Mrs. Niu - Mrs. Rzasa -
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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!

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