We are flying high off of an amazing Winter Concert and Informance last month! I want to publicly thank all of the unsung heroes of the night; Doug Miller, Jessica P’simer, Sue Hofbauer and Aftercare staff, as well as Karen Hockley and my army of parent volunteers who helped with transitions. Most of all I want to thank the students who work very hard to give a performance they should be proud of!
K-1 and 2-3 classes will be continuing on the path though the GamePlan curriculum, learning through music and movement about steady beat, forms of music, solfege (hand symbols), body percussion, and percussion instruments.
4-5 classes are preparing for the Link Up! Concert field trip to Hill Auditorium on March 14th to participate in a concert with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. Cost for the trip is $6 per student. This does not include lunch.
Students will need to bring in a recorder if they have one, or one can be purchased through me for $5. WARNING There are many toy-type recorders out there not actually intended to make music or sound in tune. If you have a question about the quality of your recorder, bring it in. The recorders offered through the A2SO are high quality student level recorders. The quality will make a big difference in students ability to get a good sound.
As part of this program, the A2SO is sending a Mentor Musician to work with the students on January 29 and February 12.
A form will be coming home this week with more details about the concert, fees, and purchasing a recorder. Please fill it out and make the payment to your base class teacher by January 27th. This trip will also be in conjunction with the annual Fine Arts Committee sponsored trip to the University of Michigan Museum of Art, which will take place after lunch on March 14th.
What an amazing debut at the Winter Concert! I want to tell everyone what a great job they did, how proud they should be of themselves, and how proud I am of them! We are chugging along just past the one third point in book one of Standard of Excellence. Students should be practicing mostly on Thursday - Sunday, still shooting for around the 60 minute or MORE a week. Video playing tests are assigned Monday and are due by Saturday that week. Assignments are on Google Classroom and student should submit them there.
Middle School Music Lab
Another outstanding performance for the Music Lab Class. Special thanks to our Lava soloists who had to step up and take an additional solo at the concert. We are spending the remaining time in class exploring different genres of music and performing for each other.
Phoenix Fire Band
This group of students played with a maturity beyond their years at the concert! I am so proud of them and the hard work they put in to make music happen at that level. It was amazing!
In preparation for the next concert, we are passing out new music this week. We have our new timpani being delivered at the end of the month as well.
Students should be practicing difficult parts of the pieces I assign, scales, and submitting playing tests to Google Classroom on a weekly basis. 45-60 minutes a week should be considered minimal practice time for improvement.
We will be having weekly Jazz Band after school on Monday’s from 3:15 - 4:15 on the stage. If there is more interest we will try to go longer as space allows. Please see Sue Hofbauer for sign up information if your student is interested. All instruments are welcome, not just traditional jazz instruments. With the exception of guitar, piano and bass guitar you must be enrolled in the Phoenix Fire Band to participate in the Jazz Band.
Working with the Greenhorn Project in Pontiac we have purchased, at an extremely low discount, another xylophone! We also bought a new tilting Concert Bass Drum hoop that will allow our percussionists to be even more professional in their music making.
We have the opportunity to purchase 2 newly refurbished fiberglass timpani for $300 a piece. I am still working on funding for that purchase, but have nearly figured it out.
Along with the keyboard and the hoop, they gave me some elementary music instruments called tonal bars. I've already used them this week with the lower EL kids and they work great!
This is what happens when our community comes together! We have two string students that are interested in playing bass in the band. They agreed to play bass, so then all I had to do was find one! Thank you to Salli Kropp and family!
Today in both the Firebird Band and the Phoenix Fire Band, amazing progress was made in music! I know not a lot of people are checking out or are even aware of the new website, but when you do let it be known that today was an awesome leap forward for the band! Thank you percussionists for your patients and finding SOMEONE to play that missing triangle part! Dark Adventure is sounding great as well as our work tuning, blending and balancing our sound.
Thank you for your hard work! Now, go practice!
First Post on the new blog and website!
You can find more information about your child's individual class by clicking on the tab for their grade level.
It has been just the blink of an eye since the picnic until now closing our third full week of school. Honey Creek is like nowhere I have ever worked before, the vast majority of those experiences being in traditional public school districts.
Thank you to all the students, families, faculty, and administration for making me feel so welcome!
In music we are exploring steady beats, that music is made up of sound AND silence, and learning about the instruments of the orchestra with books like "Zin, Zin, Zin, A Violin", and "The Remarkable Farkle McBride". Links to both YouTube videos are on the K-1 tab if you would like to hear them. In October, we are going to continue learning the instrument families, steady pulse, but are going to add different note values, and eventually playing our own rhythms on the classroom instruments. We have some un seasonal dances planned as well, "The Monster Mash" will be coming up toward the end of the month, and it wouldn't be fall without a barn square dance!
After getting to know the students a little better over the first few weeks, I felt confident that I would be able to teach this group of 2-3 students how to make some music using some basic rhythms, easy parts, and musical instruments. Starting with a quarter note, quarter rest, half note, half rest, and eighth note pair, we ended with making and singing in parts using the rhythms from the chant "Fuzzy Wuzzy". This will be a lead into sing and playing two part songs.
In Class we are getting our groove on by learning bucket drumming. We review the notes and rests, learned the proper way to hold sticks, and learned our first rudiment, the Paradiddle, Rudiments are sticking patterns that percussionists use to make things easier to play and communicate to other percussionists about rhythms. This month we will be starting to get ready for the December performance by starting to learn our concert piece as well as writing some percussion ensembles of our own!
Middle School Music Lab
I've changed the name of this class because we are going to do so much more in there then just Choir. Last month we started learning or relearning the ukulele. The performance at the concert will focus on that, but also on the delivery of the performance. Next month, along with the ukulele's, we will be focusing on singing. I'm ordering a two part choral arrangement of one of the pieces we are playing for the winter performance.
Firebird Band (5th Grade)
Now that we have gotten through the flurry of activity that is the first few weeks of school and most everyone has their instruments, it's time to start band class! For September we met in separate instrument groups, so I could help individuals with getting started on their perspective instruments. This month we begin with meeting as a full band!!
Band meets Monday - Wednesday which makes a lot of great continuity through the beginning of the week. However that leaves a long stretch from Thursday - Sunday potentially without practice. I am requiring that student practice 40-60 minutes from Thursday - Sunday. I have emailed a Google Form in order for parents to help keep track of how much practicing is going on at home. Please take a look at it, fill it out and submit it. Parents will get this form on Sunday night to record the previous weeks practice minutes. While it won't directly have an impact on the grade in class, your practice time will be reflected in your playing.
First up Monday - Playing Test #7 in Standard of Excellence!!!!
Phoenix Fire Band
We are just getting started with Phoenix Fire Band since we have been at camp and the zoo. I've been spending most of the last few weeks getting to know the kids and their playing strengths. There are some really great fundamental sounds coming from this group and the diversity of instrumentation is perfect. Some of the most exciting developments are we are working on getting a student to switch to tuba to help fill out the ensemble sound. Also because we have so many amazing percussionists, we are going to spend some time letting them develop some percussion ensembles. Currently we are working on tuning, blending, and playing out with our full breath. We have a few pieces in the folder now that we will be bringing to you on the Winter Concert.