Music Newsletter

Lowell Elementary

Welcome to the Lowell Music Program!

Hello Lowell Community. If we haven't met, I'm Anthony Spano and I've taught music here at Lowell for over 17 years. I hope to be preparing these newsletters on a regular basis to update you on what we've done, are doing, and will be doing in your child's music classes. Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments:

The Beatles - Now and Then

There was very exciting news from The Beatles universe this month when the surviving members of the band Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr released "Now and Then," a song being billed as the "final Beatles song." Using AI and state of the art audio technology, Paul and Ringo were able to extract the vocal track from a 45-year-old demo tape recorded by late member John Lennon. Using this and guitar tracks recorded by George Harrison in the mid 1990's, they were able to fully flesh out this all but forgotten song. We are listening to this song in class with grades 2-5 over the next two weeks.

Watertown Performing Arts T-shirts!

Continuing a tradition that started last year, we are asking students who participate in our performing arts ensembles (chorus, band, orchestra) to purchase a Watertown Performing Arts t-shirt. The shirts will be worn at all performances like a concert uniform, but can also be worn whenever and by whomever to show support for our amazing program. Shirts are $10 and come in many different sizes. Paper forms are being sent home with our 4th and 5th graders all this week, but please click here for more information if you'd like to purchase or donate a shirt.

Musician of the Month - October - Lauryn Hill

For October, our musician of the month was the American singer and rapper, Lauryn Hill. Lauryn came to fame in the late 1990's through her collaboration with Haitian rappers Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel forming the band The Fugees. Since then, Lauryn has had success in her solo songwriting career as well as in acting and production.

Click here for information and music from this musician.

Musician of the Month - November - Jeremy Dutcher

For November, our musician of the month is the Canadian Indigenous singer, Jeremy Dutcher. Jeremy is a member of the Tobique First Nation of Maritime Canada. He lives in New Brunswick. A Juno-winning musician, Jeremy blends his indigenous language Wolastoqey with classical vocals and western instruments.

Click here for more information on this musician.

4th and 5th Grade Instruments

Our instrument program has been very successful thus far this year. We have excellent participation from many of our 4th and 5th grade students and we're hoping to have some creative performance opportunities later in the school year. If you have any questions regarding your child's instrument lessons, feel free to email their instrument teacher at any time:

Macullen Byham (strings)

Maxwell Thew (winds, percussion)

Anthony Spano (winds, percussion)

Lowell Chorus

Students in grades 4 and 5 can participate in our Lowell chorus. In chorus, we focus on diaphragmatic breathing, balance, diction/enunciation, and rudimentary harmony including part singing, round, and 2-part harmony.

If your child is participating and you haven't yet officially signed them up, you can do so here.

So far in rehearsals we've been doing simple warmups using the major scale and three songs which can be found here:

Joshua Fit the Battle - traditional African American spiritual

Something to Believe In - Kesha

Ram Sam Sam - traditional Moroccan

Songs we're Singing

Singing is central to our music curriculum at all age levels. As I tell the students, your voice is the "oldest instrument in the world" and we carry it around with us everywhere we go. Below are just a few of the songs we've been singing in class this month:

Mr. Sun - Raffi

If I Were a Tree - traditional

I Had a Little Rooster - traditional

Blackbird - The Beatles

Yellow Submarine - The Beatles

Kye Kye Cule - traditional, Ghana

My Aunt Came Back - traditional

Three Little Birds - Bob Marley

Down by the Bay - traditional

Skin and Bones - traditional

Pumpkin Bones - Quaver music