Sunday, September 25, 2016

How many more years?

I'm going to be 55 years old this year.   One of my best friends from high school, who is also a teacher, is retiring this year.  It really has me thinking.

I love teaching music.  I love the creativity and joy.  I love hearing my students grow in their musicality.   It is also a physically demanding job!   Nine years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.   I struggled and didn't see how I could continue teaching.  Thankfully within the past two years, I have found Plexus and these products have turned my health around so now I know I can continue to teach as long as I want, but how long do I want?

In two years, my school district will have a new elementary school.  I have taught in so many little schools within our district that I am very excited about this!  I want to spend some time teaching in one building instead of running from place to place!  And... I want to build a program that my successor can step into and have good quality resources to continue our excellent music program. 


And so now I am considering when.  A very good question.  



Monday, August 29, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Partner Songs - How?

Here is what I do for partner singing.

Day 1 of school. We learn Freré Jacques. I lived in France as a child. It's part of my story. We echo sing it. We sing it in unison. In French. In English. I make up words. Starting in 1st grade, I have them sing it by themselves. (We do this K-6.) I start them again and start singing Row, Row, Row. I don't tell them I'm doing that. Some raise their eyebrows. We have done this at the END of kindergarten. They remember. I ask the 1st and 2nd rows to turn around and face the 3rd and 4th rows. (Yes, we stand in four rows. It works form e in SO many ways!) We talk about how I like to Kayak and we get our own and talk about what colors they are. We scrunch down in our kayaks and sing Row, Row, Row together facing each other. We do it again. I direct the 1st and 2nd rows to sing Row, Row Row 3 times. Once by themselves and then keep going. I tell the 3rd and 4th rows to wait for me because we're going to France. We will sing Freré Jacques once. We do this and sometimes we wipe out. Most of the time not. We try again. We switch parts. We change kayaks. We smile. We laugh. We grow strong as singers.

I don't do a lot of explaining in my class. At least that is my goal. I direct and say, "1, 2, ready go." No excuses. No lag time. Just jump in. I am totally committed to making independent singers. Leaders. Capable musicians who do not need me.



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Online Metronomes! Which is better?

In my humble opinion, Bing has a better metronome that Google.  Just sayin'!  Search metronome and see what pops up!  Bing's is customizable!  Love it!

metronome - Bing


Monday, August 22, 2016

Cottage Cheese Drumming?

I am using "bucket drums" with young students more every year because they love them so much. They are really cottage cheese containers from a restaurant!   Today we sang, "Hickey Tickety Bumblee Bee" and we sang, "Can you say your name for me? instead of SING.  They said their name as best they could while they drummed the rhythm of their name. We all echoed.  It gives me a good idea as to where we are starting with rhythm and coordination.



Monday, August 15, 2016

Let's Play Olympic Music!

Bugler's Dream < - - - - Find it here!

My 4th - 6th graders will be playing Leo Arnaud's Bugler's Dream which is used in every Olympics these days!   I have notated it at Notefllght!





Saturday, August 13, 2016

Passionate Singing by the Figi Rugby Team

     Did you hear the Fiji Rugby team sing after their victory?
     From the depths of their souls!  Amazing!!

     Listen here at the NBC Olympic site!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hits of 2014 - played with household items.

At one of my schools, the students come to the lunchroom/music room/PE room before school. Yes, we all use the space. Anyway...I like to show videos while they are waiting for school to start. I was introduced to this young man through Katie Wardrobe and Midnight Music. My students are going to FLIP!