Music News

December 2012

Season's Greetings!

December has been a wonderful month of learning and fun in the music room! As our 3rd graders reminded us at their concert, this is a great time of year for families to celebrate together, regardless of what or how or when you celebrate! Our students have discussed various holidays in music class and learned many traditional songs about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, New Year's Day, and more. Here’s a closer look at what each grade level has been up to this month:

Kindergarten: Our kindergartners have been learning to recognize different sections of music this month. We learned that a refrain is a section that repeats, such as in “Jingle Bells” or “Up On The Housetop.” We also learned a song called “The Snowman” which uses high and low pitches, and we were able to sing AND play bell sets to this song! Ask your child to share these songs with you at home – they have been working very hard!

1st Grade: Our 1st graders have had a wonderful time learning about the story and music of “The Nutcracker”! Students were able to use listening maps to identify different sections, follow simple musical directions (ask your child how a repeat sign works!), recognize musical phrases, and enjoy the wonderful music of Mr. Tchaikovsky. We also enjoyed reading the story of Clara and her toy nutcracker and watched a puppet production of this wonderful story!

2nd Grade: Our 2nd graders had a fantastic performance on December 11th! I was very proud of the way our students sang their songs and spoke their lines with confidence! I was amazed at the sound they were able to produce together! After our concert, we were able to listen to our recording and reflect on what we could do even better next time. Excellent performance, 2nd grade!

3rd Grade: Our 3rd graders also put on a fabulous concert! It was neat to learn about so many different holiday traditions, and we enjoyed sharing our knowledge of those traditions with you through our music! The 2nd and 3rd grade concert was video-recorded and will be showing on our local channel, WDEE. Check out their website for a complete schedule at! Great job, 3rd graders!

4th Grade: Our 4th graders spent a lot of time this month singing many different holiday songs. We learned a partner song called "Winter Fantasy". Partner songs are especially challenging because there are two completely different songs being sung at the same time! The 4th graders were very proud that they were able to split into two parts in this difficult song! We also learned about George Frederic Handel, and his wonderful music from "The Messiah", which is often performed around Christmas time. Ask your child to share with you what they learned about Handel's life and one of his most famous compositions, the Hallelujah Chorus!

5th Grade: Now that our recorder unit is complete, our 5th graders have enjoyed getting back into the "sing" of things! We've been using solfege (do, re, mi, etc.) in our warm-ups to help expand the range of our voices as well as some tongue twisters to help our diction become more clear. Ask your child to share one of our favorites, "Peter Piper", with you! We've also had a lot of fun singing some traditional and not-so-traditional holiday carols this month, including "Good King Wenceslas", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", "Feliz Navidad", and "We Wish You a Swingin' Holiday!"December has been a wonderful month of learning and fun in the music room! All grade levels enjoyed singing a wide variety of holiday songs this month. Here’s a look at what else has been happening in the music room!

5th Grade Band News

Our 5th grade students are truly progressing on their instruments! Most students have learned up to seven notes now, and they are starting to play a wide variety of songs! As we continue to learn new notes, rhythms, and concepts on our instruments, it is essential that students spend some time practicing their instruments at home. I encourage students to practice for 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week. That only adds up to 75 total minutes per week, but you would be surprised what a difference that will make in students' sound, ability, and confidence! PLEASE HELP YOUR STUDENT ESTABLISH A PRACTICE ROUTINE AT HOME! We will be starting rehearse with the full band, which will require each student and each section to acquire a certain level of independence. We are excited to put the whole band together and hear what we can accomplish!

Upcoming Music Dept. Events

  • February 11th - Middle School Conference Honors Band
  • March 1st - End of 2nd Trimester
  • March 2nd - Solo & Ensemble at DHS (Contact Mrs. Apold or Mr. Petersen if interested in volunteering at this event!)
  • March 11th - DMS & DHS All-Band Concert
  • March 18th - DMS & DHS All-Choir Concert
  • March 21st - 1st/4th Grade Concert