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

Friday, February 15, 2013

Weekly Review 2/11 - 2/15

This week, the first grade students celebrated Valentine's Day in music!  We sang a fun movement song called "Tony Chestnut," then sang "Heel, Toe, on the Line."  The best thing about that song?  It's a dance!  Each time you sing, you are surprised with a new partner.  Check out this video of the two Thursday classes!

Second graders also sang a Valentine's day song- "Special Valentine."  Each student randomly selected a valentine that said friend, pet/animal, celebrity, family member, and classmate.  When it was their turn to sing a solo, they named who their special valentine was.  The song is jazzy, and we loved snapping our fingers along to the beat!  The students also finished their Groundhog's Day song on the xylophones and glockenspiels.

This was a big week for third graders!  Most students tested for and passed their White Belts- we are so proud of them! They were rewarded with a white piece of yarn to tie onto the bottom of their recorders.  Please visit THIS post to learn about how to access recordings of the recorder songs!  The next song we will be learning is called "Merrily We Roll Along."

Fourth and fifth grade students visited the computer lab to turn their rhythmic compositions into a melody!  We used the free notation program, MuseScore.  If you are interested in downloading it to use at home, visit that link :)  The students have been very creatively composing, and I cannot wait to hear the end result!  When we return to school, each fourth and fifth grade class will have one more day to compose in the lab.

In chorus, most classes finished learning the first three songs.  Each grade level only has one more song to learn, then we can work on polishing/refining them and adding movement and instruments!

We you hope you have a safe and exciting Winter Break!

Recorder Karate

Now that the third graders have started earning recorder belts, it might be fun to practice along with a recording!  If you'd like to give it a try, please visit:

You will need to enter a username and password:
username:  karate
password:  Rubric

Have fun!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wake Up, Groundhog!

Ever since we heard about the groundhog's prediction of an early Spring, the 2nd grade students have been excited to perform their Groundhog's Day song in class!

The students accompanied the song on glockenspiels and xylophone:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekly Review 2/4-2/8

Students in first grade celebrated Groundhog Day by singing a fun song with a musical game called, "Time to Wake-Up Sleepy Groundhog." This year, Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring because he did not see his shadow. After the students successfully learned the song, a student was chosen to be the groundhog.  The rest of the students formed a circle around the sleeping groundhog. The students sang, "Time to Wake Up Sleepy Groundhog" as they walk in a circle holding hands. On the word "over," the groundhog wakes up. The first person that he/she sees becomes the next groundhog.

Second grade students also celebrated Groundhog Day by learning a fun song with 2 ostinato parts called, "Wake Up Groundhog Sleepyhead." An ostinato is a repeated musical phrase. The 2 ostinato parts are, "Wake groundhog" and "Get, out, of, bed!" Next week, each student will play an ostinato part on an Orff instrument!

It was an exciting week for our third grade students. Congratulations to each third grader who passed the music exam! By now, each child has his/her own recorder.  I am sure you all have heard that we will be doing Recorder Karate!  The students are very excited to earn their white belt! In this recorder program, students will play American folk songs in order to earn yarn belts that will be tied to their recorders. Students must play individually for Mrs. Rzasa or I, during their music class or on another designated belt testing time. We have found that this is a great way to keep students motivated! We will also be taking recorder attendance. Please remind your child to bring their recorder and folder to each music class. Students should be aiming to practice 5 times each week at a minimum of 5 minutes a day in order to get maximum results.

The fourth and fifth grade students continued their ABA and rondo form compositions.  Most students who completed their composition chose a percussion instrument to perform their rhythmic parts. Next week, each fourth and fifth grade student will turn their rhythmic compositions into melodic compositions with Muse Score.  We are excited to hear all their creative compositions!

With the Blizzard of 2013 on it's way, we hope you have a safe and wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekly Review 1/28 - 2/1

This week in music, the first graders added a fun clapping routine to the song "A Sailor Went to Sea."  It was tricky at first, but after some practice the students were really getting the hang of it!  They also watched a movie - Peter and the Wolf.  After studying the story and the music in class, it was fun to see it portrayed as a cartoon.  If we have time before Winter Break, the students may even act it out themselves!

The second grade students finished playing the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. They learned so much about each instrument family, and the instruments that belong in each.  We put that knowledge to the test by playing Musical Instrument Bingo.  By listening to a short musical example from each instrument, they were able to fill in their Bingo boards.   We had a great time!

In third grade, we did a review for our notation test, then took it the following class.  The material that was on this test is important for success on the recorder. The students did a great job- and we are excited to start the new recorder unit next week! Expect your child to come home with an instrument, folder, care instructions, and music.  If you are providing a recorder for your child, please have them bring it to class next week.  Thanks!

Fourth grade students started a new composition project.  Using ABA form, they will work in pairs to compose a rhythmic piece that will eventually get transferred to the computer.  With the help of MuseScore, the students will turn their rhythmic compositions into melodic compositions.  The music can be printed out for a professional result!  In chorus, the students continued the Elements song with "Fire," finished "Rhythm of the Rain," and continued the energetic "Turn the World Around."

In fifth grade this week, the students started a composition project similar to the ones they did in fourth grade.   We challenged them to compose with a new form called rondo form.  Rondo form can follow a variety of patterns, as long as it returns to a familiar theme.  Our form will follow "ABACABA."  In chorus, the students continued the Elements song with "Fire," finished "The Wind," and continued the energetic "Turn the World Around."