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1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music 7th Grade Kindergarten Uncategorized

2016 Folsom K-4 Presents “Peter Pan!”

DSC_0585Thanks to the Tremble family for this beautiful picture, more to come! (If you have pics you’d like to share on the blog, let me know!)

It’s here finally, our 2016 production of J. M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan.”
I feel so grateful to so many people- the incredible families who brought snacks, made costumes, helped with rehearsals, brought in props, helped build sets, delivered and picked up kiddos to and from rehearsals and SO. MUCH. MORE.
I’m also so grateful and indebted to the team of Middle Schoolers who worked on this show. From our wonderful Assistant Director Holly, to our brilliant Set Designer Kayla, to our very competent Running Crew, and our extremely talented Pit Band. WOW. How can I say thank you enough? Is it okay to ask you all to never graduate? Or at least ask you to make sure you train the folks coming up the ranks?

Thank you to Dylan Degree for filming our production, please share with your loved ones who couldn’t make it to our show.

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1/2 Grade First Steps in Music

First Steps in Music: Vocal Exploration: Yarn Shapes

As part of John Feierabend’s “First Steps in Music” curriculum, we explore all the different sounds our voices can make. In first and second grade we’ve been using yarn shapes to sing in our head voices. These head-voice muscles have to be developed over time, so the more singing in our head voices we can do, the better! Have your child teach you how to sing a shape using any kind of string at home! Enjoy!

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1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music Kindergarten Middle School Band Middle School Chorus Middle School General Music

Ms. Kauffeld’s Summer Part 2: Summer Performing Arts Explorations!

IMG_1570After 11th grade my best friend Claire and I decided that it was silly that no towns near us had any theatre stuff over the Summer. So, without thinking too much about the logistics, we asked our High school Drama teacher if she would help us start a camp for kids going into 5th through 8th grades. The program would be two weeks long and at the end we would have a final performance. That year we decided to rewrite “Peter Pan.”
We had 10 campers.
8 years later Summer Performing Arts Explorations (SPAE) lives on with the help of two other best friends Emily and Abby. This year we put on our own production of, “The Lorax,” and we had 37 campers. The production at the end is really fun and gives the program a lot of focus, but there is a wholllllle bunch of stuff that happens during those two weeks that doesn’t get shown during the final performance. We bring in professionals from the area to do workshops in amazing aspects of art like Instruments, Drumming, Light Design, Sound Design, Dance, and more. We design costumes, make up, props, set pieces, play a ton of improvisation games, sing, and build a community. It’s exhausting, but exhilarating.
Want to know more? Check out the SPAE blog.

This video will give you an inside look at what happens at SPAE!
See you soon!
PS: Haven’t sent me a video yet? Time is running out!!

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1/2 Grade First Steps in Music Kindergarten

Hey Kindergarten, First, and Second Graders!

Look at what Ms. Kauffeld just found:

SINGING TUBES!!!
SINGING TUBES!!!

SO MANY SINGING TUBES!
You might remember this:
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But now we will have 9 singing tubes for SO MUCH MORE FUN!

I’ve found that when children listen to themselves sing in a singing tube they are able to focus and match pitch better, which is our most important goal of K-2 music class. PLUS IT’S SILLY AND FUN. YAY!!!

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1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music COOL MUSIC STUFF! Kindergarten Middle School Band Middle School Chorus

Ms. Kauffeld’s Summer Part 1: Governor’s Institute on the Arts

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Maybe this dance looks familiar? This was my offering for the RA Show… I just can’t get away from Ogres.

Hi Folsom Musicians!!!

Wow can you believe we’re already half way through July?! It seems that summer is flying by… so that means I’ve got to get my first video to you! This is my fifth summer working at the Governor’s Institute on the Arts. For two weeks, high schoolers from all around Vermont come together to build a community centered around art. That means painting, drawing, sculpting, dancing, singing, acting, writing, playing instruments, designing lights and SO MUCH MORE. This video shows only a glimpse of what the two weeks is like. I would encourage you to check out their website: GIAofVT.com to find out a lot more, BECAUSE YOU ALL NEED TO GO WHEN YOU ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL. Okay. All for now. I’ve been receiving some FANTASTIC videos from you… but I’m thinking more must be on their way…

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1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music Kindergarten Middle School Chorus Middle School General Music

Hand Chimes End of Year Report

This year at Folsom we were lucky enough to be offered the Hand Chime Loan Grant from the Handbell Musicians of America. This organization sent us two sets of hand chimes for our classroom, and we put them to good use! Unfortunately not all that we did could be documented, often a teacher needs to be in the moment with students instead of stepping back to document- but I think this blog post will give you a good sense of how we used our chimes. We used them throughout the year in all grades. Only in the 5th and 6th grade did we really do what I would call a Hand Chime Unit, which only lasted about 4 weeks-one day a week. But the end result of that was a very cool hand chime piece read from notation. For the rest of our students we used them to enhance learning and music making in other aspects of our curriculum.
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In Kindergarten, just as we learned to keep a steady beat, or a bourdun, using the 1st ad 5th scale degrees on a xylophone, we did this with chimes as well. We sung tunes like “John the Rabbit,” “Pitter Patter,” and “Snowflakes Falling,” while playing our bourdun.

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In the following video at 1:05 you will see the First and Second Graders playing the hand chimes as part of our Human Piano! There is one piano player in this video, but sometimes we had two or three piano players playing at once. We did this as the First and Second graders were learning about Sound. They organized themselves from lowest to highest pitch, which they knew from their work in science class that the bigger the chime, the lower the pitch would be.

In First and Second grade we also used the chimes to easily see how sound is made with Vibrations. The bravest students touched the chimes to their noses to feel a major tickling    vibration!

We made the following video on Halloween in the third and fourth grade. We learned “Ghost of John” as a round, then added what we affectionately named the, “Spooky Hand Chimes.” Students then came up with an arrangement that included movement, (start hidden, on the cue of a chime slowly enter the shot, move around room, at end sink to the ground,) and a combination of chime playing and singing. We used this as a way to get everyone to the same place in knowing how to properly play the hand chimes. You can see that there are some students who still struggle to keep the chime vertical.

In fifth and sixth grade we followed the same process with “Ghost of John,” but as one of their classroom teachers is named “Tom” we went to his classroom, circled around him in the dark and sang, “Have you seen the ghost of Tom..” and then left without a word. It was sufficiently spooky.

In fifth and sixth grade many students were ready to read music with the chimes. After only about 10 minutes of rehearsal we worked up an impressive chime piece that I’ve unfortunately lost the video of. Students reflected after, “That sounded SO cool!”

In our 3rd-8th grade spring concert we used the hand chimes in a few pieces.
The third and four graders had given much focus to recorder, so we enhanced our two recorder songs “Gently Sleep” and “Hot Crossed Buns” by adding chimes and fingers cymbals to one, and chimes and xylophones to the other. Students were given the option of what they would like to play in the concert- some who may have felt less comfortable playing recorder were able to play chimes, cymbals, or xylophone- or they looked at it differently, if they were bored of those songs on recorder, they opted to play the other instruments! It worked out great for all!

IMG_1331As we learned to read more notes on recorder, we also read the notes with hand chimes. This way we were reading the notes while singing, playing recorder, and playing hand chimes. Here students are reading “When the Saints Go Marching In.” After I’d lead them through the music once, I asked student volunteers to lead it. This provided an extra challenge in music-reading and listening to these students.
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In fifth and sixth grade we learned the folk song “Liza Jane,” and used it to create an Orff-style arrangement on xylophone which we enhanced with percussion and chimes. Students that play in band were given the opportunity to solo over the arrangement using the C concert pentatonic scale. Soloists were able to select which instrumentation they would like behind them as the soloed which allowed us to play with the interesting sound of different combinations.
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To end our concert the middle school chorus taught THE AUDIENCE the round, “Now It’s Time to Go.” Once the audience had gotten to know the tune, we sung it as a round, and the middle schoolers brought hand chimes out to audience members to play. Watching their reactions were great, some jumped right in, others were too nervous to play the chimes so they handed them off to others!
The following video includes excerpts from the concert and the 3/4 reading music while playing the hand chimes.

We are still raising money for our own set of these chimes, it’s a project that we’ll continue on with as we’ve had so much fun at all age levels! Thank you endlessly to the Handbell Musicians of America for your generosity, you’ve played an important part in our learning at Folsom this year!

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1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music First Steps in Music Instrument Lessons Kindergarten Middle School Band Middle School Chorus

What’s New in the Music Room?

Here is a long overdue blog post!

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS: the Spring Concert for 3rd-8th grade students will be Thursday May 28th at 6pm. There will be an Art Show that opens at 5:30. Hooray!

Folk Dancing in 3/4 grade:
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The first video is from our Second Trimester Celebration of Learning. These students volunteered to play something they’ve been working on for their peers!

The second video is a collection of videos from the past few months. It includes instrumentalists, 1st and 2nd grade solos, finger puppets, and whale calls, Kindergarten presentations of instruments from home, and more!

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1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music First Steps in Music Kindergarten Move It!

Red Clover Music Activity!

Inspired by The First Drawing we experimented with what would happen if we drew something that we listened to instead of something we looked at. Every Kindergarten through Sixth Grader listened to Frederick Chopin’s “Minuet Waltz” and we drew what we imagined! The song has no lyrics! It is for solo piano. Here are some of the drawings that this song inspired!
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After we shared our drawings we did a movement activity to the same song, and discussed if adding movement made us imagine anything different than what we drew. For many of us, adding movement gave us a whole new perspective on this song. Now YOU can do the movement activity at home! Follow me!

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1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music COOL MUSIC STUFF! Kindergarten Middle School Band Middle School Chorus Middle School General Music Why Is Music Education Important?

Happy 100th Birthday Anniversary Billie Holiday!

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and what better way to kick it off than to wish Billie Holiday a Happy 100th Birthday Anniversary!
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Billie Holiday was born on April 7th, 1915 and died in 1959.
One of the most influential and beautiful jazz singers of all time.
Her recordings speak for themselves.
The first, “Night and Day” by Cole Porter (One of Ms. K’s favorite songs.)

Next, “God Bless the Child,” written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr.

And last, for now… “I’ll Be Seeing You”

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1/2 Grade 3/4 Grade 5/6 General Music First Steps in Music Instrument Lessons Middle School Band

Music In Our Schools Month: The Final Week

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The music room has come ALIVE this week! Many Middle Schoolers are preparing for the District Music Festival this Friday, 4th grade instrumentalists have all been busy at working learning tunes like “Frere Jacques,” “Mexican Mountain Song,” and “Sawmill Creek,” Kindergarteners have been doing 3 different “Mixer Dances,” the 1st and 2nd graders have been learning about Sound in Science, so in music we’ve been talking about PITCH, VIBRATION, and VOLUME, and using the Hand Chimes to discuss all three vocabulary words, in 3rd and 4th grade we’ve been composing with quarter notes and eighth notes and doing our favorite Russian Folk Dance, “Sasha!” AND SO MUCH MORE.

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This week has been outstanding for before-school practicing! We’ve seen the return of many faces, (though looking a little sleepy at times,) but I am thrilled to have you back, and so proud of the extra effort you are putting in.
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The Middle School Musical, “School House Rock!” is well under way with our amazing director, Gina Fearn. A terrific group of middle schoolers (and a few awesome 4th graders!) have been learning songs, blocking, and choreography for the show.
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As we finish out the week I hope to collect more responses to the prompt,
“MUSIC MAKES ME____!” If YOU would like to fill out a sheet at home please let me know and I’ll make sure one makes it home to you!
Here’s a video of Preston rocking the bells, and another of many snippets from the past two weeks- Random Acts of Music, glimpses of K and 1/2 music classes, and band lessons.


WAHOO!!!!