Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Creating a Movement Rondo

1. Ask students about their favorite sports; what kind of activities are involved with each one. Make a list on the board. It might look like this: Basketball Horseback Riding Dribbling Canter Passing Jump Shooting Gallop Running Walk Hook Shot Prance Jumping Side Step 2. Reviewing theme and contrast (AB, ABA). Explain rondo form and demonstrate using sport theme. For the demonstration, have the class do each theme or section for 8-16 beats. 3. Divide class into groups, each group works together to develop their own rondo. 4. Each group performs their rondo without telling other students what their “theme” was, students try to identify the theme and evaluate their use of rondo form. To give signals for changing from one section to another within the rondo, try using three different instruments (A=temple blocks, B=drum, C= triangle) playing a steady beat for a specified number of beats (8-16).
Extension: Viennese Musical Clock from the Hary Janos Suite 1. Prepare students by marching to a drum beat. Once comfortable, ask them to change directions when they hear a change in the drum sound (use bongos or small to medium tubanos, hand drums, etc.). Experiment with different styles of marching (high, low, marching in mud, rain, sun, marching through jello or chocolate, marching when tired, happy, sad, excited, frustrated, angry, etc). 2. Listen to the music and identify the marching beat, ask students to use marching arms as they sit and identify the numbers of A (marching) sections (4). 3. Outline the form or use a diagram you have created or found. Ask: How can you tell when the sections change? What instruments are used? (This is part of a bigger piece of music (composition) written for an orchestra, but this particular movement has no strings.) Does the music sound like a mechanical clock? Why or why not? 4. Divide class into groups labeled B, C, or D. Students create movement with scarves or ribbon sticks or ??? for these sections. Everyone moves on the A section with other groups performing their movement for the B, C, and D sections. Further Extension Listen to other musical clock pieces: Syncopated Clock by Leroy Anderson Other mechanical instrument pieces: Add On Machine from Contrast and Continuum, Vol. I, by Eric Chappelle

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Music for Hannukkah

I love this time of year- I love Christmas music and I love snow.. well... snow that GOES- which is one of the reasons I left Maine for NC! I like it here for a ocuple days then gone! I have a huge holiday concert with my kiddos at school with 300 kids! Whoopee! I have a very dear music teacher friend who is Jewish and I'm always asking for advice on Hannukkah music. I have never performed "Oh Dreidl" nor do I wish to.. it's just one of those things.. not my favorite! I try to perform a Hebrew folk song with the children singing in Hebrew every year instead of performing a "Hannukkah" song that has been manufactured/manipulated for this very special holiday. I also believe my students benefit from learning "Bim Bom" or "Shalom Chaverim" or "Hasuka MaYafa". Other favorites are "Hine Ma Tov", "Dodi Li", "Burn Little Candle" among others. I also love to teach some Hebrew dances and the kids love them! Try Haida! Enjoy this video!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ribbon Choreography Made Easy

For some people, using ribbons with classes is great fun and exciting; for others it is painful; what to do with these things? To create easy and fun ribbon choreography, use these cards (I actually have about 10 pages of these.. use your imagination to create new patterns). First, determine the form of your piece, have students listen and brainstorm the mood of the piece and use a word wall or create a list of movements that reflect each section of the music. Perform with movements. Show ribbon choreography cards and have students determine how to move ribbons that reflect the mood of each section. Display cards in order of performance and then get ready! It often works well (particularly if you have a piece in rondo form) to have different groups of children move during specific sections of music- one group moves for "A", another for "B", and so on. Play the music and move and groove. This makes coming up with ways to move the ribbons easy peasy and the kiddos love creating! Have fun with them!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ribbons and Ribbons and Russia...

Well, Russian composer anyway! I love using music from the Nutcracker this time of year! Especially the March and Trepak! See the bucket drum routine below to Trepak. My 2nd graders are performing this in a week and a half and my fourth graders are performing a different one to the Duke Ellington arrangement of the Overture.. listen to it sometime soon- rich with possiblities! Here's another activity with ribbons posted by Mrs. Shredder- soo stinkin' cute with these 2nd graders of hers! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Finally.. spoon matching game.. CHECK!

I've been wanting to get this one done for a while. Thanks to pinterest- someone had the brilliant idea to use clear spoons and white (or colored) ones to work on lower case and upper case letter matching. For us music folks, the idea was easily adapted to notes and note values. I got some done today and I think it will work well as a center! My school is in the process of buying ipads for me and the art teacher to share- FIVE! Woot Woot!! So.. am going to incorporate some centers starting in January. One of these will include the spoons. Once students have determined the correct rhythm value, they could use one of the rhythm grids I've seen on Mrs King Rocks' blog- check her out- awesome ideas (!), then they could compose and perform rhythms. Another one done... CHECK!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Craaaaazzzzy 8th's Game

I don't remember where I learned this from and my process probably differs a little or a lot from the original but my students love this game and it's been so fun for a "brain break" when we are in the middle of some serious work on instruments to just say, "Crazy 8th's" and watch 'em run to get drums and tambourines (my fourth graders are such great kiddos!!). I'll start by keeping a rhythm on a djembe or the bongos and then, once i've established the steady beat, they'll start to count to 8 and march around the room. Each pattern of 8 you put an accent on one number; the first time it's going to be ONE, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, then 1, TWO, 3, 4, 5,6, 7, 8, then 1,2, THREE,, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc. They only play on the accented beats; march each beat. The first time will go slow- they'll need to simply march and count to 8 several times, marching on each beat; then stop the class and say, OK, let's emphasize the number 1 and still march on every beat, then stop the class, demonstrate the accent on beat 2, then beat 3, etc. It helps to project or write the numbers 1 through 8 then you can point to the next accented beat as the students progress through. Once the students can do this up to 8 smoothly,(which takes a little while), go backwards.. yikes! Fun!!! Once they get comfy with this, continue to only play the accented beats but change the marching (locomotor) to standing (non-locomotor). in other words, step and play ONLY on the accented beats. Much trickier! Have fun with this!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Winter Snowflakes Song with Orff Arrangement and Improvisation

This is an Orff arrangement I wrote a few days ago. You could make the accompaniment simpler by using a closed bordun and not adding the additional percussion. For those of you unfamiliar with Orff process; teach using body percussion first; patsch the BX/BM rhythm, add snaps for glockenspiel part. Clap the rhythm of the song then transfer to instruments set up in C pentatonic to create a contrasting "B" Section. Have fun and let me know how you used it/changed it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

All I Want For Christmas ... Orff Style!

So I was going through my holiday program with my first graders and realized we are simply running out of time.. we have a weird schedule and sometimes I see them and other weeks I don't... a tad bit frustrating and it's changing in January! We have been working on the song, "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" but there is simply not enough time..... so.... I got busy! Here's the new arrangement: Introduction played on piano, straight to the chorus. Back to the introduction, students speak: "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men SAID (roll dominant chord on piano while they hold out the word "SAID"); "All I Want for Christmas.... (sing the chorus again) Back to the introduction, students speak: "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, and SAID; "All I Want for... " Back to the introduction, students speak: "Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey. Along came a spider and sat down beside her and SAID; "All I Want ...." Sing Chorus one final time. We are also going to add some body percussion to each spoken part; if we had more time, we might add another Mother Goose rhyme... Hey, Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport and SAID... I would also consider having the students play the beat on UPP instruments; drums/skins for Humpty Dumpty, metals for Jack and Jill, shakers for Little Miss Muffet, and woods for Hey Diddle Diddle. Have fun with this one!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bucket Drum Routine to "Trepak" from Nutcracker

This is a pretty easy piece to learn; start by teaching the A section ONLY with fingertips on drums. Once successful, add B section, then teach C section by imitation. Once they can play it with fingers, add drumsticks or keep fingers. Use bucket drums OR hand drums. As this piece starts out quickly, we'll wait until the 2nd quarter note to start...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Pumpkin Mixer Dance

For the dance- you will need to be in a standing circle with partners facing each other (side by side) in the circle. Have fun!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Creepy, Spooky, Scary.... Leaves?

I love fall- everything about it- pumpkins, the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg drifting around, the crisp, cool mornings and the songwriting. Huh? Whatcha talkin' 'bout? Well... for me, October is when I start writing and arranging what seems like a gazillion pieces of music for our Winter Holiday (AKA Christmas) Concert. I love to write and am in the middle of putting the finishing touches on several Orff arrangments/songs I have written- I'm pretty happy with them and am going to TRY to find some time to put them in Sibelius and put at least one of them on here for you. My schedule is a *little* busier than last year. haha!
Speaking of fall, though- have you ever sung/played "Pass the Pumpkin"? I would love to post pics/videos of my kiddos doing it but I teach in a private school and can't post pics of my students on public blogs, etc. due to privacy issues with some of our more well-known kids parents, so check out this video: My process is as follows: 1. Teach song- students discover stead beat and patsch; on "ooo" wiggle hands, on "you" clap 2. Set up your classroom as a rotation of rainsticks, gongs or metals, and Orff instruments. 3. Transfer patsch to bordun of D and A (play long D and long A together at the same time to the beat). Transfer "ooo" part to rainsticks, and "you" part to gongs and metals. All students practice ALL parts. 4. To select who is going to play the first instrument in the rotation, students all sit inside the circle of instruments, sing song in a circle, pass the pumpkin, 1st time on "you", ONE student goes to an instrument, does NOT PLAY... this is only to determine who is going to what instrument, not to play YET.. we'll get there. Next time on "you" the student who had the pumpkin last chooses someone else to go with them so you'll have 2 students going to the instrument, sing again, on "you" the student who had the pumpkin last chooses 3 friends to go, etc. Keep adding numbers so you can get everyone to the instruments and then rotate through playing the instruments and singing; this way makes it easy as all students play the same amount of times. We usually rotate through every instrument- singing the song over and over.. drives me a little crazy to hear it that many times but they LOVE it!!! Check back next week for a mixer dance to go with "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" . UPDATE:  Mixer Dance link is here!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Here's My Rhythm, Now Check My Beat

I used this today with 2nd graders and it was a great way to assess their understanding of beat. I had to speak the 1st part for every student; asked them to speak the 2nd part together. They loved it and wanted to do it again!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Best Thing I've Made in a WHILE...

Candyland Music Game! I made 1 and am now on the hunt for about 4 more boards so I can have the whole class play it together. Yesterday with fourth graders I split each class into groups of 4 then played several games I had made from fellow bloggers- so many good things out there. Rhythm Dice games, a game called Rhythm Roll, another game called Counting Up the Mountain. They ALL were dying to play Candyland, though- how funny- I never would have thought fourth graders would be the ones wanting to play THAT game! Here's a picture of the game:
This lady has some great stuff- the cards are all available to print out on her website: https://laytonmusic.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/candyland-music-sytle/ Happy Playing!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Back in the Music Room! Wahooooo!!!

Yippee- after a marathon clean up over yesterday and for 4 hours today, (ugh!) I'm baaaaaaack! In the music room, that is! And it's soooo clean, I'm lovin' it! We had to scrub mildew off some of my African drums and lots of the instruments. I'm so glad- it's actually been great to re-organize everything. I have also been busy while I've been in exile, ahem, on a cart, and have been making a lot of new games I've found on pinterest and other teachers' blogs. I blogged about the relay race I was going to do with my fourth graders and it was SUCH a hit. They were divided into two teams, shown an alphabet card (next time it will be a note on the staff; for this review it was great as we just used alphabet cards to review C scale), the team member ran up, grabbed the correct boomwhacker from the pile, played it once, ran to the front of the room where the staff was on the whiteboard, grabbed a fly swatter, pointed to the correct note on the staff, checked with me (quickly!), swatted the note, ran to the glockenspiel, played a C scale, ran back. Team member that was fastest earned a point for their team. I quickly showed the next card, game continued. If the teams tied, I showed TWO cards... big ooooo here! They loved it and so did I; it tied so many concepts together and was a great way to give them all time to play, review staff notes, and C scale- all in ONE game! Woohoo multitasking!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fun New Things This Week

I'm on a cart right now- have been for a little over a week due to replacing the duct work in the music room. It has definitely stretched me and truly has been a good experience. At first I kind of freaked out- I wouldn't be able to rely on my Orff Instruments or potentially any instruments although I discovered an unused cart with 3 levels and have used instruments all week. Thank goodness for technology- using itunes on my laptop and running all sound from there has worked great even with tiny little speakers! Most difficult thing- DESKS! Would ya believe it? Yup- such a hindrance to moving expressively although I got around that one day by taking all the second graders together in our performing space and doing some dancing with them.. it was crazy, and it was Friday afternooon (what was I thinking??), but we had a great time nonetheless! Tomorrow I have third and fourth graders. Third graders are getting their neckstraps for their recorders, reviewing Hot Cross Buns (yup- in their classrooms, right next to OTHER classrooms.. yikes!), and composing rhythms and playing them on felt staffs I sewed a few years ago. If time, we'll have a "swat" (with various fly swatters) on the line notes on the staff using these cards- http://www.susanparadis.com/catalog.php?ID=SP814
Aren't they cute? Susan Paradis has an AWESOME site chock full of ideas. Later in the day, with fourth graders, we're continuing a song called "Oh What a Day"- look it up on youtube- AWESOME song! We'll perform it in canon and then they'll work in groups to develop movement to perform with each phrase. Then we'll finish with a relay race- wahoo! Quick review of staff lines and spaces, review the notes, then set up the race- show a buggy staff card shown above, students in teams run to boomwhackers
in the middle of the room, play the correct boomwhacker, run to staff on board and "swat" the note, run back to next student... might add in a glockenspiel station where they have to stop and play a scale as we've been working on C scale. Should be fun and scream-worthy! How do you use boomwhackers?

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School/Rules of the Music Room Drumming Activity

See the initial post below (Aug. 23) for the lesson. Enjoy! Oh- and yes, "listener" has 3 syllables but I used 2 quarter notes as I thought that fit best how we speak the word. To separate it correctly seemed strange musically speaking! This is a powerpoint you can download. Rules

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rules as a Rhythm/Drumming Activity

So this year I decided to "do" my rules a little differently than in the past. I HATED those simple discussions/creations/posting of the "rules of the music room". AFter all, by the time the kids come to music, they've had rules in their classroom, the library, PE, computer, Spanish, art, Science Lab, and now music. Ick and Ugh! So... with the older students (grades 3 and 4), the first thing we did was a name activity and song, then reviewed rhythms (quarter, eighth, quarter rests) using Artie Almeida's Chair Rhythms- which is so fun! AND then I presented a powerpoint which I'm going to try to post tomorrow from school using some rules. The first page of the powerpoint had one rule with the corresponding rhythm written below it. So you'd see "Be respectful" and below it you'd see four quarter notes. The next page would have this again at the top and directly below "Be Respectful" and the rhythm notation would be the next rule (mine was "Follow the directions = titi titi ta ta) with the four beat rhythm and the third powerpoint page would add the next rule/rhythm and the fourth powerpoint would add the final rule/powerpoint. We practiced saying each one in rhythm and then assigned a body percussion to each; first page/rule/rhythm: Stomp Second: Pat Third: Clap Fourth: Snap Practice each then divide the class into 4 groups; one for each rule. Practice with body percussion, layer in parts, groups join after 4 beats of the previous rhythm/rule, add conducted dynamics, breaks, whatever.. my classes had a blast!! Transfer body percussion to UPP: stomp= African drums, Pat= woods, Clap= Metals, Snap= shakers. Layer in parts, add dynamics, cresc./dimin., breaks... etc. It was a BLAST and got the kids to remember the rules, play the rules, and make some interesting music together the VERY FIRST day! Not to mention that it took a BIG chunk of the class period which is always satisfying to end up with a "piece" to play at the end of class!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Games, Games, and MORE Games...

Yup... kids come back Monday- am a *little* in denial at the moment.. you'd think after 4 days of meetings (!!!) that I would be ready, but we've literally had 2 hours in our classrooms over the last 4 days and so definitely need a few more hours.. I'm sensing everyone in my hall will be in over the weekend at some point!!! This post is a *wee* bit lengthy but I'm so excited about these games!! I'm going to do some centers this year (some with ipads and I can't wait to try those).. here are a few games I'm going to put in a music center: Bottle Cap Memory Game:
When you make this add music symbols; maybe one game with quarter notes, eighths, quarter rests, and another game add half notes, dotted halfs, whole notes, for another game I want to do one with staff notes we use for recorder- would be so great!! Could even make another with pics of instruments or dynamic symbols- lots of possibilities here! Music Twister: We made these a few years ago when we hosted the National AOSA conference here in Charlotte and had these in the boutique- a hit! On a large rectangular tablecloth you are going to spray adhesive 16 pieces of felt; 4 yellow, 4 red, 4 green, 4 blue (colors you choose but all must be equal; 4 of each). On each piece of felt you use sharpie and draw a quarter note, half note, eighth notes, and whole note. Adhesive them on in a way so that each row across has one of each color (a la Twister) game; make up a board with moveable arrow (this was the trickiest part- think plastic washers and make the arrow out of craft foam!!). On each color put a quarter note, eighth, etc. My kids love this!
I'm really looking forward to this one- the kids will love doing this outdoors! Rhythm Toss:
Diced Rhythms:
Use 4 dice, cut out printed rhythms (to fit on each side of die), spray adhesive on (I used big foam ones purchased from toy section of Dollar Tree). Students rolled the 4 dice, arranged the dice and then played the rhythm on rhythm sticks (pictured). I will let them play with drum stick (big OOOOO here!!!) and drum pads (rubber pads borrowed from sweet PE teacher!). Ping Pong Rhythms from http://musicclassideas.blogspot.ca/2012/03/ping-pong-rhythms.html#!/2012/03/ping-pong-rhythms.html
Also from the same blogger: http://musicclassideas.blogspot.ca/2012/03/ping-pong-rhythms.html#!/2012/07/treble-clef-putt-putt.html TREBLE CLEF Putt-Putt - for those of you from New England like me, this is AKA mini golf! So cute!!!
Did you watch the "Minute to Win It" show? I thoroughly loved it and browsing through pinterest I happened upon a fellow music teacher friend who had pinned this- what fun!!! Here are a bunch of "Minute to Win It' music games from a fellow Pinner on Pinterest- link back to her blog at http://sherylwelles.blogspot.com/2012/04/minute-to-win-it.html

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pinterest Teaching Ideas... WOW!

If your'e not on Pinterest... well... you are missing out! It's like a global pin board for all your favorite recipes, craft ideas, holiday ideas, decorating, etc. AND TEACHING ideas. Do a search for "Music" or "Music Classroom" or Music Teaching" and you'll find so many wonderful ideas on music games, rhythm games, activities, Smartboard files and ideas.. GREAT "Stuff". Have fun... getting ready to go back to school- one more week of vacay then back for meetings and getting classrooms ready; school starts on the 20th- and my daughter is starting, too... *sniff sniff*... can't believe it's time but I'm so excited! On another "note", here is a GREAT book to check out.. I"m playing around with some ideas to work with this- will let you know once I've had a crack at it with kids.
Happy remainder of the summer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

End of Year Campfire Sing Along Part II

This is a powerpoint for Bazooka Bubblegum- so much fun! Every time you sing "Bubblegum, Bazooka, Zooka Bubblegum...." hands clasped over head and hands and hips "hula hoop". I have the kids sit for the rap and stand for the "Bubblegum" part. They BEG to do this over and over! In case the song doesn't play with the ppt, try this: music can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZXRaVBf0pY And if you want to convert the video to an mp3 to play it w/o the video- my favorite youtube to mp3 converter: http://www.youtube-mp3.org/ Powerpoint: (I created this one and the Found a Peanut): Bazooka Bubblegum Another end of year favorite: Found a Peanut! Great song- play on guitar using on C/G7 chords- easy, fun- my timing may be a little off- we slow down during "Died Anyway" and "Went to Heaven". Found a Peanut1 Hope these work- if not I'll try to fix them tomorrow!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

End of the Year Music Craziness!

So... I decided to go all out this year at the end of the school year and to do something I've wanted to do for a LONG time.. I researched all of my favorite (stress.. MY) camp songs/silly songs/fun songs and I've made a list. Some of these.. OK.. many of these were new to me as I have limited experiences at summer camp... I think I went 3 summers! BUT- I have AWESOME memories of singing around a campfire with others and doing some silly, fun, whack-a-noodle songs! So- I am bringing in some REAL logs, adding some fake fire, and we are going to do "camp" in the middle of the music room- oh, and did I mention fire- well.. you'd never believe WHAT you can find on youtube- first thing to share with you is a lovely crackling fire you can project on your wall/smartboard/whiteboard- yup... complete with sounds of lapping waves.. the perfect campfire! And now the list of the songs I've "newly discovered", rediscovered or just plain love! Many of these are on youtube- some are included in the youtube playlist I've added at the end of this post. One Green Jelly Bean/ On Top of Spaghetti/ One Bottle Of Pop/ My Hat it Has 3 Corners/ The Court of King Carraticus/ Hole in the Middle of the Sea/ Dr. Knickerbocker/ Once an Austrian Went Yodeling/ I Love the Mountains/ Grandma’s Feather Bed/ My Aunt Came Back/ There’s a Wiggle in my Toe/ Green Grass Grows All Around/ Catalina Magdalina/ Goin’ on a Bear Hunt/ Found a Peanut/ Go Bananas/ Boom Chicka Boom/ Bazooka Bubble Gum/ Slippery Fish (Octopus)/ Baby Shark/ Silly Pirate Song/ Slaves of Job/ Pizza Hut/ Cup Games/ Eating Betty Crocker/ Wisconsin Milk/ Chili Chili/ Humpty Dumpty Rap/ Wobble Song (youtube)/ Kinderpolka (dance from Step Lively)- LOVE THIS collection!/ Sasha (Dance- also from Step Lively) AWESOME!!!!! Here's a bunch from the list that can be found on youtube- great place to learn them so you can sing 'em with the kiddos!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Music K8 resources

Do you? I DO!
Use Music K8 magazine/CD's/teacher resources, etc. I've sent in a few teaching ideas, too and really love all the info/helps/etc. other teachers have.. such a good resource! I've also used the online teacher forum which is so great when I'm in need of a resource or looking for program ideas or songs. Other teachers are so quick to reach out and respond!
Our program for "Jivin' in the Jungle" is May 4th so it's right around the corner and I was so excited when my recent issue of Music K8 came and there was a lovely (and very different) arrangement of It's Raining for singers and recorder players. Perfect for our jungle theme- so of course I had to use it and I re-recorded it with Orff instruments and lots of percussion so it sounds a bit more "jungle-y" and the kids LOVE it! Easy to teach in a single class as they already know the 2 songs used; It's Raining and Rain, Rain, Go Away! Give it a whirl!
I'm leaving you with a little quote today that I love.. hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rainforest Songs Part I

So I really need to put some of these rainforest songs on here- these are rough ideas, certainly not finished products, but very fun to play and sing!
The first is an Arachnid Canon- you'll recognize the melody as "Toembai". VERY fun- my third and fourth graders LOVE the spookiness and we always love a good canon. Simple arrangement, too, which is always nice to play around with. Add some theatrical expressions while using hand spider puppets (or just your hand) and very fun!

A caiman is a small alligator who lives mostly in the Amazon jungle- google it and you'll find lots of fun pictures!
More to come later!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I know, I need to update- for all 5 of you looking at this blog! But seriously, here is another adorable music blog with some fantastic ideas! Check it out!

A couple of other favorite places and spaces on the web:


I LOVE THIS SITE!!! Yes, for those of you already on here, it's AWESOME!! Think of it as a global pin board where you can find people who like things you like or can give you inspiration. Recipes, fashion, crafty stuff AND TONS of educational ideas from fellow teachers and techie teachers and music teachers, too!!! If you are not a member, go sign up- it can take a few days to get your first email and start using it, or you can sign up through a friend who is on facebook or go through facebook to sign up. So many wonderful things to see/look at/get inspiration from/find amazing ideas! Go, Go, Go!!


Have you ever had to send an email from home to your school with your lesson plans when home sick? How about you needed the document on your home computer but forgot to send it to yourself? Go to dropbox.com and get thee signed up!!!
This application allows you to save files to your personal dropbox, and then you can open it on any computer. Hours saved searching for flash drives and nothing to bring/remember/send to yourself!

I'll be updating over the next week or two with a couple of songs I've recently written about the Jungle as for our spring concert we are "Jivin' in the Jungle".

Sunday, March 4, 2012

new music to come soon!

I am in the middle of song writing for our upcoming spring program "Jungle Jive". At our school which is junior kindergarten through twelfth grade, we have a HUGE celebration of the arts in the May which kicks off with the Lower School (only first through fourth) performing. I am writing about 4 songs for this performance and changing the songs that are already written to fit our theme a little more. As soon as I get them put into Sibelius I will post a couple on here- easy to use for other programs about the rainforest or Earth Day or any other animal themed concert! See you soon!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chinese New Year Song

Here's a song I wrote for Chinese New Year- easy peasy! Simple level bordun for accompaniment- add unpitched percussion (UPP) for the percussion line- lots of gongs, drums, etc. to "scare away" evil spirits. Very nice with a big, low gong at the end. Good for your upper level recorder players, too- those who have a solid low "C".
Look on youtube for pronunciation guide - Xin = Shin, Nian= like it sounds, Kuai= kwahee, Le = luh Yi (number 1) = eee, Er (number 2)= are, San (number 3) = sahn, "Jia You" (Let's Go! as in cheering people on) = jya yo.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chinese New Year Music and Assembly

We have an upcoming Chinese New Year Assembly that I've been planning with our librarian at school and I'm truly so excited! We're doing some relay races (with "dragon eggs") and brooms (sweeping the old year out) and I'm teaching the fourth graders a fan dance and lantern dance to perform. We're also having a couple contests; orange peeling contest (who can peel the longest peel), a Chinese fortune cookie eating contest and a firecracker contest ( 4 kids stomping on bubble wrap). We have a song that I've written and we're going to read a book with a repeating stanza that I'm going to add a melody to and I am truly so excited to do something that will not only be meaningful and memorable but fun, too! Not always an easy combination!