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Middle School Band Middle School Chorus

Welcome Back Middle School Families!

Hello Folsom Families!

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I’m writing to fill you in on the exciting happenings in the music program! We’re off to a great start this year, we have many students enrolled in band and chorus and the enthusiasm in both groups is contagious. ALL middle school students are welcome to join chorus or begin learning an instrument-it’s never too late! If your child begins studying a new instrument this year they won’t play in the band right away, we’ll get them to a comfortable playing level and then they’ll jump in!

Middle School Band meets on Monday and Fridays during the school days. If your child is studying an instrument they also will have one lesson a week on a three-week rotation. I will send home the lesson schedules once they are set in stone. My recommendation is that most students should leave their instruments at school from Monday to Friday and bring them home over the weekend. The exception being if your child has private lessons during the week, or there is an expectation that they be practicing at home on school nights. My expectation is that if they aren’t practicing at home on school nights, (even 10 minutes a few days a week makes a difference!), they are coming in before school 7:30-7:50 to practice in the music room a few times a week. This year my room is open every morning, so come on in!

Middle School Chorus meets on Wednesdays during school and Thursdays after school until 3:50. There will be a late bus in October, but until then students will need to be picked up.

Students in both groups will have the opportunity to participate in the Island County Music Festival and District Music Festival as well as other performance opportunities that pop up more locally. My philosophy in teaching band and chorus is that they are not ensembles where we are always preparing for a concert. My goals for each are around inspiring musicians who can listen music with a deeper understanding, who create musical ideas and can produce them with their instrument or voice, who work well in a musical community and support each other, and can learn to create a practice ritual. I am working to inspire humans who, when they are adults, feel comfortable singing with their families, or dancing at weddings. Music is much more than yearly concerts, and I hope to show more about how we CREATE music this year, than showing that we are able to play a lot of concert repertoire. (Though that IS a highly important skill and I look forward to diving into the new pieces I’ve picked out for this year!)

Please get in touch with me if you have questions about instrument rentals, buying an instrument, rehearsal times, or anything else! My email is karkauf@gisu.org and phone number is (802) 380-9291.

Thank you so much for your support of the music program I’m greatly looking forward to the year ahead!

Karlie Kauffeld

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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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3/4 Grade COOL MUSIC STUFF! Instrument Lessons Instrument Series Middle School Band Middle School General Music

Instrument Series #1 Great Saxophonists YOU Should Know About…

This is the first in a series of blog posts aimed specifically at Folsom’s instrumentalists. Each will highlight some of the great instrumentalists that they should know about. Listening to great musicians will give our students examples of beautiful tone to strive for on their instruments, as well as examples of their instrument playing in many different genres, with different styles, and unique sounds.

While these posts are aimed at our instrumentalists they can be used to inspire other students into perhaps, starting an instrument, or for great music to listen to and enjoy!

Great Saxophone Players

1. Charlie Parker (1920-1955) charlie-parker Charlie Parker, also known as “Bird,” was born in Kansas City. He came from a non-musical family but luckily found himself at a school that promoted the study of music, so he took up the baritone saxophone. His mother eventually scraped together enough money to buy him an alto saxophone. As an unsupervised teenager Charlie began to frequent the Kansas City jazz clubs. He learned mostly by listening to others play. Because he didn’t know much about music theory, when he improvised (made up what he was playing over the chords played by piano/bass/guitar) he often played notes that didn’t quite “fit” with what the traditional sounds were in Jazz in the 1930s. Because of this his sound was unique. He moved to New York City and found like-minded musicians. Together the beginnings of a new jazz style called “Bebop” were formed. He met Dizzy Gillespie-a great trumpeter in 1949 and they became fast friends. Bird was addicted to drugs and alcohol throughout his career, and at the young age of 35 died because of it. “Birdland” is a jazz club in NYC named in his honor. This first recording is of Bird playing “Ornithology” The next is “Summertime,” which many of our middle school musicians sang last year. You’ll hear Bird on sax accompanied by string instruments.

2. John Coltrane (1926-1967)
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John Coltrane (often just “Trane”) pushed the musical boundaries of jazz contributing to bebop and “free jazz.” He played alto saxophone in high school and in church bands. He made the switch to tenor saxophone and taking inspiration from the greats like Charlie Parker, he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s band. Trane, like many other musicians at the time, became addicted to drugs. His dependency resulted in getting him fired from his band. He overcame his addictions and returned to the jazz world. Trane developed a technique for playing long strings of notes at lightning speeds, sometimes playing up to 1,000 notes a minute. Trane moved jazz to a freer place with uncommon harmonies and rhythms. This first recording is of John Coltrane playing “Giant Steps,” where you will hear his long streams of fast moving notes. The next is a video of Trane playing “My Favorite Things,” which many of our musicians know from “The Sound of Music.” Trane puts a new spin on this classic tune.

Saxophones don’t ONLY have to play jazz…
3. Theodore Kerkezos
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While it is uncommon to find a saxophone in an orchestra (but typical to find them in a Concert Band or Wind Ensemble setting,) there are MANY pieces written for solo saxophone and orchestra. Theodore Kerkezos is a professor and saxophone soloist in Russia. He has received some of the highest musical awards in Russia for his playing and teaching.
In this video you will here Kerkezos accompanied by the Moscow State Conservatory Orchestra in Russia playing Milhaud Fedoseyev’s “Scaramouche”

The info on John Coltrane and Charlie Parker comes from a very cool book that Ms. Kauffeld has in her classroom for YOU to borrow called “The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia Jazz & Blues” by Julia Rolf.
The info on Kerkezos comes from Ms. Kauffeld’s good friend who plays classical saxophone!

Categories
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!!!!

Categories
3/4 Grade Instrument Lessons

Sawmill Creek-Clarinet and Saxophone

These students have been coming to school early almost every day to practice their instruments, clearly it’s paying off! Sawmill Creek is on page 20 of the Standard of Excellence Book 1 (the red book.) It has many combinations of quarter notes and eighth notes, accidentals, and slurs! These students have been working hard and they did a great job with this recording. (All before 8am, I might add!) Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the special guest in the video who offers moral support and occasional dancing… 😀

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3/4 Grade Instrument Lessons

Frere Jacques on Clarinet

Abby has been coming to practice clarinet before school every day for many months. She’s doing a fantastic job! Here is Frere Jacques, as a round! Sing along!

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Instrument Lessons Middle School Band

Flutes in Snow

Sometimes when you’re in school and it’s blizzarding, it makes you want to go out of school…with your flute.

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3/4 Grade Giants In the Sky Instrument Lessons

4th Grade Instrumental Instructional Video!

Our Fourth Grade instrumentalists will open our our play “Giants In the Sky” by performing one of the songs on their instruments!

Here is a video for them to learn their parts, please share it with them! Thank you!

AND- I want to apologize, I have footage from our auditions and some rehearsals that needs to be put online, I’ll work on it soon!!!

Categories
3/4 Grade Instrument Lessons Middle School Band Middle School Chorus

Videos! Middle School Chorus Reflections, Trombones in Snow, and Flute Instructional

Here are some great videos for you to enjoy. Happy Holidays!

Middle School Chorus reflects on the winter concert. I was amazed by their critique!

Trombones in Snow! It started snowing during Sawyer’s lesson. So we went outside and made stuff up.

We are SO excited to welcome Kane to our 4th grade flute group! Nora made him this video to help out during vacation! Lots of useful stuff, great job Nora!

Don’t forget to watch the video of the Winter Concert in the previous blog post. AND stay tuned for videos and pictures from the 3/4 grade auditions and our first rehearsal! YAY!

Categories
3/4 Grade Instrument Lessons Middle School Band

Jayson and Paradiddles, and Decking the Hall!

Jayson learned paradiddles in his lesson today. They are one Rudiment for drums. A Paradiddle consists of a single stroke, single stroke, then a double stroke. Check it out!

During one Open Music Room time these folks made a video of Deck the Hall. Sing along!