Wednesday, November 9, 2016

God Bless America 2016 - Kristin Lukow, director

Here are my students, all 400 of them, singing God Bless America, the day after our presidential election of 2016. I am blessed to be their teacher!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Auditions? Who has time?

I used to have auditions for parts in our programs and I seriously do not have time for that anymore. Three schools, limited time together, one has to make adjustments! I want all my 6th graders to be responsible for something so they either will be a narrator or sing at the microphone. I usually ask them what they want to do and it evens itself out. This year it worked beautifully at my first school. I am so happy with the results. And... so many young men who can sing like nobody's business. 



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

America, The Beautiful Writing Project

My 5th graders write their own verses to America, TheBeautiful  each year.  It usually takes three class periods and some homework!  Writing is challening but so worth it!   You can get my resource here on Teacher's Pay Teachers.

Oh, beautiful for tallest trees,
For how they sway so fun.
I see birds that land on them
Above me like the sun.
America, America,
So deep are your strong roots.
I climb so high.
And see the sky.
And I like your good fruits.

Oh, beautiful for green corn fields,
For rocks of name. (Think Mount Rushmore - my note.)
For every mountain far and near.
Above the ocean game.
America, America,
God made this land for me.
And help the good
In the neighborhood
From tree to swaying free.

Oh, beautiful for police that serve,
The cars lights shine so bright.
They rescue us when we need help.
Uniforms so stiff and tight.
America, America,
They catch thieves that commit crimes.
Their badges so gold.
Their life is so bold.
It's good that they are fine.

Oh, beautiful for bright blue skies,
For flowing rows of grain,
For forest mountain majesties,
Around the flowered plain.
America, America,
God's grace was shed for me.
Grateful, I'll be.
People fight for me.
From sea to gleaming sea.

Oh, beautiful for joyful skies
Where no one is in pain.
Our lands are great and free.
It's beautiful, you can't complain.
America, America,
God shed His grace on me,
And help the poor,
And win the war,
From sea to gleaming sea.

This one is from a hunter.
Oh, beautiful for waving corn,
For amber waves of wheat.
The color is so gorgeous
Above the tender meat.
America, America,
The crops make food for me.
We're thankful for our land.
With dry and hot sand,
It's so beautiful, you should agree!

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.