Let It Snow!
It’s hard to believe we are already over halfway through the school year! January has been another great month of learning in the music room as we explored some fun units in all grade levels. Many of our students have been working on music literacy and using solfege in their singing. Here’s a look at what we’ve learned this month in music and what’s ahead for February:
Kindergarten: Our kindergartners have been learning a lot of train songs this month, including “Engine, Engine, Number Nine”, “Little Red Caboose”, and "Down at the Station". These songs have helped us learn about high and low notes called so and mi, and we also discovered that our steady beat can speed up and slow down just like a train! Ask your child to show you the hand signs for so and mi! We've also had fun singing about "Three Baby Groundhogs" and "One-Zero-Zero" in preparation for Groundhog's Day and our 100th Day of School!
1st Grade: Our 1st graders have also been singing a lot of songs with so, mi, and la to help us start using solfege. We have been using hand signs as well as xylophones to help us identify, read, sing and play these notes correctly. We have also included a lot of singing games in our repertoire this month. Ask your child to show you how to play "Lucy Locket" or "A Tisket, A Tasket!" These would be great games to play at home as well! In February, we will be starting to work on our concert songs in preparation for our performance on March 21st.
2nd Grade: Our 2nd graders have been learning a lot of songs that use la, so, mi and do, including "Mother, Mother", "Who Has the Penny?", "Clouds of Gray", and "Sorida!" Students even had an opportunity to make up their own song using so, mi and do, and to play their composition on the xylophone to hear what it sounded like! Students came up with some very nice melodies, and they should be proud of how well they can read and write music on the staff now! Ask your student to share their packet of work with you! In February, we will continue to work with solfege syllables as we sing some fun Valentine's Day songs.
3rd Grade: Our third graders have been singing some very challenging songs this month! We have been singing and playing instruments using sixteenth note patterns, which are much faster than most rhythms we have used previously. We've also expanded our singing range to include large leaps - ask your child to share with you how to jump from low do to high do! One of our favorite songs, "I'll Rise When the Rooster Crows", has two different parts; students learned to sing a melody in one group while another group of students sang and played a completely different part on the bell sets! We were also able to split into FOUR different parts as we sang one of our other favorite songs, "Kookaburra"!
4th Grade: Our 4th graders are now using all of the solfege syllables in our singing! We have had fun singing songs such as "Do-Re-Mi" from "The Sound of Music" and a more contemporary version, called "Whacky Do-Re-Mi"! Students have learned that octaves are notes that are eight steps apart from each other, such as low do and high do. We have also started to work on our concert repertoire. All of our songs this year fit into a "Four Seasons" theme, and we are excited to sing about spring, summer, fall, and winter! Be sure to mark your calendar for our performance on March 21st at 7:30 PM!
5th Grade: Our 5th graders just wrapped up a fun unit on jazz music. We listened to and learned a lot about different styles of jazz music, including ragtime, the blues, big band, and bebop. We were able to sing in a swing style, and even learned the basic swing dance step! The most important element in jazz music is improvisation, which means making music up on the spot rather than playing or singing exactly what is written, and we had fun trying to improvise on the bell sets in class! We will continue working with our new bell sets as we learn more about whole steps, half steps, scales, and basic music theory in February.
1st/4th Grade Concert!
Thursday, March 21st, 6:30pm
340 West Quarry Street
4th Grade Concert - 7:30-8:00 PM
5th Grade Band News
- Please remind your student to bring his/her instrument AND lesson book to each and every lesson! You can help your student remember by having them write their lesson days in their planner or posting the schedule on the refrigerator. Many students have proven to be very responsible lately, but if a student misses even one lesson, it is easy to fall behind and feel frustrated.
- If your student is running low on any supplies (reeds, valve oil, slide grease, etc.), please let me know, and I can place an order with Ward-Brodt. Any orders placed at the beginning of the week will be delivered right to our elementary school by Friday! Students are then billed for these supplies and can bring their payments directly to me.
- If you still owe money to Ward-Brodt for any supplies, please turn in your payment as soon as possible. We want to ensure that these services can continue to be available for all of our students.
- Practice, practice, PRACTICE! We will start rehearsing with our full band more often in February and March, and it is impossible for me to help each student individually in a full-band rehearsal. Students should be practicing and reviewing songs at home so that we can learn new songs and techniques during our lessons together and put all of our sounds together at full-band rehearsals!