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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Where the Wild Things Are

For the past few weeks, the fifth grade students have been composing music to accompany the book, Where the Wild Things Are.  We invited first grade and kindergarten classes to watch their performances.  Check them out below!

Ms. Conceison's class, performing for Mrs. I's class:

Mrs. Olshaw's class, performing for Mrs. Farrell's class:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekly Review 5/22 - 5/26

Before we get to the weekly review, we'd like to congratulate everyone who performed at Friday's Memorial Day Assembly!  Our friends from LABB sang about our flag, Ms. Bannon performed "Taps" with two fifth graders on trumpet, and the 2nd grade students sang songs to honor the soldiers who lost their lives while serving our country.

This past week, the first graders reviewed the instruments of the orchestra with a fun film called, "Tubby the Tuba."  The story follows a tuba who is tired of playing the same thing in every song ("oom pa pa"), and who unfortunately has been getting bullied by the other instruments.  Luckily for him, he has a good friend who helps him get on a path to success and happiness.

The second graders spent the week rehearsing for their Memorial Day Assembly.  We also talked about the importance of the holiday, so they understand it's not just a "free day off from school."  They sang beautifully and with pride.  Thank you to the parents/families/friends who came to the assembly to support your students!  Next week we will be celebrating their hard work with some extra time out on the playground :)

The third graders are almost ready for their recorder concert!  Here's a copy of the notice which went home two weeks ago:

Dear Parents,

We would like to invite you and your family to the 3rd grade Recorder and Violin Concert on Tuesday, June 6th 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!

Mrs. Canzano, Mrs. Cline, Mrs. Rzasa, and The Third Grade Team


The fourth and fifth graders have been busy composing music to accompany a book.  They are so excited to be performing them this coming week for kindergarten and first graders!  Fourth grade students will be performing "This is Not My Hat" or "Knuffle Bunny," and fifth graders will perform "Where the Wild Things Are." They will be using music to help tell the story, just like how movies have a musical score playing in the background.

I also have some photos that I forgot to share in our last weekly review.  Check them out!

4th/5th Grade Orchestra before the evening concert:

Parachute game with grade 5:

First grade compositions:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Orchestra Update and Assignment

Fourth Graders
4A:  Today the students were SO excited to get a packet of fun end-of-year songs.  They chose to play My House and Shake it Off.  These songs introduce some new notes (like low C), and they have some tricky rhythms!  

Assignment for 4A:
  • My House
  • Shake it Off
  • Don't forget about the method book!  Please review all D string and A string notes, and keep working on your reading skills.

4B:  Today we played through a few pages in the Essential Elements book, to work on our reading skills.  We got up to page 20, reviewing old songs that we played earlier in the year.   Then, they got a packet of fun end-of-year songs, and the lesson group chose to learn Shake it Off.  The students learned the first two lines of the song.

Assignment for 4B:
  • Practice the tunes on pages 21 and 22 in the book
  • Keep reviewing the notation for all D scale notes
  • Practice "Shake it Off" up to letter C

4C:  Group C also really enjoyed the packet. They chose to work on the Star Wars theme song. This one is a bit more difficult due to the low 2s (C natural and G natural), but they ready for the challenge!

Assignment for 4C:
  • Low 2 warm-ups
  • Practice Star Wars
  • Review all D string and A string notes

Fifth Graders
5A and 5B:  Students arrived late to their lesson so we did not have much time to rehearse.  However, they did receive the same packet as the 4th graders, and chose to learn Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Please note:  Thursday we are meeting at recess to take our end-of-year orchestra photos!  Please remember to bring in your instruments.  Thanks! :)

Here are some videos from 2 weeks ago, when the students were learning how to play bass lines to accompany melodies they are familiar with.  The students were asked to figure out the bass lines on their own, and I'm happy to report that they did this quite successfully - most of them getting it perfect on the 1st or 2nd try!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Weekly Review 5/8 - 5/12

This week, the first grade students started a new project.  They learned about musical form, specifically ABA form.  "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is a good example of a song in ABA form, since the beginning and the end are the same.  The students got into groups of two and used rhythm cards to help them compose an 8 beat A section and an 8 beat B section.  Then, they used musical notation to write their rhythms on the worksheet.  Once they could successfully clap their rhythm in ABA form, they each selected a hand percussion instrument. The compositions will be performed next week!

The second graders have continued to rehearse their songs for the Memorial Day performance/assembly.  They helped us come up with ribbon and scarf choreography for their class song, and it was so much fun!  The students also started learning a new song called "Remember You." It is a beautiful song to help remember the brave people who have sacrificed their lives for our country. We can't wait to share everything with the school to honor this important holiday.

The third grade students had their last centers day this week.  This is so that we can focus on rehearsing for our June performance!  The students added Boomwhackers to the song, "Rock Boom BAG!"  We also ran through all of the belt songs as a refresher...they sounded great!  Belt testing will continue between now and the concert.  Students who would like to test must schedule a time before school or at recess with myself or Mrs. Cline.

We would like to congratulate the fourth and fifth grade students on last week's amazing performance!  The spring concert was filled with suspense, humor, and (of course) beautiful music.  We will share some photos and/or videos soon!  

This week, the students started a new composition project.  They will be composing music to accompany a book, and in a few weeks they will perform them for a kindergarten or first grade class.   Fourth grade students will be composing for "This is Not My Hat" or "Knuffle Bunny," and fifth graders will compose for "Where the Wild Things Are." They will be using music to help tell the story, just like how movies have a musical score playing in the background.

We hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

2nd Grade Memorial Day Assembly


Dear Parents/Guardians,

We would like to invite you and your family to the 2nd Grade Memorial Day Assembly on Friday, May 26th at 10:00 a.m. in the Cafetorium. Your child will be singing and dancing as part of their Memorial Day presentation. Students are encouraged to wear red, white, and blue - and may accessorize as they please!

We hope to see you there!

Mrs. Rzasa and Mrs. Cline
Memorial Music Department