April concert DVDs

If you ordered a concert DVD from the April concert they will be available for pick-up on Monday.

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Thank you!

It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is here! I enjoyed working with your children and I hope that they have shared some of our music tasks with you at home.  Thank you for all of the warm and wonderful wishes and gifts during teacher appreciation week! Parents and students really made me feel special.

As we wrap up the year, I have been working on Jazz, including scat singing and improvisation using Mary at the Kitchen Door.  We have also been singing a spiritual called Sylvie which we have been performing with a syncopated ostinato. It’s quite a challenge! We are also finishing up by performing percussion pieces with various instruments. Summer vacation is almost here!

Music Update

Welcome to May!  Students have now moved on to new composers of the month.  Grade 3 is now listening to Hungarian composer, Bela Bartok.  Grade 4 has moved on to American composer, George Gershwin and 5th grade is listening to the music of American composer, Samuel Barber.  In addition, students have been exploring the sounds and construction of 12 bar blues using the song Sweet Home Chicago.  During music class, I continue to encourage students to continue sharing musical selections that they have practiced at home.  Many piano, voice and various instrumental students who study privately have shared practiced songs in class and I am very impressed by the marvelous work that these musicians produce.  Congratulations to all of the students who have shared their audition and performance experiences with the class.  Several students have also shared with me that they have been accepted into the Phoenix Children’s Chorus and Phoenix Boys Choir.  What a talented group of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders!

Music Update

Students have been working on using unpitched percussion instruments and rhythm reading and rhythmic dictation using stick notation.  We have been using story compositions with musical elements embedded within the stories  Tikki Tikki Tembo and The Parrot Tico Tango.

We are also continuing our exploration of musical improvisation and composition.  I encourage students to write musical compositions.

Students may also consider bringing me their compositions for entry in the composition competition sponsored by the Arizona Society for General Music (AZGM) for the 2018-2019 Student Composition Festival as part of the Arizona Music Educators Association (AMEA) 2019 Conference.  Songs and instrumental music using  standard and non-standard notation are acceptable and entries can come from Arizona music students in grades K-12 and the compositions will be due next January 1, 2019. All compositions must have both an audio recording and a visual representation of the work.  Please e-mail me if your child is interested in entering and I am happy to assist them with their entry.  Material regarding the 2018 composition are available on AzSGM’s website and and the 2019 materials should be posting in upcoming months.  Specific composition competition questions can be addressed by emailing AzSGM

3-5 Music Update

Students in grades 3-5 have been exploring different ways to compose music.  We have studied ways to compose using symbolic notation, description, stick notation and standard notation.  I have encouraged the students to come up with compositional ideas of their own.  We will continue to work on this concept as well as improvisation.

Fifth grade has begun work on a song with Mrs. Barksdale.  I look forward to hearing a bit of the song during music class each week as the students progress.  Students who would like to practice at home can click on this link to Glorious

Children in grades 3-5 who take music lessons are invited to perform a piece that they prepare at home at the end of each music class over the next few weeks.  I have enjoyed hearing students on their instruments.  Children who bring an instrument to school for this purpose may leave their instrument in the music room during the school day.

Music Update

The concert recordings are ready for pre-order! Please check my last update on ordering information.  If your child missed the concert I am currently scheduling time for them to come and sing the concert material with me after school.  I encourage parents to come and listen.  Please remember that the concert is mandatory.  It is an easy way to get a good grade if the kids show up with a good attitude and have put effort into the material.  Illness and unexpected obstacles occur, but I would like all of the kids to demonstrate their learning.

Our composers of the month are:

3rd grade-Rachmaninoff

4th grade-Prokofiev

5th grade-Stravinsky

Starting this week, during music class students are invited to demonstrate pieces that they have learned through music lessons outside of school.  Please contact me if you have any questions.