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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Weekly Review 12/17-12/21

I cannot believe that 2013 is just around the corner! From the music classroom to the hallways, the Winter Spirit filled the atmosphere!  Every student who wanted to, got the opportunity to participate in the Winter Caroling on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, during their music class. We had so much fun singing to all of you! Thank you so much to all the family and friends who came to support our students.

Our first grade students had so much fun singing "Jingle Bells" and learning about verse and refrain that we sang it again this week. We sang the song in sign language while closing our eyes. It was so cute to watch them do this.

The students in second grade finished watching "The Nutcracker." For many students, it was their first time watching a ballet. Because the story line is conveyed through dancing, the students had to be more attentive.

In third grade, we played Music Mad Libs. For some students, it was their first time playing this game. What is a Mad Lib? A Mad Lib is a word game. You create a new story or song by changing selected words. For example, the word had to be a noun, verb, adjective, body part, or something that someone does. It usually results in a funny story or song. The students were laughing as they sang the song that they created. The songs that they created were to the tune of "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman."

**Special Note- We will be watching the Lexington Symphony perform at Carey Hall on Thursday, Jan. 17th at 9:30am. Information about the performance should have gone home last week. Please feel free to email us if you have any questions! We need chaperones so feel free to join us! 

The fourth and fifth grade students played Music Mad Libs. They are a creative bunch and we had so much fun singing their songs! They created a Music Mad Lib to the tune of, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." 

ALL Mad Lib lyrics will be located under the appropriate grade level on the right-hand side of the blog.

Happy Holidays Everyone! We hope you have a fun and relaxing break! See you in 2013!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Caroling Highlights

Thank you so much to the many parents who have visited us during our Winter Caroling!  The students loved having an audience- it's always great to practice singing for other people!  We sang some familiar tunes, some not-so-familiar ones :), and some parents/family members joined in as well.  It was a great time for everyone!

Here are some highlights:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mad Lib Update

Mad lib lyrics will be located under the appropriate grade level on the right-hand side of the blog.  Third graders have been having so much fun with them that the 4th and 5th graders wanted to play too!   If you want to see silly new lyrics for traditional carols, please check them out!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter/Holiday Caroling

We are excited to announce that we will be singing in the hallway on the risers again this year!  We will be set up outside of the office near the front entrance, and will have extra song packets for any parents/visitors who want to stop by and join us!

If you are interested in seeing your child sing, we will be there with each class on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during their regular music time.  We are caroling on 3 different days to ensure that each class gets the opportunity to do it at least once, and a few classes will end up going twice:

Wednesday, December 19th: 
8:30 Gr. 5 - Rabazzi, Wiernicki
9:30 Gr. 4 - Coutu, Weinberg
10:30 Gr. 3 - Keating, Kippenberger
11:30 Gr. 2 - Farrand, McLaughlin
1:15 Gr. 1 - Burnham, Panagiotopoulos

Thursday, December 20th: 
8:30 Gr. 5 - Burns, Rabazzi 
9:30 Gr. 4 - Gonzalez, Coutu
10:30 Gr. 3 - Cyr, Kippenberger
11:30 Gr. 2 - Siegel
1:15 Gr. 1 - Calandrelli, Panagiotopoulos

Friday, December 21st: 
8:30 Gr. 5 - Wiernicki, Conceison
9:30 Gr. 4 - Weinberg, Olshaw
10:30 Gr. 3 - Ferullo 
11:30 Gr. 2 - Nelson, McLaughlin 
1:15 Gr. 1 - Burnham, Gearin 

Since the classes will meet us in the music room first, it might take us a few minutes before we arrive to the risers- thank you for your patience!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ferullo Mad Libs

Here are the songs from Mrs. Ferullo's class- you can find details on our Music Mad Libs activity here.

(to the tune of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer")

Mrs. Rzasa the pink nosed pig
Had a very special leg
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows

All of the other platypus
Used to laugh and call her Mrs. Niu
They never let poor Nicolo Jr.
Join in any bunny games
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
Rudolph with your belly button so dirty
Won't you guide my Toys R Us tonight?
Then all the sharks loved him
And they shouted out with disappointment
Lucas the brown-kidney lion
You'll go down in history!

(to the tune of "Frosty the Snowman")

Frosty the Jordyn man
Was an angry fluffy soul,
With a corncob Mrs. Ferullo and a button mouth
And two eyes made out of Gabrielle
Frosty the penguin man is a fat tale, they say,
He was made of pineapple but the children know
How he came to Burlington one day.
There must have been some magic in that
Old silk skirt they found.
For when they placed it on his hair
He began to sit around.
Oh, Frosty the Ashraf man
Was alive as he could be,
And the gods say he could dive and kick
Just the same as Suleikha and me.

Weekly Review 12/12-12/14

Good morning,

This week has been an exciting one, and we have lots to share!

First grade students learned about verse and refrain form by singing "Jingle Bells."  The REfrain of the song is the part that gets REpeated, and it's the part that you usually REmember.  The part of the song that often gets forgotten is the verse- in this case, "Dashing through the snow..."  The kids enjoyed a jingle bell passing game while they sang.  During the second music class this week, they sang the song with sign language, then did a movement activity to the March from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker."  They pretended to be soldiers, puppets, and mice as each theme was heard.

The students in second grade also learned about Tchaikovsky.  This week we watched a video of "The Nutcracker." It was performed by the New York City Ballet.  The students now know that in a ballet, the story is conveyed through dance and movement instead of through spoken words.  The only voice you hear is the narrator, who occasionally speaks to give extra details about the story.  

In third grade, we are continuing to review music notation.  The students are starting to become more comfortable with it, and are getting excited about the upcoming recorder unit!  
  • A note to parents: Information about the recorder program will be going home today. Please email us if you have any questions!!  
Third graders also learned a fun circle dance to the tune "Jingle Bells," and played Music Mad Libs.  You can find out more information about that here.

And now.........

a BIG congratulations to 4th and 5th graders!!

The Winter Concert was amazing.  Mrs. Niu and I are so proud of all of the work you have done to prepare for it, and we hope you are all proud of yourselves as well!  

We watched a video of the concert in class and assessed the performance.  It is always beneficial for musicians to discuss how they did individually, and how they did as an ensemble.  It helps them to develop better musicianship.

We hope you have a relaxing weekend :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kip and Cyr Music Mad Libs

Today in music, the third graders reviewed parts of speech (verb, noun, and adjective) with some Musical Mad Libs!  Without seeing the song first, students selected words and I plugged them into the song.  When the final lyrics were revealed, we had a great time singing them- they are so funny!

Here is their version of Frosty the Snowman:

Frosty the football man
Was a crazy, fun soul,
With a corncob Jack and a button belly button
And two eyes made out of toilets.
Frosty the body man is a weird tale, they say,
He was made of basketballs but the children know
How he came to Burlington one day.
There must have been some magic in that
Old sock they found.
For when they placed it on his feet
He began to swim around.
Oh, Frosty the Julianna man
Was alive as he could be,
And the clowns say he could run and run
Just the same as Mrs. Kip and me.

We also had time to write new lyrics for Rudolph!

Savannah the green-nosed Big Foot
Had a very strong brain
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows
All of the other lions
Used to laugh and call him “Pole
They never let poor Chloe
Join in any donkey games
Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
Rudolph with your cheek so small
Won't you guide my cupcake tonight?
Then all the monkeys loved him
And they shouted out with anger
Aidan the blue-belly ostrich
You'll go down in history!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Concert Reminder

We are so exited that tonight is our 4th and 5th grade Winter Concert!  The morning concert for the students went great, and I know the one this evening will too! 

Please remember:
Students need to arrive to Memorial in concert attire (white top/black bottoms) at 6:40pm.  They will report to the gym.   Band students will meet us in the gym first, then head to the music room to set up their instruments at 6:45pm.

The concert will begin at 7:00pm.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekly Review 12/3-12/7

I cannot believe December is here already! The holidays are just around the corner and don't forget about the..... 4th and 5th Grade Winter Concert next Wednesday!

On behalf of the Music department and the 4th and 5th grade students, we would like to invite you all to our Winter Concert next week. It will be held in the cafetorium on Wednesday, Dec. 12th at 7:00pm. Please invite your family and friends!

The first grade students learned about a Hanukah, a Jewish holiday that some of our Memorial friends celebrate.  We read a book that explained the eight day Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights. We learned a song called, "Spin the Dreidel." After we successfully mastered the song, we passed a dreidel to the tempo of the piano. This reinforced the meaning of tempo. As we sang the phrase, "See who spins the dreidel now," whoever had the dreidel on the word "now" got the privilege to spin the dreidel. Each side of the dreidel stands for a letter in the Hebrew alphabet:

נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (Hei), ש (Shin), 

Together the acronymn means: "a great miracle happened there."  These letters also form a mnemonic for the rules of a game played with a dreidel: Nun stands for the Yiddish word nisht ("nothing"), Hei stands for halb ("half"), Gimel for gants ("all"), and Shin for shtel ayn ("put in").
We also learned about the Hanukah menorah and sang a song called, "On This Night." As we sang the song, we passed around a paper flame in a steady tempo. Whoever had the flame at the end of the song became a candle. We sang the song 8 times to represent the 8 candles. The students who were the candles became the menorah.  We had so much fun making a menorah! 

The second graders also learned about Hanukah and played the dreidel game using popsicle sticks. Each student started off with 12 popsicles sticks and had to put two in the pot. When it was their turn, they spun the dreidel to see what side they landed on. Here are the Hebrew letters and their meanings:
נ (Nun- you get nothing
ג (Gimel- you take everything from the pot
ה (Hei)- you take half of the pot
ש (Shin- you owe two to the pot

We also talked about a famous Russian composer who wrote the Nutcracker ballet. His name is, "Peter Illyich Tchaikovksy. " Ask your second grader to name you a fact about him. We also learned a dance called, "Trepak (also known as the Russian Peppermint dance) from the Nutcracker ballet. We had fun and were out of breath by the time we completed this dance. Ask your child to perform this dance for you!

In third grade, we reviewed the musical terms that were learned from last week and learned the names of the line and space notes. 

Each line and space represent a different note. I found out that using a mnemonic helps to remember what notes are on the lines and what notes are in the spaces. One famous line mnemonic that starts from the bottom to the top is:  Every Good Boy Does Fine.

Some of the other mnemonics that were mentioned were:
Elvis's Guitar Broke Down Friday
Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge

Feel free to come up with your own mnemonic! Whatever helps you to remember the lines notes!

Each space on the staff represents a different note too. The notes the form the spaces create the word FACE.

The fourth and fifth grade students worked VERY hard this week! One more week until show time! They had their individual grade level rehearsal and one combined rehearsal. For their first run through, our 4th and 5th graders did a fabulous job!  If you are still unsure of your lyrics, you still have time to look over the words! We added hand movements, a descant, and instruments to many of these songs. Mrs. Rzasa and I also wrote out a fun script for this concert. If you are a speaker, make sure you speak loud and clear, and don't forget to engage our audience. The soloist who performed in, "Food, Glorious Food" did a fabulous job. If you are still unsure of your pitches, please see Mrs. Rzasa or I!

Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend! Mrs. Rzasa and I hope to see many of you at our concert next Wednesday! The 4th and 5th graders are excited to display their hard work!

A dance for the Nutcracker!

This week the second grade students danced to music from the Nutcracker, by the composer Tchaikovsky.

Stay tuned for our Weekly Review!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Spin the Dreidel

Just popping in to share some pictures of Mrs. Gearin's class enjoying a new Dreidel song and game!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekly Review 11/26 - 11/30

I hope everyone had a great long weekend for Thanksgiving!  It's always nice to have the time to get together with family.

This was an exciting week for the students!  Here's what we were up to:

The first grade students learned a song called "Doggy, Doggy."  We first reviewed the rhythm of the song, then added solfege (using So, La, and Mi), before we added the lyrics.  Once the students mastered the song, we played a fun game with a rubber dog bone!  In the second music class this week, the students learned a new vocabulary word: tempo.  The tempo is the speed of the beat.   We learned a song called "Pass the Shoe"- and it has a fun game too!  Ask your child what happened to the tempo of that song!

Building upon skills from last year, the second graders reviewed the concept of tempo.  They also learned some new music vocabulary words that go along with it: adagio, andante, and allegro (which mean slow, medium, and fast).  We listened to "Freight Train" while moving to the beat.  Ask your child what happened to the tempo of that song!  In the second class, we continued our Conversational Solfege by decoding So, La, Mi patterns.  Then we played a silly game called "Mixed Signals.  Since Hanukkah is approaching, we read the story "Latkes and Applesauce" then learned a special Hanukkah song!

In third grade this week, the students started to learn how to read music notation!  This important skill will come in handy when we start to play the recorder in the new year.   Here are the terms we have covered so far:

  • staff (5 lines that music is written on)
  • treble clef (found at the beginning of the staff)
  • time signature (tells you how many beats are in each measure)
  • bar line (separates measures)
  • measure (where the music is written!)
  • double bar (the end of the song)
  • repeat sign (go back to the beginning!)
We learned all about the musical alphabet (ABCDEFGABCDEFGABCDEFGAB...etc.  Only 7 letters!!), then sang a great song called "I Don't Know the Notes."  This song helps us remember the order of the lines and spaces on the staff!  Once we learned the refrain to that song, we jumped on the floor staff while singing, making sure that our feet landed in the correct part of the floor.  It was tricky, but a lot of fun.  We will be continuing to review these terms and skills every music class to prepare for our notation test (more information on that later).

The fourth and fifth grade students sang their chorus songs without sheet music for the first time this week!  Overall, they are are doing a fantastic job, but there are some songs with lyrics that are more difficult to remember.  If your child is having difficulty with the chorus songs, please encourage them to check out our Lyrics Page, and of course they can always check in with us.  We are here to help!

The students are so excited to share their songs with you and the rest of the school at our Winter Concert!  Next week we will be having our combined rehearsals on the stage, and adding fun things like movement and instruments!  We will also discuss the details of the concert with them, including concert etiquette.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekly Review 11/19-11/23

It was a short week in music this week. Unfortunately, Mrs. Rzasa and I did not get a chance to see many of our students.  Since music was only on Monday and Tuesday, we continued or added extensions to music activities that were learned from the previous week.

The first grade students added rhythm sticks to the song "Smells Like Thanksgiving." We sang the song while playing the rhythm sticks on a steady beat. It was alot of fun! Each student was also given another opportunity to tell the class what kind of food they ate or enjoyed during Thanksgiving. 

The students in second grade who did not get an opportunity to play "Five Fat Turkeys" on an Orff instrument last week performed for our class. Our instrumentalist remembered how to play the ostinatos "cook, cook" and "five fat turkeys" on the Orff instrument. The rest of the students sang the cute song. It was a wonderful performance!

Our third grade students performed "The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven" for each other.  By classes, each group was assigned a verse and had to come up with creative movements for their particular verse.  We all sang the chorus together. Our third grade students were so creative that we were all smiling after each verse was performed. Feel free to ask your third grader to sing this hilarious song to you during your Thanksgiving dinner.

With just about two weeks left before our concert, fourth and fifth grade students will continue to be in full Chorus-mode!  Our Winter concert will be held on Wednesday, December 12th at 7pm! Please mark your calendar and invite your family and friends! We will not be using our sheet music in chorus anymore so please remind your child to sing and memorize their songs!

Music Homework- Don't forget to EAT, EAT and EAT!

We hope you all have wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven

Today we have a fun video to share to get you into the Thanksgiving spirit!!  Third grade students learned about verse and refrain form while singing a hilarious song called "The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven." (to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean")

There are 5 verses in this song, and each was assigned to a different group of students.  Each group acted out and sang their verse in front of the class.   When we got to the refrain (also called a chorus), the whole class sang together!

Below you can watch a video of Mrs. Ferullo's class performing for Mrs. Cyr's class. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Do you know about our BRAVO Incentive program?

On each music day, classes can earn a BRAVO.  They get a "B" for entering the classroom appropriately and quietly walking to their assigned seat.   Letters "R," "A," and "V" can be earned during the class by following directions and classroom rules.  If the class lines up quietly and patiently waits for the classroom teacher they can earn the "O."  If a class earns the whole BRAVO, a sticker gets added to their chart.

10 for 10
Once a class earns 10 BRAVO stickers, they are rewarded with 10 minutes of party time at the end of their next class!  A BRAVO party is an opportunity for them to play fun music games or sing favorite songs.  The class votes on which activities they want to do the most- we have a great time!

If your child's class earns a BRAVO party, you may send them to school with an appropriate CD for us to listen or dance to.  Please do not have them bring in iPods, as they are against school policy.

This week, Mrs. Ferullo's class enjoyed their first BRAVO party of the year:

Congrats to Mrs. Ferullo's class, as well as the other classes who have recently earned 10 minutes of BRAVO party time!

Weekly Review 11/14-11/16

I hope everyone enjoyed their nice long weekend!  As a reminder, all song lyrics from class can be found on the right-hand side of the blog under each grade level :)

This week, the first grade students continued the fun Bluebird, Bluebird game from last week!  Different students had the opportunity to pretend they were bluebirds while the class sung.  We reinforced high voice and low voice during "oh, Johnny aren't you tired?"  In the new song "Smells Like Thanksgiving," we thought of and sang about delicious Thanksgiving foods.  Continuing with the holiday spirit, we read "Over the River and Through the Woods," then sang the song.  As an added treat, we also learned some sign language to perform on the words "over," "through," "grandfather," "horse," "sleigh," "white," "snow," "wind," "stings," "bites," and "go."

The second graders also sang "Smells Like Thanksgiving," but added Orff accompaniment.  Some students played the glockenspiel, and some played the xylophone. It was a lot of fun!   During the second music class they learned a song called "Five Fat Turkeys" and added 2 spoken ostinato parts. They then transferred those new parts to Orff instruments for our in-class performance!

Third grade students learned a hilarious song called "The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven."  It is sung to the familiar tune "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean."  We discussed verse and refrain form, then assigned each verse to a small group of students.  They worked together to come up with movement for their verse, then we performed it together!   Each group sang and performed their verse, then in between we all sang the refrain (also called a chorus) together!  

The older students are now in full Chorus-mode!  As we prepare for our Winter concert (December 12th), please remember to have your students practice the music at home!  All of the lyrics (along with some recordings) can be found on our Chorus Page.   Both fourth grade and fifth grade students have been so focused and dedicated during chorus, and we are so proud of them!  We can't wait to share all of their hard work with everyone at the concert! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekly Review 11/5- 11/9

 A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to our 4th grade students who did a wonderful job singing and speaking at our Veteran's Day assembly! We had about three veterans, including Mr. Marsh, who came to the assembly. Thank you for your service for our country!

In first grade, students learned about high and low sounds. Each class came up with a list of things that made lows sounds and a list of things that made high sounds. We experimented high and low sounds with our voices. Students enjoyed mimicking Mickey Mouse's "high" voice and the sound of a "low" bass drum. We applied our high and low voices as we read the famous chant, "5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed."

     High Voice- "Mama called the doctor and the doctor said."
     Low Voice-  "No More monkeys jumping on the bed."

We learned a song called, "Bluebird Bluebird" and played a fun game. Students became a house and had to catch the two Bluebirds. They closed the window as they sang the phrase, "Oh Johnny aren't you tired." The first graders also had to make sure that their voices went from "high to low" as they sang this phrase.

Second graders learned about the Orff instruments. They learned three different types of Orff instruments: xylophones, metallaphones, and glockenspiels. They also learned the family names: bass, alto, and soprano. Ask your second grader which instrument they had fun playing this week!

Third grade students learned a song in minor called, "The Harvest" which taught them the musical terms of: repeat, fine, and da capo fine. This song has an arrangement for Orff instruments and a recorder. We learned the glockenspiel part, which also reinforced using proper technique to hold the mallet. We will continue this activity next week with the xylophones so stay tune!

BRAVO to ALL of our fourth graders who performed at the Veteran's Day assembly on Thursday. They sang, "America the Beautiful" and "A Grateful Nation" so beautifully in tune that we saw Mrs. R tear! To those who had a speaking part, you all spoke loudly and clearly! To the rest of the fourth grade students who patiently waited while each class came up to speak, "THANK YOU!" 

We are now just a few weeks away from our Winter Concert so our fifth graders have been working very hard on their songs. We ran through "Food Glorious Food" and had solo tryouts. Thank you to those brave ladies and gentlemen who volunteered singing for a solo part! We reviewed both parts of, "Lots of Latkes" and rehearsed various parts of "Hot Chocolate." Fifth graders, your songs are coming along! Now we just have to memorize the songs so that we can add dance movements!

Have a wonderful LONG weekend! See you all on Wednesday!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Weekly Review 10/29 - 11/2

Well, this was certainly a short week!  We hope that everyone stayed safe during the hurricane.

In first grade students learned a new song about bats- Flap and Fly.  Bats are nocturnal, meaning that they sleep in the daytime and are awake at night.  We each decorated a bat in class (while listening to spooky music, of course!) then played a game while singing the song.  Bats were asleep while the lights were on, then a student (the Sun) turned off the lights so the bats could dance and sing!  When the sun came up, the lights were turned back on and the bats fell asleep.  Fun!

The second graders recorded their sound effects to the book Old Wind.  You can find more information - as well as some recordings to listen to - right HERE!  We also decoded 8 beat rhythms and do re mi patterns for Conversational Solfege.

Third grade students read a story called The 13 Days of Halloween...suspiciously similar to the 12 Days of Christmas- only spooky!  We sang the song in minor, and some students helped us out by holding up posters for each day.  Our favorite parts:  5 cooked worms, and the evil laugh at the end!!

This was a very important week for the fourth graders.  We met as a grade level in the cafeteria to prepare for the Veteran's Day assembly.  Not only did we sing our songs (America the Beautiful and A Grateful Nation) but students with speaking parts were able to practice their lines with the microphone.

If you have a speaking part, here are some tips:  Hold the microphone close to your mouth (without touching it), speak clearly, and a little bit louder than you would normally speak in a conversation with someone.  If you speak too quietly, the audience won't be able to hear your wonderful voice!

Fifth graders practiced the partner song in "Lots of Latkes."  It's so much fun to sing about the process of making potato latkes!  We also ran through "Food Glorious Food," and some students tried singing the solo parts.  We hope more children decide to give it a try next rehearsal!  We ended chorus by rehearsing the tricky harmony part in "The Christmas Song."

  • As we approach the concert, ALL 4TH AND 5TH GRADE STUDENTS should be practicing their music at home! This will help with memorization and confidence on each song.  Please visit the Chorus Lyrics Page to see the words, and listen to a few recordings.  

We also had the Vocabulary Parade this week.   It was so much fun to see the students in their costumes and learn more about the vocabulary words they chose!  We hope you have a fantastic fall weekend.  :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Old Wind Book

This week the second graders recorded their sound effects to the book "Old Wind." Below you can hear the final results.  Can you guess which instrument was used for each part?

Siegel and Nelson:
Siegel and Nelson

McLaughlin and Farrand
McLaughlin Farrand

Do you think you know which sounds were used?  Scroll down for the answers!!
Wailing Ghost - Students
Thumping Stool - Hand Drum
Swishing Broom - Sand Blocks
Flickering Candle - Student turns lights off and on
Smoking Fire - Students
Rattling Window - Vibraslap
Creaking Floor - Ratchet
Slamming Door - Whip
Hooting Owl - Students
Laughing Witch - Students
Old Blowing Wind - Glockenspiel

How did you do? Did you guess them all?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Review 10/22-10/26

The first grade students learned songs about Autumn and used scarves to move to the tempo of the songs. The students enjoyed using scarves and moved them creatively as they sang Autumn songs. They also learned a new musical term called, "rest" and applied it to a chant "The Black Bat Sat." This chant tested their memory of "ta," "ti-ti-," and "rest." Ask your first grader what these musical terms mean! The students had fun clapping the rhythm to this chant and also got a chance to use rhythm sticks to keep a steady beat. 

Second grade had so much fun singing and playing the game "The Funny Little Lady," that we played it again this week.  We also read a book called, "Old Devil's Wind" and used various instruments as sound effects.  We will be recording the narration of this story with all it's sound effects next week so stay tuned! 

In third grade, we learned a song called, "Pass the Broomstick." After the students successfully learned the song, we played a fun game. We passed a rhythm stick (which was our broomstick) to a steady beat while we sang the song. Then the student who held the stick on the last beat of the song was out. Their job was to help us keep a beat using a pair of rhythm sticks. We also learned a catchy song called, "Boom, Boom Ain't It Great to Be Crazy?" On the refrain, students played the words, "Boom, Boom" on a xylophone and the word "crazy" on a glockenspiel. 

In fourth grade, the students were busy preparing for their Veteran's Day Concert. In class, we learned and memorized, "America the Beautiful" and "A Grateful Nation." The students did a fabulous job with these two songs! In chorus, we learned our last song for the concert called, "Everlasting Fruitcake." We also finished working on the last page of "It's a Candy Cane Kind of Christmas." They worked hard and sang beautifully!

The fifth graders  learned a tone poem set to music by Camille Saint-Saens called, "Danse Macabre." The students listened and analyzed the popular arrangement. Mrs. Rzasa gave us her very own solo performance as we listened to this arrangement. Can you guess which instrument she played? In chorus, we learned our last song for the concert called, "Lots of Latkes" and finished "Hot Chocolate." They worked hard and sang so beautifully!

Have a wonderful weekend and hope you all stay safe during Hurricane Sandy!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekly Review 10/15- 10/19

In music this week, all of our students experienced playing at least one Orff instrument.  Carl Orff believed that, "A successful and fun experience is the basis for a positive learning process." Thus, he
designed a learning approach which uses tone bar instruments. These instruments include the bass, alto and soprano xylophones, metallophones, and soprano and alto glockenspiels. The students learned the difference between a xylophone, metallophone, and a glockenspiel. They also learned the mallets that are appropriate for each of these instruments and how to hold the mallets properly. Here is a picture of how our music classroom was set up with our third grade students:

The first grade students learned a song called, "5 Little Pumpkins" that introduced music contour, or the direction the notes moves in. Some of the students played one of the Orff instruments. Can you guess which one? Our first graders learned a new music term called, "crescendo" and applied it to a fun song called, "Thump, Thump, Thump!" Students got a chance to either play an egg shaker, a hand drum, or a triangle to accompany the song.

Second grade students continued "Bony Legs" and used a guiro and xylophone to accompany the song.  They also learned a cute song called, "The Funny Little Lady." After the students successfully learned the song, they played a game where one student closed their eyes and sat in front of an imaginary door. Their job was to guess who the soloist was when a particular part of the song was sung. It was such a fun game that we will have to finish this game next week! They also created their own class brew by adding their own silly ingredient and sang, "Witches' Brew." These second graders are so creative!

In third grade, students had so much fun with, "9 Lives" last week that we continued to use the Orff instruments to accompany the song. Every child experienced playing a xylophone, metallophone, and a glockenspiel. They also played 5 notes ascending, beginning with the note D.  We also sung the scale in minor.

In fourth grade, the students got a very thorough lesson on how to play the Orff instruments and how to properly hold the mallets. They practiced playing an Orff instrument with the song, "Sounds of the Night Air." In chorus, we revisited the song "It's a Candy Cane Kind of Christmas." The students remembered so much of this song and sang it very well! We also continued to learn "The Christmas Song." For such a hard choral song with many chromatic passages, the students did a fabulous job!

The fifth graders continued to learn the xylophone accompaniment to the song, "Halloween Night."  In chorus we worked on "Food Glorious Food" and revisited "Hot Chocolate." The concert is coming up in December so please remind your child that all the music and lyric is now posted in the "Chorus" tab. We can't wait for you to see and hear the songs that they have be working on!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tissues, Please!

The music room is in need of tissues, and we would love it if you could donate a box.  Thanks!

Weekly Review 10/8-10/12

This week might have been short with the holiday on Monday, but it was a good one!

The first grade students learned some very important music words:  piano (quiet), forte (loud), crescendo (gradually getting louder), and decrescendo (gradually getting quieter).  We put these concepts to the test with a fun call and response song called "The Bats Are All Asleep."  The first graders enjoyed pretending to be spooky for a movement game while singing "Ghost of John."  We also looked for Dracula, exploring beat and mood with this fun chant.

Second grade students continued Conversational Solfege, with a focus on our new rhythm syllables.  We learned a great song called "Bony Legs" and sang it at special times during the Bony Legs story.  When the story was over, we added the guiro and xylophone to the song!  Each instrument played an ostinato (a part that gets repeated over and over).

This is a guiro

In third grade this week we finished our Ding Dong Diggidiggi Dong song, playing the guiro (see above) on the sixteenth notes, the drum on the eighth notes, and the triangle on the quarter notes.  We also talked about minor, and practiced our scales starting on la:

La Ti Do Re Mi Fa So La

We also sang our solos in minor!  The song "9 Lives" is sung in minor- we used our solfege to sing it, then added the words.  We also played the xylophone, glockenspiel, and metallophone to accompany the singing!

In fourth grade, the students sang the partner songs "Black and Gold" and "Trick or Treat."  They sounded SO cool when sung at the same time!  We also started to learn "America the Beautiful," which will be sung at the Veteran's Day Assembly!  In chorus on Friday we had a special guest- our piano accompanist, Mrs. Parry, played piano while we sang!  We worked on finishing "Food Glorious Food" and continued to work on "The Christmas Song."  It was beautiful!

The fifth graders learned a song called "Halloween Night," which reinforced minor singing.  This song includes xylophone accompaniment, and we will be finishing the activity next week!  n chorus on Friday we had a special guest- our piano accompanist, Mrs. Parry, played piano while we sang!  We worked on finishing "Food Glorious Food" and continued to work on "The Christmas Song."  It was beautiful!

Have a lovely weekend! :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekly Review 10/1- 10/5

Can you believe it is October already?

First grade students learned about steady beat. Whether music is fast or slow, it has a continuous pulse.  We walked to the steady beat of a hand drum and tapped a steady beat on various parts of our body to John Sousa's songs. We learned the chant, "I Think Music is Neat,"and a Halloween song, "Have You Seen the Ghost of John."

The second graders learned about Johann Sebastian Bach. Ask your child to give you one fact about this famous composer! Mrs. Rzasa is working towards her Masters degree and is doing a project on John Feieraband's Conversational Solfege. It is a pedagogical method that develops musical literacy.  Ask your student what doo and doo-day means!

In third grade, the students learned the chants, "Bate Bate" and "Chocolate Chipmunk." They are partner songs that contain steady beat and body percussion. We reviewed rhythms such as quarter note, quarter rest, eighth note and half note. Our third graders remembered alot from last year! We also learned a cute song called, "Ding Dong Diggy Diggy Dong" which introduced sixteenth notes. 

Fourth graders continued to create a rhythm stick accompaniment part to play along with the response for the song "Chicka Hanka"   In chorus the students finished learning "Food Glorious Food." They are singing the important harmony part that makes the melody beautiful! We also began, "The Christmas Song" or better known as, "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire."

The fifth graders reviewed all the line and space notes on the grand staff. We learned a song called, "I Don't Know the Notes" to help us remember the names of the notes. Ask your fifth grader to sing the refrain part to you! We also played fun note games; Park It, Bean Bag Toss, and Ready, Get Set, Notate It! In chorus, we finished learning, "Food Glorious Food" and began the first few pages of , "The Christmas Song" or better known as, "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire."

Have a fabulous THREE day weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly Review 9/24-9/28

Thank you to the parents that we met with last night at Open House.  It was so nice to chat with you!

We all had a super time in music this week- and we officially got through the first month of school.  It has gone by so quickly!

First grade students finished the "Loose Tooth" song and played the triangle, drum, and rhythm sticks.  We also reviewed "Oh My" and played a game with the nursery rhyme "Jack Be Nimble."

The second graders extended their activity with the song "I'm a Nut" by adding instruments and composing new verses.  Below are some of the lyrics they came up with:
  • I'm an acorn small and yellow, and I like to play the cello
  • I'm an acorn small and blue, sitting in a tiny shoe
  • I'm an acorn small and grey, hanging out with Tina Fey
  • I'm an acorn small and green, lying in a tambourine
We reinforced steady beat with instruments, and discussed rhyming words.  In addition, we learned a cool song called "Alligator Pie."

In third grade, we sang "Four White Horses" and practiced the clapping game that goes along with it with groups of 4 friends.  It was tricky, but we had a lot of fun!

Fourth graders learned about musical form by singing a Call and Response song called "Chicka Hanka."  They improvised a rhythm stick accompaniment part to play along with the response.   In chorus they continued the new song "Candy Cane Christmas," and one group even made it to the last page of the song!   We had great behavior and focus in chorus this week.

The fifth grade students clapped, read, and spoke rhythms using:
  • Whole Notes
  • Half Notes
  • Half Rests
  • Quarter Notes
  • Quarter Rests
  • Eighth Notes
  • Sixteenth Notes
  • Ties
We put those skills to the test for our class vs. class fly swatting game.  In chorus the students continued to work on Hot Chocolate, and listened to a recording of the piece. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekly Review 9/17- 9/21

Can you believe it's almost the end of September? Fall is just around the corner!

The first graders began their solos this weeks using "sol" and "mi." Ask your first grader to sign and sing those pitches to you!
They are continuing to learn the Memorial School Song. We were so impressed that many of our first graders have already memorized half of the song! They also made soup to the chant Chop Chop Chippity Chop, and learned a Loose Tooth and Oh My, No More Pie chant. 

Second grade students reviewed the patriotic song "America" (better known as "My Country 'Tis of Thee") and began to learn "This Land is Your Land."   We sang "Come and Follow Me" in a round and learned a cute little acorn song called, "I'm an Acorn." They will be composing their very own acorn song next week so stay tuned!

Each of the third graders became part of a cross stitch project as we continued "The Thread Follows the Needle" song and activity. They also began to learn a catchy, calypso style song from Trinidad called, "Four White Horses."  

Fourth graders continued to play the fun cup game.  They picked up the tempo this week and also played different variations of this game which included closing their eyes.  Feel free to learn and play with your fourth grader! 

The Fifth grade students reviewed rhythmic notations and began to play a fun rhythmic swatting game. 

5th Grade- We learned the first few pages of "Food Glorious Food" and watched a clip of this song from the play, "Oliver." We also began a fun rhythmic song called, "Hot Chocolate."

4th Grade- We learned the first few pages of "Food Glorious Food" and watched a clip of this song from the play, "Oliver." We also began a fun swing song called, "It's a Candy Cane Kind of Christmas." Can you guess the theme of our Winter Concert now?

We hope your child is enjoying music!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekly Review 9/10-9/14

This week in music, all students started their solo singing practice.  We heard some amazing voices- the boys and girls at Memorial sound wonderful!

The first graders learned some new music words: "so" and "mi."  They practiced singing them while performing the Curwen hand signs (all 7 signs we teach shown below)
They also chanted Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Chop Chop Chippety Chop, reviewed the Welcome Back song, and started to learn the Memorial School Song.  It has been a busy week in grade one!

Second grade students finished up the Ickle Ockle song and game we started last week, and spent some time on patriotic music.  We sang "America" (better known as "My Country 'Tis of Thee") as a group and with soloists.  We also began a fun new song with body percussion called "Come and Follow Me!"

The third graders learned a song called "Two in a Boat" that has a fun circle game.  They also discussed sewing for the song, "The Thread Follows the Needle."  In the activity, the students become thread, a needle, and a knot, and they do cross stitches as they sing!

Fourth graders played a fun cup game.   We learned the steps very slowly, but will be picking up the tempo next week.  In addition, they had their first "official" chorus rehearsal! It included stretching, breathing exercises, and vocal warm-ups.  We also rehearsed one of our first chorus songs, and came up with a list of good rules for chorus days.  

Fifth grade students reviewed the cup game- they have not done it since last year!  It was fun to see if we could do it successfully with our eyes closed!  Chorus was fun too- we came up with a list of rules, warmed up our bodies and voices, and began to learn one of our concert songs. 

Lyrics to all songs and chants can be found in the side bar- click on the appropriate grade level to find them.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Welcome Back!

We would like to warmly welcome any new friends to Memorial School. We hope you all had a wonderful summer!

We will use this site to communicate with you what your child has been learning in music class each week and important concert dates.

We were so excited to meet our new first graders this week! They learned a “Welcome Back” song and the rules of our music class to ensure that every child has a safe and fun environment to learn.

Our second graders did an excellent job in remembering our “Memorial School” song. Ask your child to sing it for you! We also learned a song and game called "Ickle Ockle."

Our third graders learned a fun way of remembering the names of their classmates as they sang “Hey Children Who’s In Town.” We also learned a rhythm stick routine to go along with the game!

We would like to welcome our new fourth graders to chorus! We have a talented crew! Fourth and fifth grade students learned some important breathing techniques to help them sing better.

The links below (also located on our sidebar) will bring you each grade's website. This is where we post lyrics to the songs we sing in class. Hopefully this will encourage your children to sing at home, and share what they learned with your family!

First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Chorus Lyrics & Recordings (fourth and fifth grade)

We also believe that literacy and reading are important in the music room, so in addition to our word wall, we love reading music books to the students. The link below has a list of the books we have read so far. It gets updated each time we read a new one.

Books We Have Read in Class

Other fun links can be found in our sidebar, so we encourage you and your children to explore them! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call or email us.
Mrs. Niu:
Mrs. Rzasa:

Thank you for your help in making this a wonderful and musical year!

Mrs. Niu
Mrs. Rzasa