RDS Music Notes!

Ravine Drive School Music Newsletter, November 2014

Kindergarten Students Are Rhythm Ready!

Kindergarten students are rhythm readers! This marking period we learned to read and perform quarter note, eighth note and quarter rest patterns with our hands, our feet, and drum.

Kindergartners also had a lot of fun learning about "The Surprise Symphony" by Franz Joseph Haydn, discussing dynamics in music and taking turns "conducting" the class to play loudly and softly, as we performed on percussion instruments.

1st Grade Music Maestros!

Grade 1 students have been hard at work practicing music reading skills. We are currently reading & singing "sol" and "mi" notes on the music staff and recognizing patterns in music notation in order to develop good inner tonality. Our first memory song of the year was "Engine, Engine" and we enjoyed learning the song and becoming engines while we sang. We learned to match word syllables to rhythms, notate the song on the 5 line music staff, and so much more. First grade students are encouraged to sing for their families at home. We are quickly becoming music maestros!

Kindergarteners are Super Solfege Singers!

Kindergartners are also exposed to the solfege scale from "do-do" and sing with hand signs to visualize pitch. We focus on internalizing "sol, mi and la" pitches to practice inner audiation skills and tonal patterns. Listen below as Mrs. Alvarez's class "sings in their head" while I play the xylophone, then vocalizes the pitches they hear.

Click below or copy the link to your web browser.


Trolls in 1st Grade Music Class!

First graders had a great time learning about Edvard Grieg's composition, "Peer Gynt: Hall of the Mountain King." This story introduced us to a boy named Peer Gynt who met trolls on his journey through the mountains. We experienced "presto" and "largo" tempos as we listened to this classical piece by Edvard Grieg. We kept a steady beat, tapped and chanted rhythms, and even performed the story, which has an unexpected ending. Students reenacted the story as regal kings and snarling trolls. Our new rhythm note in this song was the half note. But I won't spoil the surprise; I'll let your child tell you how the story ends!

Music Journals

This year music classes are keeping an interactive music journal. Grade K and 1 are using marble notebooks and Grade 2 is using a folder with center clasps. 3rd graders will have music journals in February at the conclusion of chorus. We are using these journals to store our handwritten work and to reinforce music concepts that we are learning. Music journals will be available at conferences in your child's homeroom and will be taken home at the conclusion of the school year.

2nd Graders explore music centers

Second graders explored music centers during the last week of the marking period. They stretched their way through "Music Twister," practiced their rhythm note values in both the card game, "Rhythm War," and our "Mother May I" spin-off called, "Mr. Music," and sang their way through "Solfege Karate" exercises. Second grade music center teams are designed after instrument families and represent the Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, and String families. There was much chatter, laughter, fun, and learning!

For additional photos of 2nd graders enjoying music centers, please click here: http://www.marsd.org/Page/7103 or visit Ms. Walliczek's website linked in the last page of this newsletter.

Special thanks to Mrs. Irizzary for donating the Twister game. It has quickly become one of our favorite centers.

Would you like a digital, color version of this newsletter?

If you would like a digital, color version of our newsletter, please email Ms. Walliczek at, twalliczek@marsd.k12.nj.us and include your name and the email address at which you would like to receive the newsletter.

3rd Grade Chorus Concert

Thursday, Jan. 29th 2015 at 7pm

Ravine Drive School, Matawan, NJ

The 3rd Grade Chorus Concert will be held on January 29th at 7 pm in the Ravine Drive Gymnasium. Students will present the theme, "American Roots:Folk Songs That Shaped America." As a reminder, students should review their songs at home each week. We've been working hard and are looking forward to performing for you in January!

Click the link below or copy it to your web browser to hear classes rehearsing the song, "Crawdad Song!" We are just beginning to learn the second half of the song.

Mrs. Thomson's class:


Ms. Schultz's class:


2nd Graders learn about "DO"

Our Second Grade students have mastered their solfege scale and are able to sing the "do" scale:"Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do" independently using their hand signs. We have mastered sightsinging, "Sol, Mi, and La" notes on the music staff and picked up where we left off in First Grade, with our new note: "Do!" We learned about "do" through our memory song, "Apple Tree." We played the singing game until we mastered the song. Then, we wrote down the rhythms and solfege before notating "Apple Tree" on the 5 line music staff. Second grade students are always encouraged to sing for you at home to demonstrate what they have learned.

Playing an instrument is good for the brain

Here is a brief thought provoking and entertaining Ted Talk video clip on the benefits of playing a musical instrument and its impact on the brain. Playing music is good for us, here's why:


Meet Ms. Walliczek, RDS music teacher!

Ms. Terri Walliczek teaches vocal music and 2nd and 3rd grade computers at Ravine Drive School. Ms. Walliczek attended Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University as an undergraduate music major with a concentration in instrumental music education. Her specialty instrument is clarinet. Upon graduation, she moved to Florida where she attended Florida State University to complete a Master's in Music Education degree. Ms. Walliczek is an avid Florida State Seminoles football fan, an accomplished photographer, voracious book reader, and enjoys traveling and creating new projects. Ms. Walliczek enjoys teaching music at Ravine Drive School and feels blessed to work with such a warm and supportive staff and such eager and willing students.