Posts Categorized: Music

Ms. Kathy’s Music Blog

It’s exciting to see all our music classes coming together so beautifully this year!  All the groups at both sites are learning how we conduct our classes, how to use instruments and put them away, and many new songs and activities. Already!
We will begin out toddler music after Labor Day, and the children and I are making friends with each other as I walk past their playground or in the hallway. I expect we’ll have some sweet times in music.
Primary students are reinforcing their steady beat with sticks and bells and many movement activities. We will end each class this year with a circle dance, which builds community and defines space, as well as being fun.
Kindergarteners are in the very early stages of learning to play glockenspiel, a barred pre-keyboard instrument that makes the movement of musical notes easy to see.
First graders are expanding their foundation from last year on glocks, and will be continuing their skills at reading music and learning theory.  I love that we can sing while playing the glock, since tonal memory solidifies around this age.
Second and third graders will be playing recorder, a pre-woodwind instrument. They will develop fine motor coordination by isolating the fingering for each tone, as they also read the notes and learn more musical theory from their music books. We sing every song before learning to read the music and play it.
This year we are conducting kindergarten and both elementary classes in our new Special Room, formerly the resource room. Ms. Carmen and I are both enjoying having our own space for our classes so much!  Come see our room!
Thank you for the honor and privilege of teaching your children!
August 24, 2015 2:10 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Ms. Kathy’s Music Blog

Ms. Kathy’s Music Class

The Music Program is back in full swing following my extensive rotator cuff surgery in December.  I really missed doing the holiday songs all the classes and I had prepared, and I appreciated so much how all the teachers rose to the occasion!  I was deeply touched and uplifted by all your emails, cards, gifts, and FB posts; thank you for your support and encouragement!  Your children have also been tenderly loving and so helpful, bringing tears to my eyes and joy to my heart!  It’s a very slow recovery process, but I am right on target and doing great!
Since my return in January, all the classes have had an exploration of ethnic instruments, and we are working toward theApril 4th Multicultural Festival.  I won’t give away any surprises, but I can tell you this year the music part of the Festival will feature songs, dances, and activities of the country or continent being studied by each class.  You’ll hear music from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Antarctica, and Australia!
Thank you for the honor and privilege of working with your beloved children!
If you have questions or concerns about the MSH Music Program, please feel free to email or call me, come visit your child’s class, or stop me in the hall.  I’m always glad to talk about this favorite subject!  KF
February 23, 2015 5:54 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Ms. Kathy’s Music Class

Music News

The music program is in full swing now, and all the classes are making super progress! I’m delighted with every one of our 8 groups!

Toddlers are beginning to sing along with me, which is pretty early in the school year for that to happen; usually I sing solo for about a semester. They’re doing hand motions, acting out poems, learning some American Sign Language, taking turns, waiting, putting instruments away gently, and mostly staying in tune with me and follow directions well.

Preprimaries have probably learned 5 dozen songs, movement activities, poems, and finger plays, and they’ve played sticks, bells, and chickitas. Wonderful fun and tons of progress! We’re singing mostly up in our singing voices, too, which is the challenge of this age group. Tonal memory is developed between the ages of 4 and 7, so we work on singing in our singing voices, matching pitches, doing vocal glissandos, etc., every week without fail.

Kindergarteners are learning left hand from right hand, playing both one and two handed mallets on their glockenspiels, have learned several notes on the staff, and are singing as they play. Very complex! They’re doing a perfect job of keeping a steady beat, and soon we’ll start playing tunes–a much more difficult skill. The glockenspiel is the perfect instrument to introduce music reading, and it’s also an introduction to the keyboard, with the low bars to the left, and one bar for each new note and sound. We’re learning to read steps and skips on the staff, and then translate that to the way they should move on the glock.
First graders are learning how to be a recorder choir, which includes not only how to play the recorder, but starting and stopping together, listening between pieces, playing only when it is time to play, etc. Beyond that, they are learning to read the notes they’re playing from the staff, as well as by looking at me and copying my fingering. We work every week on notation and rhythm; we’ve learned whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, and quarter rests, so far. The students know 3 ways to count every kind of note and rest. Also we have learned about steps, skips, and repeated notes, not only on the recorder but also on the staff. Music involves so many, many skills and areas of the brain! We sing the songs before we study them, too, so we’re keeping our tonal memory reinforced.

Second through 4th graders are having so much fun with their dulcimers! We spent the first week decorating them w/ all sorts of stickers and also their creative drawing, thinking about mountain music of the eastern U.S. I’ve made folders for the music we’re learning, and as of the last week of October, we have learned to read, sing, and play 10 songs! We work on note reading and rhythm every week, as well as starting and ending together and also singing in our singing voices. There is terrific energy in this group, and I’m extremely pleased with their progress!
Thank you all for entrusting your children to our wonderful school!

October 28, 2013 4:04 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Music News