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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekly Review 1/18-1/22

Our first grade students will be studying Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" for the next few weeks.  "Peter and the Wolf" is a story and musical piece by the Russian composer.  We read the book first, then started a listening map in the second class.  As the students listened to the story and orchestral music (narrated by Patrick Stewart), they completed the activities in each box.  Each part of the map included a fun activity, such as drawing the different characters and identifying different instruments. We will be finishing this activity next week. Here is a list of all the character in the fairytale. Each character in the story represents an instrument and has a musical theme:

The second graders also started a new unit on instrument families.  The four main instrument families are: brass, woodwind, string, and percussion. This week the students learned about the brass and woodwind families.  To get their bodies moving (especially since we have been having indoor recess all week!), the students performed a movement activity to Haydn's "Surprise Symphony."

Common Brass Family Instruments:
French Horn

Common Woodwind Family Instruments:

The third graders went on their field trip on Friday to see the Lexington Symphony perform at Cary Hall.  The performance took the audience on a tour of the orchestra beginning 500 years ago when only voice, recorders and drums were popular. Instruments were slowly added back to the orchestra to show how music had evolved over time. By the end of the concert, there was a full modern symphony orchestra on stage!  As a finale, they played a medley of Star Wars, composed by John Williams.  This was certainly a favorite! Here are some pictures from the performance:

Next week, the students will be taking a notation test! Don't forget to study! As always, please ask Mrs. Rzasa or I for any help!

In chorus, we continued to work on our spring concert song, "The Painless Opera."  The fifth graders started Ode to Beethoven, which includes tunes from his 9th Symphony and Moonlight Sonata.  The fourth graders began their featured song, "The Surprise Symphony" by Haydn. Many of Haydn's music contained jokes to make sure the audience was paying attention. "The Surprise Symphony", or Symphony No. 94 in G Major is most famous for a sudden fortissimo (very loud) chord at the end of the opening theme. The music then returns to the original piano (quiet) dynamic as if nothing had happened.  

We hope you all stay safe and warm during the blizzard! Have a wonderful weekend!

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