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

Friday, February 3, 2017

Weekly Review 1/30-2/3

Our first grade students created their own orchestration of , "Peter and the Wolf" using classroom instruments. Characters were listed on the board and each class suggested the instrument that would represent each character. The instruments they got to choose from were: guiro, egg shaker, hand drum, wood block, ratchet, rhythm sticks and triangle. We reviewed the different note values- quarter note, quarter rest, and eighth note. Most of the classes got to pick their own groups and each group was responsible to come up with a four beat pattern to play on their instrument. Next week, we will have various students perform their rhythm and dramatize while Mrs. Rzasa and I narrates the story.

The second grade students have been learning about the four main instrument families, and this week they started to learn about the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.  The piece was composed by Benjamin Britten, a famous English composer, in 1946.   It was written to help teach children about the instruments of the orchestra.  The second graders played an interactive Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra game in class- it is a listening activity that takes you on a safari adventure as you visit the four instrument families and unlock each of their games.

Third grade students received a very special instrument this week- A RECORDER!! Students were very excited about this. Here is some information to help your students succeed with the recorder:
  • The students need to bring their recorders to class for each music day.  
  • Mrs. Rzasa and I will be taking "recorder attendance," and three or more unprepared days will result in a call home.  The students will learn best when they have their instrument in school!
  • Recorders are only allowed to be played in music and outside of school.  Please remind your child not to play on the bus or in their regular classroom.
  • To help students succeed, home practice is necessary.  Please have your child aim for 5 minutes each day.  Of course, more is always good too!  Since the recorders are new, they will likely practice a lot- but this may fade in the coming weeks.  Ask your child to play for you to help encourage them!
  • To clean the recorders, you may wash them with warm soapy water, or place them in the TOP RACK of the dishwasher. 
  • Thank you- we appreciate your patience and support as your child learns a new instrument!

Our fourth and fifth graders are beginning their composition unit!  We reviewed all the different note values from our recorder unit in third grade- quarter note, quarter rest, half note, and an eighth note pair.  For our fifth graders, we added a half rest. Next week, they will be choosing their partners  and writing their compositions. Fourth grade students will compose an "ABA" form and fifth grade students will compose a Rondo form, also known as "ABABA."

In chorus, both grade levels reviewed, "Fugue for Fast Food." Fourth grade students learned a new song called, "Listen to the Rain." It's a beautiful song where students get to create rain using body percussion. Mrs. Rzasa and I also sent home flyers to inform parents about bringing in a plain white t-shirt to decorate for the concert. Here is the letter:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are beginning to plan for our Spring Concert which will be on Wednesday, May 3rd.  Our concert theme is, “Elements of Music.” We would like the students to bring in a plain white t-shirt which we will be decorating in class, then wearing for our concert!
Inexpensive t-shirts can be purchased at A.C. Moore, Jo-Ann Fabrics, or Michael’s with a coupon, or students can use a shirt they already own.

Please label the shirt with your child’s name or initials on the tag, and bring it in by Monday, February 27th.  Thank you!

Memorial Music Specialists


Have a fabulous weekend! GO PATS!!

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