January Music Notes

Updates on Mrs. Safford's K-5 Music Classes

A Note From Mrs. Safford

Welcome back from winter break! I hope you had a refreshing break with time for family, friends, and fun, just as I did. I am ready and excited to be back at school. I have planned a plethera of songs, games, and activities to promote skill building and learning here in music. I would like to express how impressed I am by the number of parents, family members, and friends who came out to the winter concerts in droves. I have never seen such a turnout for a concert at any of my other school placements. I am continually impressed by your commitment and support of this school and its music program. Each grade worked dilligently and performed beautifully. I am glad to have the opportunity to share with you what we are learning and show you what we can do. Keep checking the website for regular updates on what I have going on in the classroom.

Upcoming Events

Concerts

5th Grade- May 24, 2016 Spring Concert

Elementary Choral and Recorder Festival

April 23, 2016- Rehearsal 8:45am- 2pm, Concert 2pm

Rehearsals at Riderwood will start after the play. Look for a letter coming home with more information by next week.

Important Play Dates

Performances- February 19 and 20

Rehearsals Tuesday and Thursday after school until 5pm.

I will be teaching choreography on Tuesdays.

Kindergarten

Welcome to the new year! As we progress through the school year, the kindergarten students are becoming more and more independent in their singing, playing, beat keeping, and learning. Just before the break, we were singing solos for the class in a "Who's that knocking at the window" game! They are becoming more confident in their ability to match pitch and to keep a steady beat, two of the most important concepts taught in kindergarten. Moving forward, we will learning about and maintaining a steady beat, even in a rest, through songs such as "Five Little Snowmen Fat" and "Bow Wow Wow". We are also, exploring the concept of melodic contour and pitch by reviewing "Down, Down, Yellow, and Brown", which we learned in the fall and moving to "The Snowman". Ask your student to explain, or show you the direction of the pitch in either song, or to sing you the song. In addition to contour we will be identifying pitches as "high" or "low" moving towards attaching the solfege syllables of "sol" and "mi" to certain pitches. We will also be continuing to explore various percussion instruments as accompaniments to our songs, sing seasonal and folk music, and use various activities and movements to enforce the concepts we have already learned. Please continue to check the website for more updates and specifics as the year continues. Finally, feel free to email me any time. I would love to keep in communication with you.

First Grade

First grade did a fantastic job at the winter concert. They sang solos and demonstrated their ability to perform challenging musical forms, such as multi-part cannons and partner songs. In this new year, we will be continuing with that level of rigor in the concepts we will cover. More students will have the oportunity to sing independently in class through "Doggie, Doggie Where's Your Bone", which has a solo section. We will review the concept of "high" and "low" pitches covered in kindergarten and in first grade and solidify which pitch relationships correspond to the solfege syllables "sol" and "mi". Later this month, we will also add "la" and "do" and learn how they relate to the other syllables, and how they are used in songs, such as "Mouse, Mousie". Before the break, we learned about syllables and how they relate to rhythms. Now, we will take that knowledge and discover how the words correspond to the rhythms within beats in individual songs. Please continue to check the website for more updates and specifics as the year continues. Feel free to email me any time. I would love to keep in communication with you.

Second Grade

I am so proud of the second graders and all of the music they learned for the concert. I was confident in their preparation for the concert, and they did not disappoint. Throughout second grade, we have been singing, playing, and identifying half notes and rests in our music. In the new year, we will add whole notes and rests to our rhythmic vernacular. Since it is winter, we will be singing "Five Little Snowmen Fat", which ends on a whole note. Additionally, we will review the solfege syllables of "mi", and "sol" from first grade and add "do" and "re". We will learn how the solfege syllables relate to each other and how they are spaced on the staff. Earlier this year, we sang "Long-Legged Sailor", which has "re" in it. We will identify the syllables in that song and sing "Little Tom Tinker", which has "re" and "Mouse Mousie", which has "do". Please continue to check the website for more updates and specifics as the year continues. Feel free to email me at any time. I would love to keep in communication with you.

Third Grade

Third grade is always a joy and I look forward to seeing them in my classroom. They performed beautifully on the concert. I was especially impressed with their bell playing and ability to add dynamic variation to their songs, creating the beginnings of a truly expressive performance. We have started integrating devices into the music classroom. We have been practicing identifying notes on the staff, moving towards greater fluency in music reading using note cards and games on quizlet.com. You can check out the website by going to the link on the students' calendar in BCPS One. I am impressed by how quick the students are getting at identifying notes on the staff. Furthermore, we are reviewing and adding to their knowledge of sixteenth notes and sixteenth note, eighth note combinations. We are doing rhythm sight reading exercises, as well as performing the rhythms in songs such as, "The Paw Paw Patch". We are also introducing dotted- quarter notes in "Ifca's Castle" and "Chairs to Mend". Lastly, we are adding the solfege syllable of "high do" to their current vocabulary, which includes "do", "re", "mi", "sol", and "la". Last week, we learned "Hop Up My Ladies", which includes "high do" and reviewed "re" with "Lucy Locket". Please continue to check the website for more updates and specifics as the year continues. Feel free to email me any time. I would love to keep in communication with you.

Fourth Grade

The fourth grade did a fantastic job on the winter concert. I am especially impressed with their recorder playing. To go from making noise to making music in such a short period of time is quite a feat. I am excited to get to spend some more time with fourth grade this month. They are a fun, excited class of very talented students. I am also glad to get the opportunity to get to know some of them even better through their participation in the play. In class, we are eagerly learning more songs on the recorder, to add to those they played on the concert. Here at Riderwood, we use the "Recorder Karate" method book. The book assigns songs of increasing difficulty a colored belt, like the belt levels in karate. We have gone over the first three songs, which cover the notes G, A, and B, which are the same three notes the songs from the winter concert used. We are starting testing for the white belt for those students that feel they are ready. In addition to recorders, we are also reviewing the solfege syllables they have learned so far ("do", "re", "mi", "sol", "la", "high do", "low sol", and "low la") and adding the syllable "fa" with the song "Sarasponda". Furthermore, we will be practicing eighth and sixteenth note combinations in sightreading and songs, such as "Froggy Went A-Courtin'". Please continue to check the website for more updates and specifics as the year continues. For play specific information, please read the section on the play. Feel free to email me any time. I would love to keep in communication with you.

Fifth Grade

I am proud of the fifth grade chorus and their performance during the winter concert. This week, we recorded the fifth grade chorus singing some of the songs they should know, such as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "Riderwood" for the school's records. We will be starting spring concert music next week with "For Good" from the broadway musical Wicked. In general music class, we are continuing recorder playing with "Alabama Gal". We also learned the folk dance to the song. "Alabama Gal" includes syncopation, a rhythmic focus in the fifth grade curriculum. We will be adding dotted eighth note, sixteenth note combinations to our rhythmic vocabulary, as well, with songs such as "Cindy". Furthermore, we will be learning the basic information about chords and how they relate to the pitches of the scale, so that we will be prepared to play ukuleles later this month. I am as excited as the students are to add ukuleles to the musical instruments taught here at Riderwood. Please continue to check the website for more updates and specifics as the year continues. For play specific information, please read the section on the play. Feel free to email me any time. I would love to keep in communication with you.

Play Rehearsal Schedule and Updates

  • Tuesday January 5, 2016, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal- Choreography will be covered, dress appropriately
  • Thursday January 7, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal
  • Tuesday January 12, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal- Choreography will be covered, dress appropriately
  • Thursday January 14, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal
  • WEDNESDAY JANUARY 20, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal
  • Thursday January 21, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal
  • Tuesday January 26, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal, Choreography will be covered, dress appropriately- All numbers will run through their choreography today
  • Thursday January 28, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal
  • Tuesday February 2, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal
  • Wednesday February 3, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal
  • Thursday February 4, 3:30pm to 5pm
    Rehearsal
  • Monday February 8, 3:30pm to 6pm
    Stage Rehearsal
  • Tuesday February 9, 3:30pm to 6pm
    Stage Rehearsal
  • Wednesday February 10, 3:30pm to 6pm
    Stage Rehearsal
  • Thursday February 11, 3:30pm to 6pm
    Stage Rehearsal
  • Tuesday February 16, 3:30pm to 6pm
    Stage Rehearsal
  • Wednesday February 17, 3:30pm to 6pm
    Stage Rehearsal
  • Thursday February 18, 3:30pm to 6pm
    Stage Rehearsal
  • Friday February 19, 8am
    Morning Performance
  • Friday February 19, 7pm
    Evening Performance
  • Saturday February 20, 7pm
    Evening Performance
  • In the event that snow forces us to cancel a performance, we have scheduled snow dates for the evening performances. Students should be prepared for after-school rehearsals during that week. The in-school performance snow date is TBD.
  • Friday February 26, 7pm
    Performance Snow Date
  • Saturday February 26, 7pm
    Performance Snow Date

Expectations and Rules

Students are asked to follow the Riderwood Code of Conduct and also the Rules of the Room.

Riderwood Code of Conduct

1. Be prepared.

2. Be safe.

3. Be respectful.

4. Be responsible.

Rules of the Room

1. Follow directions the first time they are given.

2. Treat others with respect.

3. Raise your hand to speak.

4. Remain in your seat.

5. Keep hands, feet, and all objects to yourself.

6. Play your instrument only when instructed to.

We are starting a new behavior incentive program. Each class is working to build a snowman. Each class they have the opportunity to earn points for positive behavior. If they earn ten points, they will receive part of their snowman. If their snowman is fully dressed and made by the deadline, they will receive a game day.

I follow the participation rubric and expectations that are seen in the other specials areas when assigning participation scores.

Participation Rubric

10 -Actively and effectively participates and successfully performs all tasks in order to properly meet the daily objective(s).
9 -Participates and performs all tasks in order to properly meet the daily objective(s).
8- Participates for the majority of the class period and performs most tasks adequately to properly meet the daily objective(s).
7- Participates for some of the class period and performs some tasks adequately to meet the daily objective(s).
6- Participation varies throughout the course of the lesson affecting the quality of the student’s performance, further affecting the student’s ability to adequately meet the daily objective(s).
5- Participation is lacking for most of the class period which has a negative effect on the student’s performance and their ability to meet the daily objective(s).
4- The student shows very little effort throughout the class period which negatively affects their ability to perform and meet any component of the daily objective(s).
3- The student does not participate for the entire lesson.
2- The student actively refuses to participate throughout the course of the entire lesson.
1- The student actively refuses to participate throughout the course of the entire lesson and further distracts other students or individuals.

I update grades frequently, so check BCPS One regularly to see new grades.

About Me

I am loving my first year here at Riderwood Elementary School. I am so proud of all of the students and their performance at the winter concerts. If you have yet to meet me, or hear much about me, here is a little about who I am. I recieved my B.S. in Music Education from Towson University. I have taught in both Maryland and Indiana at Elkton High School, Plainfield High School, and Westfield Middle School. At those schools, I started a musical theatre program, an a capella choir, and directed numerous choirs and performance ensembles. I am an active performer in the area in musical theatre and other choirs. I will update you and students if there is an opportunity to see me perform. Outside of school I have an adorable baby girl who is about to turn one and love to go hiking and swimming with my family.