmic Clapping

September: We’ve begun reviewing our music vocabulary words. Click this link to access the file: Music Vocab Review Sheet

We’ve been learning about the difference between Beat and Rhythm. Here’s a great video explaining the difference in greater detail: Beat vs Rhythm

Along with our vocabulary review, we are reviewing the different musical instrument groups. Here’s a video that allows students to hear what the different instruments sound like: Orchestra Instrument Groups (I suggest having a blank sheet of paper to write down the instruments as you listen to them and sort them into their groups. It will help with the quiz)

Once you’ve listened to Orchestra Instrument Groups, please take this short 15 question listening quiz and send it to jonathan.sheffer@dor.org

Please write which instrument you think you’re hearing for each example. I will be giving full credit for every answer that is in the correct instrument group, so be sure to not leave any answer blank.

Recorder Tutorials from March 2020:

Recorder Warm-up for notes B, A and G:

Hot Cross Buns tutorial: