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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

String Update and Assignment

Fourth Graders
4A:  The students have been doing an excellent job on viola and cello!  Today we reviewed the D string notes:  Open D, E, F#, and G.  It can be a little tricky to get all of these notes in tune, but the students did a great job!

Assignment for 4A:
  • Continue to practice the D string notes.
  • Please work on the A string notes too! (Open A, B, C#, and D)
  • Start to take a look at our first orchestra piece, Salamander Samba.
4B:  Today the students performed a song that they chose from page 14 or 15 in our book.  They did such a great job that I had them all play again so I could record videos! (Check them out at the bottom of this post).  We also practiced the A string notes and played through some of the songs on page 10, then learned how to read open G and open E on the staff.

Assignment for 4B:

  • Practice ALL of the A string and D string notes.
  • Play the D scale, ascending and descending (up and down)
  • Start the Salamander Samba
4C:  Today we continued to reinforce the notes on the D string, then we moved to the A string.  We also worked on string crossings with the bow!

Assignment for 4C:

  • Practice ALL of the A string and D string notes.
  • D scale, ascending and descending (up and down)
  • Start the Salamander Samba
Fifth Graders
5A: Today we spent most of our lesson working on St. Nick's Canon on the Housetop.  The rhythm can be a little bit difficult, so make sure that you count first before you play!

Assignment for 5A:

  • Work on the beginning of Canon on the Housetop, up to rehearsal 13.  This is the part we will focus on in orchestra on Thursday!
  • You may start to practice the First Finger Suite.

5B:  Today we focused on St. Nick's Canon on the Housetop.  There were many note mistakes, so please review all of the notes in the D major scale!

Assignment for 5B:
  • Canon on the Housetop, up to measure 22.
  • You may also start to practice the First Finger Suite.

Please note:  Orchestra this Thursday is for 5th grade only

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Weekly Review 10/11-10/14

With Monday being a holiday, it was short week in music this week. Here is what we did....

All grade levels have been studying our new composer of the month, Ludwig van Beethoven.  In 2nd grade, we watched a short movie biography of Beethoven.

This week, the first graders played "Apple Tree" - a really fun game with a silly song!  One student was the apple tree, and the other students held hands as they walked past him/her.  At the end of the song, each apple tree dropped a red handkerchief (the apple) onto the head of one of the students. They also did the all-time favorite "Looking for Dracula" activity, as well as "Ghost of John."They learned about a musical beat, and how it differs from a rhythm. The poem, "I Think Music's Neat" has helped the students realize that the number of beats in a song or chant stays the same- even if you perform it with a different tempo! We also learned a song about a nocturnal animal called, "The Bats Are All Asleep."  The teacher sings (using a crescendo), then the students respond (with a decrescendo).

Our second grade friends continued to learn more about our composer Beethoven by listening to "Fur Elise and performing their own dance with their partner. Students first listened to the composition with their eyes close and had to describe the music. Each student performed their own interpretation of the song with their partner. One student was the leader and the other student mirrored the movement of the leader. Partners came up with their own "secret code" and when the "secret code" was performed by the leader, the other student became the leader. Here is a video of two students performing their dance:

Students sang a song called "Alligator Pie."  The lyrics are so funny, and the students loved singing in a minor tonality.  They also helped us come up with new lyrics for the third verse.

In third grade, the students sang a song from Uganda called Dipidu.  There is an A section and a B section, each with a different meter!  The A section is in 3, and the B section is in 2.  To help feel this change, we added movement.   Then, we played an elimination game along with the song - it was awesome!  We also put percussion instruments to each rhythm on the song, "Ding Dong." Triangles were played every time there was a quarter note, hand drums were played every time there was a eighth note, and guiros were played every time there was an sixteenth note. 

Fourth grade students are continuing to rehearse for their Veteran's Day Concert.  Here are the lyrics to the song:


Over hill, over dale
We hit the dusty trail,
And the caissons go rolling along.
In and out, hear them shout,
Counter march and right about,
And the caissons go rolling along.

Then it’s hi! hi! hee! In the field artillery, Shout out your numbers loud and strong, For where e’er you go, You will always know That the caissons go rolling along.

Coast Guard:

We're always ready for the call,
We place our trust in Thee.
Through surf and storm and howling gale,
High shall our purpose be.
"Semper Paratus" is our guide,
Our fame and glory too.
To fight to save, to fight and die,
Aye! Coast Guard we are for you!

Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh. Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day-day-day-day. Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam, Until we meet once more. Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.


From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;

First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marines

Air Force:
Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under
Off on one terrible course!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing will stop the U.S. Air Force!

5th grade students also finished the "Bridge to Althone" dance. Here is Ms. C's class performing the dance:

We will finished learning the "Boston Tea" party dance next week.

In chorus, both grades completed learning their featured songs. We also continued learning, "The North Pole Rock and Roll Medley."

Have a fabulous weekend!