Student Led Conferences

A big THANK YOU to all the students and parents who visited the music room on Friday. It was fun for me to watch the students take on the teacher role and to watch parents explore what the students have been learning and creating. I really enjoyed listening to all the different languages as well! What a gift for us to be a part of a diverse international community!

If you missed conferences, I have plenty of extra activity sheets that I would be happy to send home with your child, or you can e-mail for a copy, so you so that you can try it at home.


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Klezmer Clarinets Take 2

As we approach our concert date (June 4th!!), we are getting closer to being “performance ready” on our two pieces, Klezmer Clarinets and Asprire, Achieve.

Here’s the latest recording of Klezmer Clarinets. Enjoy!


Klezmer Clarinets

Check it Out!

Below are two links I shared with the Grade 6 Orchestra students today. GREAT examples of musicianship while playing the USA National Anthem at sporting events.

Final Four (NCAA):

Juilliard Trombone Choir at Madison Square Garden:

Grade 4 Writes Duets

“What is F Pentatonic? …Compose a melody using F, G, A, C, and D.”

After composing four measure melodies, students in Grade 4 put two melodies together. They analyzed the music for any notes that may clash when played simultaneously. They then edited the two melodies to create better harmonies.

Next, I played a melody for the students and asked them to improvise a melody to go along with my own. “Nothing is wrong except E and B!” We had quite a few risk takers willing to give it a go!

Finally, students were given the following staff and asked to fill in the remainder of each measure using the notes from F Pentatonic, and quarter note and eighth note rhythms:



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Grade 4 is now learning to play duets together that they wrote themselves!


Going Klezmer – Grade 6

Grade 6 is working on the piece “Klezmer Clarinets” to perform in May.


This link is a partial performance from one of the Grade 6 group lessons this week:


It’s a good start. Take your instruments home and practice, kiddos! We have a LONG way to go!

Vacation Melodies

Here are the two vacation melodies from Grade 5!


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4D Step Back Baby

Grade 4 has been continuing their study of folk music, cultures, and how music tells a story. We learned a fun song last week called “Step Back Baby”. The students were divided into three groups and asked to create a dance to go along with the song.

Here is what one of the groups came up with:

Grade 2 Broken Bordun Dances

Grade 2 is learning about the difference between playing a BORDUN and a BROKEN BORDUN on the xylophones.

Here’s an example of a Broken Bordun that we did in class today. Half the class danced while half played the xylophones while everyone sang. After one group felt confident on the xylophones, we switched parts.

The words are:

“Let’s go, Let’s go! It’s time to dance on our toes. What shall we do? What shall we do? Watch! I’ll give you a clue.”

What is Grade 6 Playing in Orchestra?

Check out these links so that you can practice along with a recording at home! Just click on the “Listen” button.

Klezmer Clarinets

Aspire, Achieve

Remember, you need to bring your instrument to school on Tuesday and bring it home with you on Wednesday so that you have it at home till the following Tuesday to practice.

5M Composes Vacation Jam

What did YOU do over your February holiday?

Students told me about their vacations and we turned it into a percussion ensemble.

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The top line is Germany, followed by France, Netherlands, and Italy.

First the students said where they went or what they did. Next, they explored different rhythms that they could say to go along with each place or action. After writing it all out, students performed their composition using speaking. When they felt comfortable speaking their parts, an instrument was assigned to each part and they tried to play it.

Here’s a link to their instrumental performance in class:

Students used these videos as an opportunity to reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and how the choice of instruments may have impacted their performance. This class concluded that it was tempting to line up the France and Italy parts because the rhythms were so similar.

The next step is to compose vacation melodies! Here’s what they’ve started:

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