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

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Weekly Review 1/14-1/18

Before heading off to a three day weekend, please take a moment to check in to see what we did in music this week.

Our first grade students will be studying Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" for the next few weeks.  "Peter and the Wolf" is a story and musical piece by the Russian composer.  We read the book first, then started a listening map in the second class.  As the students listened to the story and orchestral music (narrated by Patrick Stewart), they completed the activities in each box.  Each part of the map included a fun activity, such as drawing the different characters and identifying different instruments. We will be finishing this activity next week. Here is a list of all the character in the fairytale. Each character in the story represents an instrument and has a musical theme:
Here are also some first grade students working hard on their map:

The second graders started a learning a new movement activity called " Jim Along Joe." The title of the song means to "come along." Students substituted different movements as they sang the song while walking around in a big circle. They also started a new unit on instrument families.  The four main instrument families are: brass, woodwind, string, and percussion. This week the students learned about the brass family.

Common Brass Family Instruments:
French Horn

Third grade students are preparing for their recorder test next Tuesday and Wednesday. If you child still needs extra help, please let us know! We will also be going to Carey Hall in Lexington to watch the symphony perform on Friday, January 25th. The bus will leave at 8:45am and we will be back around 11am. We highly encourage your child to get dressed up for the performance. They are more than welcome to bring a change of clothes.

The fourth graders learned"Auld Lang Syne." The song is traditionally sung on New Year's Day, at midnight right after the ball drops.  The song reminds us to remember our old friends and fond memories as we approach the new year.  The song sounded great as we sang it, but it will sound even better with chordal accompaniment. We will be playing the accompaniment next week so stay tuned!

The fifth graders played an accompaniment to, "Take On Me," by a Norwegian band called A-ha. This song was very famous in the 1980's. Here are some fifth graders having fun singing and playing the chordal accompaniment on the tone chimes. 

Here are what tone chimes are:

Have a wonderful long weekend and stay warm!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Weekly Review 1/7 - 1/11

Happy 2019!

This week in music, the first grade students learned a silly movement chant called "Hands, Hands." We warmed up our cold bodies by moving just one body part at a time. We also sang a winter song called "I Have a Little Snowman."  It explores movement and pitch in a scale.  As the song continues, the pitch of the song rises, and when the snowman melts the pitch returns back to the starting note (do).  After we reviewed our solfege tones, we learned a fun song and game called "Doggie, Doggie." One student played the part of the dog who was sleeping in the middle of the room while another student distributed the bone to one person in the room as the class sang the song. Whoever had the bone on the phrase, "Who stole the bone?" got to sing the solo part of "I stole the bone!" It was so fun to see students guessing who they thought had the bone.

The second graders reviewed a musical term from last year: tempo.  Tempo is the speed of a piece of music. We practiced listening and moving to various tempos with a song called "Freight Train." Students also had a chance to compose a "tempo story." The class chose a topic, then as each part of the story was added, students determined its tempo: adagio, andante, or allegro (slow, medium, or fast).  Then, we "performed" the story on percussion instruments, following the changing tempos.  It was so much fun!

To prepare for their upcoming field trip, the third grade students had an exciting visit on Tuesday from four members of the Lexington Symphony Orchestra. Students got up close and personal with the violin, viola, clarinet, and trombone. The performers played beautiful music and taught us about their instruments.   We discussed the four instrument families (string, brass, woodwind, and percussion), and learned a little bit about concert etiquette.

The fourth and fifth grade students started a new unit - chords!  A chord (unlike a pitch or interval) is a group of three or more pitches played at the same time.  There are MANY different chords in the music world, but we focused on chords with three or four notes.  We explored the different tonalities that the chords can possess, and a process for building a chord that will sound good every time!  Once everyone knew how to build a chord, we used the classroom floor staff to learn how to notate and label them.

In chorus, the students downloaded the new songs for our spring concert!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Weekly Review 12/17-12/21

This is our last week of school for 2018. Here is what we did this week:

Congratulations to our first grade students! They did a wonderful job performing at their winter showcase. Thank you to all who came to the performance. Here are some pictures:

To complete our Nutcracker unit, our second grade students learned a fun rhythm stick routine to the Trepak.  They reviewed rhythm notation which included half notes and whole notes.

Third grade students completed mad libs to fun winter tunes. They reviewed parts of speech- verb, noun, and adjective.   Without seeing the song first, students selected words and inserted them into the song.  We also learned a fun dance called the Jingle Bell Mixer.  Here is Mrs. Keating and Mrs. Kipp's class performing the dance:

The fourth and fifth graders celebrated the completion of their Winter Concert by enjoying some time outside!

We hope you all have a fun and relaxing winter break. May 2019 bring you all much love, peace, prosperity and good health!

Cheers to 2019!