Laura Curtis

Posted on April 3, 2019

Music Report 3rd Quarter

Kindergarten –

Your students are learning rhythms this quarter!  They recognize slow and fast notes (quarter and eighth notes) and can clap the rhythms perfectly.  We have also strived to match pitches with our voices and it remains a work-in-progress.

We recognized same melodies with different words, played music games, and began to differentiate between rhythm and beat.   Steady beats are now actually steady, and we can play up and down fairly accurately on glockenspiels.  Finally, through the song “Michael Finnegan” we learned that a beat can speed up, and after I’ve told them all year to keep the beat steady!  It caused a lot of giggles.

Songs we worked on this quarter:

My Name is Michael, My Aunt Came Back, Over in the Meadow

Little Jacky Jack Frost, Teddy Bear, Sheep in the Meadow

Ally Bally, Valentine, Circle Round the Zero

Johnny Works with One Hammer, This Old Hammer

Peep Squirrel, Spring is Here, Yesterday I Heard a Robin Sing

Yankee Doodle, Ten Little Soldiers

Spring is Here, The Littlest Worm, Own Moon

Get on Board, A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea, Going Over the Sea

Miss Lucy, Bill Grogen’s Goat

Michael Finnegan, This Old Man

Hop, Hop, Hop, Old Mr. Rabbit

1st grade –

We read many rhythms this quarter, and began reading pitches (so-mi-la) on lines and spaces with those rhythms.  We learned how to draw notes on spaces and lines, and they seemed to really enjoy the worksheets we did, making snowmen (whole notes) on the music staff.  We used our new-found knowledge of line and space notes to try a little sight reading – YES! – even in first grade.  Lastly, we also learned that music can speed up or slow down (tempo), and we passed our shoes around on the beat (ask your students about that one).  Whew!  We’ve been very busy.  Songs we worked on this quarter –

Sight reading:

Bounce Hi, Bounce Lo, Tick Tock, Engine, Engine, Bye Low, Baby-O


Somebody’s Knocking at Your Door, Head Shoulders Baby (jazzy),

Tongo (South Pacific)

I Got a Letter, Grizzly Bear, She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mtn

Going Over the Sea, Miss Mary Mack, Skip to My Lou

Yellow Butter, Pass This Shoe, Race You Down the Mountain, Peanut Butter


Kye Kye Kule (African), Valentine Dance, Move & Freeze

2nd grade –

Third quarter focused on putting all of our reading of rhythms and pitches together.  We sight read a number of songs that we didn’t know, changing do to either a line or space note, so we really had to rely on our skills of deciphering rhythms and pitches.  We also learned an exciting new sixteenth note rhythm!

We accompanied ourselves on xylophones, working on keeping patterns playing in our hands while we sang songs with complementary rhythms that didn’t match our hands.  It’s a complex process for 2nd graders, but we got better each time.  We did some folk dances, increased our ability to sing longer phrases, and tried singing our first round. Your students are a joy to teach. Songs we worked on this quarter –

Sight reading:

Star Light, Star Bright, See Saw, Rain, Rain, Partner, Partner

Snail, Snail, Little Sally Walker


Prettiest Girl, Amarillo, Armadillo, Noble Duke of York

I See the Moon, Miss Mary Mack, Ritsch, Ratsch

Michael Row the Boat Ashore, Go Round the Mountain, Abiyoyo

Sea Shell, Brother John


Down the Ohio, Great Big House

3rd grade –

This quarter had many new musical accomplishments. We continued to make great strides in our ability to sight sing (read music without help from an instrument), and continued to improve our rhythm reading skills.  We learned several folk dances, and sang in beautiful vocal harmony.  We also wrote musical dictation to help us truly identify space and line notes.

Our favorite song this quarter was “Train is A-Coming,” which uses a low “la” in the melody, and we were able to find low “la” in other songs once we became aware of how it changes a melody.  Finally, we attempted a complex stick-passing song, “John Kanaka,” and yes, we dropped a lot of sticks. J  Your 3rd graders are growing into fantastic musicians.  Songs we worked on this quarter –

Sight reading:

Little Sally Walker, Bobby Shaft, Pease Porridge


Train is A-Comin’, Choo-Choo Joubert

Three Little Monkeys, Love Somebody, I Got a Letter

Abiyoyo, A Small Job, John Kanaka


Peppermint Twist, Brass Wagon, Fjaskern, Doudlebska Polka

4th grade –

Your 4th graders continue to impress me with their talent, and they are eager to learn.

We began playing recorders in January, and have continued learning to read music through our recorder pieces. We fit in some drumming at the end.  Songs we worked on this quarter:

Recorders Songs:

Wondering, Queen B, Long Shorts, Hot Cross Buns, Starburst

It’s In the BAG, Rain Rain, Evening Song, French Song, Crazy Cats

Happy is the Miller Boy, Acka Backa, Rain, Rain, Tom Cat

Tom Cat Returns, Lil’ Liza Jane

5th grade –

We started out the quarter continuing with sight reading, which means singing songs that we didn’t know on sight, deciphering rhythms and pitches and putting it all together to actually read music.  We did a few folk dances, but for the most part, this quarter was all about becoming independent music makers.

One of 6th grade’s biggest challenges for some of your students next year will be to learn to play an instrument in band or orchestra.  As preparation for next year, we played keyboards this quarter.

Students had to learn short songs and play them for me (test) before they could move on to the next song.  Three to five short songs made a level, and as your student passed each level, he or she could sign their name on ascending levels on the wall.  Some of your students were content to pass one song a day, but many of them were more competitive and wanted to get to the master-sensei level, which would have allowed them to test their classmates.

Regardless of how far your student went, each child proved capable of reading notes and making music, which is what we were aiming for.  I was extremely proud of their progress and their independence.




Posted on January 18, 2018

Helena Symphony – Kids Symphony 2018-2019


April 6           The Wishing Star

Posted on October 31, 2016








Upcoming Events

  • April 7, 2018

    Symphony Kids

    St. Paul’s Cathedral           10:00 a.m.

    Watch for next year’s dates and concert info.


Laura Curtis's Schedule

  • Monday, Wednesday

    Smith Elementary

  • Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

    Kessler Elementary