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

Monday, May 30, 2016

Orchestra Photos!

It has become a yearly tradition in orchestra to take some fun and silly end-of-year photos.   Here are some pictures from last Thursday's photo shoot:

(of course we have to start off with the most serious one, hehe)

I love that we have such a fun, yet hardworking group.  I am SO proud of these crazy kids! :)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Weekly Review 5/23 - 5/27

We hope you have enjoyed the warm weather this week!

The first graders had a very exciting week in music - they started their violin unit! The students first learned how to open up the case and take out the instrument.  Then, they learned how to do rest position and playing position.  These positions are so important because they keep the instrument safe, and helps to develop proper technique.  Then, they learned the four different strings on the violin.  The G is the lowest string, followed by D, A, and E.  Last, they started playing the violin with pizzicato.  Pizzicato is a technique of plucking the strings.  They did a wonderful job, and had such a great time!

The second grade students had a fabulous Memorial Day concert this Wednesday!  

The students performed America the Beautiful, This Land is Your Land, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and Grand Old Flag.  They also taught the whole school about the importance of Memorial Day, and how the holiday was formed.   We are so proud of them!

The third graders have continued to rehearse their belt songs, as well as Juba Jive and March of the Droids.  Here is a bit more information about their performance:

Dear Parents,

We would like to invite you and your family to the 3rd grade Violin and Recorder Concert on Tuesday, June 7th at 8:30 a.m. in the Cafetorium.  Students are encouraged to wear colorful shirts with black bottoms.  No logos, please!

We hope to see you there!

The Third Grade Team, Ms. Berger, Mrs. Niu, and Mrs. Rzasa


The fourth graders have continued to work on their compositions to accompany the Rainbow Fish book.  They are almost finished with the project, and cannot wait to share what they have composed!  They also started the violin unit this week.  We reviewed the parts of the violins and got into height order so that we could assign instruments for next week. 

The fifth grade students have started running through their Where The Wild Things Are compositions, and one class even performed!  Mrs. Conceison's class invited Mrs. Farrell's first grade class to be an audience while we read the book and students added instrumental sound effects and melodies.  Here's a video of the performance:

They did such an awesome job!  Over the next two weeks, the other classes will perform.  The fifth graders also started to learn their song for their Moving Up ceremony. We can't believe that they will be headed over to the middle school next year!

Have a fabulous 3 day weekend!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Weekly Review 5/16-5/20

This has been a great week!  It was nice to finally get some sunshine! Here's what we were up to in music:

First grade students started violins!  You can learn more about the violin unit HERE.  We taught them about the different parts of the instrument, and the function of each:

  • Scroll
  • Pegs
  • Peg Box
  • Strings
  • Nut
  • Fingerboard
  • Neck
  • Body
  • Ribs
  • Bridge
  • Sound Post
  • F Holes
  • Tailpiece
  • Chin Rest
  • Button
  • Parts of the bow: frog, stick, tip, grip, screw, hair
See if your child can point to each part on the violin picture above!

Here is Mrs. Rzasa teaching the violin parts and some of our first grade students with their violins.

Our second graders are busy rehearsing for their Memorial Day Assembly on Wednesday, May 25th at 10am in the Cafeteria. Your child will be sing and dancing as part of their presentation. Students are encouraged to wear "Red, White and Blue" and may accessorize as they please! We hope to see you all there!

Sadly, this was the last week of centers for our third grade students. Mrs. Rzasa and I are still available to test or help out any student on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. We will be preparing for our 3rd grade recorder and violin for the next two weeks. Don't forget to practice your belt songs, Juba Jive, and March of the Droids!

Our fourth and fifth grade students revisited their composition projects. Fifth graders are composing music to the book, "Where the Wild Things Are" and fourth graders are composing music to the book, "Rainbow Fish."  In two weeks, they will be performing for our first and second grade students. Remember to bring your band and orchestra instrument to music if you are using them for the compositions.

Our fifth graders also selected their "moving up" song! We will begin rehearsing the song next Thursday and Friday.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, May 15, 2016


BIG congratulations to the 4th and 5th graders for an awesome concert this Wednesday!  We are so proud of all of their hard work, and it certainly paid off!  The students had a lot of fun, and they taught our whole school (as well as the parents that evening!) about famous composers from music history.

Thank you to Mrs. Schultz, Mrs. Myint, Mrs. Keating, and Mr. Rzasa for sharing these photos and video:

You can download the orchestra video HERE (I hope to get it embedded soon!)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Weekly Review 5/9-5/13

It was a busy week in music! Congratulations to our talented 4th and 5th grade students for putting on a wonderful spring concert! Mrs. Rzasa and I are so proud of your hard work!

This week, the first graders watched an excellent video all about the symphony orchestra!  They learned about what things are like for children who are in the Julliard Pre-College Symphony Orchestra, a highly competitive group for talented young musicians.  They have a lot of fun, but also spend time practicing their instruments in order to get better.  The video also visited adult professional musicians who perform in a group called Stomp.  They make music with unconventional musicians- ask your child what some of those instruments were!

Our second grade students continued rehearsing their songs for the the Memorial Day Concert on Wednesday, May 25th at 10am. All parents are invited to attend the event. Congratulations to our 6 soloist and 12 speakers! We will be rehearsing those parts next week and going onto the stage to rehearse our songs and dance moves. We would also like to share with you compositions from our second grade students- Music Compositions. Mrs. Farrand's students have not performed yet so we will add those videos on Monday afternoon.

Third grade students are also busy preparing for their recorder/violin concert on Tuesday, June 7th at 8:30am. All parents should have received a yellow letter inviting them to the performance. We learned the drum part for Juba Jive and learned a fun song called, "Music of the Droid." Here is a picture of two students performing the drum part on the tubano while the rest of the class rehearses Juba Jive.

Mrs. Rzasa and I could not have been more happy and proud of our 4th and 5th grade students. Thank you all for giving the school and the community a wonderful performance. At the same time, we are also sad that this will be the 5th graders last elementary choral performance. We hope many of you continue to play and instrument or be part of a musical ensemble at the middle school. Here are more fun pictures from the spring concert.

We hope you enjoy the warm weather this weekend!

2nd Grade Compositions

Here are the compositions from our second grade students who 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.

"There was a clown that made a sound, oink!"

"Pizza is really awesome to me"

"Mewtwo is very cool.  We are fans."

"Tigers are very cute! Fluffy too."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

4th and 5th Grade Concert Reminders

Wednesday, May 11th (tomorrow!)

Concert Attire:  
Morning - The students may wear regular school clothes in the daytime - but please no t-shirts with logos or words.
Evening - Our concert is all about opera and music from classical composers.  We would like the students to be as fancy as possible, while still being comfortable.  Below are some ideas:
  • Girls:  Fun/fancy dresses, skirts, or nice pants.
  • Boys:  Suits and ties/bowties, dress pants with polo shirts, or even tuxedo t-shirts!
  • Mrs. Niu and Mrs. Rzasa will likely be wearing gowns with opera gloves and costume jewelry.  Have fun with your outfit choice!

  • 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, string students will report to the lesson room, and chorus students who do not play an instrument will report to the Art Room at 6:50pm.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Weekly Review 5/2 - 5/6

Good afternoon!

This week, the first graders continued to learn about the Carnival of the Animals, by French composer Camille Saint-SaĆ«ns.  They followed a listening map to the "Fossils" movement, and learned all about the featured instruments:  the piano, clarinet, and of course the xylophone!  Then, they watched a video which includes an orchestra performing the Carnival of the Animals, alongside real animals at the zoo!

Moving around like lions!

Fossils listening maps

The second grade students have been working on awesome project - class compositions.  Each class worked together as a team to write a two measure song, and the students (working in pairs) have been writing lyrics.  We discussed the importance of matching up the syllables with the rhythm - each note must be paired with only one syllable.  They have done an amazing job, and we can't wait to share them with you next week!

The third graders learned two new notes this week, high C and high D.  The fingerings are a little tricky, so we will review them next week.  We also played through the blue belt song, "Twinkle Twinkle," and worked on "Juba Jive."  We cannot wait for you to hear their fabulous recorder playing at their performance in June!

The fourth and fifth graders have had fantastic combined chorus rehearsals this week!  We have our dress rehearsal next Tuesday, and then our concerts are on Wednesday.  We hope you can attend our evening performance on the 11th at 7:00!

Have an amazing weekend!  :)