Category: Music


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Spring has sprung! Hooray for flower power! We’ve been celebrating the 1960’s here in the music room as we learn about this important time in our country’s history and prepare for our concert on “Friends and Family Day,” Friday, June 3rd. We started with a slideshow that helped us understand what a tumultuous time the 1960’s were. For starters, the conservative fashions of the 1950’s were replaced with bell bottoms and tie dye T-shirts.   Women were wearing mini skirts and “Go Go” boots. It was the time of the Civil Rights Movement, rock-n-roll concerts like “Woodstock” and the Vietnam War. And young people were letting the world know how they felt about all that was going on in our world through music. The times they were “a changin’” for sure!

Through this music, we’ve been exploring song form. The younger grades danced with red scarves during the chorus of “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” and yellow during the verse. The 4th and 5th graders used percussion instruments to learn about musical phrasing. Kids with drums played the first phrase of “The Times They are A Changin,” followed by kids with different instruments for each phrase. Then we all played together and finally switched instruments during the refrain of “The Times They Are A Changin’.”

As we prepare for our concert, we continue to talk about ‘articulation’ and how important it is for each one of us to use the “tip of the tongue and top of the teeth” to articulate so that the audience can understand us! We are learning how to sing with energy and to never be “louder than beautiful.”   This week, in K-3 classes, we will learn about pitch. Kids will identify and move to low pitches and high pitches.

As always, we’ll warm up our voices with chants and movements like “The Grand Old Duke Of York,” “Oliver Twist,” and our newest one, “Jelly in the Bowl” before we sing.

That being said, we should be good and warmed up to sing for you at our concert on Friday, June 3rd, during “Friends and Family Day!” Thanks for tuning in. We look forward to seeing you real soon!




Monday, November 2, 2015

Music has taken us out to sea in grades K-3. The kids are learning about how important music was to sailors on the big ships. We talked about Sea Shanties (sailor work songs) and how singing them helped the sailors keep in time as they worked together to keep the ship sailing!   We listened to “Haul Away, Joe,” a traditional sea shanty. We used our bodies and imaginations to pull the anchor, hoist the sail, push the capstan (to tighten the ropes on the sails) and Read More


Music Post from 10/3/15

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dear K-5 Families,

It was great seeing everyone at Curriculum Night!  It’s that time of year when all the kids have been thinking about their “Hopes and Dreams” for the school year.  Each has asked him/herself “What do I need to focus on this year?  What do I need to do to become a better mathematician, writer, reader or scientist?

In music, we use the song “Yankee Doodle” to teach K-3rd grade music students about the hopes and dreams of our forefathers building our own country.   In this song that dates back to the Revolutionary War, kids are learning how hard it was for the “Yanks” to fight against the “Redcoats.”  The Redcoats had a rich king who made sure that each of his soldiers had a great looking uniform with a bright red coat, shiny boots and a big, strong horse.  The “Yanks” didn’t have much money but they wanted to look good, too!  So you bet if they saw an old chicken feather, they would pick it up and stick it in their caps.  On a basic level, the Redcoats were bullies making fun of the Yanks.  It’s a story kids can relate to.

In a slideshow, we looked at of the British and American flags, we met General Howe, George Washington, and their soldiers.  Then we listened to “Yankee Doodle” while keeping a steady beat with claps and pats.  Finally we stood up and kept the steady beat with our feet as we marched to “Yankee Doodle.”

On a different note, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” is a familiar lyric to many.  People from all over the world have the hope or dream of coming to New York City.   What is it about New York that makes people feel this way?  After our 4th and 5th graders shared their answers to this question, we watched Liza Minnelli (The daughter of Dorothy, Judy Garland, from The Wizard of Oz!) sing the theme from the movie “New York, New York.”   Earlier, we learned how a singer uses his/her voice, body and imagination to bring a song to an audience. To say that Liza’s rendition of this song is a great example is an understatement!   While we listened to the song, we found lots of different ways to use body percussion to keep the steady beat, too.  Then we had16 beats to walk to our favorite place in New York City, which was posted somewhere in the room.

In addition to our lessons, we’ll also use our imaginations as we do a physical and vocal warm up each day in class.  Singers need to be relaxed so we’ll stretch, chant and vocalize before we sing.

It looks like we’ll have 2 concerts this year: winter and spring.   You’ll be hearing all about it! Promise.

Enjoy the weekend!