Kindergarten – We loved performing in our very first concert, and we hope you enjoyed watching as much as we enjoyed performing for you. We sang many songs this quarter about the cold and snow. Songs teach us that notes can go up and down, and we learned how to echo phrases in songs. With the New Year, we began all new songs and rhymes, echoing about no more pie, moving to classical music selections, and playing drumsticks to a Winnie-the-Pooh song. We do stay busy!
1st grade – Other than working very hard on our program music, we also learned to read the rhythm ta and ta-ti. We walked long steps, heavily like bears, pranced with short steps like squirrels or horses, and marched around like snowmen. In so doing, we learned about notes that have different lengths (half, quarter, and eighth notes), and will soon start singing with mi and so. We are also practicing writing notes in spaces and will start writing notes on lines next week. As always, we practice keeping a steady beat every day.
2nd – This quarter had us also working diligently on our program music, and we had a great time learning to sing in Spanish, and discovering Elvis moves. Now that was fun.
After the New Year, we reviewed rhythms including quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests, we kept an ostinato (repeated pattern), and we read so, mi, and la on a musical staff. I also began teaching students the process of singing songs on sight, and I am always amazed at their ability to read notes even at their young age. We have learned a folk dance with “The Noble Duke of York” and “Down the Ohio.” You might also ask your students to sing “The Prettiest Girl” to you, a song about sipping cider.
3rd grade – Of course we also began this quarter working on the Winter Program. We improved our vocal technique with the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and had a blast learning some swing dancing moves with the song, “In the Spirit.” After the winter break, we focused on reading rhythms and pitches on a staff, sight-singing our first song! And finally, we learned a song about the Underground Railroad and how to dance the “Peppermint Twist.” Your 3rd graders are becoming fine musicians.
4th grade – Speaking of musicians, your 4th graders are very talented, so I planned for them to really show off in the program. They sang three different decades of music – rock, disco, and the last song of the show was a lyrical Christmas carol complete with sign language. After the New Year, we jumped right into playing recorder, and they quickly figured out how to make a beautiful sound, while also reading notes. This is when all the time we have put into reading rhythms and singing pitches comes together as we play our recorders. I love watching their progress!
5th grade – Well, our fabulous fifth graders helped create a fun-filled, musical program. I sure enjoyed their acting, extra dances and songs, floating into the future, and of course, the ending “Silent Night” that was so beautiful. They worked many recesses to make our concert wonderful!
We hit the ground running after winter break, jumping right in with sight-reading easy songs, which means the students have to figure out how the song should sound without hearing it first from me. They read the rhythm, and then the pitches, and finally, they sing the song with the text. We began to learn a new round, and tried our hand with an old spiritual-style song on the xylophones.
Your student will be asked very soon which music class they want to take in middle school, so it is time to start that discussion with your child. If you have any questions about next year’s music choices, feel free to call or email me any time. (Email will get a quicker response.)