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 16 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:

Musician of the Month

This year, we'll be featuring a different musician each month. Our musicians of the month will represent different time periods, cultures, and genres of music. Click below to see our current or previous presentations this year. This month, our musician is Chinese singer and traditional instrumentalist Wu Tong.

Talking about Peace

This month at Lowell West, Ms. Chroneos, our art teacher, led a project on the subject of "Peace." To complement the discussions and works the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are creating in art, we learned a classic late 60's song "While my Guitar Gently Weeps" by George Harrison and The Beatles.


This is an old Mr. Spano favorite - Pete Seeger's Abiyoyo. This month, the Kindergarten through 2nd grade has been enjoying this classic book, song, and folk story. Click below for a clip from Reading Rainbow featuring Pete Seeger telling the story.

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)

Michael Frontz (strings)

Maxwell Thew (winds, percussion)

Anthony Spano (winds, percussion)

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 school year:

Mr. Sun - Raffi

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles

Canoe Song - traditional round

Frere Jacques - traditional round

If I Were a Tree - traditional

I Had a Little Rooster - traditional

Skin and Bones - traditional

Blackbird - The Beatles

Yellow Submarine - The Beatles


Students grades 2-5 have just resumed or begun studying the piano in class. The piano makes a great vehicle to teach basic musicianship, theory, and note reading.

In grade 2, we're only just beginning. Over the next few weeks, we'll be using a simpler finger-number notation system to play familiar melodies.

In our older grades (3-5), we've spent several weeks last autumn learning to play the C-major scale using the traditional "thumb-under" technique. From there, we extended the lesson to include more difficult scales that include sharps and flats. This month, we're starting to read and play simple melodies and exercises in both the treble clef (right hand) and bass clef (left hand). Click below for printouts of some of the resources we use in this unit.

White Key melodies - finger notation

White Key melodies - standard notation

Scales and Triads