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

Friday, May 29, 2015

Weekly Review 5/25 - 5/29

Wow, the year is winding down…next week will be June!

The first graders finished their composition unit, with the last few groups performing in front of the class.  We are so thrilled with how their ABA compositions turned out!  They learned about how songs can tell a story, by singing an echo song called "The Other Day I Met a Bear."  It was so funny! We also discussed New Orleans, Louisiana, and how it was the birthplace of Jazz.  Jazz paved the way for swing and ragtime music- great music styles for dancing!  

The second graders took a trip to Africa this week!  We learned about different instruments that are played in West Africa, including the shekere, djembe, and bell.  

Then, they sang a great call and response song called "Che Che Koolay," and volunteers took turns being the caller.  The caller not only leads the song, but the dance too!  

The third graders have been working hard towards memorizing their songs for the concert.  Remember…the big day is June 10th!  We cannot wait for you to hear the string players, recorder, and delightful singing they have prepared for you!

The fourth grade students worked on a fun song this week, "Shake it ORFF!"  The Orff instruments include the xylophone, glockenspiel, and metallophone.  We also reviewed the words bass, alto, and soprano, which are used to identify the size/pitch of each instrument.  They played these instruments, along with the Boomwhakers, to Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off."  

(you can see more pictures HERE and HERE)

The fifth graders are excited about their moving up celebration, and to prepare they have been working on a song!  They voted on "We're All in This Together," and it is perfect for the occasion!  Some classes also had the chance to start a new song and game called "Al Citron," a silly nonsense song sung in Spanish!

We hope you have a fantastic weekend :)

Mrs. Gearin's ABA Compositions

Here is Mrs. Gearin's class performing their ABA Composition:

Shake it Orff (take 2!)

Yesterday, we posted about this week's 4th grade lesson…Shake it Orff!  Below are some pictures from the other two classes:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Shake it Orff!

Shake it Orff- do you get it?!?  

Orff instruments include the xylophone, metallophone, and glockenspiel.   Today, the 4th graders used these instruments (along with the Boomwhakers) to add an accompaniment to Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off."  It was so much fun!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015- 3rd Grade Patriotic Concert Songs

My America

Purple mountain majesties, amber waves of grain.
This is my America, to thee we sing.
Land of the free from sea to shining sea.
My America, let freedom ring.

My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride.
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring.

**Third Time- Sing both verses together as a partner song.

Grand Old Flag!

We want to cheer so loud that everyone hears us
When we see you on display.
You're the spirit of hope and liberty;
You make us feel like shouting "Hooray!"
Red white and blue, we pledge allegiance to you;
We love the colors of the U.S.A
Waving proud and free for all the world to see,
You will always lead the way!

You're a grand old flag, you're a high flying flag,
And forever and in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of the land we love;
The home of the free and the brave.
Every heart beats true for the red, white and blue
And there's never a boast or brag.
Should old acquaintance be forgot
Keep your eyes on that grand old flag!

**Third Time- Sing both verses together as a partner song.

Mrs. Farrand's Music Compositions

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weekly Review 5/18- 22

Each student in grades 1-5 will have an opportunity to show their peers, Mrs. Rzasa and I their music abilities during Musical Showcase week June 15-19th.   Students may choose to sing, dance, or play an instrument.  This is their chance to share any musical skills they have!  The students always enjoy watching their peers, so we hope all students choose to participate!

Our first grade students presented their ABA compositions to the class. Here are a few groups from Mrs. Burnham's class:

Second grade students learned a partner song called, "Hey Ho!" that went along with "Ah, Poor Bird."  A partner songs "are melodies which fit together in such a way that they sound good when they are sung together."  Students first learned the song with creative movements and then created an ostinato on boomwhackers with the same minor chord  as "Ah, Poor Bird" - D, F A.

Our Patriotic Concert  is coming up on June 10th , so our third grade students have been rehearsing for their concert. Thank you to all those students who auditioned for the four solo parts! We have so many talented singers to choose from! Mrs. Rzasa and I will make some hard decisions on who will be our soloists for this concert. Please start memorizing the lyrics for "My America" and "Grand Old Flag." Students will also be performing the recorder songs that they have earned their belt for. Don't forget to also memorize those songs!

Some of our fourth grade students played a fun music game called, "The Timbre" game.  Timbre "is the quality of a musical note or sound, or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production." In this game, a designated students is the music man/lady and has to reach the treble clef target located in front of the room. This person is blindfolded and has to listen to the different timbres of four different instruments. Each sound of the instrument will tell the music man/lady to move one step forward, one step backwards, one step to the right and one step to the left. The conductor will guide the music man/lady but conducting the musicians on when to play the instruments. The remaining students become obstacles courses in the music room. It was such a fun game that we will continue this game next week.

Fifth grade students will have their last performance singing their graduation song on June 16th. We will be rehearsing them during their music class.

We hope you have a relaxing long weekend! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Santullo Compositions

A few weeks ago, the second graders composed a song as a class, then added lyrics in small groups.  Students made sure that the number of syllables in their song matched the number of notes, so that the rhythms would align.  Check it out!

"Watermelon is good and I love it so!"

"Chicken breast is good with salt and pepper"

"We are on the Red Sox for baseball team"

"Ghoster is fun to play with at recess"

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weekly Review 5/11 - 5/15

First, we'd like to extend a BIG congratulations to the 4th and 5th graders for their performance at our Spring Concert on Wednesday!  We are so proud of you :)

This week, the first grade students took last week's ABA composition and selected hand percussion instruments to perform with.  Each group decided how they wanted to structure the composition.  Since they must follow the form, here are the choices:

  • Both students perform ABA in unison
  • One student performs A, their partner performs B, then the first student performs A
  • One student performs A, their partner performs B, then they perform A together
  • Both students perform ABA, with one person playing all quarter notes, and the other playing all eighth notes
Next week they will play them for the class, and we will share some of the videos with you here on the blog!

The second graders learned the difference between major and minor tonality.  Many times students associate major with happy feelings, and minor with sad.  However, this is not always the case!    We sang a song in minor called "Ah, Poor Bird" and added boomwhacker accompaniment.  They used the pitches D, F, and A to produce a minor chord.  Half of the class sang while the other class played an ostinato.  Next week, we will add a partner song and create a more complex accompaniment!

The third grade students have continued to rehearse for their June 10th concert.  They spent more time on the partner song for "You're a Grand Old Flag"- it's so much fun!  We also had our first student reach the black belt this week…congratulations!  Mrs. Niu and I are so happy with everyone's progress on the recorder.

The fourth and fifth grade groups watched the video of Wednesday night's performance for reflection and self-assessment.  That night, they truly learned the meaning of the phrase, "the show must go on."  We are so proud that despite the lights turning on and off every few minutes, they continued to play their instruments and sing through the chaos.  That's true showmanship!  

Have an amazing weekend!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Weekly Review 5/4- 5/8

We can't believe it is already May and next week, our 4th and 5th graders will be performing in their Spring Concert! Family and friends, please join us Wednesday, May 13th @ 7:00pm to see our fabulous musicians perform!

First graders composed an ABA form composition.  Working with their peers, students composed an 8 beat "A" section, and an 8 beat "B" section using ta's (quarter notes), ti-tis (eighth notes), and quarter rests. Next week, we will transfer these compositions to hand percussion instruments!

Our second grade students also worked together in groups of two to add lyrics their class composition.   Each group focused on making sure the syllables of each word in their song matched up to the rhythm in the composition. We have some many creative composers in second grade. Here is Mrs. Nelson's class performing their music compositions:

The second grade students also learned about the Boomwhackers this week!  Boomwhackers are a set of colorful plastic tubes which produce a different pitch when struck.
The longest tube (with the lowest pitch) is C, and then the pitches ascend through the musical diatonic scale up to the smallest tube, high C.  We took turns playing the Boomwhackers, then even played some familiar songs such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star!"

The third grade students are continuing to work hard for their concert on Wednesday, June 10th.  
For the choral part of the concert, they continued learning, "My America." Mrs. Rzasa and I demonstrated how the two partner songs are sung and next week we will practice singing them together. We also started learning, "You're A Grand Old Flag."  Students reviewed high D, high C and F# on their recorder.

It is crunch time for our fourth and fifth grade students! The concert is just a few days away! Please go onto the blog to review the chorus lyric. We had three wonderful rehearsals in the past two weeks. Next Tuesday will be our last combined rehearsal! Incase you still have any question on the concert attire or what time to report to us in the evening, here is all the information:

  • Concert Attire:  
Morning - The students may wear regular school clothes in the daytime - but please no t-shirts with logos or words.
Evening - Red, white, and/or blue tops to go along with our theme of “America the Beautiful.”  Students must also wear black bottoms, and black shoes.  

  • Call Time:

Please make sure that your child arrives to the school at 6:40 p.m. Band students will report to the music room, string students will report to the lesson room, and chorus students who do not play an instrument will report to the gym.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Weekly Review

This has been a fantastic week in music!

The first grade students enjoyed learning the rest of our classroom hand percussion instruments.  They can now identify and play the following instruments:

  • Hand Drum
  • Bongos
  • Rhythm Sticks
  • Triangle
  • Cymbals
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Cowbell
  • Agogo Bells
  • Cabasa
  • Vibraslap
  • Jingle Bells
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Egg Shakers
  • Maracas
  • Guiro
  • Wood Block
  • Sand Blocks
  • Tambourine
To put these new skills to the test, we learned a song called "Walk to the House."  Two students secretly select a hand percussion instrument and play it during the appropriate part of the song.  The rest of the class must listen carefully while they sing and then identify the instruments that were played.  The students who guess correctly become the percussionists for the next round!

The second graders worked on a class composition.  They will be learning to read music notation next year, so this week we gave them a brief introduction to the staff.  Then, we reviewed rhythmic values the musical alphabet ABCs - there are only 7 letters!   To compose, students took turns with selecting a rhythm (quarter note, eighth note pair, or quarter rest), then choosing a pitch (A, B, C, D, E, F or G).  Students continued until each class had their own song!  The next step is to add lyrics.  Students worked in pairs to write words to accompany the tune, making sure to match up the correct number of syllables to each rhythm.  They will be performing for the class next week!

The third grade students are busy preparing for their June 10th concert.  They sang "My America," and used their iPads to read the notation!  It can be difficult to follow along with the score, but they all did a great job.  They also enjoyed their centers day, learned how to play the F# on the recorder, and practiced "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

The fourth and fifth graders are almost ready for their concert!  Students have been in and out of the music room all week rehearsing solos, dances, speaking parts, and making props.  We know you will just love their Spring Concert, titled "America the Beautiful" (May 13th).  They also played a fun game called "Chicken on a Fencepost."