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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More Mad Libs!

Mrs. Kip's class was the last group to do the Music Mad Libs this week.  Check out their silly songs!

Frosty the puppy man
Was a sweet, ugly soul,
With a corncob kitty and a button ear
And two eyes made out of Wii U.
Frosty the candy cane man is a mad tale, they say,
He was made of monsters but the children know
How he came to New York City one day.
There must have been some magic in that
Old pair of underwear they found.
For when they placed it on his leg
He began to run around.
Oh, Frosty the volcano man
Was alive as he could be,
And the babies say he could slap and pick his nose
Just the same as Natalee and me.

You better hop on one foot
You better not sit
Better not punch
I'm telling you why
Rithikh is coming to Los Angeles
He's making a store
And checking it 6 times;
Gonna find out who's ugly and totally weird
Ben is coming to Wisconsin
He sees you when you're dancing
He knows when you're running
He knows if you've been tired or fat
So be good for goodness sake!
Oh! You better play baseball
You better not flip
Better not do a backflip
I'm telling you why
Katie is coming to jail!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Third Grade Mad Libs!

Below are the silly songs that Mrs. Ferullo and Mrs. Cyr's class wrote by doing Mad Libs!

(to the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town")

You better grow up
You better not run
Better not walk
I'm telling you why
Jayce  is coming to New York
He's making a Paul
And checking it 5000 times;
Gonna find out who's smelly  and sweet
Ronith is coming to Boston
He sees you when you're skipping
He knows when you're walking
He knows if you've been fat or skinny
So be good for goodness sake!
Oh! You better run into a wall
You better not play tennis
Better not ride our bike
I'm telling you why
Flying  is coming to Chicago
Mrs. Niu  is coming to Tokyo

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

Jonathan the blue-nosed cheetah
Had a very large lung
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows

All of the other dogs
Used to laugh and call him "Disney World"
They never let poor Kaho
Join in any bird games

Then one foggy April Fool’s Eve
Santa came to say
Rudolph with your leg so purple
Won't you guide my shark tonight?

Then all the bears loved him
And they shouted out with fear
Nick the pink - elbow wolf
You'll go down in history!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Violin Assignment

For the next few weeks until our next lesson in the new year, I'd like the violinists to work on the new A string notes that we learned in class today.  The assignment is to work on page 10 (pizzicato and with the bow).  Students who are struggling can spend more time on the earlier pages, and any students who feel ready can move on to page 11.

Thank you!!

Mad Libs- Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer- Mrs. Keating's Class

Barrack  the Blue -nosed Cheetah
Had a very fluffy
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it brains

All of the other monkies
Used to laugh and call him police station
They never let poor Noyal
Join in any horse games

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
Rudolph with your knee so soft
Won't you guide my American Flag tonight?

Then all the hawks loved him
And they shouted out with crazy
Dante the violet arm white tiger
You'll go down in history!

Frosty the Snow Man- Mrs. Keating's Class-

Written by- Collin, Samantha, Cole, Amber, Victoria, Julia, Ali, and Liam

Frosty the Mrs. Niu man
Was a high colorful soul
With a corncob train and a button heart
And two eyes made out of Boston.
Frosty the hog man is a tale, they say,
He was made of bathroom but the children know
How he came to Lexington one day.
There must have been some magic in that
Old socks they found.
For when they placed it on his  nose
He began to  fight around.
Oh, Frosty the   man
Was alive as he could be,
And the shower say he could jumping and  toliet
Just the same as  Ali and me.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekly Review 12/9-12/13

This was my first week back from my maternity leave and it was so nice to get a warm welcome from everyone! I have missed you all! Here is a picture of my son Aiden (2) and Tyler (3 months)

Mrs. Rzasa, Ms. Rohlfing and I want to congratulate all our 4th and 5th graders for a wonderful performance on Wednesday! Your performance has brought us into the holiday spirit!

This week, the first graders learned the musical term verse and refrain with the song, "Jingle Bells." A verse is a section of a song that has the same music but different lyrics. The refrain is most likely the part of the song that we "remember" because the music and lyrics gets repeated at least more than once. Thus in, "Jingle Bells," one verse of the song begins with, "Dashing through the snow" while the refrain begins with, "Jingle bells, Jingle Bells."After learning the first verse and the refrain to this song, we played a game and added wrist bells.

Th second grade students are learning about the famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and his famous ballet, "The Nutcracker." As an introduction to this unit, our second graders watched, "The Nutcracker" movie starring Macaulay Caulkin and featuring the New York City Ballet. Next week, we will be dancing to some of the famous suites in the ballet.

The third graders reviewed music notation and learned a fun song to help remember the name of the notes. Ask your child to sing the song for you! The third graders also learned a fun dance during the holiday season called the "Jingle Bell Mixer." 

A BIG CONGRATS to our 4th and 5th Grade Students for a WONDERFUL performance!

Have a fabulous weekend and stay safe!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Violin Assignment

I decided to continue to focus on the D String notes this week, since many students have been having a bit of difficulty with the fingerings.  PLEASE encourage your child to practice, aiming for at least 30 minutes each week.

The assignment for all students is to practice pages 8 and 9 again.  They should do it pizzicato first, and once they are comfortable with the notes they can play with the bow.  If ready, they may start page 10 (although this is optional).

Friday, December 6, 2013

Weekly Review 12/2 - 12/6

I first want to give a nice warm welcome to Mrs. Niu!  Today was her first day back from maternity leave, and everyone was so excited to see her again.  :)

This week, the first graders discussed Hanukkah traditions and learned two new songs.  "Hanukkah is Here" teaches the students about the menorah, dreidel, and a dance called the Hora.  They had a fun time acting out each section as they sang!  They also played a game to go along with the song "On this Night"- eight students pretended to be candles on a menorah, and each verse of the song was about a different candle.

The second grade students learned a few new music vocabulary words this week.  They remembered tempo from last year (the speed of music), and now they can label the tempo of a song as either allegro, andante, or adagio.  In addition, they learned the word ritardando (when the music gradually slows down - frequently found at the end of a song).  They listened to "Freight Train," and used their new vocabulary words to describe the tempo of the piece before doing a fun movement activity!

The third graders have been working towards learning how to read music notation. Yesterday I posted some more information about this, along with some pictures.  You can check it out here!

The fourth and fifth graders would like to invite you to attend their Winter Concert!  All concert information can be found HERE

We hope you have an amazing weekend!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Music Notation!

The third grade students are starting to learn how to read music notation.  We will be continuing to work on this skill for the next few weeks to prepare for the recorders that the student will start to play in the new year.  It's so exciting!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Violin Schedule for Today

Cyr: 8:30 - 9:00
Kippenberger: 10:30 - 11:00
Ferullo: 11:00 - 11:30
Keating: 12:40 - 1:05

*note:  The Science Show has been scheduled for 10:00 today.  If students in Mrs. Kippenberger's class miss their lesson, they may attend the recess lesson.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weekly Review - 11/25 - 11/27

Wow, this week sure went by quickly!  Here's what we did:

The first graders continued to sing some songs for Thanksgiving, including "Over the River," "Thank You," and "Smells Like Thanksgiving."  They also played a bit of the "Bluebird, Bluebird" game!

The second grade students sang "Five Fat Turkeys," then practiced a percussion part to go along with the song in small groups.  Some of the groups even came up with a dance to do while singing!

In third grade, the students performed their routines for "The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven."  They were hilarious!  They are also starting to learn how to read music notation- we discussed what a staff is, as well as the treble clef.

The fourth and fifth graders had the first of their combined rehearsals!  Only 2 weeks left until the Winter Concert :)

I hope you have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Concert Information

The concert information was sent home with all 4th and 5th graders on Friday.   I wanted to post it here too, just in case yours gets misplaced!  You can also find it permanently linked in the sidebar of this blog.


Dear parents,

It's concert time again! Below you will find some information regarding our upcoming Winter Concert. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
9:00 a.m. for students/teachers, 7:00 p.m. for parents

  • Concert Attire:  Morning - The students may wear regular school clothes in the daytime - but please no t-shirts with logos or words.  Evening - Plain white tops, black bottoms, and black shoes.  Festive holiday accessories may also be work, as long as they do not obstruct the view of another child on the risers.
  • Call Time:  Please make sure that your child arrives to the school no later than 6:40 p.m.  Band students will report to the music room, and chorus students who are not in band will report to the gym.
  • Please Note: All 4th and 5th graders must attend the Winter Concert. The students have been working so hard since September to prepare for this performance, and we need all of their wonderful voice in our ensemble! (Please contact us in advance if you have a conflict with attendance, as the performance is part of your child's music grade)
We look forward to seeing you there!

Mrs. Rzasa, Mrs. Niu, and Ms. Rohlfing

Violin Schedule for Today

Kippenberger: 8:30 - 9:00
Ferullo: 10:30 - 11:00
Keating: 11:00 - 11:30
Cyr: 12:40 - 1:05

Monday, November 18, 2013

Violin Info and Assignment

Today's lessons were fantastic!  Here is the assignment for the week, and please also check out the important information below!!
  • Bow Exercises
  • Bow tube practice (just a few minutes each day)
  • Pages 8 and 9, pizzicato

To Hold the Bow:
Start by making your little "shadow puppet," making sure to place the middle fingers over the thumb.

Following the steps I taught in class, hold the bow as shown below- the trickiest part will be that pinky!

In addition to the windshield wiper exercise we practiced today, please watch these videos and give them a try:

These exercises should be fun, and also count towards your minutes of practicing! :)

When using the bow tube, please be sure to hold it firmly with your left hand on your left shoulder, and to place the bow inside carefully.  Keeping the proper position of your right hand on the bow, pretend to play the violin through your tube.  Your right hand wrist should be flexible to bend up and down as you bow.  To make it more fun, you can listen to some music while you practice!

Violin Schedule

Today's lesson schedule:

Ferullo: 8:30 - 9:00
Keating: 10:30 - 11:00
Cyr: 11:00 - 11:30
Kippenberger:  12:40 - 1:05

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekly Review 11/13 - 11/15

Wowza, such a short week!  Here's a brief explanation of what the students did in music:

The first graders learned a new song called "Smells Like Thanksgiving." It shares a tune with another familiar tune (ask your child if they remember what it is!), and each person in class was able to contribute by thinking of something you might smell on Thanksgiving Day.

The second grade students put their newly acquired mallet/Orff instrument skills to the test by playing an accompaniment to a song called "October is Over."  They also explored body percussion and hand percussion instruments.

The third grade students learned a hilarious song called "The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven."  It has a verse/refrain form, and I split the class into 5 groups, so that each group could be "in charge" of one of the verses.  Working as a team, they came up with a short routine to go along with their verse.  Next week, the groups will perform for each other, and in between the verses the entire class will sing the refrain!

The fourth and fifth graders continued to work on their music for the Winter Concert.  Be on the lookout for a handout soon with all of the details.  Thank you!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Weekly Review 11/4 - 11/8

Thank you so much to the parents who attend our Veteran's Day celebration this morning!

This week, the first grade students practiced speaking and singing with high and low voices.  We explored pitch by chanting "5 Little Monkeys" (using a high voice for the Mama and a low voice for the doctor), then played the Splat Game.  During this game, the students sing with their whole vocal range!  They also learned "Bluebird, Bluebird," and we played a circle game to go along with it.  At the end, everyone sings "Oh, Johnny aren't you tired?" and our pitch drops lower!

The second graders spent this week working on their mallet technique.  Students from Ms. McLaughlin's class wanted to share the different steps with you!

  • Step one: Hold the mallet by pinching between your pointer finger and thumb.  This is where you will hold the mallet- all of the pressure is right here!

  • Step 2:  Gently curl the other fingers around the mallet, holding gently.  The thumb should be the only finger that slightly points towards the "ball" of the mallet- NEVER your pointer finger!

  • To play, try to move the mallet up and down from your wrist (do not move your whole arm)- the mallet will strike the center of the bar, then bounce right back up for the best tone!

I asked the student what song they wanted to learn, and they chose "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  Below is a video of them practicing the first part of the song!

The third grade students learned a harvest song and sang about pumpkins, autumn breezes, and Thanksgiving!  Once they mastered the song, they were able to play an ostinato (accompaniment part) on the Orff instruments.  They reviewed mallet technique (just as the second graders did), and focused on playing with a steady beat and accurate rhythm.

The fourth grade students did an AMAZING job at the Veteran's Day assembly!  They sang the Armed Forces Medley with pride and spirit, concluding with the beautiful Star Spangled Banner.  

Congratulations, Fourth Graders!!

The fifth graders have been diligently rehearsing their chorus music for our upcoming concert (December 11th!).  They are also helping us come up with dance moves and special parts to make the music even more entertaining and enjoyable.  

We hope that everyone has a wonderful long weekend!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Violin Assignment

Good afternoon!  Sorry that I did not write a violin post yesterday- the district's internet was down.

Below is the assignment for violin this week:

  • Review Book Page 6.  Please encourage your child to keep the left hand fingers rounded as they place them on the strings.
  • Book Pages 7-8.  
  • BRING IN A "BOW TUBE" (empty/clean toilet paper tube)
  • If needed, review the worksheets from last week's practice assignment.
The students (with the exception of Cyr's group, who I will see on Friday) have tapes placed on the necks of their violins.  These tapes mark where each finger should be placed on the fingerboard to play in tune.  We will continue to review these in our next lesson.  Please note that next Monday is a holiday (Veteran's Day) so there will be no lesson.

Thank you!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Weekly Review 10/28 - 11/1

Good morning, and Happy Friday!  For those of you who celebrate Halloween, I hope you had a safe (and delicious) holiday yesterday!  Here's what we did in music this week:

The first grade students continued to work on their decoding skills.  It is super tricky, and it might take them a while to get the hang of it, but I appreciate the effort the students put into it.  They also finished their "Autumn Leaves" activity with the scarves, and practiced rhythmic notation. They learned a new song about bats called "Flap and Fly," and they even decorated their own bats to use during the game!  It was a lot of fun!

I read a book to my second graders called "Old Devil Wind," about the sounds you might hear in an old home.  We paired each sound to a percussion instrument so that we could add sound effects to the story!  I will be posting the recordings next week! :)

The third graders sang the "13 Days of Halloween" in a minor tonality, and some students helped with the lyrics by holding up posters at the appropriate time during the song.  They also had a Halloween Sing-Along, and sang some favorite spooky tunes from first, second, and third grade.  It was a blast!

The fourth grade students are so close to being ready for next Friday's Veteran's Day assembly.  They have been learning the songs for each branch of the military, and are excited to perform for the school.

The fifth graders watched a clip from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" to prepare for their new chorus song.  You can watch it on our blog here!  They also learned about an amazing tone poem by Camille Saint-Saëns called "Danse Macabre."  Please check out my last blog post if you have not read about it already!

The students in chorus started learning their last song that we will be preparing for the Winter Concert (December 11th).  Fifth graders are working on "What's This" from the Nightmare Before Christmas, and the fourth graders will be singing "Hot Chocolate" from the Polar Express.

I hope you have an awesome weekend!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Danse Macabre

This week, the fifth graders have been learning about Danse Macabre, a tone poem composed by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.  A tone poem is "a piece of orchestral music, typically in one movement, on a descriptive or rhapsodic theme" (source)   Danse Macabre is based on a poem (of the same name) written by Henri Cazalis- you can read the translation from French to English below:

Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence,
Striking with his heel a tomb,
Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
Zig, zig, zig, on his violin.
The winter wind blows and the night is dark;
Moans are heard in the linden-trees.
Through the gloom, white skeletons pass,
Running and leaping in their shrouds.
Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking.
The bones of the dancers are heard to crack-
But hist! of a sudden they quit the round,
They push forward, they fly; the rooster has crowed.

We discussed the story behind the poem, and how it served as an inspiration for Saint-Saëns.  We followed a listening map and identified the various themes in the music.

It's an amazing piece of music, with haunting melodies and an incredible violin solo- please check it out below!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Violin Lesson and Assignment

The students had an awesome second lesson this week! Here's the assignment for them to practice at home:

  • Book:  Page 6.  This is a difficult page, so I told the students to do their best (and to try not to get discouraged if they are having trouble).  We will be continuing to work on these first fingerings next week!
  • String Names Worksheet: (a), (b), and (c).  If your child would like more to practice, they may continue on to the other examples on this page.
  • Practice Sheet 1: 1-4  These are basically a continuation of what they practiced on pages 4 and 5 last week  (for number 4, they will be composing a short song using D and A)

Thank you!

Violin Schedule

Today's lesson schedule for violins:

Cyr: 8:30 - 9:00
Kippenberger: 10:30 - 11:00
Ferullo: 11:00 - 11:30
Keating:  12:40 - 1:05

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekly Review 10/21 - 10/25

Good morning, and happy Friday!

This week, the first grade students completed their "Bats are all Asleep" and "Thump, Thump, Thump" songs and activities.  They started to learn how to decode melodic's how it works:  I sing a pattern using So and Mi on a neutral syllable, and the students need to listen to the pattern carefully and figure out the solfege.  It's quite tricky, and they have been doing an awesome job!  they also sang a new song in a minor tonality called, "Autumn Leaves."  They expressed themselves through movement with scarves, playing a mirroring game with a partner as they sang.  Some classes reviewed "Ghost of John," sang it as a round, and added an ostinato on the glockenspiel.

The second graders finished the fun game called "A Funny Little Lady."  It was fun to guess who was singing the solo!  They also sang "Witches' Brew," "Ghost of John," and "Woman All Skin and Bones."  It was enjoyable to review these favorite songs from first grade!  They also listened to "Funeral March of a Marionette," an amazing piece by French composer Charles Gounod.  (Some adults may recognize the tune as the theme to Alfred Hitchcock Presents).   A few volunteers were able to manipulate a skeleton marionette as we listened.

The third grade students completed their "Pass the Broomstick" activity, and reviewed the "Ghost of John"- a song they sang in first grade.  We added an instrumental accompaniment to the song, using the metallophones, xylophones, and glockenspiels.  Students took turns playing the following ostinati as the rest of the class sang:

We reviewed proper posture, technique, and form while holding the mallets and sitting/standing at the instruments.  The students also had the opportunity to see some basic music notation- including half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, quarter rests, eighth rests, and repeat signs.

The fourth grade students are still chugging along, working on their music for Veteran's Day!  They have been enjoying singing the different Armed Forces tunes, as well as the Star Spangled Banner (our National Anthem!)

The fifth graders completed "Halloween Night" - complete with singing, xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, drums, triangles, wood blocks, and cymbals!  One class even made a video to share with you- click HERE to check it out!

In chorus, the students learned the last section of "Grinch," as well as the second verse to "All I Want for Christmas is You."  We have been using PiaScore to read digital music in class, and the students have told us they prefer using iPads (instead of traditional folders and sheet music).

At the end of rehearsal, we went back onto the risers to run sections of "Grinch" and "All I Want for Christmas" - we even had a few students try out the solo parts!  Next week, the students will start to learn their last song...I can't wait!

I hope you have an incredible weekend!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tissues, Please!

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

Halloween Night

Good morning! Today, the fifth graders played an instrumental accompaniment to go along with the song "Halloween Night."

While they were practicing, I recorded a video so that you can check out their progress!  What you see below was only their first time playing these instrument parts- I was so impressed with their focus!  By the end of class, they were playing like pros :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

First Violin Lesson!

Today was the first violin lesson with instruments.  The students learned about posture, how to hold the instrument, pizzicato, and they read the A and D string notes on the staff!

Please encourage your child to practice and fill out the practice chart.  The assignment for all lesson groups this week is pages 4-5 in the book.   We are just plucking right now (pizzicato), so the bow is not needed for practice.  Thanks!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekly Review 10/15 - 10/18

Happy Friday!

This week, the first graders continued the spooky song, "The Bats are All Asleep."  We reviewed what a crescendo is, as well as the decrescendo.  We also started a new Halloween song called "Thump, Thump, Thump!"  It includes a story (that the students helped me to create), as well as a very dramatic crescendo.  Once the song was mastered, we added a drum, triangle, and maraca.  It was fun to take turns playing!

The second grade students continued to work on tonality, identifying major patterns and minor patterns.  We completed our "Witches' Stew" activity (complete with instrumental sound effects), sang a different song called "Witches' Brew" (funny that they have such similar names!), and even composed new lyrics!  The students also enjoyed a game and song called "A Funny Little Lady" guessed it...a witch!

The third grade students completed the "9 Lives" song and played a xylophone ostinato to go along with it.  They learned a new song and game called "Pass the Broomstick," which is also in a minor tonality.  The third graders in Ms. Johnson's class wanted to share the game with you- please check it out below:

The fourth grade students worked on their Veteran's Day music- they now know the tunes for the US Army, Navy, Marines, and the Coast Guard- only one more (Air Force) to go!   If your child would like to practice at home, they can find the lyrics HERE.

The fifth graders learned a spooky song called "Halloween Night."  They read along with the musical score, and identified the different pitches on the staff for the instrumental accompaniment. We reviewed the notation first, then some students played along while the rest sang.  We will complete this activity next week!

The chorus students continued to rehearse "All I Want for Christmas is You," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and "Grinch."  Each grade level has one more song that we will hopefully get to start next week!  They are working hard to prepare for our Winter Concert (which will be on December 11th at 7:00pm)

Have a lovely weekend!

Violin Lesson Schedule

Below is the violin schedule for October-November.   Please note:
  • If a child ever has to miss a scheduled lesson (for example, if they cannot miss an intervention block), then they may attend the recess lesson.
  • All lessons are scheduled for Monday, with one exception- due to the Memorial master schedule, Mrs. Cyr's class needs to have a lesson on Friday once per rotation.  Please see the attached schedule, and send your child to school on those particular Fridays with their instrument/folder.
  • If you have any issues with the schedule, or have any concerns regarding your child, please don't hesitate to contact me! 
  • I will be giving students a printed copy of the schedule on Monday so they can keep it in their folder in case they forget their lesson time.
Thank you!

Classroom Teacher10/21-10/2510/28-11/1
KippenbergerMON. 8:30-9:00MON. 10:30-11:00
FerulloMON. 10:30-11:00MON. 11:00-11:30
KeatingMON. 11:00-11:30MON. 12:40-1:05
CyrMON. 12:40-1:05MON. 8:30-9:00
Classroom Teacher11/4-11/811/11-11/15 (no school Monday)11/18-11/2211/25-11/29 (no school Thurs-Fri)
KippenbergerMON. 11:00-11:30 no lessonMON. 12:40-1:05MON. 8:30-9:00
FerulloMON. 12:40-1:05no lessonMON. 8:30-9:00MON. 10:30-11:00
KeatingMON. 8:30-9:00no lessonMON. 10:30-11:00MON. 11:00-11:30
CyrFRI. 10:30-11:00no lessonMON. 11:00-11:30MON. 12:40-1:05

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekly Review 10/7 - 10/11

Good afternoon!  We had another fantastic week in's what we did:

The first grade students continued to work on beat- they played our "Beat in Your Feet" game, chanted "I can Keep a Steady Beat," and played "Beat Leaders" (while listening to a march by Sousa!).  They also sang the "Ghost of John" and "The Bats are All Asleep."  We discussed what it means to be nocturnal, and their new music vocabulary words this week were crescendo and decrescendo.  Some students also participated in an awesome activity called "Looking for Dracula."

In second grade, the students sang the minor scale.  They listened for the difference between major and minor tonalities, and reviewed the "Ghost of John" from first grade.  They sang the song with an ostinato, as well as in a round!  Some students learned a new song for Halloween called the "Witches' Stew"....we hope to add percussion instrument sound effects next week!

The third grade students played percussion instruments during "Ding Dong,"making sure to play on their assigned rhythmic patterns.  We rotated groups so that each student could play each part.

They learned a new song (in a minor tonality) called "9 Lives."  Some students even played the alto and soprano xylophones to match the melody!

The fourth and fifth grade students watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and listened carefully for the tunes that we are singing in our Winter Concert.  They also downloaded PiaScore, the app that we are using in chorus on their iPads!   In chorus, the students rehearsed "Grinch!," "All I Want for Christmas is You," and started a new song- "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

Please have a safe and wonderful three day weekend!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Weekly Review 9/30 - 10/4

Good afternoon!  Here's what Memorial students were doing in music class this week...

The first graders continued to learn about Bach. You can read more about him and his amazing music here.  It has been fun to listen to the organ- it is such a cool (and complicated!) instrument!  They also continued to work on their dynamicspiano and forte.  They learned about a musical beat, and how it differs from a rhythm.  We played a great game using a drum called "Put the Beat in Your Feet."  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!  Some classes started a spooky song called the "Ghost of John."

The second grade students sang "Alligator Pie," then added a new verse.  You can read the one that Mrs. Siegel's class came up with by clicking here!  The students added instrumental parts to "I'm a Nut," and some students wrote new lyrics for other verses in that song too.  The second graders also watched a neat video that is set to Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in G Minor."  Check it out:

The third graders finished their "Four White Horses" activity, and Mrs. Ferullo's class wanted to share their performance with you!

They also watched the "Toccata and Fugue" video, and some students watched a video for Bach's "Little Fugue." (Bach loved writing fugues!)  The students learned a silly song about a cat called "Ding Dong, Diggidiggi Dong," and it helped them to work on their quarter note, eighth note, and sixteenth note rhythms.

The fourth graders learned about partner songs (you can read about them here), and how they differ from rounds. They sang "Black and Gold" while I sang "Trick or Treat" - it sounded really cool!  They also worked on their Veteran's Day music.

The fifth graders sang a funny song called "I Love the Mountains."  We discovered that the melody is raised by one scale tone for each new phrase, and that the song can be sung as a round, or with an ostinato.  Once we learned each part, a student played from "do" to "la" on the bass metallophone, and another played the tricky ostinato on a bass xylophone while the class sang the round.

In chorus this week, we continued to work on the "Grinch" medley and "All I Want for Christmas is You."  Next week, the students will be getting their iPads set up with PiaScore- an app that will allow us to use digital music instead of paper copies!  It should be awesome!

We hope you have an incredible weekend!

Violin Update

I was so happy to see so many students enrolled for violin! If you have signed your child up already, you should have received an email from me today regarding sizing and the first two lessons.

If you have not registered yet, there is still time!  Please sign up over the weekend, and I will be able to size your child on Monday.  Once their size has been established, you can set up your rental with Music and Arts (if you are using them).

Please click here to register!