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

Friday, December 23, 2016

Weekly Review 12/19-12/23

We can't believe that our last school week of 2016 has come to an end. Here is what we did in music:

Congratulations to our first grade students who performed so well at our first Winter Showcase!

Second grade students completed their Nutcracker unit with a listening map and played rhythm sticks to accompany the Trepak. We listened to the Chinese Dance, described the instruments that were played in the music and followed a listening map. Here is a video of some of our second grade students performing the rhythm stick routine to the Trepak:

The third grade students performed the, "Jingle Bells Mixer" dance. It is a fun circle dance performed with partners.  They did an amazing job!  For their second music class, they had a great time with Music Mad Libs. Here is are some of the creative Mad Libs that our children came up with:

Mrs. Keating's class:
To the Tune of: Rudoph the Red Nose Reindeer
Emily the orange-nosed monkey
Had a very hairy eye
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows

All of the other unicorns
Used to laugh and call him pizza
They never let poor Ryan
Join in any doggy games

Then one foggy Armenian Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
Rudolph with your face so sassy
Won't you guide my Ryan tonight?

Then all the beaver loved him
And they shouted out with sad
Kyle the black-hand sugar glider
You'll go down in history!

Mrs. Cyr and Mrs. Kipp's class
To the Tune of: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
You better not play video games
You better not play ipads
Better not dance
I'm telling you why
Sloane  is coming to Woburn
She's making a Yvenaya
And checking it twenty one times
Gonna find out who's sparkly and blue
Nora  is coming to San Antonio
She sees you when you're dabbing
She knows when you're singing
She knows if you've been thinking or pretty
So be good for goodness sake!
Oh! You better go sking
You better not do handstands
Better not do cartwheels
I'm telling you why
Andrew  is coming to Quebec City
Oliva  is coming to New York

Fifth grade and fourth grade performed an accompaniment using drums and rhythm sticks to "The Trepak" from the Nutcracker ballet. Here is Mrs. Burn's class and Mrs. Harlow's class:

Happy Holidays and Have a Happy New Year! Cheers to 2017!

Monday, December 19, 2016

String Update and Assignment

Fourth Graders
4A, 4B, 4C:  All fourth grade groups reviewed the notes on the D and A strings.  We are continuing to work on our reading proficiency, so practicing this skill is important!  The students played a few tunes from the Essential Elements book, then started a new song for the Spring Concert - Strings Will Rock You.

Assignment for 4th graders:
  • Page 15
  • Strings Will Rock You

Fifth Graders
5A and 5B:  The fifth grade students also reviewed their notes - by playing an awesome game called Staff Wars!  You can purchase and download the app HERE.  We listened to two songs that we will be playing in the spring: Blue Danube Waltz and Final Countdown.  Then, we started to play Strings Will Rock You.

Assignment for 5th graders:
  • Strings Will Rock You
  • D Scale:  Half notes, then quarter notes, then eighth notes...followed by sixteenth notes if you can!  

Friday, December 16, 2016

Weekly Review 12/12 - 12/16

Congratulations to the 4th and 5th Grade students for an amazing performance on Wednesday!  Please check out the post below for photos:

This week, the first graders have been preparing for their Winter Showcase (next Wednesday, Dec. 21 for parents and families of first grade students).  They also learned about one of Tchaikovsky's most famous ballets - The Nutcracker.  The "Marche" has three themes: soldier, puppet, and mice.  The students moved and danced along with the beat to each theme in the song.  It was so much fun!

The second graders have also been learning about The Nutcracker.  In their first music class, they finished watching the New York City Ballet's performance.  Then in the second class, the students followed a listening map for the Chinese Dance.  They followed the melodies performed by the flutes and the pizzicato in the strings.  They also learned a new musical vocabulary word - coda. After the map, they started a fun rhythm stick routine to go along with the Trepak. They will finish it next week!

The third grade students are continuing to learn music notation.  This week they reviewed the parts of the staff as well as the line and space notes.  Then they played fun staff games to reinforce what they have learned!  The first game is played on the floor staff - "On Your Mark, Get Set, Notate!"  The second game is played on the board using magnets as note heads.

The classes did so well!

The fourth and fifth graders had an opportunity for self assessment after the concert.  We watched the video from Wednesday's nighttime performance, and discussed things that went well and things that could be improved.  Self-assessment is so important for musicians and performers!

We hope you have a great weekend, and stay warm!

2016 Winter Concert Photos

We want to extend a HUGE congratulations to the fourth and fifth graders for their amazing performance this past Wednesday!

The students have worked so hard to prepare for this concert and we are so proud of them.   Here are some photos from the morning and evening performances:

Thank you to Mrs. Farrand, Mrs. Gianis and Mrs. Panag for contributing the photos above.

The following were sent in by Mrs. Schultz....thanks again!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Weekly Review 12/5-12/9

We can't believe it is already December and 2017 is just around the corner!

First grade students have been preparing for their Winter Showcase on Wednesday, December 21st at 1:30pm. We practiced, "Over the River" and "Peppermint Candy Cane." The students also came up with a list of favorite songs that they would love to sing to their family and friends. The first graders also 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 the part of the song that we "remember" because the music and lyrics gets repeated at least more than once. 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. The students learned that in a ballet, the story is conveyed through dance and movement instead of through spoken words.  The only voice you hear is the narrator, who occasionally speaks to give extra details about the story.

The third graders reviewed music notation on their IPAD and learned a fun song to help remember the name of the notes. Ask your child to sing the song for you!  Next week, we will continue to learn the name of our notes with the help of some fun music games.

Our fourth and fifth grade students are working for their concert next Wednesday, Dec. 14th at 7:00pm. We have one more rehearsal left on Tuesday and then it is showtime!!

We hope you have a wonderful weekend and stay warm!

Monday, December 5, 2016

String Update and Assignment

ALL fourth and 5th grade lesson groups worked on the concert songs today.  Our performance is only one week away: next Wednesday, December 14th.

PLEASE try to practice 3-5 times each week, focusing on whatever you find most difficult.  Listening (or playing along) to these recordings can also help:

Additionally, 4th graders should work on Jingle Bells and if time, 5th graders can play Dreidel (page 13 in book)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Weekly Review 11/28 - 12/2

This week, the first graders completed their Bluebird activity from last week. The game helped us review the difference between high and low pitch.  Then, we continued to work on Peppermint Candy Cane, a song that we will sing for our Showcase on December 21st!

The second grade students learned about our new composer for December, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He is a Russian composer who wrote The Nutcracker.   Then, they reviewed the March (a song from The Nutcracker that they danced to in first grade).  Each student listened carefully to the different themes in the song and moved like soldiers, puppets, and mice!  Then, they learned a brand new dance for the Trepak.  The students even danced with scarves!

The third graders have started their music notation unit to help prepare them for the recorder.  First, they learned about the staff, and then we added the treble clef, time signature, bar lines, double bar line (or repeat sign if desired), and labeled the measures.  The students did a wonderful job drawing the treble clef - it can be tricky! Here are some pictures:

The fourth and fifth graders have been rehearsing for their upcoming Winter Concert (December 14th).   We have sent home the following letter with more information:


Dear Parents/Guardians,

The music department at Memorial presents “Winter Rock” on:

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
7:00 p.m.

Your child has been working very hard towards this concert and we hope you and your family can be there to support them. Feel free to email or call us if you have any questions.

  • 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 rock and roll music in the 1950s/early 60s. We would like the students to dress as though they were from that time period!  Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Girls: Full skirts, cardigans, sweaters, jeans, capri pants, leather jackets, high ponytails, etc.
  • Boys:  Jeans, white t-shirts, button-down shirts, leather jackets, varsity jackets, sunglasses, black boots, greased hair, etc.
  • Have fun with your outfit choice, and don’t feel as though you have to purchase something.  See what’s in your closet, or borrow something from a friend!

  • 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.

  • 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 voices in our ensemble!  (Please contact us in advance if you have a conflict with attendance)

* We look forward to seeing you there! *

Mr. Napierkowski, Mrs. Niu, and Mrs. Rzasa