Mrs. Niu - Mrs. Rzasa -
For all information regarding the Memorial String Orchestra Program, please click HERE.  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Weekly Review 4/3-4/7

This week in music, the first grade students continued learning about the Carnival of the Animals, a piece composed by Camille Saint-Saëns.  They followed a listening map for one movement of the piece, "Fossils."  The listening map showed the different instruments and themes which can be heard, including the xylophones, piano and clarinet.  To conclude the unit, the students watched a video of an orchestra performing the Carnival of the Animals in a zoo - it was so funny!

The second graders finished writing lyrics to their class song (which they composed last week), then performed in small groups!  Their lyrics were so creative, and we cannot wait to share them with you!  We will be posting them sometime next week.  The students have also continued to work on music for the Memorial Day Assembly.   They started to learn a second part (or partner song) to go along with "Grand Old Flag."  They will be learning more music next week!

The third graders learned a new note on the recorder this week, F#.  The F# has a tricky fingering, and can be found in the blue belt song, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  The students are continuing to work towards their Recorder Karate Belts, and we are so proud of their progress!  Please remind your child to practice at home, or you can ask them to perform for you!  The third graders also started a new song for their concert, "Rock Boom BAG!"

The fourth and fifth graders have officially entered "concert mode" - which means that we are rehearsing for their performance in every class instead of only once per week.  After the spring concert, we will do extra general music classes to make up for this time.  That will mean more games and instruments in May! :)  From now until the concert, students should be working towards memorizing their lyrics, and practicing their band/orchestra instruments.  We have posted chorus lyrics and recordings HERE, and orchestra students can practice along with the recordings found HERE.  Below is a concert information sheet, which went home earlier this week:


Dear Parents/Guardians,

The music department at Memorial presents:

Elements of Music
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
7:00 p.m.

Your child has been working very hard towards this concert and we hope you and your family can be there to support them. Feel free to email or call us if you have any questions.

  • Day/Evening Concert Attire:  
Students will wear the white t-shirts that they decorated with a musical symbol along with any solid colored bottoms.

  • Call Times:
  • Band students will report to the music room at 6:40pm.
  • String students will report to the lesson room at 6:40pm.
  • Chorus students who do not play an instrument will report to the kindergarten wing at 6:50pm.

  • Please note: ALL 4th and 5th graders must attend the Spring Concert. The students have been working so hard since January to prepare for this performance, and we need all of their wonderful voices and instrumental skills in our ensembles!  (Please contact us in advance if you have a conflict with attendance)

* We look forward to seeing you there! *

Mr. Napierkowski, Mrs. Niu, and Mrs. Rzasa

Friday, March 31, 2017

Weekly Review 3/27-3/31

The first grade students discussed the instruments of the orchestra and talked about the song, Carnival of the Animals. This hilarious musical suite which consists of fourteen movements is composed by a French composer, Camille Saint-Saëns.  Each movement is about a different animal (except for the little joke) and features different instruments of the orchestra. The animals are having a carnival and everyone is invited to participate, even our own students! After discussing each part, the students had a lot of fun moving around to the music of the various animals. Next week we will watch a movie about the Carnival of the Animals. 

The second graders worked on a class composition.  They will be learning to read music notation next year, so this week we gave them a brief introduction to the staff.  Then, we reviewed rhythmic values and the musical alphabet - there are only 7 letters!   To compose, students took turns with selecting a rhythm (quarter note, eighth note pair, or quarter rest), then choosing a pitch (A, B, C, D, E, F or G).  Students continued until each class had their own song!  During their second music class, students got to pick their partners and added lyrics.  They wrote words to accompany the tune, making sure to match up the correct number of syllables to each rhythm. Next week, they will be performing them.

We are so proud of our third grade students who are making great progress in learning the recorder. The students played Musical Jenga and Old Maid during their centers day.  In their second music class, we reviewed "Lucy Locket" (the green belt song), and learned "Old MacDonald."  Our new note, D, can be a little tricky! The students had to make sure they were covering the holes all the way! We also learned a new song for the recorder concert, "Rock Boom BAG." Here is a picture of one of our students diligently practicing their recorder at home:

Our fourth and fifth grade students designed their own t-shirts for the spring concert. Each student got to pick out a musical element to paint on the front side of the shirt and decorated the back of their shirt with their name, nick name, and their favorite number. Here is a sneak peak at some of their creativity:

In chorus, we finished learning "The Galop" and 5th grade's featured song, "I Have a Shadow. "
All lyrics are now on the blog so please start memorizing your songs! 2017 Spring Concert Lyrics.

As we approach April, we hope this will be the last few days of snow! Have a wonderful weekend and stay warm!

Monday, March 27, 2017

String Update and Assignment

Fourth Graders
4A, 4B, 4C:  The fourth graders have been rehearsing the Blue Danube Waltz.  Please count carefully, as this song has 3 beats in each measure!  They have done an amazing job so far, especially since they just got the song last week.  Some students also had time to review Final Countdown.

Assignment for 4th graders:
  • D Scale
  • Surprise Symphony
  • Blue Danube Waltz
  • Final Countdown 
  • Strings Will Rock You

Fifth Graders
5A and 5B:  The fifth grade students have continued to work on the Blue Danube Waltz, the Final Countdown, and their Twinkle Variations.  Keep up the good practicing! :)

Assignment for 5th graders:
  • D Scale
  • Final Countdown
  • Blue Danube Waltz
  • Twinkle Variations
  • Strings Will Rock You

Here's a quick video from their first orchestra rehearsal on the Blue Danube Waltz.  I only filmed 8 measures, and I regret the fact that I didn't film the first 24!  They really did an awesome job.